When I started raising goats in 2002, most people didn’t know much about the copper needs of goats. Veterinarians, goat breeders, and pet owners alike thought that if you simply provided a free-choice, loose mineral, your goats would get all the copper they needed. But I learned the hard way that that simply was not true. For the first five years, we had does not getting pregnant or staying pregnant. When they did give birth, they would usually have only one or two kids. All of my bucks died before they were three years old. And vets could not tell me why my goats were having so many problems. Ultimately we learned that it was copper deficiency. Because it wasn’t a recognized problem in goats back then, I had to buy cattle copper boluses, break apart the giant capsules and size them correctly for goats.
Although copper oxide wire particles have been studied extensively to keep internal parasites at bay, there has been very little research done on copper supplementation in goats. For years I’ve been saying that someone should study this! And then it occurred to me that I could be that person. I have a master’s degree, and since I suffered through classes in both quantitative and qualitative research, I should put that knowledge to use. So I developed a survey that collects information on goat owners’ practices, environmental factors, diet, and incidence of copper deficiency and toxicity.
We need you!
Click here to take part in the survey. Regardless of whether or not you’ve had a problem with copper in your herd, your answers are important.
The results will be shared right here on the blog next month. You can sign up for our newsletter (box on the right side of the screen) to be sure that you don’t miss it.
Please share this post with fellow goat-breeding friends and on social media. The more responses we get, the more relevant the results will be and the more we will all learn. Thank you!
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