So, having made that disclaimer, I will tell you about my goats and the goat deworming program that husband Tim and I use. We have 20 Boer-Spanish cross nannies, each one special, each one with a name, much to Tim’s dismay. Around 3 years ago, I learned about the deworming success some producers were having by using the Copasure bolus in goats. Each Copasure bolus contains thousands of tiny copper oxide wire particles (COWP). Boluses are administered with a small balling gun, which is much easier than I feared. When the bolus reaches the goat’s stomach, the gelatin capsule disolves, releasing the copper particles into the goat’s stomachs. The small particles become trapped in the folds of the abomasum. Research has shown that the particles remain in the stomach for up to 32 days, but the copper absorbed into the liver appears to protect the animal from copper deficiency for 4 to 6 months.COWP appear to be almost immediately toxic to the barberpole worm (Haemonchus contortus).
Barberpole worms are of particular concern because they are the internal parasite that is most likely to cause anemia and death in goats. Their life cycle is short and they thrive in warm, wet conditions like those of spring pastures.These internal parasites attach themselves to the goat’s stomach, robbing it of blood. Adult female worms produce eggs that are passed out in manure. The larvae typically develop on grass, which infects more goats as it is eaten. Because the barberpole worm’s life cycle is only 3 weeks long, contamination and infection develop quickly. When the worm burden is not controlled, goats can become anemic, which can lead to death.
Copasure is not labeled for goats, but there have been many studies regarding its use. Various dosages have been researched in various climates and conditions. Most studies use a dosage between 1 gram Copasure per 22 lbs body weight, and on up to 12.5 grams Copasure per mature animal. Copasure is sold in two sizes, 12.5 gram bolus and 25 gram bolus. We give one 12.5 gram bolus per adult goat, each spring and fall. Many producers who want to dose smaller kids, or dose at a lower rate, will take apart the large Copasure bolus and repack the COWP into smaller gelatin capsules, at their desired dosage rate.
In addition to its deworming capacity, Copasure provides a supplemental dose of copper that really seems to benefit our goats. They have never looked slicker, shinier or more healthy. Because Copasure doesn’t kill all of the worms a goat is succeptible to, we also deworm with Dectomax injectable (also off-label). We use the FAMACHA guide to monitor eye membrane color and determine when to use Dectomax. Lori H
Journal of Animal Science