Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hi all,

  At what age do most kids normally begin licking from the free choice mineral feeders?  Mine 4 wethers are about 10 weeks old and I brought them home from the breeder two days ago. They are on Kalmbach medicated meat goat feed and free choice hay and I have the mineral feeder and baking soda out. I am not seeing a dent in either and so am wondering at what point they realize that both might be good for them.

As a related question, is there an age that I would be starting to see copper or selenium deficiency if there was going to be one.

Thanks so much,

   Ann

Views: 60

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hey Ann

It honestly depends on the kids, what is available in their environment, how much forage they are consuming, what possible antagonists you may or may not have in your water source and forage, etc. for both of your questions, except the baking soda =) Baking soda use is like them going to the medicine cabinet to look for something to soothe their tummy. So if they are not consuming, that is a good thing.

Kids born to healthy dams are going to have mineral stores, but they do start using them pretty quickly so I always have them available from birth, although I don't typically notice anyone actually eating them until they are about 4-6 months old. Keep in mind that is how consumption works on 'my' farm. I don't have well water which can contain things that prevent absorption of selenium and copper such as iron and sulfur and I don't use molybdenum containing fertilizers in my pastures, although I do use fertilized horse quality coastal hay.

What free choice mineral do you have out for them? Unfortunately, they are not all created equally, and price is not necessarily an indicator of best quality. Deborah has done lots of research on different brands and recommends SweetLix Meat Maker or Purina Goat Mineral for the best ratios for goats.

Thanks Tammy.  I am using the Purina Goat Minerals, as suggested by Deborah, so that is good. I did see one of the kids go to it and lick a little, though he didn't seem all that interested at the time. Still I was encouraged that he knows its there and so maybe the others will too when the time comes. I was glad for what you said about the baking soda being used as needed, rather than needing to be used and since is it in the other side of the mineral feeder from the minerals, they should find it if they need it.  It was nice to read that not needing it is a good thing.

I'll keep an eye on whether they seem to be using the minerals. They are getting to soon be 12 weeks old so maybe they will start soon. Thanks a lot for being here and for answering!

Hi Tammy. Just a happy note of relief.  This evening two other of the wethers went right over to the minerals and took some. I guess I just needed to post my question and have it answered :)  Thanks again.

That's great! It always amazes me that these creatures know what they need and manage to find it and consume in just the right quantities. Have a great day and please keep us posted on their itchy status.

Tammy

Ann Bodling said:

Hi Tammy. Just a happy note of relief.  This evening two other of the wethers went right over to the minerals and took some. I guess I just needed to post my question and have it answered :)  Thanks again.

Hi again ladies!  I just came to post a question about minerals and I saw it fits in nicely to what Tammy was just saying about knowing what they need for minerals in this thread. I switched last month from Manna Pro to Sweetlix and I think my wethers are consuming way too much...I’m thinking about 3x what they should be, going on week 3 or 4 now. At first I figured they must have been needing something or liked the new flavor ....now I’m worried they are just bored of their hay or like this one too much. I was thinking they would balance out and eat less now and it doesn’t seem to be happening. Of course I’m worried they are going to have some kind of toxicity and wondering if I should remove minerals entirely for some period of time or just try going back to manna pro (still have it) which they seemed to lick in moderation at about the 0.5oz/day rate. Any ideas? Thanks!

It totally depends on how deficient they were in some minerals. In 19 years of raising goats, I have never heard of one overdosing on loose minerals. Have you actually been weighing the minerals? 

Do you have only pet wethers?

Why did you switch to Sweetlix? Were the goats showing any signs of deficiency in any minerals?

Leslie Carion said:

Hi again ladies!  I just came to post a question about minerals and I saw it fits in nicely to what Tammy was just saying about knowing what they need for minerals in this thread. I switched last month from Manna Pro to Sweetlix and I think my wethers are consuming way too much...I’m thinking about 3x what they should be, going on week 3 or 4 now. At first I figured they must have been needing something or liked the new flavor ....now I’m worried they are just bored of their hay or like this one too much. I was thinking they would balance out and eat less now and it doesn’t seem to be happening. Of course I’m worried they are going to have some kind of toxicity and wondering if I should remove minerals entirely for some period of time or just try going back to manna pro (still have it) which they seemed to lick in moderation at about the 0.5oz/day rate. Any ideas? Thanks!

I had a situation recently where my boys were consuming minerals like gang busters all of the sudden and it made me super nervous as well. It seemed that they were in need of something that wasn't available after the pastures died off for the winter. I was literally re-filling the mineral dish daily for a few weeks, and then just as soon as it started, it stopped, and went back to normal consumption. Everyone did fine =)

Thanks Tammy, that makes me feel better. We were getting some pretty good hay over the winter because it seems to be when I was finally getting the second or maybe even third cut for a short time...first cut seems to last an eternity here. The last batch of hay bales I got look more like first cut again so even their hay isn't impressive and and we are still waiting for anything to come to life for browsing or grazing. Hopefully they slow down a bit when they have more browse.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Books written by Deborah Niemann

Order this book on Kindle!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Need goat equipment?

Yogurt Maker

2-quart milk pail


Mineral feeder (put minerals in one side and baking soda in the other!)

© 2021   Created by Deborah Niemann-Boehle.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service