Copper in Goats
Copper is essential in formation of red blood cells, hair pigmentation, connective tissue and enzymes. It is also important in normal immune system function and nerve conduction. Deficiency symptoms include anemia, bleached looking and rough hair coat, diarrhea and weight loss. Young goats may experience progressive incoordination and paralysis, especially in the rear legs. High dietary molybdenum can depress absorption of copper and cause a deficiency. There should be at least four times as much copper as molybdenum in the diet. The liver stores copper, which can protect against toxicity in the short term. However, when liver capacity is exceeded, animals can die rapidly from a hemolytic crisis caused by stressors such as being chased. I have found that dosing with copper when copper deficiency symptoms occur helps prevent barber pole.