Do I need goat minerals?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by titansrunfarm, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. titansrunfarm

    titansrunfarm The Awesome PT & Friends

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    I've had goats about two years now, initally had one doe "Elizabeth", who came with a bag of goat feed, so I fed her that and she also has access to the horse pasture and hay. Then came the second doe "Annabelle" and I continued to feed the feed stores goat feed mix. Last year we got a wether "Legolas" and I was still feeding him the grain until I read here on HT to not feed males grain due to urinary calculi. Weaned everyone off grain (the does were getting fat and lazy at this point anyway) and now I just feed them a hand full of alfalfa each at night and the rest of the time they eat pasture/hay. The horses have mineral blocks in their stalls and I am noticing the goats licking them more often, is this bad for them? Do I need some kinda of official goat minerals for them? I checked at our feedstore and they only have cattle or horse minerals. They look good, coats are shiny, don't seem either too fat or skinny. I just don't want to miss anything.
     
  2. nduetime

    nduetime I am a Christian American Supporter

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    I like to buy a bag of minerals that I can feed free choice to my goats. I am not sure what it is called but it is made for goats. If they are licking the horses block they either just like it ( you know how goats are!) or they are getting something from it that they need. Hard to tell which it is but your goats certainly do not sound as though they are missing out. Do you have a salt block for them? That might be what they are trying to get out of the mineral block.
     

  3. titansrunfarm

    titansrunfarm The Awesome PT & Friends

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    Yeah, there is a pure salt block in the barn and they do lick it also. Ive just noticed them going after the horse mineral blocks more lately.
     
  4. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    goats need mineral, loose mineral is best but the blocks are better than nothing, alot of mineral mixes are formulated for most all livestock, if yours isnt i would fine one that is more ballanced just in case,
    if you can find the loose mineral that would be awsome but blocks are again better than nothing
     
  5. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Your goats may be doing well now, but eventually the lack of minerals in their diet will catch up with them and cause some serious problems. They are craving minerals and that is why they are going after the horse minerals, which by the way, is fine for them. However, the block form of minerals is too tough for a goat to consume enough for their needs.

    Go to the feedstore and ask for loose goat minerals (NOT SHEEP! NOT ENOUGH COPPER IN SHEEP MINERALS!) If they do not have loose GOAT minerals, then get loose HORSE or CATTLE minerals, which is okay. Anything labeled for BOTH goat and sheep is ridiculous, doesn't work that way, don't buy it!

    Purina is not one of the better minerals. Sweetlix is good. In Texas, Bluebonnet is real good. But anything is better than nothing. Goats really need copper in their diet.

    I am glad you are a goat owner who cares enough about their goats to worry about minerals. I see people who just don't get it!
     
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  6. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    Do your goats have split tails? The tail hair splits into two ends known as a 'fish-tail'? Are your darker goats getting light patches where there weren't any? (black goat, showing reddish brown highlights that weren't there before). Then there is a copper deficiency.

    I buy Sweetlix Caprine Magnamilk mineral, and I top dress with copper sulfate, AND I end up bolusing the ones who still show signs of copper deficiency (see above). My goats are heavy milkers - and we are in Arizona, many times mineral deficiencies go by geographical region.

    Niki
     
  7. full sun

    full sun Well-Known Member

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  8. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    Jennifer - yup, I've got a black and white doe who was fine before she freshened and now has reddish tinge in the back legs also.......darn thing spit out the bolus after chewing it to pieces......grrrrrrr I'm gonna have to get it down her somehow! She was glossy black and white before she started milking, but gives 2 1/2 gallons a day and I think it just takes it out of her.

    I also top dress with vitamin e and selenium - and really need to give the BoSe shots during pregnancy.

    Goat minerals vary in potency. Many disagree with top dressing the copper sulfate. My area is so deficient, I figured it just can't hurt. Some of my does that used to show signs of deficiency have cleared up with top dressing - so it works for most of mine. I HATE bolusing, and haven't quite figured out a successful method, but really have to for a couple of the girls.

    Niki
     
  9. full sun

    full sun Well-Known Member

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    Niki-- I ordered the copper bolus. But, yeah, it does sound miserable! Maybe I will start with the top dressing of copper sulfate. Where do I get that?

    Thanks!
    Jennifer
     
  10. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    2 1/2 gallons = 20 lbs...if I'm not mistaken...I am just amazed! What kind of goat is this? Purebred, crossbred? Do you weigh your milk?
     
  11. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    Diane;

    This goat thinks she's a cow! I've never seen anything like it. She is #5 on ADGA's elite doe list (check her out on the ADGA website).

    http://adga.org/SD/EliteDoe2005list.htm

    She is a nubian and her name is Desert Willow KP Siddalee. She is projected to milk 5000lbs at maturity from her previous DHIR scores. She's at peak production right now - which is why she's a little higher right now. I haven't weighed her milk - but I fill those glass gallon pickle jars, lol
    Next year it will all be official, as I am planning on doing milk testing. I missed the cut off this for this year - I picked Sid up late last year.

    I had NO IDEA goats could milk like this. When she comes to the milk stand her udder is humongous! I don't know how she gets it up on the stanchion. My other girls are nothing to sneeze at, but don't come close to Sid. I've got another half sister in my herd and her average was 11. ? lbs on DHIR test before I got her. They share the same sire and he is #1 on the elite sire list.....I'll stop bragging now - I just can't even believe I own a goat like this! What a blessing!

    Niki
     
  12. ScorpionFlower

    ScorpionFlower Insanity prevails

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    Niki- I am envious!!! LOL

    For my goats they have loose salt and I do keep a horse salt block around AND a meat goat sweetlix block.... are my goats spoiled???
     
  13. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    Jennifer - I bought mine at Home Depot. It is actually a root killer. The ingredient list is something like 99% copper sulfate. It is in a crystal form - bright blue. Don't take my word on it alone - do some research on it if you can. I found enough online that I went ahead. It seemed to bring my does showing borderline symptoms of deficiency back on track. The tails filled out again and such. Some goats got nice, glossy coats that had never had them.

    If ANYONE has tips on bolusing - I could use some. Sid ate another darn capsule today - the balling gun did NOT work! lol


    ScorpionFlower - don't be too envious! I was lucky - in the right place at the right time. Sid is a bit of an amazon woman - she has even taken my husband for a ride down the driveway! She's a BIG girl, lol. I'm not sure how much she weighs - she's not fat at all, but she is taller than my buck (who is a year and a half). Just out of curiosity - which do your goats consume the most of? (loose, horse block,or sweetlix block) Do you milk your goats? Any signs of deficiency out where you are?

    My goats go through about a bag every two/three months most of the year. Then in September, October, November when they are pregnant, and milking that last month, and then dry the two months before kidding - they go through a bag every two to three weeks! I get mobbed and it is a total feeding frenzy every single time. I've got nubians/14 and nigerians/8, and a lonely boer buck.

    Niki
     
  14. full sun

    full sun Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the research I have done has lead me to that--it's a bright blue herbicide! Pat Coleby as a book called Natural Goat Care and copper deficiency is discussed. As well as top dressing with copper sulfate. My vet is supposed to call me today. It just seems like something to double check!

    Thanks!
    Jennifer
     
  15. ScorpionFlower

    ScorpionFlower Insanity prevails

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    My goats definately prefer the sweetlix! My girls have had the same small amount of loose salt forever. I stopped changing it out as they never touch it. The horse salt block they lick at once in a while but the sweetlix is definately their favorite. I get the one for meat goats though they are dairy goats. I have one that is milking. I'm still new to goats so as far as signs of deficiencies, I'm not sure. The things I've read on here I've made a point to watch for in my goats. I haven't seen anything that's been mentioned on here at least. Although my milking goat has been giving less milk this past week, I'm thinking that's either because of the heat or because we brought in a new pyr.
     
  16. titansrunfarm

    titansrunfarm The Awesome PT & Friends

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    OK, I'm going to the feedstore tomorrow and will ask if they can order some loose goat minerals for me. Thanks for the help!
     
  17. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Very impressive!

    You are one lucky gal to have genetics like that in your herd!

    I have some heavy milking Lamanchas and when i first got my line, I was pretty awe-struck.... I had no idea goats could milk like that either! I had had goats in the past, but they were just "regular" dairy goats. Then I stumbled across this line of Lamanchas and they blew me away....I don not have papers on some of the better ones so i am grading them up, they are certainly worth the time and effort, no matter how long it takes. I have recently bought the best buck I could find and afford (awesome pedigree) and am excited about what he will add to my herd.

    Love those heavy milkers!

    My husband is even talking milking machine in the future....thank you thank you thank you......I milk by hand and although I am quite strong, when you have that much milk and several udders, it is just unreal....I will have a whole other bunch of first fresheners in the spring.....boy howdy!
     
  18. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    My family just finished a week of milking for my friend who has a herd of la manchas. We were milking eighteen goats, twice a day. Of course, we are used to the nubians and I have Jacob's Pride girls to boot (known for loooooong ears!) so both dh and boys were a bit disconcerted by the lack of ears! lol My husband calls my goat's ears - 'goat bacon'. I'm not sure why or where he got that - just creative, I guess?

    Diane, you are right - I am very lucky! I've had Sid for awhile now, and I still can't believe it. She even had triplet does for me this year. I lost one, but the other two are doing fine.

    How many generations does it take to 'grade up'? Is that like getting a goat registered on appearance?

    I'm only milking four right now - dh and kids are out of town, and I'm doing it by myself. Having heavy milkers is great, but hard on the hands! I nicked my thumb with the hoof clippers about three weeks ago, and milking makes it sore. I must have hit a nerve or something. I'm going to be freshening all six of my doelings this year - as I'm working on proving up a new buck. I'll be wishing for a milking machine then - I'm sure, lol!

    I also have a nigerian herd that I picked up at the AGS National Show. I'm working hard to get some colorful, little, half-gallon milkers out there.

    I really love the goats - and am blessed by them. Can't imagine life without them, now. Hoping to move to Oregon, so I can sell some milk!

    Niki