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Rock'n H Ranch

Deficient Minerals in Alaska

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And why it's important

Keeping your animals healthy is a priority, And part of keeping them healthy in minerals. In Alaska some areas are deprived of Copper, Zinc, Selenium and other important minerals.
National Geochemical Map for selenium.
A Map of Selenium in United States: From
Making a profit on your goat production usually leans towards reproduction, from freshening milkers, to meat kids. And the bucks and does need to be at their best. They should have their trace minerals to keep efficient.
Shouldn't Forage meet the requirements for minerals?
Not necessarily The plants are made up of what's in the soil, and if the soil has poor minerals, so will the forage. So some individual goats will get it, while others won't.
Can I Feed Sheep Minerals to my goats?
You can, but they will not be getting the proper amount of copper, sheep can't have copper, while goats need it. So feed a mineral or feed formulated for goats. Especially to pregnant does, they need minerals to prevent kids from having mineral related deficiencies.
How do I know what my goats need?
here is a list:
Originally published in Agribusiness Dairyman 
Reprinted in REDGA Goat Notes & United Caprine News ('96)
Paralytic Problems
Milk Fever Ca/Phos. Ratio; Vit. D; inorganic sulfate
Downer milk fever  The above + magnesium
Grass tetany  Magnesium
Knuckling fetlocks, weak hindlegs Vitamin E, Selenium, Copper
Nerve loss Copper
Ataxia  Copper, copper-molybdenum

Breeding  Problems:
           Problems:                                                   Possible nutritional answers:

Retained placentas, metritis Copper, zinc, selenium, vitamin E
Lack of estrus Copper, zinc, selenium, vitamin E
Tailess sperm in semen  Selenium
Lack of libido Copper-molybdenum

Hoof  Problems:
         Problems:                                                   Possible nutritional answers:

Hoof Rot  Copper, iodine
Abnormal hoof growth  Copper
Soft hoof growth Copper
Swollen fetlocks Copper
Laminitis High rumen acid upsets copper absorption
Hairy wart resistance Copper (nutrition), formaldehyde (foot bath)

Intestinal Problems:
        Problems:                                               Possible nutritional answers:

Acidosis (pH balance) Sodium bicarbonate
Low butterfat test Sodium bicarbonate
Undigested feed in manure Copper, cobalt
Scouring  Copper, molybdenum
Worm resistance Copper, molybdenum
Low production Copper, zinc, manganeses, inorganic sulfate
Abnormal appetite Copper, cobalt

Metabolic Problems:  
       Problems:                                                       Possible nutritional answers:
High somatic cell count Copper, zinc, selenium, Vitamin E
Ketosis Copper, inorganic sulfate
White muscle disease Selenium
Pneumonia Copper, zinc, selenium, Vitamin E
Heart abnormalities Copper, selenium, magnesium
Anemia Iron, copper, cobalt
Tongue lolling Copper
Retarded growth Copper, molybdenum
Sudden death Copper, selenium, grease & nitrate
Off-flavor milk High iron (feed or water; Vitamin E
High culling rate Poor mineral nutrition program
Fat cow syndrome  Copper, inorganic sulfate
Hair off color, no bloom Copper, selenium
This is From the Saanendoah website
My goats have had problems with selenium, because in Alaska we are in a Selenium deficient area, some of the kids may have:
White Muscle Disease: The result of a serious trace or selenium deficiency. Sympotoms: Kids may be weak, not a able to stand to nurse. and joint problems. Does and bucks can exhibit infertility, hard kiddings, retained placentas and weakness. To prevent this; Feed that has adequate Selenium, Copper. And Injections of Bo-Se availiable from your vet. or livestock supply catalog.
Goat Polio: A severe Thiamin deficiency. Symptoms: stargazing, rolling eyes, spasams, death within 1-4 days.
Here is Coni Ross's ( CR Ranch) explanation of goat polio from the "Barn Bible":
Well the bacteria of the ruminant manufacture thiamin (put very simply).For some reason, occasionally bad bacteria, or plants kill the normal bacteria, causing overgrowth of bad bacteria that produce Thiaminase.
Thiamin is destroyed.
Thiamin and glucose are the mode by which the electrical transmission goes from brain to body part. Without it, the signal does not get there. The animal may present with various symptoms, but usually there is paralysis, or stiffness, stargazing which may be accompanied by blindness. Sometimes the symptoms are virtually the same as Tetanus. To determine if the animal has Tetanus or polio: Tickle the eyelashes. If it is Tetanus, the nictating membrane (third eyelid) will flip over the eye. If not, and there is no fever, this is Polio.
To treat, I give: 10cc oral long acting Penicillin to kill the bacteria in the gut, 10cc Long acting Penicillin SQ (for a grown goat factor for kids), and at least 500mg IM of Thiamin, and 500mg SQ to start.  Thiamin is vitamin B1, and is water soluble, so it doesn't last long.  The IM Thiamin goes to work right away, and the SQ Thiamin will provide a more sustained blood level. I usually give the goat several ounces of Revive, or 50% Dextrose mixed 50:50 with water, to get some sugar to its brain.
So Hopefully you've learned something, and remember to Keep your goats' healthy! -feed minerals formulated for Goats

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