Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hi, I have some nigerian dwarf goats I got in the spring of last year. They did terrific on pasture and hay supplement during the summer. This winter I started to notice that they were getting little spots where hair wasn't growing. I have been giving them copper bulas (CWP) and adding zinc to thier water. I gave them copper the first part of January and now 2 weeks ago I gave them each 2 gr. ( I can't remember what I gave them in January.) The zinc I have given is zinc assay from premier research labs. 1 - 3 tsp. in thier water several times over the last few weeks. It does not seem like they are improving. I have also been giving repliman gel plus 2.5  grams about  couple times a week average. What could be wrong? They are on good green teft hay otherwise. I have free choice soda and kelp for them.  See attached files.

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Do they have a free choice mixed mineral available 24/7, such as Sweetlix Meat Maker? All goats need a good mixed mineral as as a start. Then you supplement with additional minerals as needed. Some goats may not need anything other than the mixed mineral, but they all need that because it has a lot of different minerals in it.

Copper is usually given at 1 gram per 22 pounds, so most adult NDs need 3 or 4 grams. However, it sounds like you may be giving way more often than is normally advised, which is every 3 to 6 months.

I am not familiar with the zinc that you're giving, but additional zinc supplementation is usually needed. Unless goats are getting too much calcium or too much copper, they don't usually have a problem with zinc deficiency, so the zinc in the mixed mineral is usually sufficient.

Skin lesions could be caused by mites. You'd have to get a skin scraping done by the vet for a diagnosis. It would be treated with a pour-on ivermectin or eprinomectin. 

 I have had Fertrell minerals for them but noticed they were out now. I'm going to put some more out for them now. Can you see the attatched files? I have pictures of them. I thought too that they only needed copper every 3 to 6 months but their problem didn't seem to be improving so I thought maybe I needed to pull them out of a slump. I am at my wits end as what to try next. It isn't just thier skin. If you look at the pictures the coat on the black one looks like it's getting red instead of black. That's why it looks like copper deficiency but I didn't know how long it takes to come out of it. It looks like it's getting worse instead of better. Would zinc deficiency cause coat discoloration like that? 

   Today and yesterday were their birthdays! So they are 12 months old. I weighed them a few months ago and they were right at 40 lbs. So that's why 2 gr. of copper.  What kind of zinc shall I try? 

   The only other thing I thought of was that I use Molly's herbal dewormer program. Would that be doing something to them? 

   I went out to put mineral in thier container and saw they still have mineral. They had been out a month and a half ago though. 

I doubt they have a problem with zinc deficiency. That usually only happens with bucks that are getting alfalfa, and then you just stop giving them alfalfa, and the deficiency corrects itself. Plus, another symptom of zinc deficiency is foaming at the mouth, which you'd have noticed.

Symptoms of copper deficiency correct in about 2-4 weeks, but you haven't really mentioned any symptoms other than hair discoloration. I'm not seeing any serious coat discoloration in the pictures you posted. I looked at them before I responded the first time, and it didn't jump out at me at all. Even after you mentioned it, I had to look for it. Do you have a full body picture? Have you seen other symptoms of copper deficiency?

I don't think they need more copper, but you should weigh them again. They'll continue to gain weight for at least the first couple of years. Mature ND does are usually 60 pounds. Forty pounds is a good weight for a yearling.

Those lesions in the picture look more like mites, which I mentioned in my last post. That's not just hair loss. They have scabs.

Are we talking about does, wethers, or bucks?

These are does. I'll try to get a better picture tomorrow. If I can get them to sit still a second! 

  The pictures are of the worst of the two does. If they have mites can I treat them with something orgainic such as tea tree essential oil? Or is that not effective enough? 

The black goat does not have the kind of rusty red coat that indicates copper deficiency. That goat actually has a very nice winter coat.

I have never had mites, and I haven't researched organic mite treatments. It doesn't look like a super bad problem, so you could try tea tree oil or something else natural and see what happens. 

   Thanks! Do you know if mites is contagious? I wanted to get them bred with my brothers buck but don't want to pass something on to thier herd!

Mites can be contagious. If you want to know for sure, you can take them to the vet, and he or she can do a skin scraping and a microscopic exam to see if that's the problem.

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