Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Can I leave loose selenium vitamin E combo out like I would my regular minerals? The brand is VitaFlex I’ll include a pic of the mineral content. If I shouldn’t leave out free choice due to risk of toxicity what dosage would you recommend for a herd of 10 Nigerians or by weight? Thanks so much!

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I'm so sorry that you have not received a response yet! My podcast on selenium goes into a LOT of detail about this topic. I took three pages of notes during the interview! I interviewed a vet professor and ruminant nutritionist, and he had so much knowledge on this topic that my head was about to explode.

I have to say that after doing this interview, I really think that selenium deficiency is less of a problem than most people think -- because almost everyone thinks they have a problem with it. What I really recommend now is that you get blood work done to check selenium levels before just assuming you have a problem. (Note: a goat can be deficient or toxic with copper, and blood may or may not show it) We realized we had a problem with selenium deficiency when we had liver tests done on dead goats. So if you have a goat die or butcher a goat, you can have the liver tested for minerals. A year ago I sent in four livers when we butchered goats. 

A Nigerian needs to consume about 0.2 mg of selenium per day maintenance. Pregnant goats and milkers need more, but this is a good place to start. The product in your attached photo has 1 mg per ounce, so that would be enough selenium for five days, if your goats had no other source of selenium in their diet and no antagonists.

Hopefully you have a good goat mineral available, such as Sweetlix Meat Maker or Purina Goat Minerals, which both have 50 ppm selenium. The only mineral I know of with more is sold by Premier1, and it has 90 ppm. PPM is the concentration of minerals in the mix, whereas mg or mcg is the actual dosage. It makes it challenging when some people tell you one or the other, but not both. The concentration of selenium in this mix is quite high because there is no carrier, such as wheat middlings, which is what was in the selenium that I used to have available free choice. 

I tried supplements like the one you mentioned, and my goats eat it like candy, which kind of scares me. The mineral feeder will be empty by morning! 

Sulfur is probably the worst selenium antagonist, and if you have that in your well water, there is no need for a water test -- it will stink to high heaven. Maybe if you have NO sense of smell, you could just ask someone else if your water stinks. You cannot miss it. So, if you have sulfur in your well water, your goats will need more selenium. 

But bottom line now .... unless you have obvious symptoms, get blood work. And even if you have what appears to be obvious symptoms, blood work makes a lot of sense for selenium. 

What mixed mineral are you currently using?

Thanks for your response and no worries I wasn’t in a rush. They’re on Purina goat mineral. I’ll get some blood work done. I am on well water but excessive sulfur is not an issue. 

Interested to know what your bloodwork shows now that you have been there a while vs. the mineral levels that you had done during the necropsy on your goats that previously passed. Please keep us posted.

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