Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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Copper Deficiency: Worth It to Get a Filter for the Well?

Hi Folks,

We have started seeing signs of copper and zinc deficiency in our tiny herd of 3 does. We've only lived on our new farm property for a little over a year, but when we had the well water tested during the pre-purchase inspections, the test came back with a fairly high level of "color"/sulfur, iron oxide, and magnesium. We looked into whole-system filters at that time, but our plan to get one installed fell down the list of priorities when we didn't notice much of a color or odor issue once we moved in. Now that we're seeing copper deficiency in our girls, I'm wondering if we should revisit the filter idea.

I started using COWP for the first time this spring, and I've had to re-dose 2 does less than 2 months after the first use of the 4g bolus top dressed on grain. I know that most of you use 2g or redistribute the contents of the 4g into smaller capsules, so I estimated according to typical NDG weight and the recommendation for a 100-200 lb animal by top dressing grain with a little over 1/2 the 4g capsule contents. With my doe that just kidded, I went ahead and re-dosed using all the contents of a 4g capsule today because she's quite anemic, has a very low parasite count on today's fecal, and I'm having trouble getting her as excited about her grain as she normally is, so I assumed she wouldn't consume all the wire particles (and I was correct).

Anyway, I'm wanting a long-term plan for keeping important mineral levels up, and I'm wondering if a non-chemical well filter might be a sensible part of that plan? Has anyone had success with a well filter and fewer incidents mineral deficiencies? Is it worth the money, and did you see an improvement in your goats without going beyond the regular goat-specific feed & free choice mineral management? 

Thanks in advance for the feedback.

Cheers,

Charity

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The usual COWP dosage is 1 gram per 20-22 pounds.

You can smell and taste sulfur, and iron will leave yellow stains on white bathtubs and sinks. We have horrible sulfur smell and bought a very expensive hydrogen peroxide system. It reduces the sulfur but doesn't get rid of it completely. It did help our deficiency problems, and we saw an improvement in fertility and milk production after getting the system, but we do still have to do COWP 3-4 times a year. It is my understanding that a chlorine system is actually better for eliminating sulfur, but before I buy another system, I'm going to do more homework on that.

Since Maple is new to you, her copper deficiency issue probably came with her. Copper is stored in the liver, and it takes awhile to become deficient, so it's unlikely that it happened since she arrived. The first dose you gave wasn't really enough to treat a real deficiency.

If you live near a coal-fired power plant, that can leave sulfur on your pasture, and there is research that showed a link between consuming glyphosate (Round-Up) and copper deficiency in humans, so I'm wondering if we're starting to see more copper deficiency in goats now because Round-Up Ready alfalfa came on the market a few years ago.

Oh, man! Round-up Ready alfalfa?!?! When will it end?! Luckily we live nowhere near a coal fired power plant, but it seems more and more difficult to escape GMO's and Round-Up use. New England is a pretty good place to be but not immune for sure. 

Maple's breeder has the same well issue and supplements with COWP, ZinPro, and kelp, etc. but Maple had the most beautiful coat and condition when she came, and the signs of deficiency seemed to come on so quickly. I'm glad to know now that the 4g capsule is just fine for NDs. Makes things a lot easier.

I think we'll at least have the well guy come out again and give us an estimate. I don't want to do anything with chlorine, but glad you've seen some improvement since getting your system. Our water stains to a very small degree, and it doesn't smell bad. It gets color when extreme temperature happens, but that's about it. Makes sense to look into a filter again, though.

Thanks, Deborah!


Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

The usual COWP dosage is 1 gram per 20-22 pounds.

You can smell and taste sulfur, and iron will leave yellow stains on white bathtubs and sinks. We have horrible sulfur smell and bought a very expensive hydrogen peroxide system. It reduces the sulfur but doesn't get rid of it completely. It did help our deficiency problems, and we saw an improvement in fertility and milk production after getting the system, but we do still have to do COWP 3-4 times a year. It is my understanding that a chlorine system is actually better for eliminating sulfur, but before I buy another system, I'm going to do more homework on that.

Since Maple is new to you, her copper deficiency issue probably came with her. Copper is stored in the liver, and it takes awhile to become deficient, so it's unlikely that it happened since she arrived. The first dose you gave wasn't really enough to treat a real deficiency.

If you live near a coal-fired power plant, that can leave sulfur on your pasture, and there is research that showed a link between consuming glyphosate (Round-Up) and copper deficiency in humans, so I'm wondering if we're starting to see more copper deficiency in goats now because Round-Up Ready alfalfa came on the market a few years ago.

I had high iron in my water and installed a DIY iron reducing system on my water line which took out virtually all of the iron. It is relatively inexpensive... I think I spent about $200 for everything. The filter for the iron is sold on Amazon and you have to put another filter before and after it (the big blue filters are recommended). It does something to the water to cause the iron to be released as particles into the water which are then caught by the next filter. Works fantastic as my test showed no more iron in the water. I greatly reduced the frequency with which I'm giving COWP because of this and everyone is doing great.

HI Julia, 

Do you remember the brand of filter?  We have lived on our farm for 8 years as of this month and have had high iron the whole time, even with the large blue water tank filter which is in the well house.  I want to get a smaller filter which I can put on the line after the blue tank and another one I can put on the hot water tank in the house.  I definitely think this is some of my issue with my kids...their formula was made w/o filtering the water.  TIA. 

Julia @Woody Glen Farm said:

I had high iron in my water and installed a DIY iron reducing system on my water line which took out virtually all of the iron. It is relatively inexpensive... I think I spent about $200 for everything. The filter for the iron is sold on Amazon and you have to put another filter before and after it (the big blue filters are recommended). It does something to the water to cause the iron to be released as particles into the water which are then caught by the next filter. Works fantastic as my test showed no more iron in the water. I greatly reduced the frequency with which I'm giving COWP because of this and everyone is doing great.

The brand is Pentek and they make several sizes-- the tall skinny ones and the fat shorter ones. Here is an Amazon search page with the different ones on it. You have to have the correct housing to fit them:
https://goo.gl/sv8zue
Good luck! I have had the system for a couple of years now and I do have to change the regular filters at least every couple of months and the iron one I change once per year. I definitely helps!


Cynthia Koscinch said:

HI Julia, 

Do you remember the brand of filter?  We have lived on our farm for 8 years as of this month and have had high iron the whole time, even with the large blue water tank filter which is in the well house.  I want to get a smaller filter which I can put on the line after the blue tank and another one I can put on the hot water tank in the house.  I definitely think this is some of my issue with my kids...their formula was made w/o filtering the water.  TIA. 

Julia @Woody Glen Farm said:

I had high iron in my water and installed a DIY iron reducing system on my water line which took out virtually all of the iron. It is relatively inexpensive... I think I spent about $200 for everything. The filter for the iron is sold on Amazon and you have to put another filter before and after it (the big blue filters are recommended). It does something to the water to cause the iron to be released as particles into the water which are then caught by the next filter. Works fantastic as my test showed no more iron in the water. I greatly reduced the frequency with which I'm giving COWP because of this and everyone is doing great.

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