Copper problem or just stange hair?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Nancy_in_GA, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    NE Georgia
    This is my first spring with goats. We have a 1 yr old dry nubian doe, purchased last May at 3 mos, who is a VERY picky eater.

    About 1/2 inch of her hair, that part closest to the skin, is now a dark brown, almost black. From there on out, the hair color is light brown (what it was when we got her). She appears to be healthy, no parasite problems---just did a fecal on her.

    We started our goats on Southern States loose cattle minerals last spring. Around Christmas we changed to Golden Blend goat minerals. All our goats are eating the GB at about twice the rate as the SS minerals---about 3 cups per day for 14 goats.

    Could she have been copper deficient and not eating the SS minerals, or are they overdosing now on the GB, or do some goats' hair just change color like this in the spring?

    -Nancy (who needs something to worry about)
     
  2. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    sounds like they are getting healthy on the goat minerals.
     

  3. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    i think youre tilting at windmills
    shes shedding out her winter/kid fur and getting a darker color because ofthe minerals, not in spite of them
     
  4. Ksar

    Ksar Member

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    Florida
    Hi Nancy

    From what you discribe, it does sound like she is losing her winter coat. Mine are just about done shedding, their coats are nice and shiny and soft now.
    It will come in dark and lighten with the sun. Do watch the copper tho, to much can kill them.

    Kathy
     
  5. rhjacobi

    rhjacobi Well-Known Member

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    Tennessee
    Hi Nancy,

    I see that you are in Georgia. I would check the Selenium maps. The latest Hoegger Supply catalogue has a good one that also shows concentrations of of Selenium accumulating plants. It could be just shedding, especially since the goat is new to you.

    We live in an area with plenty of Selenium and we have to watch for Selenium toxicity. I can't give loose minerals free choice because some will get too much Selenium and develop Selenium toxicity. This also sounds like it could possibly be some Selenium toxicity. To complicate things, Selenium toxicity, Selenium deficiency and Copper deficiency have similar symptoms - especially in the hair. However, as you said she is seeming to turn the color that she was when you first got her - which would have probably been after she shed her winter coat.

    I would discuss the Copper and Selenium with your vet and other local goat herders so that you will have a better idea of the levels in your area.

    Bob
    Lynchburg, TN. (not that far from Georgia)
     
  6. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Bethlaf: "Tilting at windmills" should be my middle name. ;)

    Thanks Bob. Thought I was going to have to come up with something else to worry about until you posted. I'll do some checking, and muddle through.

    Lived all my life in the city, had one cat. Now I have these 14 big pets each with an "attitude," and a digestive system that is as complicated as advanced calculus. So far, so good---haven't lost one.

    After one complete year's cycle, maybe I won't have so many questions.

    Nancy
     
  7. rhjacobi

    rhjacobi Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Tennessee
    Hi Nancy,

    Concern/worry for your livestock is what will make you a good livestock owner. Get to know and always observe your animals. They will tell you that something is wrong. Even subtle changes in looks/behavior can mean something.

    We have been through that learning curve. We have made a lot of mistakes that we want to help you avoid. The body of knowledge about goats is too much to absorb all at once - So keep asking.

    Bob
    Lynchburg, TN.