Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

What brands of minerals do y'all use? I'm new to goats, and originally bought MannaPro minerals, but after reading through all the old forums came to the conclusion that that brand is mostly worthless. In the old forums, it sounds like Purina is a good brand? If I feed Purina minerals free choice, do I still need others? If so, what brands would you recommend for:

-Selenium

-Copper

-Any other minerals I would need

In addition (besides minerals) should I be giving:

-red raspberry leaf - (I've heard that this has benefits but isn't certainly necessary?)

-apple cider vinegar  - ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

-Kelp

??

How often should I copper bolus? Or do you only copper bolus if there are signs of a deficiency?

I also want to figure out if I'm in a selenium deficient area, but can't figure it out when looking it up. Any tips?

What about zinc? Is there a free choice zinc supplement?

Whew that was a lot of questions LOL

Thanks in advance!

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All of your questions are answered on my website, starting here:

https://thriftyhomesteader.com/goat-minerals/

That's an article about the basics of minerals, and there are links in the article to additional articles on copper, selenium, zinc, etc. 

The short answer is that Purina is a good mineral that supplies the basics of what goats need. You only give any additional if your goats are showing signs of deficiency in something specific -- and that's where all of those individual articles come in. There is no one-size-fits-all dose for copper, selenium, or zinc because conditions on farms vary tremendously. The soil and water play a big role in deficiencies. So you can't just copy what someone else does on their farm because it prove fatal on your farm. 

I also have an online course on copper deficiency:

https://thriftyhomesteader.teachable.com/p/copper-deficiency/

Just realized I missed part of your question on red raspberry leaves, apple cider vinegar, and kelp.

Red raspberry leaves are thought to be a uterine tonic for goats due to give birth soon. I used to use them many years ago, then one year I forgot to order more when we ran out and didn't realize it until all of my goats had kidded the next year. I don't think it made any difference. All of my goats gave birth just fine without the red raspberry leaves, so I don't buy them any longer.

Apple cider vinegar has no documented benefits for goats. It does not acidify the urine and prevent stones. If you want to prevent stones in bucks and wethers, just don't feed grain.

Kelp -- good stuff but not necessary for most goats. Again, one size does not fit all. If your goats become iodine deficient, then definitely get it, but otherwise, it's probably not needed. Symptoms of iodine deficiency are kids being born with no hair and/or with goiters under their neck.  

https://thriftyhomesteader.com/kelp-friend-or-foe/

Great! Thank you so much for the answers... I will read those articles and take the copper course ASAP!

One more question - Are black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS) necessary?

Thanks!

Oh also, which mineral is better - Sweetlix Meat Maker, or Purina?

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

Just realized I missed part of your question on red raspberry leaves, apple cider vinegar, and kelp.

Red raspberry leaves are thought to be a uterine tonic for goats due to give birth soon. I used to use them many years ago, then one year I forgot to order more when we ran out and didn't realize it until all of my goats had kidded the next year. I don't think it made any difference. All of my goats gave birth just fine without the red raspberry leaves, so I don't buy them any longer.

Apple cider vinegar has no documented benefits for goats. It does not acidify the urine and prevent stones. If you want to prevent stones in bucks and wethers, just don't feed grain.

Kelp -- good stuff but not necessary for most goats. Again, one size does not fit all. If your goats become iodine deficient, then definitely get it, but otherwise, it's probably not needed. Symptoms of iodine deficiency are kids being born with no hair and/or with goiters under their neck.  

https://thriftyhomesteader.com/kelp-friend-or-foe/

They increase butterfat slightly in milkers, but otherwise there isn't much benefit, so not needed for dry does, kids, wethers, or bucks. 

Lil said:

Great! Thank you so much for the answers... I will read those articles and take the copper course ASAP!

One more question - Are black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS) necessary?

Thanks!

I like Sweetlix more because it has more zinc and cobalt. But Purina is easier for some people to find. Sweeltix is available through distributors. Purina is at Tractor Supply and a lot of other stores.

Lil said:

Oh also, which mineral is better - Sweetlix Meat Maker, or Purina?

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