Baking soda free choice

Discussion in 'Goats' started by peakfarms, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. peakfarms

    peakfarms Member

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    Ok, I have a rather silly question. I enjoy logging on and reading the posts. I highly value advice from experience. Currently I have a small herd of Purebred Nubians. They are free range, with a treat of grain and alfalfa pellets. They also have access to mineral blocks. But can someone tell me about giving baking soda free choice? Is this to benefit the digestion system and rumen? (Hope I said that right). If so, how do you feed this free choice, meaning, what containers do you use, set up etc??
    I am proud of my current herd, and want to take real good care of them.
    Regina
    Peak Farm Nubians
     
  2. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Yes in answer to your free choice BS and how it works. The goats will get it as needed the best way is to make you some PVC feeders I will post a link to a website that shows you how to build them in a few, have to go find it . While you are at it make two and start feeding them free choice loose goat or milk cow minerals as goats really are not much for licking the blocks and don't get enough of the minerals to sustain them long term.
    Well right at the moment I can't find the link to build your own from 4" pvc pipe.
    but here is a link to one that you can purchase here or at Hoggers Supply.
    http://www.ag-link.com/eshop/ShowBookList.asp?Language=Z&CategoryInt=0601
    Scroll down and you will see a picture of a mineral feeder.
     

  3. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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  4. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    Grain acidifies the rumen and kills off some rumen bacteria, making the digestion of roughage less efficient (and sometimes giving the goat a belly ache!) Acidic rumens mean lower butterfat in the milk too. Baking soda helps restore the pH balance, just like it does with people.

    I use calcium carbonate (aka Tums) for the same result, and it's a lot cheaper than baking soda- about $4 for a 50 lb bag at the feed store. Commercial diary cows gets acidic rumens too and this cal. carb. is what they get.
     
  5. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Yes Thankyou Catherine I hunted all thru boargoats.com last night and everything I went to the pvc mineral feeders it told me not to be found. Go Figure.