Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Goat Minerals


Up to this point I haven't offered my goats loose minerals. They have their run of the mill salt/mineral blocks and I saw the loose minerals as too much trouble. I tried it once when someone gave me some loose minerals they weren't going to use but it was messy compared to the brick of salt that fit nicely in a square detergent bucket.
On my quest to boost the health of my goats, and because the goatfarmer ordered some from the feed rep on the farm tour, I bought a big bag of fancy goat minerals.
The goats went crazy for them. The poor dears had to have been depleted of all minerals in their systems. This could explain a few issues I have been having lately with the herd.

So I made a mineral feeder that will rival any square detergent bucket.

Somewhere on the internet I found this mineral feeder made out of PVC pipe. I used 3" but you can also use 4" for larger nosed goats.
All you need is a Y fitting, 2 caps, a couple of feet of pipe, and 3" brackets to attach it to the wall.



Just fit it all together. I did glue the bottom cap on but don't do the top because you have to fill it....and if your goats are deprived like mine you may have to fill it often.



I hung it on the wall and the goats got in line to take their turn at the fountain of life.

16 comments:

Terry Golson said...

Can the goats eat too much? My boys think it's candy, so I feed it by hand. They don't seem to have a stopping point. I worry about letting them go at it free choice.

goatgirl said...

Terry, I did let them go at it free choice and they did stop. I don't think they can eat too much but I don't know. Maybe someone that knows will weigh in.

~Tonia said...

They will eventually slow down on it. If they are needing it they will eat it till their levels are up to where they need it to be. Sometimes it tales a little while and you may even go through a second bag of it. But they will slow down and I leave it out free choice all the time. The time of year also plays a part in it. My does really go after it the farther along in their pregnancies they get!
Nice feeder!!

goatgirl said...

There you go Terry...Tonia to the rescue. Thanks for the info Tonia.

Marigold said...

This looks very familiar. :) We have three of these nice PVC feeders that the goatfather made for us. We live in a selenium-deficient area, so the minerals are necessary. (If I'm not mistaken, most of western WA and OR are selenium deficient.) Here, we seem to really go after the minerals during the winter months too. However, no one here is polite enough to stand in line.

Brenda said...

Hi - In response to your Blogging question ... Very busy summer! I'm feeling the blogging itch again though now that things have slowed down here a little. See you soon with more posts from the dairy.

I do enjoy reading my favorite blogs each day even if it's busy around here. :D

DebH said...

Thank you for that necessary reminder!! I have been thinking about making a mineral feeder like that for about...oh....3 yrs?? I just ration it out when I am thinking about it...bad I know.
Although, my girls have a pretty everyday diet of pure alfalfa and free choice hay along with a few cups of goat chow...they sure don't look like they suffer! Nice job on yours though, you'll have Super Goats in no time!!

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Yummy! We get our minerals sprinkled on our feed because the horses like to try to eat them. My lady wants to be sure the wethers are getting their ammonium chloride so their pizzles don't fall off. hee hee

goatgirl said...

I know Deb. I thought my goats were getting all they needed because they get good hay, good grain, and lots of browse and pasture but they were apparently missing some key minerals.
It will be interesting to see the results.

goatgirl said...

Don't you just hate the word "pizzle"
Spell check hates it too.

Terry said...

Goatgirl, can you tell us what you were noticing that made you realize that your goats needed more minerals in their diet? Thanks!

Chai Chai said...

Uh oh, now I'm worried. Could my goats be missing out on minerals as well? They have free choice of baking soda and a goat mineral vitamin supplement.

Terry asked a great question, I second it.

Cathy said...

You can also put some big rocks in the feeder on top of the salts and minerals. It will keep them from scarffing down mouthfuls at a time. An overload can make them sick if they eat too much. They may get everything from the squirts to more serious poisoning from overdoing it.
After a bit they will slowdown their intake. I do leave out a salt block in case they just want the salt. They are both enjoyed regularly.

goatgirl said...

Terry, I didn't notice anything that made me think they needed minerals really. I have an old doe that just can't get over a respiratory bug that was brought home from the show no matter what I do so in the quest to build up her immune system I decide to offer her some minerals. I also had some funky coats that could have been worms but may also be the lack of the right minerals.
Maybe Cathy or Tonia can weigh in on what the signs of a mineral deficiency are.

Feral Female said...

Nice feeder! We offer loose minerals and baking soda free choice and the goats will eat just what thier bodies need.

frugalmom said...

That is a great idea!!! I am so tired of my silly goat boys standing in their mineral feeder. Getting their dirty feet in there...and quite honestly just laying on it. Its just a rectangular shaped feeder...with evidently just enough room to hold a goat perfectly :-)

Specifically Kip.