Floppy Kid syndrome,Vitamin E and Selenium Deficiency


This is a healthy normal baby. This is what we want. This is true of baby rabbits, baby chicks, baby lambs, baby horses, or baby humans.

I have learned that this is a factor that largely we can have control over. First, Humans, stay away from teratogens (Latin for monster makers) , these can be alcohol, tylenol, smoking, heavy metals in the air, water or toxins in toiletries, makeup (a lot of lead, cadmium and other nasty stuff) , junk food, Splenda, Aspartame, etc. It’s everywhere, but it’s best not to add to it.

Second, nutritional deficiencies will cause defects. Here is what phone camera 010vitamin E deficiency (and we suspect selenium deficiency) will do to baby goats, it is called Floppy Kid Syndrome, in lambs it is called White Muscle Disease, in humans it is called Muscular Dystrophy, Yes, and Jerry Lewis got fired from the MD Foundation for attempting to share this with them. It makes too much money folks, and we don’t want those dollars to stop do we?

Quickly before I launch into a tirade, if you are faced with this or worse, and the baby can’t nurse, get them warm, get colostrum (first milk richer than the rest, sometimes if the mom is on enough nutrients, she will make it for three days, [and you won’t have the above problem],if not, one day), stick your finger in his mouth, if they have a suckle reflex, try a bottle until you have them strong, if the mouth is cold and unresponsive, get them into a warm sink of water until they come around. Then tube feed between 60 mL (one big syringe) to 180 mL (three big syringes) depending on if they are under 6 lbs, (one syringe) or over  8 lbs (three syringes) or 6-8 lbs(2 syringes). 60 mL is about 2 ounces so it isn’t as much as it looks. A healthy strong baby will down 6 ounces or more in one sitting.  (instructions below).

If they are lively but can’t find the nipple, but are not able to stand, (rubber legs, and backward bending rear hocks), besides helping with a bottle, get a fingerful of Red Palm oil, and put it in their mouth. It IS RED so beware of clothing staining. It is the most vitamin E dense natural substance we have found so far. If Mama wants some, make sure you have a jar of creamy peanut butter on hand and give it to her by the spoon, or wipe it on a corner of the wall, she will lick it off. It is important to get high dose vitamin E into the mom as soon as possible so she can pass it on in the milk.

We also give a pinch of Frank Lampley’s Vitamix by mouth. Baby will snort and make an unhappy face but it will save their lives. Also put a big spoonful of Vitamix in the grain bucket for the Mom, if she is deficient (it has a mix of multiple nutrients except D and E) she will crave it and go after it willingly. If not mix it into COB/molasses (Corn Oats and Barley) and she probably won’t care. If she has been grained all during the pregnancy you probably won’t have a weak sick baby. Or three. There is  small amount of E in COB, and Wheat grains.

The Red palm oil with get the baby on it’s feet faster than anything. I have known people who had no idea it was a deficiency. Instead they came up with elaborate wheelchair systems. It’s also common to blame it on “God’s will” or “chance” or “genetics”. If so then they shouldn’t respond to vitamin supplementation. But the Red palm oil works fairly quickly. They should be visibly stronger in a day, and they should progress fairly fast.

I researched about E deficiency causing muscle weakness in other animals and yes, it is known to occur in adults also. It just takes longer.

Adult horses get it, adult elephants get it, (look up Andreas Papas Vitamin E, http://www.parmentier.de/gpf/AndreasPapas.htm

Dr. Papas was asked to consult on a case in a  zoo on two adults, one was something like 25 and the other was at least 30-35, (I don’t remember exactly but they were well into adulthood.) This was a big learning experience for him. He concluded that if E deficiency goes on for too long, the damage is permanent, and the ability to absorb natural oil E is damaged. Beware humans, and take your vitamins. Make sure it is real, not synthetic. The synthetic is cheaper but you have to take twice as much  so you’re not saving much money.

Here’s something interesting, when I began to learn about soil mineral balancing, I found out that if the soil is deficient in selenium, the plants can’t make the vitamin E. Natural vitamin E is best, look for d-alpha tocopherol and watch out for dl-alpha tocopherol- notice that tiny little “l”? Some of the vitamins work just as well synthetically made, but the E is only half as effective.

Our soil is very deficient on its own in selenium, copper, nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, just everything. I am trying to remedy that by allowing the goats to deposit their fertilizer pellets onto their future pasture, and my moving their lovely brown gold onto the future pasture by hand, 5 gallon bucket by 5 gallon bucket, (until such time that we can get a tractor), and then spreading dolomite (calcium and magnesium- ideal soil should test at 68% calcium and 12-20% magnesium, see http://www.soilminerals.com, their lab charges only $20 per test) and glacial rock dust over it and last spring we saw a lot of volunteer growth out there, even not being able to irrigate.

I’m still seeking a home test that tests for calcium and magnesium because those are the two major minerals that are the limiting factors. All home tests only test for NPK, which is fine but not for the really important CA/Mg that are going to help your plants MAKE protein, and defend themselves against insects and disease.

In addition, ideally I feed kelp meal (good mix of minerals) , free choice copper sulfate mixed with dolomite, and supplement with unstabilized rice bran. We have never had a problem with the unstabilized. But rice bran has these lovely nutrients;

rice bran usdachart

I recommend listening to Joel Wallach’s Dead Doctors Don’t lie; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejUFB424bhM

Here is the monologue in print; http://www.whale.to/a/dead_doctors.html

Here is a quote that I want you to be particularly aware of from this man;

“….Well, again to make a long story short, over a period of some 12 years, I did some 17,500 autopsies on over 454 species of animals, and 3,000 human beings who lived in close proximity to zoos, and the thing that I found out was this. Every animal and every human being who dies of natural causes dies of a nutritional deficiency…..”Joel Wallach, Dead Doctors Don’t Lie, 1994

There are newer updated monologues from this Veterinarian, now turned to humans,(MD) and they are all awesome. But the MLM’s (Multilevel marketers- granted there are some great cutting edge ones out there, but they are always too expensive to continue for monthly obligations) have used his monologues to sell sometimes inferior minerals, when tested some only contained 4 minerals, some only bentonite and some toxic minerals like cadmium and lead. I tried going with a few MLM’s myself but couldn’t afford the monthly fee for my own use of product, usually it was overpriced. I thought to myself “What would God provide for us to get our minerals? ” Kelp meal. The minerals are chelated by the kelp plant (bound to an amino acid in such a manner that the mineral is more bioavailable, as God intended us to get our minerals. )

That was just the first, in 1994, I took that to heart. But Dr. Wallach has continued his learning and teaching and there are more updated audios and videos on Youtube. Good stuff, you will see the links on the Youtube side bar as you listen to the one I linked.

I get my kelp meal for my goats in 50 lb bags- it is very hard to get here- the feed stores usually act like they have never heard of it or only carry it for horses in tiny amounts (2 lb box of Dr. Earth at the garden centers,$8.99!  or 1-2 lb box at the feed store for $22!). I currently get the big bag through http://www.azurestandard.com which is a co-op that runs a truck through the western states once a month, we meet the driver one day a month and pick up our order. But if I want my kelp for my family and myself I buy the capsuled ones at (https://www.swansonvitamins.com/referral/friend.html?id=6775226e-9eec-4258-bbf7-6e668fc1db39)

Make sure and get the capsules not the tablets- most tablets have a LOT of fillers- sadly capsules often do too, but not nearly as much as tablets. You can barely see the specks of kelp meal on a tablet among the white filler- the greener the better. There are only a few vitamin pills that retain their rich color as tablets- chlorella and spirulina. Very green means very good. There used to be a tiny alfalfa juice pill-tablet- put out by a Nutrition Headquarters many years ago, very green, very potent in potassium, really helped me handle the heat. But two of my favorite vitamin companies were taken over by Puritan’s Pride and they eliminated this tablet, so I gave up on Puritan’s Pride. Still searching for the green alfalfa, most are sunbleached and pale. Phooey.

Know that Centrum is among the worst multi’s available and the one most used by hospitals. It’s white, and if you look on the ingredient list, that’s because it’s mostly filler, and that filler is talcum powder. Weeell, there is now a lawsuit on TV over talcum powder causing ovarian cancer. Hope that stops the use of it in vitamin pills. There are plenty of whole food vitamin pills available now through several companies, it needs to have color ,  and smell like vitamins, it will be either green or orange (rich in B complex- the orange comes from B2- riboflavin, [important to prevent headaches FYI] and the smell comes from B1- thiamine.) If it’s white there’s not enough there to do any good. Get accustomed to reading labels- the B’s should be at least 25 mg each, except Niacin -B3 which should be at least 100 mg, that’s for a normal healthy adult. Someone sick needs more. “B50” or “B100” is not uncommon and is carried by Walmart.

I learned from a Dr. Julian Whittaker newsletter {actually a sales letter} that for chronic headaches, B2, 400 mg a day will keep them away and I used that on two migraine suffering people in my life and that worked. One of these folks got headaches from a low pressure system that came in with storms, and at 4000 feet elevation was inconstant battle with the head. But a few months on the high dose B2 (riboflavin) allowed him to get out of the bed and go to work. (otherwise he would be in bed in  pain 25 days a month).

The any of the B’s taken in higher doses should have the whole complex accompanying it.

Back to Baby goats. Maybe your area doesn’t have selenium deficiency in the soils, it’s very common in the Great Basin area, and remember, low soil selenium=vitamin E deficiency in the crops. Which means if you have to rely on hay in the winter, your hay is still going to be E deficient, E doesn’t hold up well in the dried green stalk when made into hay, but it will concentrate in the grain, which is why it’s good to supplement with grain in the winter. Too much regular grain (COB-Corn,Oats, Barley) can cause colic though, so that is why I rely more on rice bran- it’s higher in fat and protein than carbs, and a good amount of minerals, the E complex, the B complex, potassium. I learned from Pat Coleby in all her livestock books (same program, basically) that adequate potassium is the KEY to preventing having to be forced to “pull” a calf, kid or lamb. (That means sticking your arm in and rearranging the legs and head into a diving position so they aren’t stuck ), and green hay or pasture is always full of potassium. Unlucky for us a winter or two, we have been unable to get good hay and were stuck with moldy blocks of compost, and had the worst kidding season ever. And even though I am a master at pulling kids now, it’s always a time of danger, we can accidentally introduce bacteria, and not having proper washing facilities in one’s barn is a risk, not being able to keep one’s gloves and equipment free of dust and dirt is a risk, and yes I have lost one of my most promising does by contaminating her in pulling a baby. Heartbreak.

So when I find out something can be prevented by using vitamins or minerals? You bet I’m going to pay attention. Potassium is the key there, and I haven’t had to pull a baby for the last two years. And lucky for us, if the hay is cruddy, we can get rice bran and that has ample potassium.

But for a couple of years I couldn’t use the rice bran as they had found out it was contaminated with arsenic. How did it get there? I hope you think to ask. It was used as a delouser in chicken feed (roxarsone)and then in came out in their poop, and as the poop was valued a the brown gold fertilizer it normally is, was sold for rice farming plots, even organic Lundberg Rice in the Oroville area, who came out openly with their own test results and published them voluntarily- it was 90 ppm, and that was horrific. But the American rice companies have been working earnestly,(something we like to see, as it doesn’t happen very often), to clean up their rice, and the chicken growers I think have been forced to get off the arsenic. Mike Adams of the Natural News helped get them to see the value of this. He has his own lab bought from real capitalist profits from his own business.

And one other thing I learned from Pat Coleby is that copper deficiency can cause a weakness to parasites. That is one reason I let the goats and sheep have free choice copper sulfate. As they are supplemented, they deposit their fertilizer pellets in their future pasture in the making, along with me depositing dolomite, and glacial rock dust.

Sooooo, if copper deficiency attracts parasites and copper supplements repel them sort of like arsenic, but with more good effects and fewer bad effects I say let’s use copper. (Feather Fixer and chick starter have added copper, and the organic feed I buy have copper, and vitamin D2 and a goodly amount of minerals and vitamins. )

Anyhow, while they were working on the rice, we weren’t using rice bran and I was at my wit’s end trying to find a replacement- corn is high in calories which we need for the winter but too high in carbs (causes acidosis, and of course we have to worry that it’s GMO Bt which has caused colic in cattle and sheep), wheat germ was high in fat and calories (yes, good) and vitamin E but surprisingly low in the B complex,and all the other nutrients I love rice bran for. And Wheat Germ is spendy. 44 lbs is currently $36 and was more I think then. Rice bran is about 400 calories per cup and they will eat 1-2 cups per adult. And yes, we need nutrient dense calories in the winter so they can hold their health while it’s cold. Of course those goats in Louisiana and TX don’t have to shiver and they can have green feed all year round! And parts of OR too. And parts of CA but CA has gotten too stupid to have anything of any kind.

If your mother doe has NOT had adequate vitamin E and selenium, your babies will come out weak and get cold easily, and if you aren’t there, may die of hypothermia. If your mothers aren’t locked up around kidding time, they may not know to go in the barn and find a safe place, especially if they are first time moms. If they are very deficient in many nutrients they may not even know to clean them, they may scatter them all over the pen and walk away.

If the kid is cold, you have to dry them off and warm them up. This may mean dunking them in a sink of warm water and keeping them inside under a heat lamp for a day or two. It may mean tube feeding. These can be found online at http://www.jefferspet.com/products/weak-kid-syringe. Or http://www.pipevet.com/pc_product_detail.asp?key=5830E1A3BCEE4B89B839B3FBC5443784   Remember in goat and lamb and calf anatomy, the esophagus is firmly attached to the left side of the trachea. This is a special gift of God making tube feeding virtually foolproof. You can SEE the tube slide along the throat. Aim it toward the left side of the back of the throat. Also be sure you inject a little air and listen with a stethoscope- you can get a good $14 double tube stethoscope from nursing supplies.

Just remember for emergency baby saving, you need to make sure they get their first meal within an hour of birth, make sure they are dry, and if you can, set up an incubator- here’s a 55 gallon barrel; http://www.vkvboers.com/Barrel.pdf

We had two of these but one got destroyed by aggressive mothers. Also if you have too many kids, they can jam in there dangerously. You best make a bigger stronger box, with a couple of lights. We have used a simple 100 watt incandescent bulb, but now that they are ILLEGAL(!) we must use the 250 watt heat lamps, which is more dangerous and power hungry. We  must make sure to shield it with hardware cloth so they don’t play with it and pull it down. We must also shield our cords from the adults. That means running the cord through a PVC pipe where possible or screwing a piece of board in front of it on buildings. We have both. Those busy lips just destroy everything.

Also get a jar of red palm oil, and give the weak baby a pinch of that in the mouth. It melts quickly. And a pinch of Vitamix. A healthy baby will weigh in at around 7 lbs, take that first weight for a baseline. Unlike human babies, baby goats should gain 1/4 to 1/2 lb a day. If he is eating and you don’t see him eating, but he seems lively, just as long as he’s gaining weight, he should be good to go. That’s a smart baby, that’s the goal.

If you want sturdier babies and adults, you have to pay for quality supplements or a way to produce enough quality feed in the winter. In the time of Eden and the preflood world all the minerals were placed in the soils in the balance God set, and we are ever trying to replicate that ideal. Our local soils are horribly deficient, (in ca/Mg/k/copper/znc/) so I have to use all the resources I can find at a reasonable price. One big worry is ample vitamin D3 in the winter, at our latitude, we lose our UVB rays around August and get them back around June, so there’s a long time we have to either set up a UVB light or supplement with D3. I haven’t found an adequate UVB light big enough to sun my goats that I could afford yet. So right now I rely on this potent Agrilabs electrolytes from Valley Vet supply, they charge free shipping if you buy 50 packets. https://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=30e078d3-7b6a-11d5-a192-00b0d0204ae5

<a href=”https://www.valleyvet.com/ct_pet.html”><img src=”https://www.valleyvet.com/images/lintous_vvsA.gif&#8221; border=0></a>

I have even relied on it for times I was throwing up and couldn’t keep anything else down, couldn’t take my human vitamins. They saved my life.

If we don’t do this, the goats eat the Icelandic sheep wool and leave them bare. Not good for the sheep. They must have a special physiology that makes them especially adept at D3 production in poor UVB conditions. Yes, D3 is made in the woolgrease. In our skin it is made  with the cholesterol in the skin and it is recommended not to shower for several hours after sun exposure to be able to absorb the D3.

Another standby powdered vitamin we rely on is Frank Lampley’s Vitamix;http://franklampley.com/vitamix.html

It is what we use instead of antibiotics. It will clear up mastitis, it will clear up a lot of things, and avoid contaminating your milk, meat and eggs (if mixed in chicken feed) with antibiotics. I have taken a spoon (make sure it is a big metal tablespoon and you have a good hold on it) and scooped it out by the spoonful and the goats hog it, they crave it, they knock me over for it, that tells me they need it. If I leave it freechoice in a bucket, they empty it. I really wish I could provide that freechoice more regularly. I know it would resolve and prevent a lot of things.

I complain because we can’t afford to keep these things around regularly, because when we do, the mothers hardly show any stress, not even a big mess around the tail, just a little mess, and the babies act like they are a week old. Nursing and jumping the first day. It’s truly a great relief to have them like this than to stress with every birth and loss.

And we have control over this. I cannot emphasize this enough.








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