So. I have a confession. I’m a terrible goat mom, and in the two years I’ve owned goats, I have not once given them a copper bolus. Now, in my defense, my goats are pretty freaking healthy. Some of them are, however, starting to exhibit signs of very mild copper deficiency- mostly just a couple of fishtails here and there- officially making my intervention into their copper intake somewhat overdue.
When I first started with goats, I was completely overwhelmed by all the “extra” stuff that went along with goat ownership. You just put them out to pasture and they eat everything and get fat and that’s the end of it, right? Nope. While goats are relatively low maintenance, there are a few things they need, including free choice goat specific minerals and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and their twice yearly (sometimes more, sometimes less depending on your location and farm practices) copper bolus. Afraid of poisoning my goats, all this scared the crap out of me and I avoided it, until very recently.
On the recommendation of a friend, I enrolled in the free Copper Deficiency lecture by the Thrifty Homesteader (Deborah Niemann, author of Raising Goats Naturally). If you’re interested in demystifying minerals and copper and copper deficiency, click on the link above to enroll and access the brief but super informative class material.
Deborah’s lecture helped me to see there really isn’t anything to be afraid of, not even the copper boluses that I had been dreading. So I thought I’d pass the resource along, in case there is anyone else who, like me, has been avoiding this surprisingly straightforward part of goat keeping and husbandry.