This is my second attempt at posting this today. I got halfway through the last time when our ancient kitty decided to jump onto the keyboard and crash my computer. ~sighs~
Those who enjoy my stories, read on. Those who do not, scroll to the where you see the ***** for the management discovery.
As many of you know, the past year and a half has not been kind to my property, myself, or my goats. Winter before last caused me to have to replace nearly all of my plumbing. Last year's drought ate up our savings in buying exorbitantly priced hay and feed. Then we were finally blessed with the winter rains, and along with them came wind storms and tornadoes that took my outbuildings away. Then came the blessed (never going to complain abut rain again!) spring rains, and more wind and tornadoes, that damaged my fence and barn.
(Side note on the damaged fences: Took me a couple of weeks to fix them, and for that time, all of my goats were in a single herd. This is beginning of March. All of my does were either still pregnant, or had kidded just a couple of weeks back. No big deal, right? RIGHT? I guess that would have been true....except for the two Mini-Nubians. THEY decided, unbeknownst to me, that they were going to INSTANTLY cycle. Brie is currently as big as a barn and looks to kid any day now; and Mardis Gras is getting rounder by the moment. No due date, of course, and they are PLAYING that angle. Needless to say, they are getting a FULL year off from breeding. The good news: I'll have milk through the winter!)
Well, things got worse. DH was laid off. Then more storms came through and damaged my house, and a lot of the barn roof. All of the feed, the bagged mineral, ect., in the barn, was ruined. The cabinet in the barn where I keep things like supplements, Copasure, nitril gloves, etc., gone.
The March storms had destroyed my spring garden, and these took care of my summer garden.
I was feeling pretty overwhelmed, depressed, and generally down. I didn't feel much like coming online because, well, I didn't want to give out advise when my own place was in such shambles, and what advise could anyone give me? "To avoid having Mother Nature ruin a bunch of things you worked so hard for, you should move......off of Earth."?
But every cloud has a silver lining, right? On with the story.
I first sold off all but one of the horses. Then I sold off all of the bucks, and all but two of the "keeper" kids. I let a neighbor pasture two of his horses in with my one mare, to keep her company, and in trade for him buying feed for all of them. I was down to 4 does in milk (2 pregnant, but I didn't know at the time), 1 dry doe, 2 doelings, ~sings~ and an hermaphrodite trying to climb a tree!
By this time, my goats were just starting to show some mineral deficiency. Not bad, but you could tell they had done without loose mineral for a few weeks and that they were due for their boluses.
I took the money I had made off of horses and goats, and went to town with it. Literally. Town is 26 miles away. I spent ALL of it. On materials to fix the house, and get a portion of the barn usable, then on feed, and then the last little bit I had left I used to buy a single bag of Cargill Right Now Onyx.
Then off to home I go. Just as I get inside the gate of the pasture, I notice something funny about the corral. Oh Heck! It's full of water! Off I go, a pipe had broke to the water trough. Thank God I still had a bunch of plumbing supplies left from when all of our pipes froze. So, I spend an hour fixing that, then go back to the truck to unload.
All of the horses were gathered around the truck. I didn't think much of it, as I had made sure the feed was UNDER the building supplies when it was all loaded, where they couldn't get at it if they got to the truck before I unloaded it.
Or, it was.....as I got closer, everything was fine. Except the bag of Cargill, which was OUT of the truck, ripped open, and scattered through the gravel.
I guess that was the last straw. I just sat down in the gravel and started bawling. I kept thinking that I was going to have to sell the rest of my goats, because I couldn't take care of them properly, and how much I was going to miss them. All the while, horses and goats are staring at me like I had lost my mind. Maybe I had.
I don't know how long I sat there crying. Eventually I got up, shooed the horses and goats away, and unloaded the truck. Got everything put away where it was supposed to go. Then I went inside.
I decided to go through all of my livestock meds and such that I keep inside, organize, and see if I had even a LITTLE bit of made-up boluses or anything to give them.
Wormers? No, I checked fecals last week. Have thiamine, B-complex, Bo-Se, all injectables. Antibiotics. Probiotic pastes. Here's the stuff for the horse, more wormers, what's this? I wave the large tube towards the living room and say, "Honey, when did we get this? And why did we get it?"
A mumbled answer is returned, "I dunno. I think I got it for Truffles. I don't know why, just seemed like something handy to have."
"This" was a tube of MAAC Replamin Plus Gel. I put on my glasses to start reading the label.
"DO NOT FEED TO SHEEP OR GOATS--CONTAINS ADDED COPPER", it read. I started getting excited.
I continued reading. "Copper Amino Acid Complex-- 5,200 ppm" Oh my! I went on....every mineral that I had always wanted my goats to have, and the only sulfate was cobalt sulfate! Everything was utterly and completely bio-available!
I read the dosages, it is by weight, of course. Up to 150lbs-- 5cc. Then I read:
"For severe deficiencies, give one dose per day for seven (7) days. Can be used for maintenance. Maintenance dosage: Dose by weight, once per week."
"Honey!" I call into the living room, "You are donating your gel to the goat cause."
"S'okay," he says. "I haven't used it."
So, off I go to dose my goats (Didn't do the "severe deficiency" part, because they were not THAT bad off. Just gave them 2 doses, one day apart.). How amazing! Most of them LIKE the stuff! The worst I had to do was mix it with a handful of feed for Yaiza. Mardis Gras sucked it, literally, from the tube! No fighting! I didn't have to work to get it down! They like it! Hey, Mikey!
Then comes what changed my management practices. Within four days, old hair was shedding like crazy. I gave them a weekly maintenance dose at 7 days. At 10 days, new coat was coming in. I gave them another weekly maintenance dose at 14 days. By that time, production had gone up over 35% and I was starting to drown in milk. At 21 days, they got another weekly maintenance dose. All new coats had grown in by that time, and they felt like satin. Even my big, older girl who had always had a slightly course coat, was silky.
At 28 days, they got what was now their regular weekly dose. That was when I noticed that Mardis Gras had NO flakes in her coat. She had always got a slight case of "dandruff" in the summer...but it was GONE.
I have now been using this stuff for three months. The girls look better than I have EVER seen them and I have made the decision that as long as they look like this, I am never, ever buying loose mineral again, and I am never going to force a bolus down a goat's throat again. This stuff has been WONDERFUL for my herd.
Of course, DH chimed in. "Cost? What is this going to cost us? We can't afford much."
So, I dug out the Co-Op receipts to find what I had been paying for minerals. Called them for their costs on the tubes. Looked online for what another jar of Copusure was going to cost me. Figured out my dosages and how long a tube would last.....
I came up with:
Cargill Right Now Onyx-- $35 At 8 goats, 1 bag every other month.
MAAC Replamin Plus Gel 300cc -- $22 At 8 goats, 1 tube every 7.5 weeks, or just short of 2 months.
(These are costs for my area. Your area may be different.)
"Honey!" I said as I came bouncing into the room, "It's CHEAPER!"
Now, to make the long story even longer: DH has a new job, we are slooooowly rebuilding everything, and I have a brand, new mineral management technique.
That is awesome. I will have to look into that stuff. I am sorry you have been having a hard time but just think it made you stronger. Hope things keep getting better and better for you. Just so you know we know how that everything that is bad is going to happen it will happen to us thing works...We named our farm It Happens because well that's how our life is lol
Awwe, honey. Thanks for sharing. I think everyone has "that" moment.... You all talked me out of a severe moment this past January. Nobody is gona think bad of you if your goat has a bald tail, or if worming meds is going to take an extra week to obtain. Thank God your DH has a new job.... keep looking for the rays of light from the end of your tunnel. They are there, you may not always see them, but keep groping in the dark, when you find one, latch on and pull yourself up!
Lord knows we go through this stuff. It kicks our butts momentarily. Knocks us down but not out.
The Mr has been out of work over a year. We are behind but animals still eat good. He has interview next week in his field.
Thanks everyone! And things ARE looking up. My barn may have recycled pallets for a wall now, but it HAS a wall!
And Nancy, I really hope Bob's interview goes great! And yes, when I was freaking over copper, seeing in those bold letter the "Do Not Feed" did make me excited! But it was all of the other stuff too.
About a year ago, I sat down with the nutritionist at out Co-Op, Robert, to discuss how much a custom mineral mix would cost me. The first thing I said was, "Cut out every sulfate except for colbalt sulfate, because too many sulfates inhibit copper and iron absorption. Where we can, I'd like minerals as an amino acid complex. Also, no salt."
Let's just say that what I wanted, what my research told me was GOOD for the goats, turned out to be eye-poppingly, prohibitively expensive. $6,000 a ton kind of expensive.
Later, I thought about it, and thought about how my goats play in the mineral feeder, sometimes foul it, sometimes turn it over, and decided that it was for the best, because if they were doing that with $3 a lb loose mineral, I would loose my mind.
Also, with that rich of a mineral, there was a problem of some goats eating too much, and some not getting enough. I would never have any idea who was getting what.
Then, this. Like a magic genie just put my wishes into an easy-to-dose tube. All the stuff I want them to have, PLUS the dosage control. I *know* who is getting what and how much.
I feel....motivated about this? Like maybe this was what I was supposed to learn, and things won't be so terrible from now on? I certainly hope so!
However, if that is true, now maybe the Almighty can send a tornado to put my outbuildings BACK?
I googled the gel last night but so far since we talked a couple days ago haven't found where to buy it in my area. I'm still looking. I think I would really like to try it & see how it works for me.
Replamin Plus Gel | PSCFarm.com <---- click on link
Replamin Plus Gel
Replamin Plus Gel is a nutritional source of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, to be used as a supplement for all classes of beef, dairy, equine, and swine.
I'm so glad that you were able to derive some good from your hardships. I'm especially glad you found your way back to this group!
I'm ordering some of this wonder gel. I have huge problems with minerals here. Half my goats won't eat them anyways. I'm having a mineral analysis done on the livers of a few goats I sent off to butcher. I'll have to do the same after feeding this for a while. I'm excited to try this! I hate bolusing! I also hate cleaning mineral feeders out. Do you think it would be necessary to leave minerals out too?
Mammabooh, I don't know if this will make Bo-Se a non-issue. Neither Brie nor Mardis Gras got their Bo-Se shot before being bred this time (for obvious reasons, I didn't know!). I am not giving them a Bo-Se shot prior to birth either, because I am a stickler for it being at an exact time table, neither to early (and possibly causing an abortion) or too late (where it doesn't do the kids any good). Since I don't know their due date, I am not giving it to the dams.
I'll let you know how the kids come out. If it looks like they NEED Bo-Se, then I will give it. If not, I won't. Selenium is too easy to go toxic, especially since the gel contains it, so I am only going to give it to the kids if there looks to be trouble.
andabigmac, I am not keeping loose mineral out at all. One of the things I like about dosing like this is that I *KNOW* they are getting their minerals. The gel contains all of their mineral needs in such large amounts, and so bio-available, that leaving out loose minerals would just be inviting waste and/or problems.
I do, however, still leave out baking soda free choice.
And so I don't sound like an advertisement for MAAC, I think Mineral Max makes a similar product, but I am not certain. What I had on hand was the Replamin, so that is what I used... and since it worked so well, I haven't tried other brands.
"First, Show me in the Bible where it says you can save someone's soul by annoying the hell out of them." -- Chuck
Huggs hon! I'm sorry for all of it....... 2012 has just sucked
Wanna know a funny..... Last night around 8:00pm, I dug out one of my mom's many tubs........ She has a slew of them, each one packed with an oddball variety of stuff... This tub had an old set of horse registration papers, a snaffle bit, a warped horse shoe, a few books, a bunch of crystals, geods, some cross stitch stuff she'd never use, a few glass bottles if paint, & in a big rubber band, several tubes of various horse meds...... Dewormers, probiotic paste, supplements...... Half were empty (no clue why she kept them), or old enough to toss, except one fairly new looking tube I didn't recognize.... Wasn't expired so I tossed it in my kitchen drawer to look at later...
Saw this post a few hours later, half way through reading, I go check that tube in the drawer & sure enough, it's MAAC Replamin Gel (not the PLUS though)! How weird is that??!
Mine are all WAY past due for bolusing...... Tonka even has a fish tail Up until recently I've been doing the bare minimum as far as goat care & now I've gotta catch up before breeding season........ Working on pulling myself out of the funk & getting it all caught up again....... Maybe this gel will help boost everyone faster
Thankfully only Tonka & the newer does look a lil rough, the rest are good...
Anywho! Are you going to use this to replace copper bolusing & your loose mineral, or just as a loose mineral replacement?
~hugs~ Crystal, I am still so sorry for everything that has happened to you. Yes, I agree, 2012 absolutely has sucked.
I am replacing BOTH the loose minerals and the copper bolus with this stuff. At 33.8mg per dose given weekly, they are getting PLENTY of copper. Not to mention, since all of the sulfates and other uptake inhibitors have been removed from their diet, and it is so completely bio-available, they are USING all of the copper I give them.
My reasoning (other than the fact I have NO signs of copper deficiency in my herd right now, without any bolusing or loose minerals) is this:
In a bolus, 80% of what we give them is excreted within 24 hours, with another 10% lost within 72 hours. Only 10% of the amount we give them actually stays in their system for any length of time.
That means, with an average 4 gram bolus, only about 400 mg is staying inside them long term to do any good. That 400 mg is being released through a 3, 4, or 6 month program, depending upon your management schedule. For the purposes of this, lets say we bolus every 3 months. So, 400 mg of copper oxide is lodged in the rumen, slowly releasing over 3 months. Copper oxide is not bio-available, it had to be processed by the system for the goat to use it, but lets say, the goat processes ALL of it into usable copper over three months.
At 33.8 mg of completely bio-available copper amino acid complex given every week, the goats are getting 405.6 mg of copper over that 3 month period, which is more than the bolus is giving them. Lengthen that out to a 4 or 6 month program, and the gel is giving them FAR more copper than bolusing, and they don't have uptake inhibitors keeping them from utilizing it.
I don't know how much copper the non-Plus gel has in it, so read the label. But if it is what you have on hand, and nothing in it is dangerous, use it. I saw HUGE and VERY VISIBLE improvements in my herd in far less than 2 weeks.
You made me cry with you. I know the feeling, probably along with almost everyone else, of that last trial that seems just too much. My solution seems to be one yell sometimes followed by tears.
But nature has designed those tears for a reason and it does help get rid of that toxic build up.
I loved the way you phrased things. So many bad things but for every bad thing, a step to get it fixed. How inspiring.
Dear- you paddle upstream beautifully like a swan.
I might add, SOME goats aren't as fond of it as other goats, but I have had no problems with mixing it with a little feed on the milk stand and them eating it. Unlike paste wormers, which if the goats know (smell it) it is there they won't touch it, no matter HOW tempting the treat, the worst I have had with this stuff is that some of the goats won't take it straight from the tube.
"First, Show me in the Bible where it says you can save someone's soul by annoying the hell out of them." -- Chuck