Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Kid lightened in color following disbudding - copper or something else?

My goats need a lot of copper and I copper bolus.  My does recently got done and needed it - I was behind in their needs as I think they increased their needs due to pregnancy and lactation.

One baby in particular was much darker when he was younger - he is a gold baby. Gold and white. Following his disbudding - which seemed to go well - he lightened up - all over but especially on the sides of his body. To me this looks like copper deficiency but I thought I'd check with you.

He is currently 8 weeks old, and the woman I've bought goats before often copper boluses them before sending them home at 8 weeks - so what do you all think?


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It depends! :-) Since my does are all at a good copper level, I don't worry about the kids as long as they are still nursing because they are getting milk from mamas who are not deficient. However, once they start drinking a lot of our well water, I start to worry about how that is going to affect their copper absorption because our well water is high in sulfur and iron. I do give a copper bolus before they go to their new home but that is mostly for its anti-parasitic properties, rather than for the actual copper supplementation. (Copper oxide wire particles are shown to reduce the number of stomach worms in goats, based upon more than a dozen scientific studies.)

It is not unusual for ND kids to have their colors change from the time they are born over the course of six months or so. Many black kids will turn chocolate. Some gold kids will also lighten up and will never regain that bright gold that they had at birth. And I have one doe that was born white, turned cream, turned red roan by a year, but now looks like she'll be cream for life.

I bought two gold and white ND kids in August (brother and sister). They were still nursing a bit when I purchased them at 12 weeks and within 3 to 4 weeks they were both fading drastically. At 10 days after I gave them COWP bolus (2g each) their gold started coming back (if I part the hair it was really easy to see) and the whether's "gold" spots actually turned into a deep bronze color! It's amazing how fast they respond to the copper! I am now a HUGE fan of copasure!! I've learned so much from this site and the knowledgeable people here! 

I have also seen color changes - and you are so right.   This site is great,  always good to learn from others.   I used to belong to a great dairy goat club in Colorado but haven't been in one since.  I learned a lot there and this site is a great substitute for that.   Thank you Deborah for all your work -great book also.

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