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Goats/Dosing human supplements for goats


QUESTION: I want to give my goats the following supplements in human form and would like to know how much to dose per pound of goat and how often to administer them. These are the ones I have on hand:

Copper- 3MG
B-12 - 50 MCG

I want to give these as well, but I don't have any on hand as of yet and I don't know what MG, IU, Or MCG (whichever it may be) I should give.

Manganese or magnesium (are these the same thing?)

Will all of these be safe to give to goats? I have a wether and a doe that is dry and not pregnant.

I look forward to your response and thank you in advance.

- Brandy

ANSWER: Hi there - first question is why do you want to give the minerals and the one vitamin noted in your question? Are your goats ill or not looking/acting normally?  What is your current feed regimen? Let me know and I will get back to you re your question - thanks - Donna

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QUESTION: Both of my goats are losing fur on the bridge of their nose and have a "fishtail". I have had them for less than a year and I have never given them a copper bolus or BoSe injection. It is difficult to obtain these meds and I cannot order over the internet.  In the warm months they browse/graze in the pasture and they get hay as well. In the winter months I offer them about a 12 inch flake of hay per day. Since my doe is not pregnant or lactating and I have a wether, I only offer about 2 cups of sweetfeed twice a week. I keep loose minerals, four plex, and kelp meal out free choice.

ANSWER: Thanks for the information.  Totally understand.  Copper deficiency does not occur too often as goats need only a small amount of copper.  Yes, fishtail is possibly related to copper deficiency, but also to selenium deficiency.  I do not use Bo-Se anymore, have not for about 10 years, and indeed use a number of human vitamins and minerals for health and even illness remedies for the goats.  I take it the hay is just grass hay? If you are already using 4-plex then that is more than enough copper, zinc and manganese for a goat.  The goats generally with loose minerals know when they are deficient and then eat more of it.  Re the kelp meal, I would advise against use of that for wethers as it has a high calcium level and this can cause urinary calculi. Also, kelp is high in copper, zinc, and other minerals so feeding this and the minerals really does not need to be done.  Re the sweetfeed - I would check the label on this to be sure it has a 2:1 or 3:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio, if not then that can also cause issues with urinary calculi.  So, doubt copper deficiency.  The loss of hair on the bridge of their nose can also be due to mange mites.  Have you dusted them recently with a livestock or poultry dust for mites, lice, etc.?  If not would do that, especially in winter.  Not all goats are susceptible to mites, even though their herd mate might have it.  I would go with a selenium deficiency though as your main issue.  The other issue with Bo-Se is that really selenium and vitamin E must also have vitamin D to be able to work together - I have found over many years that when I gave the Bo-Se nothing happened.  But, when I started using vitamin D along with it all was well.  I also had to go to the vet for Bo-Se and it was expensive.  So I started using selenium tablets, vitamin E and vitamin D capsules (all human type).  For an adult goat (over one year of age) ten of the 200 mcg tablets of selenium are crushed and dissolved in a little hot water, to that is added all the oil from a 1000 IU vitamin E capsule and all the oil from an 800 IU vitamin D capsule (I usually just poke a little hole in the capsules and squeeze the oil out) - mix well, cool, mix again and give orally.  You would repeat this amount/dose in 10 days.  You should see improvement in 10 days with increased hair growing in/less fish tail.  Hope this all helps - let me know - Donna

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QUESTION: Thank you so much for a quick reply! I was wondering, though, after the second dose, how often should I give this? Should I wait until I see symptoms of a defiency or administer on a monthly basis as a preventitive? Also, how soon should I see results? I will let you know how my goats are doing in a couple of weeks. Thank you again and God Bless you!

Hello - I generally give my whole herd selenium/E/D oral drench at least twice a year, some goats need it more often as in every 3 or 4 months, watching for hair thinning and rough hair coat helps you know when.  You should see a little improvement in hair growth by 10 days after the first dose.  Yes, please keep me posted.  You are welcome - Donna


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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres


All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.


27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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