Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

I am looking for some sort of chart or list that indicates what the ideal mineral requirements are for ND's to better assess whether the feed and loose minerals (and certainly the pasture/browse in my area) are meeting the needs of my herd.  As an example, you look on the feed bag and it says that it contains 5000IU/lb of Vitamin A, but not knowing exactly how much Vitamin A the goat should get, you don't know if you are providing a sufficient amount.  The same thing can be applied to copper, selenium, calcium, etc.  I can look at herd condition and say this one has a fish tail or this one has a dull coat and make some educated guesses as to what they might be lacking, but I was hoping to find something that could provide the actual requirements.  Does anyone know of any such thing?   Every commercial feed and mineral product have different amounts of any given component.....they can't all be right!  :)  I fear that some manufacturers may be more interested in selling their product than they are about a healthy herd.  Thanks for any input. 

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Copper in feed should be 35 to 40 ppm, according to a researcher at Texas A&M I spoke with several years ago. In minerals, copper sulfate should be around 1500 ppm +/- 300 ppm. If you have sulfur, calcium, or iron in your well water, however, you will still need to give your goats additional copper oxide wire particles (COWP) 1 to 4 times per year, depending upon your situation.

Selenium is unfortunately limited by the government, which is why so many people use additional selenium, such as BoSe or free choice selenium-E mix. The government limits it because feed and minerals are sold all over the US, and they limit it so that the animals in the selenium-rich areas don't get too much, which leaves the rest of us without enough. 

They generally get plenty of vitamin A as long as they're eating GREEN grass or hay. Brown grass or hay will cause vitamin A deficiency.

Zinc deficiency is usually caused by too much calcium in the diet -- for example, giving alfalfa to bucks.

You are correct that not all manufacturers have enough of some things in their feed, and that's why I learned to much about goat nutrition -- because I had goats dying of copper deficiency.

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