supplemental mineral mixes : LUSENET : Dairygoats : One Thread

Recently I read an article that stated that recommendations for copper in cattle have been raised, so the amount of copper in most mineral mixes has been raised. I keep a ewe in with my two goats, so I am going to have to meet their supplemental mineral needs when I'm graining them (which is the only time they are all separated). I feed the ewe her wee handful of grain in a separate stall and my does on the stand. I can feed plain salt blocks, but I will have to use some other method to supplement other minerals. Has anyone had any experience with mineral supplements that are not in a salt block? Does anyone else supplement minerals on the stand or do you all do this free choice? Anyone have any suggestions? I don't want to kill my ewe with too much copper or my does with too little.

-- Sheryl in ME (, March 02, 2002


Another way to think about this would be to bolus the goats. sells copersure, which is a bolus with time relased rods in it. You take them apart, buy the calf ones, then use geletain capsules from the health food store to make your own "goat" size capsule, and bolus the goat. has a great article on this, we use them on new stock coming in. NOW!! You need to know a little about this before you just decide to use this advice, we necropsy at least every other year, sending in a fresh liver sample for copper level studies, and even then the lab would tell you "all is fine" because they have the same numbers as the nutritionist do. A blood test really tells you nothing, now my vet understands this. Joyces site also tells you what numbers these should read. We can easily keep our copper levels up on our Nubians with loose cattle minerals, and yes Purina 12 12 loose cattle minerals did have a huge increase in the amount of copper in their bag, the bag I use is sort of a country blue and white, I will see if I didn't pull off the tag. Our grain mix only has the amount allowed by law for sheep and goats, which is nearly nothing for goats. If you just fed your goats a sheep mineral with low or no copper in it, and fed your sheep and goats the same grain mix and hay, you could bolus the goats twice a year, and be done with it. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, March 03, 2002.

Vicky, after reading the information at, I suspect my area is not deficient in copper, however, we do have high iron in our water. To prevent that from causing problems, I use filtered water from the house or rainwater much (but not all) of the time. I've only kept goats here for a couple years, but I have close neighbors who have kept goats here for about 20 years and have had no health problems out of the ordinary, so I'm suspecting that our mineral balance is a good one. I should add that my neighbor has never supplemented minerals and that both of us do supplement with a lot of non-traditional foods such as browse (not graze) and vegetable crops. I'll have to go talk to my extension folks and the sheep farm down the road and see what they have to say. This seems like an awfully complicated issue, with the other mineral interactions affecting copper absorption and vice versa. We also have high manganese here. I hate being in a situation like this. All my animals look and act delightfully healthy yet I'm feeling rather hypochondriacal for them all! I'll keep researching and keep the boluses in mind. Thanks!

-- Sheryl in ME (, March 04, 2002.

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