Your Goat Herd Needs Good Quality Drinking Water or Their Health Will Be Affected
You may be doing everything just right with your animals.
You are feeding quality feed, you clean and fill their troughs on a regular basis, you have minerals out for them to use when needed, you’ve given them adequate shelter and all the resources needed to stay healthy.
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But you can tell that your herd health is struggling.
Their hair isn’t shiny and lustrous.
Their tails look funny.
They seem to be struggling with fertility and are more wormy than normal.
And they are anemic.
What is going on??
This is an important lesson to pay attention to and learn from.
Your water source is key to your animal’s health.
And many, if not most, wells are high in sulfur, iron, and calcium. But what does that have to do with your goats? Those minerals actually bind the very minerals that your goat needs.
Including zinc and especially copper. Copper is so very essential to your goat’s health. And without copper, they will be dealing with a very obvious health decline.
And high levels of calcium affect the absorption of selenium. Selenium deficiencies will greatly affect your herd as well.
I experienced this with my goats. I couldn’t figure out the source of their health problems and at first, their water and its minerals never occurred to me.
If your water source isn’t the best for your goats, the good news is that you are reading this now.
If you are moving your herd to a new area, now you know to test your water first.
Or if your herd is currently experiencing problems where they are but you don’t know why, you should test your water.
But there’s good news. It’s not the end of the world and this can be successfully managed.
Here are a few options and decisions you can make when you are faced with this problem:
- Change water sources. This may be moving to a new pasture or utilizing natural sources of water like collecting rainwater.
- Always, ALWAYS provide loose minerals to the goats. You can read more about goat minerals here.
- Supplement with copper. Because copper is so vital to goats, supplementing with a copper bolus 1-4 times a year is necessary to ensure that they get the proper amounts to remain healthy. Learn more about copper for your goats here: Copper for Goats
- Continually observe using all five senses. Especially watch their poop, their temperature, and eyelids. All three of these will give you a quick assessment and tell you if you need to worm or if they are having rumen-related illnesses or are struggling with anemia.
- Diligently track all health information including supplements, shots, and hoof trimming with this Goat Health and Information Binder.
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Your quick action with the above-mentioned ideas will greatly enhance and help the health of your herd.
Also, remember that water quality will change and affect how much your animals drink as well. If the water doesn’t taste good or isn’t as pleasing to them, they will probably drink less. And this will affect milk production and even a slightly dehydrated goat will start to have health and rumen problems, become depressed, and potentially stop eating.
Does it make sense now how important not only water is to your goats but also what’s in the water as well? Take care of your goats by knowing how their water is affecting them. You will save yourself and your goats a lot of problems and heartache when you do.
You can read more about this Here, Here, and Here.
Wednesday 22nd of March 2023
We have been dealing with a decrease in our herd's health since we moved to a new property with a well. We have been starting to get testing done and getting all sorts of crazy results that make no sense. I'm curious if you might be able to help find some answers?
Monday 21st of November 2022
Hi Delci, I live for your videos. How do you manage goats (I only have 2 pet NDs, an unbred doe and a whether) that just refuse to eat the minerals? I have tried using every brand sold in my area and they simply will not have it. Amazingly, they have stayed extremely healthy for 6 years (I have only had to bolus them once), however I do not wish to wait for a problem and want to be pro-active.
Thursday 28th of April 2022
What levels of what minerals do I need to watch out for. If my goats appear to be experiencing secondary copper deficiency and I test my water, what are the levels where I can say "Yea, that's probably it" and stop looking vs. "that's really not high enough" and go looking for another source?
Thursday 3rd of February 2022
We have sulphur water here would some kind of filter help maybe?
Friday 18th of March 2022
You can get one of those filters for a RV and put it on the hose. We've gotten them and used them during the warmer months.
Friday 2nd of July 2021
Can you please refer me to research that supports this? I would like to know what mineral levels in water should be. Thanks!
Friday 25th of March 2022
Water that has high iron, sulfur and calcium will affect things like copper absorption. So you don't want those to be high.