Are copper boluses safe for pregnant goats? That just may be the question dancing around in your head right now. So let’s talk about it…
Have you ever walked into your goat pen and wondered what was going on INSIDE them? Just like yourself, it’s hard to tell sometimes. I’ve even had that panicked feeling when I hear of someone my age getting cancer. What?? What if something is going on inside of MEEE?
Thankfully, many times there are symptoms that lead us to the doctor. And thankfully, usually, there are symptoms that our goats will have that will alert us to problems as well. One problem that can rear its ugly head is copper. Really it’s a copper deficiency that will set out to harm your goats. Goats really do need copper. If you’re interested in learning more about copper and how important it is to your goats please read this article: Copper Guide.
And if you’ve been around my site or YouTube channel for a while, you know that my goats suffered from a copper deficiency related to my water source. You can read about that issue here: My Water Source Was Affecting My Goats.
But the detailed information about copper and the effects of our well water isn’t the purpose of this article today.
I was asked recently in an email if it was safe to give copper boluses to goats who are pregnant.
The short answer to this questions is: YES, it is safe to give copper boluses to goats who are pregnant.
In fact, in all of your research, you will find that making sure your goats have sufficient copper levels will be helpful on many fronts.
Just as a reminder, all your breeding information, kidding dates, health information and when you give copper boluses, need to be written down in your goat management binder. This alone will save your sanity and will become your brain as your herd grows and as you grow as a goat owner. You will never have to guess again when you last treated your goat. So don’t forget to get My Goat Binder mailed right to your doorstep. In fact, I added a Goat Bloat Treatment Plan to My Goat Binder as a bonus. Don’t forget to pick that up!
How Copper Will Help Your Pregnant Goat
Pregnancy takes a lot out of a goat. They are putting so much energy and effort into growing those cute kids and then they go into milk to support their kids and THEN we milk them throughout the next year. And the process starts all over again. Without the proper nutrition throughout all of that, their health WILL suffer. (Please read: What you need to know about goat mineral)
And if they are low on copper, they will begin to struggle. You may see it in any number of these ways:
They will struggle controlling worms and have a higher than normal worm load.
When a doe goes through pregnancy, she is at higher risk for worms immediately after kidding. And if she is low on copper, you can imagine how much worse it could be.
Your goats may struggle coming into heat.
When a goat’s body is out of wack, it will affect their cycle. And if they don’t come into heat, you don’t have cute kids running around. But really, it is a huge indication that their health is struggling.
Your goats may struggle with infertility.
Copper plays a big role in your goats getting pregnant and being able to impregnate. Without this essential mineral, their reproduction will go down and if you are breeding goats to stay in milk and to earn money from them, then you have a big problem if they aren’t getting bred.
Your goats may get pregnant but abort after several weeks of pregnancy.
What an awful outcome to arrive upon. This again just brings into light the seriousness of having a doe and possibly your whole herd in deficiency.
Your goats may have premature kids.
And even more awful than anything mentioned so far is delivering kids that are too premature to survive. This is a heartbreaking situation for everyone involved. Especially when it can be prevented.
Because of all of the reasons mentioned that deal with the reproduction of a goat, it becomes clear that it is safe to give goats copper boluses when they are pregnant. Why? Because they need copper for every aspect of their lives, including making a healthy kid or two or three.
In fact, you may notice that your does are able to carry and deliver more kids when they are sufficient in their copper levels.
After reading through this article and the Copper Guide article mentioned above, you may be wondering how much copper to give your goats. And that is a question that I can’t answer because there are so many variables. But these are some considerations that you need to think about:
- The copper levels in your specific area
- The amount of copper in the hay you feed
- Your water source
- What kind of minerals you have available to your goats
And you, the brilliant observer, are going to watch for symptoms. When you see symptoms beginning to appear, you will treat your goat and then write it down in your goat management binder.
If you are curious about how I give the copper to my goats, watch this video on my YouTube channel: Goats and Copper Boluses. It’s a quick, easy and painless way to bolus a goat! No-fuss and no mess!
You can ensure that your goats won’t be copper deficient when you pay attention. Spend time with your goats and get to know them, their personalities, and as you spend time with them you will also begin to know what’s normal for their hair color, eyelid color, and how they act. All of this compiling of information and data on each of your goats will be how you will immediately know when and how often you need to give copper boluses to your goats.
After you figure out your plan of action, get your plan written down in your calendar. If you need to give copper each quarter or maybe once every 6 months, write down those dates so you won’t forget. Make this a habit that is easy and one you won’t forget.
Your goats are valuable to you. You want to have the best experience with them and you want to give them a life that is full of love. Keeping them healthy will be the best kind of love you can give them. Even though they may demand that you show them love by forking over the grain and giving them scratches under their chin. (Do that too just to appease them.) But get your goat health program under control so they live a long and healthy life!
Your job now is to figure out if and when to give your goats copper boluses. Remember, I added a Goat Bloat Treatment plan to My Goat Binder–Don’t miss it!
Now you need to read these articles: