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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have two fainting goats who are black and white. This winter, the black parts of them have a grayish/whitish look to them, which I haven't seen before (this is our second winter with them). I'm worried that maybe something is wrong, thought they seem to be acting pretty much the same.

We have them 1/2 cup grain each, twice a day (Purina Goat Chow), they have free-choice hay, and they are on a pretty big pasture. They have loose minerals, but they are over two years old and maybe kind of yucky at this point. Finally, I notice one of them has been eating a lot of bark from our cedar trees.

The weather here in PA has been nuts - really cold, then really warm (today over 60!).

Any thoughts? I want to do the best for them that I can, and I'm worried.

Thanks -
 

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What part of PA? I am in the Southeast part. The weather has been crazy; bitter cold, warm and balmy, rainy, ice storms ... I am so looking forward to Spring already.

How old are your goats? Could just be their winter coat with the black and white blended. My two bucks are hard to tell apart in the winter because they both look like they are heavily frosted black shaggy beasts; come Spring you can see the tan emerge in the one.
 

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Do you think it is just their undercoat? The undergoat will never come in as black and if they are getting fed well, maybe they are producing more undercoat (aka cashmere) that is making the black look faded? I'm not familiar with the fainting goats, but this tends to happen with the cashmere goats that are black in the summer and grey in the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all of your responses! It does look like the undercoat maybe is just popping through their black fur. That makes sense.

Delphinium, good guess! I live close to Lancaster County now, and lived there until I was 19 :). We have had ridiculous weather, like you described. There is a violet blooming in our yard, but today it's cold and windy.
 

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It's probably their undercoat. I have a golden brown goat who's much lighter in the winter. That said, Susanne's given good advice to take a look at the copper in your mineral. Not all minerals are the same.
 

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It sounds like a lack of Cooper. Have you tried to do copper boluses? Does your mineral have cooper in it? If it is old, scoop it out and mix it all up and give them fresh mineral.
 
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