THE IMPORTANCE OF COPPER IN GOAT DIETS

Copper (Cu) is an important trace mineral in goat diets. I have noticed it has been a topic of discussion and thought it would be worthy of talking about. Copper toxicity can and does happen in goats. High levels build up in the liver and when exceeded can lead to death under a stressful event – as in a hemolytic crisis. 10 ppm copper is thought to be minimum amount of Cu in diet, with over 80 ppm could lead to build up in the goat’s liver and may cause a possible toxic event.

👉🏼 What are the functions of copper in a goat’s diet?

· Required for several enzyme systems.

· Required for the formation of hemoglobin in the blood

👉🏼 Cu deficiencies can be identified as…

· Reduced immune function

· Anemia

· Rough / course hair coat

· Reproductive issues ( Poor conception rates, delayed estrus etc.)

👉🏼 What’s important when providing copper to goas? – The “Need to Knows.”

· Know the copper levels in feedstuffs being fed free choice and limit fed.

· Know the intakes being fed, and monitor free choice supplements (mineral, tubs etc.)

· Know the sources copper is coming from – inorganic ( sulfates, oxides) & organics ( tied with amino acid complex).

👉🏼 What ties up copper absorption?

Antagonists are interfering with copper and other trace mineral absorption. High levels of molybdenum can tie up copper absorption. The Cu to Mo ratio should be 4:1. The Zinc to Copper ratio should be 3:1 to 5:1. Feedstuffs and water sources high in Sulfur and Iron may also tie up trace mineral absorption.

Chelated or organic trace minerals are more bioavailable for absorption. This generally leads to decreased intake amounts needed in supplements.

Macro and Micro Minerals are important in all phases of livestock production. That being said, more is not always better and finding a proper balance is key. Consult with your nutritionist or veterinarian when analyzing your livestock’s nutritional needs and making diet changes.

💥 Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions on supplementing minerals or formulating diets.

Jake Pierce, Hueber Feed LLC – 815-761-7415


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