Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

I have a selenium Q...

So I know that you CAN overdose on Selenium, and that some of the toxicity symptoms are identical to deficiency symptoms.


I wonder if selenium is effecting my doe's fertility, and I worry that increasing their intake might be giving them too much selenium.


First Freshener: I have doe that is nearly 1 and 1/2 years old. I bred her, and her due date came and went without any kids. I'm a "new" goat owner, and have been having trouble figuring out the extremely tiny window of time that they are ready to breed. I've been chalking my no kid record (she and another doe have not been pregnant even though between the two of them, they've been bred over three times) up to missing that window.

Proven 6 year old Doe:The last time I took my older doe to be bred, I left her with my breeder until she came into heat again, and so this time, I think she settled.

Bucks:All of the bucks I've bred my does to are proven bucks, so I know the issues I'm having are NOT stemming from them. I'm going to be bringing home my own bucklings at the end of this week, so in the future, I will not have to take my does to their "dates" . This should make it easier to tell when they are ready to stand for breeding.

Minerals: I feed Purina goat chow (approx. >1/4 c per doe each night) According the the ingredient analysis, the min content is .6ppm. Mixed into the chow, I have alfalfa pellets and Black Oil Sunflower seeds, so they aren't just getting straight goat chow. I also provide Sweetlix Meat Maker loose minerals, which lists the selenium content as min 50 ppm.

Area Soil: I've been told by local vets and breeders that our area's soil is selenium deficient.

General Health: All my does are of good weight, have soft fur, pink eyes, etc. They show no signs at ALL of any deficiencies.


Should I try dosing with Selenium paste in addition to what I'm feeding? Will it hurt to wait if I choose not to? I'm questioning this idea for a couple reasons.

  1. I feel like they already get a good amount of Selenium.
  2. I'm more worried that I could OVER dose than the idea that they are still deficient.
  3. I keep thinking maybe I should at least wait until I have my own bucks, and can rule out the option that I'm simply missing standing heats.

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I don't think you could overdose with the selenium paste because it doesn't have that much selenium in it. I asked a vet professor at U of I if she'd ever heard of a goat dieing of selenium toxicity from a BoSe shot and she said not BoSe, but she had heard of goats dieing from a MuSe shot. Heard the same thing from a vet presenting at the ADGA conference who said that some students injected goats with MuSe and then realized their mistake, and there is nothing you can do at that point. MuSe is for cows, and I think it's something like ten times more concentrated, so that's a LOT more selenium. And the students got to watch first hand goats die from selenium toxicity. That must have been a painful lesson.

I felt like you Rachel before I started giving BoSe, and a very long-time breeder told me that she started at half the recommended dosage, and she saw an improvement in fertility and fewer birthing problems. So, that's what I did. I think the bottle says 2 cc, so I gave 1 cc to half my does the first year and did see an increase in fertility compared to those that didn't get it. The next year I gave it to all my does, then the next year I gave 1.5 cc, then two years ago, I gave 2 cc, and that's when I wound up with 5 sets of quads and a set of quints. This past year, I was so gun shy, I didn't give BoSe at all! We're almost done kidding and I've only had 3 sets of quads and no quints, which makes me happy.

And I did hear at ADGA conference that the feed companies cannot legally put more than a certain amount of selenium in feed or minerals, and that may not be enough for parts of the country that are really deficient. Supplementing with oral is safer than injectable, because it is not as high a dose, and they can pee out what they don't need, which they do. Toxicity usually kills them by overloading the kidney and liver and causing them to shut down as they try to get rid of a really large amount.

So you think I'd be fine to purchase the paste and dose them that way? Thanks so much for your wealth of information, Deb!! I feel better about the oral dose vs. injection. I know I've heard the same thing you mentioned about companies not being allowed to manufacture over a certain percentage.

Another Q... how much can deficiencies in soil vary? Because my breeder lives about 15 miles away from me, in the same valley. She does NOT have the same fertility issues I've been having... and that's one reason I wondered if it wasn't so much the minerals as it could be my timing...

I haven't seen any studies on this, but I'm sure soil can vary tremendously over a 15 mile distance. That's why all the farmers have their soil tested from field to field. I know my water is very different from people even a couple miles away. We have a lot of sulfur in our water, but I know people who have natural gas in their water and others with perfect water and have heard of wells around here with salt water!

True! Thanks for the input. Good way to think of it. I will def. get some paste.

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