The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

No-bake bolus cookies for goats

Goat bolus and cookieA huge thank-you to reader (Another) Julie who suggested turning one of my own favorite treats into a delivery method for our goat's bolus. (Okay, my recipe has cocoa in it and differs a bit in other areas too, but still....)

For the goat version, I mixed peanut butter, molasses, and oats in the right proportions to get a rollable ball. Then I split the bolus contents into three of these "cookies," keeping the balls small enough to be goat-swallowable but big enough to completely engulf the copper rods.

Artemesia gladly scarfed down the first one, willingly ate the second after clearing her throat with some alfalfa pellets, and will hopefully eat the last one today. Based on this website's goat x-rays, it sounds like the in-food feeding of copper rods should be just as effective as the scary bolus-gun method. Fingers crossed this will help nip our parasite problem in the bud!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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But it could be plated with another metal to prevent oxidation.

Or it could be a copper oxide like CuO (cupric oxide), but that isn't supposed to be absorbed well.

Copper and its alloys are pretty strong biocides, so no wonder parasites don't like it. I've read that a brass or copper door handle will kill 99.9% of bacteria on in in a couple of hours.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Apr 17 11:36:09 2016
Roland --- I had the same visual surprise at the color. The bottle says copper oxide, which I suspect is what you're calling cupric oxide. Interesting that it's not supposed to be absorbed well by animals --- maybe that's intended? That it's supposed to boost the copper levels in the rumen to discourage parasites without making the animal actually take up too much copper themselves? (You can probably tell that I haven't delved too deeply into the literature on copper boluses. It seemed like a relatively harmless thing to try. :-) )
Comment by anna Sun Apr 17 17:52:12 2016
I'm happy she liked the treat balls. I might try molasses next time myself, I know my goats love it.
Comment by Another Julie Sun Apr 17 19:41:52 2016

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