QUESTION: Ok.. 6 months a year the goats have to deal with monsoons. And I am looking for a way to effectively and cheaply support their hooves. We cannot provide dry ground outside of the building areas.. and they are free range animals (I am not structured to allow for non pastured animals).
The locals use a cobalt salt solution for their cattle.. they walk through it on the way into the Dairy. I was thinking of doing the same thing.. but goats are not cows (which is not very well understood here).
So far I am trying to douse with Iodine and when it gets bad I use Formalin, a formaldehyde solution.
Do you have any suggestions of feed or fodder that would be proactive support? And what would you use for acute care and also for daily maintenance?
ANSWER: To support their hooves a good mineral salt that has both selenium and cobalt in it would work well. You could also use a cobalt bolus - I believe there are some available on line especially designed for goats and sheep. To also treat the hooves themselves from the outside, use of a 10% bleach spray used at least once a week (perhaps more often for really wet times) and allowed to dry just a little before they head back outside should help. You can also use a spray called BluKote which has a Gentian Violet in it and is a quick drying antibiotic spray or dauber used on the hooves to kill external fungus and bacteria and then dry the hooves quickly.
For acute care I use the BluKote twice a day as well as giving an oral antibiotic - this is one time where an oral antibiotic can help as it can make it to the hooves in large amounts - I use Tetracycline or Duramycin powder for this.
Hope this helps - Donna
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QUESTION: ok.. super info.. I do not know if I can get blukote.. but it looks ab fab. And the bleach idea is a great one as well.. What are your thoughts on vinegar instead of bleach?
I use a mineral that is more for cattle (go figure). I was considering doing some sprouting for fodder with higher selenium and such... Radish sprouts and Brocci sprouts are both pretty good for this.
I like the bleach because it is cheap and effective. I use a general livestock loose mineral that has selenium, cobalt, and other minerals in it, as well as copper (which if you have sheep in the same pasture won't work for the sheep). I love the idea of fodder - am designing a hydroponic system for that - just a small one but am in hopes it will cut down feed bills but also raise nutrition. Kelp also contains a good amount of cobalt. Hope this helps - Donna