Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

I've been needing to ask a question about minerals for some time, but I couldn't get all the info I felt might be helpful to you in without a LONG post.  I decided to just copy my homestead diary here so as not to miss anything that might be important.   Sorry about the embarrassing length of the post.

 

September 29:. New hay: 25 bales timothy/orchard grass ($4.75/ea.) and 15 bales alfalfa($8.75 ea.). $263 HAPPY HAPPY GOATS!

October 15: I notice the goats are eating minerals like candy. They've never paid much attention to the minerals up to this point. I would have to throw them out and put fresh minerals in the feeder for them before. Now they will eat a 1/2 c. in a day. I wonder, is it because they don't have fresh browse and pasture any more? Is the hay somehow different than the old hay was? This new hay appears to be SO MUCH better quality, and they eat it so much better than the old stuff I had. Which mineral might they somehow be deficient in that they are doing this?

The happy goats were not necessarily healthy goats. I was overfeeding the goats on this very nice alfalfa hay. BEFORE: I was giving the three of them (all dry does) about a 4 inch flake of alfalfa in the morning, and twice that of the timothy/orchard grass mix in the evening. They were getting minerals (Mama Pro Goat Mineral) free choice and baking soda free choice. Had started eating a TON of minerals for some reason. This is the same way I was feeding them with the old alfalfa and timothy, but the hay quality was poor, and they wasted a lot. They were nowhere close to fat on that hay and had been eating it for 4 months.

October 21: I weaned them off of the alfalfa hay. They are now getting a section of timothy/orchard grass hay in the morning and another in the late afternoon, and free choice minerals and baking soda. So far, so good. Now to watch and see what happens. May need to watch Cupcake to make sure this is enough for her. Watch for some weight loss in Starlight and Japanzy. Still eating minerals like crazy. Japanzy and Starlight in heat.

October 26: Still eating minerals like crazy. I've started to put about 1/2 c. in the feeder every other day. Always gone by the next day. According to Mama Pro, the target amount to feed is 1/4 to 1/2 oz. per goat per day. I'm going to have to find out what that translates to in some kind of dry measure. I really need a kitchen scale...

Also, here is Mana Pro Goat Minerals information:

Crude Protein Min 4.00%
(This includes not more than 4.0% equivalent crude protein from non-protein nitrogen)
Calcium Min 16.00%
Calcium Max 19.20%
Phosphorus Min 8.00%
Salt Min 12.00%
Salt Max 14.40%
Potassium Min 1.50%
Magnesium Min 1.50%
Copper Min 1350 PPM
Manganese Min 2750 PPM
Zinc Min 5500 PPM
Selenium Min 12 PPM
Vitamin A Min 300,000 IU/LB
Vitamin D3 Min 30,000 IU/LB
Vitamin E Min 400 IU/LB
Ingredients

MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM CARBONATE, SALT, DISTILLERS DRIED GRAINS WITH SOLUBLES, CANE MOLASSES, VEGETABLE OIL, YEAST CULTURE, AMMONIUM CHLORIDE, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, POTASSIUM SULFATE, POTASSIUM AMINO ACID COMPLEX, MAGNESIUM OXIDE, MAGNESIUM AMINO ACID CHELATE, MAGNESIUM SULFATE, FERROUS SULFATE, FERROUS CARBONATE, COPPER SULFATE, COPPER AMINO ACID CHELATE, MANGANOUS OXIDE, MANGANESE SULFATE, MANGANESE AMINO ACID CHELATE, ZINC OXIDE, ZINC SULFATE, ZINC AMINO ACID CHELATE, COBALT CARBONATE, CALCIUM IODATE, SODIUM SELENITE, VITAMIN A SUPPLEMENT, VITAMIN D3 SUPPLEMENT, VITAMIN E SUPPLEMENT, SACCHAROMYCES CEREVISIA, DRIED ENTEROCOCCUS FAECIUM FERMENTATION PRODUCT, DRIED LACTOBACILLIUS CASEI, DRIED LACTOBACILLIUS ACIDOPHILLUS FERMENTATION PRODUCT, DRIED LACTOBACILLUS PLANTARUM FERMENTATION PRODUCT, DRIED BACILLUS SUBTILLUS FERMENTATION PRODUCT, DRIED ASPERGILLUS ORYZAE FERMENTATION EXTRACT, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS.

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I'd wait to see what others have to say, but as I understand it goats eat what they need. Mine tend to go through phases with minerals and hey, sometimes they go through hey as if they were never going to have the opportunity to eat it again, and sometimes I don't see them eating it at all for days. The same happens with minerals... But I haven't noticed a correlation between new hay and them eating more minerals.  In my herd copper boluses are needed roughly every 3 months and I still leave out their regular sweetlix meat maker mineral and Onyx Right Now cattle mineral which has a lot of copper.  My herd,generally speaking eats the Onyx like candy and hardly touches the sweet lix. I once worried they would eat too much, but don't now.
I'm thinking this may be low in zinc and possibly selenium. I've looked up Manna Pro before. And hopefully I will find all of my handouts from the ADGA conference because it has the RDAs for nutrients for goats. I have copper memorized, but not the others so well. Too much alfalfa, which is high in calcium, can throw off the zinc.

Thank you both for your replies.  I'm trying not to worry about these girls, but this is getting odd.  Last night I put about 1/4 c. minerals in the feeder, and decided to add 3t. of DE.  Well, they went for it like mad.  My little Cupcake, who is definitely at the bottom of the pecking order, fought the others off and ate most of it herself.  In about 10 minutes it was empty again.  I decided to trust them and put in more DE.  They all ate some more of it and seemed to become satisfied.  Crazy girls... I'm going to be doing a fecal float soon.  Maybe they've gotten a parasite load since their last chemical worming in June.  That may seem like a long time, but we here in Northern MN don't have the trouble with parasites that many do.

Deborah- If you find out anything more about the minerals I'd love to hear.  If it is zinc or selenium,  is there anything I can do besides letting them consume so many minerals?  Hopefully without the alfalfa, if that's the problem, it will correct itself soon?

It seems like the more I learn the less I know...

Thanks for the help! :)

 

BOSS has selenium in it naturally, you might get some of that too...

 

Thanks, Rachel, for confirming that.  I thought I remembered reading that, and gave them about 1/4 c. each yesterday evening.  I don't want to over do it with them, if that's possible?  Would about 1/4 c. a day for a while be okay?  Then see how things go with the minerals?

What would I do without this forum, and you wonderful women!?

By the way, Deborah- I ordered your new book.  In fact, two of them.  One for me and one for a giveaway on my blog. :)  I can't wait to get it and start reading and learning!

Sunflower seeds are also high in zinc, so maybe giving them a handful of sunflower seeds every day will curb their enthusiasm for the minerals.

I am really annoyed that I can't find my handouts and notes from ADGA! I wanted to write some more blog posts on some of the things I learned.

Thanks for buying my book, Patty! I hope you enjoy it!

I mixed my BOSS into my goat chow, so I'm not sure *exactly* how much I give... other than it's probably about 1/3 of the portion I feed once a day, and I give about 1/2 c of "chow" in the evenings for three goats.
Thanks, Deborah and Rachel.   I'm glad to know the BOSS is also high in zinc, so I've maybe got both of them covered anyway.  I'll see how it goes. :)

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