Tag Archives: copper

The End of Summer

20 Sep

I have long said I dislike the end of summer–the time from the middle of August until we get freezing nights.  This year it is way worse than usual.  Maybe it’s poor pasture quality from the drought. I don’t know why it’s so bad.


I do know part of the problem is all of the babies we had in June.  It has certainly reminded me why I started syncing my girls to have as many kids over spring break as I possibly could.


The June babies are not as healthy; they are anemic and more susceptible to parasites.  And they just don’t grow as well.

Mooch and Masey

And their moms are in bad shape.  For years, before I found out about the copper deficiency, I talked about how they just gave everything to their babies.  And they do, but they just don’t have anything extra to give those kids.

Cutie is anemic and has horrible bottle jaw.

And I don’t know why it’s so bad this time of year, even after four years of getting copper.  I had rather hoped it wouldn’t be so bad with June babies this time.

Cinnamon and Bambi

I checked eyes on several goats last week and they looked good only to have them quite pale now.

Moose went from good to pale in just a few days.

I am about ready to call it quits the way things are going right now.  Hopefully, I can get a whole load of June kids sold next week, which will give me more options for penning and shelter, and I’ll add more copper to my adult goats. It’s been a rough month for their health.

Showing Improvement

12 Sep

Sidney and LilyAnn are both showing some good improvement.

Sidney and LilyAnn

They aren’t thrilled with being shut up north with five kids who do not belong to them.

the kids; Sidney behind the gate

But it’s the best thing for them to continue to recover.  And for some reason, they haven’t been running from me, so I can actually check their eyes and see that they are getting the color back.  Slowly, but they are progressing.

LilyAnn has burrs in her beard.

They enjoy the room service.  They are getting sweet feed twice a day.

They always have hay to eat.

I have even seen them exploring a little bit, which means they are getting more energy.

Sidney found some burrs for her beard too.

It’s looking like they will both make a full recovery.  And three of their kids have always looked good: Frosty, Mini and Minerva.  Crystal was pretty pot-bellied when I penned Sidney, but she is looking better.  I do want to try to catch them and check their eyes, but I don’t want to chase them.  So I’ll keep waiting for a good time.


In contrast, I already had Margarita’s kids shut in to help them, but I couldn’t keep them shut in.  But they are not getting better at all. Tonight, I finally managed to sneak up and catch them.

Terry and Howie

They got sweet feed and wormer and copper and then I shut them in the Love Shack.  I wracked my brain trying to figure out a way to keep them penned, and the only thing I could come up with was in the Love Shack–only the building.  They can’t even get outside. Hopefully, this will keep them where I put them and help them improve.

My Five-Year-Olds

4 Sep

Well, Sidney crashed on Thursday.  When I went out to the pasture (to make sure Ducky wasn’t stuck), I walked back up with the goats.

The herd headed to the barnyard.

But Sidney stopped on the bottom.  She didn’t want to walk.  I could actually go up to her, and she didn’t run.  She didn’t have the energy.  When I tried to slowly walk with her, she just laid down.  By the time I started driving the truck back to give her a ride up, she had moved.  She slowly, very slowly, walked to the barnyard.  When she got there, I helped her to the north paddock.  By the time we got there, she had bottle jaw–the edema caused by severe anemia–just from the effort of walking back to the barnyard.  She got another copper capsule and was wormed.

Sidney by herself on the bottom.

It’s the copper.  It took eight years to get a diagnosis, and it is progressive.  A baby can’t be born with more copper than its mother has, so each year, they got worse and worse.  And I was told 2 grams of copper twice a year should take care of it.  Well, it kept me from losing babies, but the moms were still worse because all of that copper went to kids and not the moms.  My girls who were born in 2017 are almost all in bad shape.


Astra struggles with heat, but the copper makes it worse.  She has been poured for lice (parasitism is a symptom of the copper).


Caroline had a bout of diarrhea, but she seems to be doing much better after some TLC and extra copper.


Now, LilyAnn is struggling with it.  The poor girl. I wish I could get her to come to me so I could try and do something to help her.


I’m going to say, it’s hard to do anything with a wild goat (like LilyAnn and Sidney).  I’d guess the reason Sidney crashed is because I had to chase her and catch her (twice because she spit it out the first night) to give her copper when I did the whole herd.  If I could catch them, it would also be easier to check their eyes and do something sooner.

Bambi has always been nearly impossible to do anything with.

Margarita is thin.  I tried weaning her kids, but I haven’t been able to keep them away from her.  I’m not sure they are even trying to nurse her anymore, so I have left them.  She can’t have milk for them even if they tried.  She also needs an extra dose of copper.  I was hoping the regular dose would be enough to perk her up, but it doesn’t look like it’s enough.


Sidney is thin and now her eyes are pure white with anemia.  On the FAMACHA chart, that is accompanied by a picture of a skull because they are likely to die when they are that pale.  Sidney is doing better now that she’s shut in and not expending energy walking around in pasture.  We’ll see how she does.

Sidney up north with the weaned kids

I need to give the rest of my 2017 girls another copper capsule also.  I’m trying to baby them and support their kids because their kids are also likely really low on copper.  None of these girls will get bred this fall.

She does have a better look in her eye. I see that twinkle back in there.

My hope is that they can recover.  It’s crazy that all of them reached this same critical point in the same year despite getting huge amounts of copper.  That is just an indication of how depleted they are.  The only one from that year who is not in bad shape is Zinnia.  I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on her as her two little girls grow.

Zinnia with Jeanie and Barbie

And the good news is that the kids born after 2018 should all be getting better and better.  Maybe someday, I’ll be able to actually cut back on the amount of copper they get.