Our goal is to be as organic as possible, eventually entirely organic, and we strongly believe that prevention is far better than the cure…….so, exactly how are we doing that?
Let’s talk about some products that we are using, those we LOVE, like, and won’t touch…..
First off, if you haven’t read our blogs Coccidiosis – Cured or Curse? and Cocci? ….Crap!, please do! Why? Because it talks about a product called Regano and our personal experience with it. It works and we LOVE IT!
‘They say it kills coccidiosis 100%!’ Ok, we aren’t talking about Regano right not. Not long ago, someone brought up a product called Toltrazuril as a 100% cure for killing cocci. It’s not a product we would use really, it isn’t organic. However, because of their comment we did some research and would like to share our findings.
No matter what someone says, there is nothing, and we mean nothing that kills cocci 100%. It lives in our environment like all the other little ‘bugs’ that make our wonderful planet work. There are two genera of Coccidiosis being Eimeria and Isospora. It is the clinical signs that are dubbed Coccidiosis. Eimeria spp has a tendency to be ‘host’ specific, meaning that many will not cross over from one animal species to another. In other words, the cocci your dog has won’t transfer to your chickens and vise versa. Goats and sheep do have more of a common bond that can transfer one to another in most cases. Coccidiosis is more of a concern for animals in a small, tight space, or in barns that haven’t been cleaned on a regular basis.
While Toltrazuril does treat the genera form of Eimeria. Studies have been done with Cattle, Buffalo that is, and Sheep. However, there have been no studies in regards to goats. No study showed it as being 100% effective. In fact, one study pointed to the timing of use being better at specific phases. So, if you don’t use it at a certain stage of Eimeria’s growth cycle, it won’t work as well as another stage of their cycle. Again, maybe not a bad product. Not one we would use because it isn’t organic and it isn’t 100% effective at killing cocci as mentioned. Regano is a product that we have used, would use again, and is better for our ‘organic’ operations than the chemical treatments out there.
 The Merck Veterinary Manual, ‘Overview of Coccidiosis’
 Pub Med.gov “Metaphylactic treatment strategies with toltrazuril and diclazuril………”
 Pub Med.gov “Efficacy of toltrazuril 5% suspension…….”
 Pub Med.gov “Significance of Timing on Effect…………”
One of our favorite products!! One, it’s organic, so of course we wanted to know more. So why kelp? Kelp is one of the best natural mineral/nutrient rich plants on earth. As an herbalist, we have often recommended kelp to those after chemotherapy to help their bodies renew after treatment. Because it is a plant based mineral/nutrient product, it is far easlyr absorbed in the body and utilized in a way that is better than any commercial product we have found. Also, in the beginning, we actually tried what everyone else used and our goats hated it! If they won’t eat it, how do you supplement minerals? The Kelp on the other hand, our goats LOVE!! No, we don’t get money for promoting this product, but if you’re interested, we get our from Caprine Supply.
OK, the price may seem a little high, but it cost us just $10 more to buy this organic kelp and ship it to our farm, than it cost us to buy non organic ‘natural’ products sold locally. Even if you don’t buy the Thorvin Kelp, kelp is a product you should consider for offering minerals to your goats. It is also a safe for of iodine……have goats with flaky skin? Now we would like to note one thing here…….be careful supplementing iodine. Why? The signs of iodine deficiency are the same signs of toxicity. Hence our use of kelp, they can’t get to much iodine using kelp, but they DO get iodine. Signs of iodine deficiency? Strong buckling, weak doelings, when born. Severe signs? Hairless kids being born.
What?? Cu-Mix is a free choice Copper supplement for ruminants that we found through Advanced Biological Concepts. Copper is a mineral that is absorbed and regulated by the animals needs. If the rumen ph is off, copper will not be absorbed correctly. Copper is needed more when goats are pregnant or milking. Dark colored goats will need more copper than light colored goats, as stated by Pat Colby in Natural Goat Care. We have found this so true!!! Look at your black goats, do you see a red tint in their fur? This is one of the clear signs of copper deficiency. Other signs include scouring, rough dull coat, anemia, and poor reproductive ability.
Many use Copper Bolus for supplementing their goats. We choose not to go this route. When researching bolus, we came across site that recommended it. However, if you read the instructions for that particular product “UltraCruz®” we found the following ‘instructions’ tab on their website:
“Excessive levels of molybdenum, selenium, sulfur, or iron in feed or water may impair copper absorption.”
“Storage: Store in a cool (below 85F), dry place. Protect from sunlight.”
“Cautions: Safe use in pregnant animals or animals intended for breeding has not been proven. If animal's condition worsens or does not improve, stop product administration and consult your veterinarian. An examination from a veterinarian is recommended prior to using this product.
UltraCruz® Goat Copper Bolus should not be administered to newborn goats. Copper toxicity in neonates has been reported. Do not use in goats suffering from jaundice or any other liver disorder.”
Ok, we stopped researching copper bolus. It isn’t what we wanted to give our goats. We are eating the meat and drinking the milk. Can too much be a bad thing? Of course! Copper poisoning can affect sheep, dogs, goats and more. Clinical signs of too much copper are: severe gastroenteritis with abdominal pain, diarrhea/scouring, anorexia, dehydration, and shock. So, having said that here are our warnings:
Don’t have loose copper minerals available if you have sheep with your goats – if you have Pygmies’, limit their access. If you choose to use copper bolus – follow the directions!! Also, before you dose with bolus, have your vet do a blood panel to see if your goats even need copper. If you are using a Commercially prepared Goat feed, there should be enough copper in there – use caution before you give more copper at that point.
 NSW Department of Primary Industies, ‘Goat Health Copper Deficiency’
 The Merck Veterinary Manual, ‘Overview of Copper Poisoning’
FORTIFIED VIT. B COMPLEX ORAL GEL: Ok, this is a B12 and B1 supplement. If a goats rumen ph is off, their Thiamine levels can be affected. If your goat is overly stressed, their ph can be off, etc. What we really like about this product is that it’s oral, easily absorbed, no needles – no shots. It is LOADED with probiotics. 2.5 billion CFU and it has B1 (Thiamine) in it. This is our first step any time we have any goat seeming a little off. This is the ‘go to’ when we have a sick goat – besides taking temperatures of course. Now if a goat had a fever, well that’s a different story……change in diet? Stress? If we couldn’t find the cause, we would have had NO PROBLEM calling a vet.
NOTE: When we had the Nematodes we were using a lot of this product. But after adding the Cu-Mix Copper supplement, we have hardly used it at all.
SELENIUM AND VIT. E GEL FOR GOATS:
OK, this is a newer product for us this year. We are in a somewhat Selenium deficient area. We’ve been reading Pat Colby’s Natural Goat Care and her theory is that if a goats Selenium and Copper are adequate, they are more resistant to worms and parasitic issues. We do not dose a ‘full dose’, we have been giving our goas a ½ dose starting this winter. If you have followed us, you know that we have had an issue with ‘Nasty Nematodes…’ so we are using our copper supplement and this product to see how true that statement is. Many Veterinarians in Australia say the same thing, even our vet called many to verify this. We have only had to worm 3 times in 8 years, so we must be doing something right, however, our issue is from the deer population – so how do you keep the deer from your goats pasture? Fencing, but it isn’t all fences yet. (UPDATE: We now use the organic Selenium from ABC just like our Copper!!! LOVE IT!!!)
So, what products do you use? And why?