Understanding a dam water analysis

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Member for

9 years 4 months
Last seen: 06/22/2016 - 16:37
Joined: 08/06/2012 - 13:54

Understanding a dam water analysis

As I have been having trouble with urinary calculi in my wethered goats & before I put out salt blocks to encourage extra water consumption I thought it may be a good idea to have the dam water tested to see if a problem & answer to the UC lay there.  

The reports from the NSW DPI have come back with a very generalised interpretation. The report is gobbledy gook to me.  I have tried compariing it to the NSW DPI Primefact Water for livestock: interpreting water quality tests,  which talks in the thousands/mg/L for alkalinity, chloride, hardness, salinity and doesn't even touch on the disolved elements- nothing like on my report.  

How do I know if the levels of magnesium, calcium, sodium etc or a combination of minerals may be affecting my goats. Where can I take this report so it can be explained & if possible tell me how to fix any problems?

Thank you

Goat Woman

Last seen: 12/26/2018 - 09:21
Joined: 05/31/2011 - 09:44

Hi Goatwoman,

Thanks for the question. Was an interpretation of the test results an option? I know that the DPI have stopped doing some interpretations of results due to the risk of litigation. Could you post what the actual levels of magnesium, calcium, sodium and other minerals were in the water test? It will make it easier for one of us to help analyse them for you and make it relevant for others who read the forum and have the same problem.

Regards,

Charlie 

Last seen: 06/22/2016 - 16:37
Joined: 08/06/2012 - 13:54

Laboratory No

 

Limit of

9288

Sample ID

Unit

reporting

Dam 3

pH

pH units

0.04

6.3

Electrical Conductivity

uS/cm

10

51

Total Alkalinity

mg/LCaC03

14

< 14

Chloride

mg/L

7

11

Hardness

mg/LCaC03

1

9.0

Calcium Carbonate Saturation Index

 

 

-3.6

Sodium Adsorption Ratio

 

 

0.89

Turbidity

NTU

0.07

8.2

 Disolved Elements

 

 

 

Aluminium

mg/L

0.05

0.38

Arsenic

mg/L

0.05

<0.05

Boron

mg/L

0.04

0.045

Calcium

mg/L

0.03

0.99

Cadmium

mg/L

0.002

<0.002

Cobalt

mg/L

0.004

<0.004

Chromium

mg/L

0.005

<0.005

Copper

mg/L

0.004

<0.004

Iron

mg/L

0.003

1.5

Potassium

mg/L

0.06

2.8

 Magnesium

mg/L

0.006

1.6

Manganese

mg/L

0.001

0.041

Molybdenum

mg/L

0.003

0.0086

Sodium

mg/L

0.05

6.1

Nickel

mg/L

0.007

<0.007

Phosphorus

mg/L

0.03

<0.03

Lead

mg/L

0.02

<0.02

Sulfur

mg/L

0.06

0.24

Selenium

mg/L

0.04

<0.04

Zinc

mg/L

0.008

<0.008

Thank you Charlie & Barb.  I had 2 of my dams tested at the vets advice. Her only comment was the calcium was high in the sample of dam 1 & both were on the acidic side. They have similar results except in a few instances so I have posted both.

They also came with a generalised interpretation; eg. Ph may cause digestive upset for stock.  I can post those if needed.

 

Thanks 

Goat Woman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laboratory No

 

Limit of

9295

Sample ID

Unit

reporting

Dam 1

pH

pH units

0.04

6.8

Electrical Conductivity

uS/cm

10

68

Total Alkalinity

mg/L CaC03

14

16

Chloride

mg/L

7

11

Hardness

mg/L CaC03

1

18

Calcium Carbonate Saturation Index

 

 

-2.5

Sodium Adsorption Ratio

 

 

0.64

Turbidity

NTU

0.07

4.9

Dissolved Elements

 

 

 

Aluminium

mg/L

0.05

0.22

Arsenic

mg/L

0.05

<0.05

Boron

mg/L

0.04

<0.04

Calcium

mg/L

0.03

4.4

Cadmium

mg/L

0.002

<0.002

Cobalt

mg/L

0.004

<0.004

Chromium

mg/L

0.005

<0.005

Copper

mg/L

0.004

<0.004

Iron

mg/L

0.003

0.69

Potassium

mg/L

0.06

2.3

_Magnesium

mg/L

0.006

1.6

Manganese

 mg/L

0.001

0.0028

 Molybdenum

mg/L

0.003

<0.003

 Sodium

mg/L

0.05

6.2

Nickel

mg/L

0.007

<0.007

Phosphorus

mg/L

0.03

<0.03

Lead

mg/L

0.02

<0.02

Sulfur

mg/L

0.06

0.30

Selenium

mg/L

0.04

<0.04

'Zinc

mg/L

0.008

<0.008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last seen: 09/17/2019 - 18:07
Joined: 11/23/2011 - 09:38

Hi goat woman,

looks like the ph is about 6.8 which is only slightly on the acid side and the sodium levels seem o.k. so the problem is still probably in whatever they are eating either as supplimentary feed in their goat ration, or lucerne hay or perhaps something in the paddock. Could you tell us what they are eating as supplimentary feed and or grazing in the paddock, including any weeds that they may be eating, please?

regards,

Barb

Last seen: 06/22/2016 - 16:37
Joined: 08/06/2012 - 13:54

It is certainly a relief the water is not the problem.

I am putting together a detailed list of plants & food & will be back in touch in a day or so.

Regards

Goat Woman

Last seen: 06/22/2016 - 16:37
Joined: 08/06/2012 - 13:54

I really appreciate the time you are giving to sort out my problem.  I have tried to be as precise as possible.

The herd boys & my poddy pets have been kept in separate paddocks.  The herd boys are in 100 acres of native pasture & bush.

To my knowledge the grasses are kangaroo, wallaby, microlena, bit of poa tussock.

Trees – masses of black wattle,  she oak, predominant gums  - brittle gum (Eucalyptus mannifera), stringy bark, &  a dark rough barked gum species I am unaware of its name, grass will grow up to the trunk, unlike the brittle gums.   Radiata Pine, which they seem to love.

Shrubs- Small area of sifton bush, masses of violet kunzea.  (Kunzea parvifolia has an oil rich in gamma-terpinene (36.5%) and p-cymene (5.0%).    Thought it worth looking up the chemical analysis of this shrub as we have so much of it)

Weeds – one blackberry bush now eaten by goats, scotch thistle, nearly eradicated by goats, bracken.

In the home paddock where the pets are apart from the native grasses, black wattle trees, kunzea , & few gums, there is a little hairy panic grass, English fog grass & sorrel (Acetosella vulgaris), & small amount of clover. There are some sort of reed in the shallows of dam 1 they like eating when it goes green in spring.

Olsons GO Block -  freely available
Salt (NaCl) Min 65.0%
Molasses 3.0%
Phosphorus (P) Min. 4.4%
Calcium (Ca) Min. 9.5%
Cobalt (Co) Min. 400mg/kg
Zinc (Zn) Min. 180mg/kg
Iodine (I) Min. 167mg/kg
Manganese (Mn) Min. 600mg/kg
Potassium (k) Min. 900mg/kg
Magnesium (Mg) Min. 200mg/kg
Iron (Fe+++) Min 650mg/kg
Fluorine (F) Max. 0.7%
Sulphur (S) Min. 1100mg/kg

The wethers are all 5 years old, born 2007.  The first one to get UC was my poddy pet aged 3. Next pet at age 4, herd boy at 5.

Until the first case of Urinary calculi 2 & a half years ago I was feeding YSF Alpaca meal – I remember it having rolled oats, a few different chaffs, little cracked corn, some sunflower seeds &  some grain of some description.  I can’t be more specific, as of this year the company no longer exists, & the ingredients tag I kept for reference has been misplaced.  I knew alpacas have the same Ca:P needs as goats so thought this would be fine.   The herd boys  were getting this once or twice a week, maybe a cupful or slightly more each per time, my reasoning for feeding this was simply to bribe them to come when called; my pets were getting more.  

I did feed out lucerne but not huge amounts; only every now & again. Possibly a quarter of a small rectangular bale between twelve herd boys, the 3  pets received a bucket +  between them twice a week.   They have not had this for two years.

One year we were given stale bread & feeding this out, yet again, twice a week but not with any of the above mentioned, they did not get the alpaca meal as well. I think about 3 handfuls each of ripped up bread.

The last 2 + years the boys have been living on the browse available.The only extra I have fed out once a week is slightly watered down Molafos (recommended 100 to 300 gms a head a day for goats).  Molafos  description - a liquid supplement; molasses based, 15% protein, with a sound mineral balance & low urea suitable for Cattle, Sheep and Goats . To about 5 litres of Molafos I mix in 1 litre + of apple cider vinegar & maybe 500mls liquid seaweed.  They receive roughly 1.5kgs  to 2kgs between 12 of them.  The ACV was suggested by the vet to help prevent UC as the goats drink from the dams, mixing it into my molafos bribe is the best way to administer it.  

Min. Total Crude Protein

15.0%

Min. Crude Protein

3.0%

Min. Equiv. Crude Protein

12.0%

Urea

2.1%

Min. Calcium (Ca)

0.65%

Min. Phosphorus (P)

0.32%

Max. Salt (NaCl)

6.5%

Min. Sulphur (S)

1.2%

Min. Copper (Cu)

13.0 mg/kg

Min. Cobalt (Co)

1.5 mg/kg

Min. Iodine (I)

10.0 mg/kg

Min. Zinc (Zn)

300.0 mg/kg

Min. Manganese (Mn)

4.0 mg/kg

Min. Selenium (Se)

2.25 mg/kg

    Molafos Analysis

 

 

 

 

 

            Thank you

           Goat Woman

Last seen: 09/17/2019 - 18:07
Joined: 11/23/2011 - 09:38

Hi Goat Woman,

Sorry I have taken a while to get back to you as I had a ripper of a storm last week and have thousands of dollars worth of damage to repair. I don't have all the answers yet because there are quite a lot of plants on the list I need to check, but from what I have read in your reply concerning the feed  and suppliments your goats are having, I have two observations to make first up. One is that the Olsenn's blocks are excellent and the balance of Calcium to Phosphorus is perfect ie. 2 Ca / 1 P. the Malfos is o.k. too in limited quantities but also contains Ca and P and considering the problems with claculii, personally I wouldn't be giving both at the same time.

The first plant that jumped out at me from the list of plants in the paddock was Bracken fern but not because of urinary calculi. Bracken fern is a real problem for all live stock because it can cause cerebrocortical necrosis (star gazing) as it contains thiaminase an enzyme that  rapidly destroys thiamine (B1). Lack of B1 interferes with metabolic processes in the brain which causes death of brain tissue and is rapidly fatal if not treated quickly with injections of B1 obtainable from your rural supplier.   I always keep some on hand here. Cosumption of too much molasses can also cause this condition.

Wattle is useful as drought feed but will limit the uptake of protein in the diet because of the high levels of tannin it contains but as far as I know would not cause calculii (kidney stones).

I will need to do a lot more checking on the other plants and will get back to you when I have a look at the chemicals they contain. It may be that some of the plants are slowing down the excretion of the phosphorus by the animals but this is purely a guess.

I have had a thought: the animals may not be drinking sufficiently because the dam water may be very cold and it is known that livestock will often avoid drinking water that is extremely cold in winter or, too hot in the middle of summer. for example, in the US and Canada, they have little electric heaters, with a thermostat on them, in the livestock troughs to keep the water a little warmer in winter because of this problem. If water is extremely cold they will drink enough, driven by thirst, to keep them alive, but not sufficient to dilute the urine enough to prevent stones forming. As I said, just a thought.

It will take a week or so to work through all of this but I will get back to you when I have some answers. Meanwhile, if most of the problems occurred during or shortly following a period of very cold weather, we could be looking at the answer.

hope this helps,

Barb

Last seen: 09/17/2019 - 18:07
Joined: 11/23/2011 - 09:38

Hi again Goat woman,

It's Sunday and I'm having the morning off so I have done some more research for you. apart from water temperature, the Sorrel could be a problem too. Sorrel contains oxalates and they bind calcium in the blood stream. this would upset the ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus. Another thing I have noted is that Pinus radiata and other conifers, if eaten in quantity can cause third trimester abortion- not a problem with your boys of course. The other plants appear to be o.k.

Cheers and have a good weekend,

Barb

Last seen: 06/22/2016 - 16:37
Joined: 08/06/2012 - 13:54

I can’t thank you enough Barbara for taking the time & interest in my problem.

My two pets first showed calculi in mid Spring, they are in the paddocks with sorrel.  The herd boy came down with it mid winter. 

With no other evidence to go on at the time of first pets diagnosis, the vet also suggested with spring he may not have drunk enough due to the elevated water content in whatever he was eating.  

The sorrel looks to be a possible problem & as you have suggested the water temperature also.  I will find out about killing the sorrel off;  put out pure salt blocks to encourage further drinking now I know the dam water is OK & figure out how to offer warmer water winter & spring. 

I have offered radiata  pine (being right next to a pine forest) to my pregnant girls, but not in quantity, thankfully there were no consequences,  so I am certainly wiser now.

Thank you again

Goat Woman

 

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