Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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I know I remember reading this somewhere, but I couldn't find it.  One of my does now has bald patches on her body.  The skin that is showing looks good.  This is the same doe that had flaky skin and a rough coat which the  rest of her still looks like (except her face and neck).  A neighbor had a goat with hair loss this spring and it was a zinc deficiency.  He took care of it by giving her Hoegger's Herbal Tonic.  So, I'm wondering...

Does this sound like the next step in the deficiency?  I heard sometimes they lose their old coat before the beautiful new one comes in

Or does this sound like mites?  If so, I need to treat for that

Thanks!

Tags: copper deficiency, mites, nigerian dwarf goats, selenium deficiency, zinc deficiency

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Have you treated for mites already? I can't remember... There's a thread about this on BackyardHerds right now... the gal with this issue has thoughts she might have OD'd her herd... but I'm with Deb on the idea that if you're bolusing, it's not easy to OD your herd. Can you share again, what you are giving? (what brand of minerals, what brand of grains if any... that stuff) That would probably help with figuring out if you need to dose with Zinc.

I did wipe everyone's ears, neck and nose with the permectrin concentrate at the suggestion of the vet, but that is all I have done for mites.  I don't know if it is mites or not.  Here is a history of what my herd has had:

The four does were on oat hay and a mineral block called MeatMaker SweetLix at their previous home.  They were treated with ivermectin, bose and CDT on a schedule, which I can't remember.

The buckling is young, so he only had  a few weeks at his previous home, but she gives a mix of minerals similar to the one I made with a blend of dairy minerals, kelp, yeast culture, baking soda, and vitamins..  She also gives a grain mix that  is a combination of barley, corn, oats, soybean meal, black oil sunflower seeds, and vitamin / mineral pellets. During dry weather, her goats are out on pasture and browse and receive meadow grass and alfalfa hay only as needed.  During the rainy season, they receive free choice quality grass hay and at least ½ pound daily of premium alfalfa hay and/or 18% protein alfalfa pellets.

Since they arrived here on January 22, the 4 does finished up 2 bales of oat hay, which were sent along with them, and I gradually switched them over to a grass hay.  Initially I was giving them Hoeggers minerals and when I ran out in April, I ordered more and was mixing them with kelp, DE, Diamond V yeast and baking soda.  I also pour about a cup of ACV in everyones water every 2 weeks or so.  Their water containers are about 5 gallons.Only the lactating doe was getting grain, which is organic barley, oats and BOSS.  When the bucks came at the end of March, they received the same grass hay, the same minerals and no grain.  I began having these problems (that I was aware of) on Mothers Day, and at that point began giving everyone a tablespoon or two of BOSS every day. 

 A week ago I also switched the minerals to a local one called Montana 12-6, which I will post below and am gradually switching the hay over to a fresher grass hay.  I began giving each of the does a handful of alfalfa pellets as well.  The entire herd was treated with permectrin concentrate (rubbed on) 8 days ago and then again a couple of days later on their ears, neck and noses.  Also a week ago the entire herd was treated with sulfa tabs because one of my does had an elevated count of cocci. (not bad, just elevated).  That doe has been swelling in the face off and on since that day so I am supplementing her iron with raisins and pumpkin seeds for anemia. 

I use herbal wormers and the fecal count on one doeling and the dam with cocci was negative.  I have not tested anyone else.

I plan to do fecals on the rest of the goats, test my hay and test my water as soon as finances allow.

Here is what the minerals contain:

2500ppm in copper. 
2500ppm Manganese
7500ppm Zinc. 
36ppm Selenium.   
25ppm Cobalt
200ppm Iodine
Calcium 12%
Phosphorus 6%
Salt 3%
Magnesium 2.75%
Vitamin A 300,000 IU/lb
Vitamin D 30,000 IU/lb
Vitamin E 500 IU/lb

 They are made for goats  by CHS Nutrition in SD and called Montana 12-6. 

 

Do you know if the copper is sulfate copper or oxide? I know that Deb has mentioned that sulfate coppers are easier to OD on... Interestingly enough, the same symptoms for deficiency are being suggested on a couple sites I visit for goats for toxicity!! Waiting on the rest of the group to weigh in...

It says magnesium oxide, copper amino acid complex, zinc amino acid complex, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, basic copper chloride, yeast culture, and it says the copper and zinc are organic.

I have not been giving it free choice.  I weighed the daily portion and the first few days gave it individually, then the last several I have been putting the daily portion for all of them into the feeder and they all eat it together.  The last two days I have been giving another smaller dose in the evening.  I'm afraid to give it free choice with the way they gobble it up.

The one with bald spots is very itchy everywhere, but I don't know if she has always been like that or if it is because of her condition.

I've just spent ten hours teaching classes and giving farm tours, so I'm a little brain dead. I'll have to research those coppers, as I have not come across them before, so I'm not sure how they are absorbed. The symptoms sound like zinc deficiency. Have you separated out the minerals from the DE, baking soda, and everything else?

Yes, the symptoms of copper deficiency and toxicity are extremely similar to each other, so you really need to know where you are starting from before you start bolusing. I was talking to the author of a goat book for vets about a year ago, and she suggested one of the only clues I've ever heard on figuring out which was which -- if your goat is under-conditioned, and it does not have a worm overload, it could be copper toxicity. So, I've always kept that in the back of my head when looking at my goats now. If they are under-conditioned, and they do NOT have parasites, it could be toxicity. I'm not sure how accurate this is, because my sheep fit that description, and they were deficient. But then I was just reading that goats and sheep handle oaks completely opposite of each other, but that's a post for tomorrow night when I'm more awake. Hope I'm not rambling too much.

I just spoke to a nutritionist from CHS (who produces the minerals I am now using) and he said the zinc in there is 2/3 sulfate and the rest is chelated.  He also said the yeast that is mixed in (which was in mine too) would not bind with the other minerals and that shouldn't have been a problem with my minerals. 

In his experience hair loss has always been associated with parasites and not minerals, but my neighbor just had hair loss and not mites...

I'm thinking I should have left well enough alone.  I was giving them Hoegger free choice until April and didn't notice any problems.  Then I mixed in the kelp, yeast, and DE and it warmed up and began raining and a month later I had all these problems.   Maybe it is all lice and mites and not minerals at all?

It's difficult to treat with permectrin when it keeps raining and another goat person told me the ivomectrin is not effective in my area anymore, so I'm not sure what else to do about mites...  it's in the 40s today and tomorrow and I feel so bad for my goat that has huge bald spots! 

I think the next step is to take a scraping and eliminate mites or confirm that they are on the goat...

Yes, I stopped giving the combined minerals 8 days ago.  (although I don't see the difference if the baking soda, kelp, DE and yeast is all out free choice and they eat one and then the other - wouldn't that be the same as mixing them as far as binding is concerned?)

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

I've just spent ten hours teaching classes and giving farm tours, so I'm a little brain dead. I'll have to research those coppers, as I have not come across them before, so I'm not sure how they are absorbed. The symptoms sound like zinc deficiency. Have you separated out the minerals from the DE, baking soda, and everything else?

Yes, the symptoms of copper deficiency and toxicity are extremely similar to each other, so you really need to know where you are starting from before you start bolusing. I was talking to the author of a goat book for vets about a year ago, and she suggested one of the only clues I've ever heard on figuring out which was which -- if your goat is under-conditioned, and it does not have a worm overload, it could be copper toxicity. So, I've always kept that in the back of my head when looking at my goats now. If they are under-conditioned, and they do NOT have parasites, it could be toxicity. I'm not sure how accurate this is, because my sheep fit that description, and they were deficient. But then I was just reading that goats and sheep handle oaks completely opposite of each other, but that's a post for tomorrow night when I'm more awake. Hope I'm not rambling too much.

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