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Zinc Deficiency

Symptoms of zinc deficiency in goats, is it important?

Yes! In goat groups, you're likely to hear a lot about copper and selenium, but there is one important mineral that needs more attention - zinc.

Minerals and vitamins are vital to the good health of goats. You can feed proper protein, energy, and fat, but if the mineral and vitamin mix is wrong, your goats will not do well. Most of the mineral- and vitamin-related problems in goats result from deficiencies, but toxicity can occur too.

Although no one mineral can be singled out as more important than others, copper, zinc, selenium, and manganese levels are especially critical. The interaction of minerals is astoundingly complex. The most difficult task in raising goats is getting nutrition right, and vitamins and minerals are integral parts of proper nutrition. Most goat raisers (including me) don't know enough about nutrition to formulate our own feed ration. Do not make additions to already-formulated feed; you are messing up the nutritional balance that a trained goat nutritionist has put into his feed formula.

Goats with zinc deficiency may have flaky skin, joint stiffness, excessive salivation, swollen feet, small testes, poor appetite, and weight loss, deformed hooves, chronic skin problems, abnormally small testicles, and poor libido (reduced interest in mating) are some of the signs.
Some have not had much success with Zinpro free choice supplement. One Homesteader comments: "My zinc deficient goats did not respond to it, however liquid zinc supplementation had almost immediate results. I now use Dr Mercola liquid zinc. Every one of my goats loves the taste of it and I get really positive results quickly. Just an option for anyone who isn’t seeing good results from the zinpro." 

 One Homesteader comments: "If your goats are showing deficient symptoms I give 4 ml which is 15 mg everyday for a week then once a week after that. I dose everyone once a week at the 4 ml dose unless they are little/young and then I do 2 ml." 

How much Zinc do my goats need supplemented?

Male goats, especially bucks, often require more dietary zinc than females, especially non-lactating females. Studies have shown zinc supplementation to bucks improves semen quality and quantity because zinc is essential to spermatogenesis In bucks & wethers, especially, dry skin, flaking hooves, and weeping eyes - all mild but noticeable when they are zinc deficient. The problem is usually corrected with 50mg additional zinc per day for a week.

Current zinc recommendations for all goats is a daily intake of 1 ml being the requirement in a standard diet. There are no specific toxicity rates for goats. 1 ml liquid zinc added to each individual goat water (1-2 gallon bucket) daily would be good.

Most good goat mineral mixes have zinc included thus not all members of your herd may have this concern. In my herd it is a wether that gets zinc deficient if I don't give him a small dose of zinc weekly or daily liquid zinc added to the water he drinks.

Important! Please Read The Following Notice!

All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers. Much of my page content is from Veterinary Colleges and Manuals.

In all cases, it is your personal responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. JoAnna Mertz is not a veterinarian. Neither JoAnna Mertz nor applejofarms.com nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.

AppleJo Farms is dedicated to breeding, nurturing and placing Registered Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats with Farms where they will flourish!

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