What free choice supplements should I offer?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Jillis, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    I was told to offer my goats free choice baking soda and salt. What kind of baking soda and what kind of salt?
    Is kelp powder a good supplement? What about a mineral block? If yes, what type? I know that sheep nd goats have different mineral requirements, especially of copper.
    Anything else I might be over looking that is essential to the health of my goats?
    Should I get those plastic divided tubs that screw into the wall?
    TIA!
    Blessings, Jillis!
     
  2. moosemaniac

    moosemaniac Well-Known Member

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    Plain old Arm & Hammer works for me, and iodized salt. Don't give baking soda to the boys though!

    Ruth
     

  3. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    I use gaot chow free choice loose minerals, and baking soda.
     
  4. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    One of my goat books said NOT to use iodized salt! Any input on this please?
    Thanks again!
    Jillis!
     
  5. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    yes, that is correct.
     
  6. dbarjacres

    dbarjacres Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use kelp free choice and they really like it. I also bought a large amount of the Golden Blend minerals (sold thru a goat mag, and also direct from the mill down south) as they liked the first bucket and now they despise it. I also have salt blocks out.
     
  7. moosemaniac

    moosemaniac Well-Known Member

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    I use iodized salt because we live in the goiter belt. thyroid problems abound here.

    Ruth
     
  8. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    Moosemainiac said you should not give "boys" baking soda. As far as I know You can and should give Baking Soda to bucks. Never heard anywhere that you should not. Anyone else heard this? I think It would say online or in my goat book, but it doesn't, so i assume that you should, just like any other goat.
    I have the tubs that you screw into the wall for permanant application. however, I did not like the fact that you cannot clean them out if a goat urinates or poos in there, so I put holes in the back of one of those storage bins, and put two bolts held on by knuts through the holes on the ends so they extended through the bin and through the mineral bin for supports, and the bolt in the middle has a wing nut so all i have to do is unscrew the wing knut and the bin slides off all thre of the bolts. I also put a 3/4" pipe hanger on the top back of the storage bin and pounded in a 1/2" pipe into thier pasture. I thin slid the storage bin right on to the pipe. makes it easy to clean and easy to move. It works rather well.
     
  9. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Okay---so should I offer salt and baking soda, or salt and kelp, or all three? What about a loose salt and trace minerals blend instead of salt or kelp? I have heard that goats need selenium (but not too much). And that the soils in the Northeast (where I am) are usually deficient in this mineral. That is why I wonder about the loose minerals and salt. Or is there selenium in the kelp?
    Help!
    Blessings, Jillis!
     
  10. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    Most recommend free-choice baking soda for everyone; and free choice goat minerals. If you can't find goat minerals, then loose minerals for cows are a good second choice. Sheep minerals aren't so good, as the copper is not in proper amounts. You don't need to offer salt, minerals are better. HTH. Oh, and loose is better then the block. Lasts longer and they utilize it better.

     
  11. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't keep baking soda out, but lots of folks do. I keep out free-choice kelp next to the free-choice goat minerals. No need to keep out salt if you have a good goat mineral out, it will have salt in it. Kelp has selenium in it and many people have found that by keeping out kelp free-choice, they eliminated the need for selinium shots they had to use in the past.
     
  12. Teacupliz

    Teacupliz Well-Known Member

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    Baking soda acts as a roliad- it is good for both bucks, wethers and does

    Liz in NY
    Teacup Farm
     
  13. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    i don't keep baking soda out either. mine don't get grain with molasses in it. i believe this is the reason why so many goats need it. molasses change the ph in the rumen, makes it acid.
     
  14. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How do you keep yours from caking up and getting dusty?? I had it out for several months and no one touched it in all that time. It kept caking up and collecting dust even though I kept changing it out for fresh. Finally I just stopped putting it out.
     
  15. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I give feed grade sodium bicarb (it's cheaper and just as good as Arm and Hammer) and goat mineral, either Purina or West Feeds free choice. The goats have a salt block. My bucks get soda too. Some of my friends are also feeding kelp and yeast.
     
  16. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    I don't keep baking soda out continually but offer it to my gang a few times a week. I have found they don't seem to consume much. Golden Blend is my goats' favorite brand of minerals but it can be a bit pricey. Otherwise I feed my nigerians a pygmy mineral blend mixed at my feed store which has a bit more copper and selenium and found they have done well on it.