5 Must-Have Nutritional Supplements

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When it comes to goats or life in general, there are certain things you will always need at one time or another. Rather than wait until the need arises, there are steps we can take towards being prepared for situations that call for such items. Much like you would stock a first aid kit, it is wise to have on hand a sort of nutritional kit as well. This should contain supplies that will cover all your bases whether it is making up for nutrient deficiencies in soil or giving goats a boost after illness. Here are a few relevant nutritional supplies to get you started.

1. The rumen of a goat is full of beneficial bacteria that keep digestion running smoothly. Young goats as well as those that have recently been ill and on antibiotics or subjected to the stress of travel could sometimes use a boost to help re-establish or maintain this bacteria. An easy way to provide such a boost is through the use of Probios probiotics which will help goats bounce back by reintroducing helpful bacteria in the rumen.

2. Another useful item for goats that have been under the weather is Nutri-Drench. It is loaded with amino acids, anti-oxidants, electrolytes, trace minerals, and vitamins necessary to restore immune function, stop diarrhea, and perk up kids. Nutri-Drench provides an easy to absorb source of quick, liquid energy that can give sick goat the boost needed to get on the road to recovery. It is especially useful when dealing with white muscle disease.

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3. Since illness or disrupted rumen function can really run a goat down, Vitamin B/Thiamine is another essential to have on hand. A rumen that is functioning as it should will actually make B Vitamins, but if rumen function is not as it should be, those vitamins will then be lacking and could result in anemia. In order to help get things back on track, be prepared with a Fortified Vitamin B Complex that can be injected when needed to boost metabolism and neurological activity as well as fending off Goat Polio.

4. Having a copper deficiency can stunt growth and make goats less able to naturally fight off parasites. Although copper is typically found in feed and loose minerals, this is not always enough and a copper supplement is also necessary. To combat a copper deficiency, several copper containing products are on the market but be certain that you dose correctly for the weight of goats because it is possible to achieve a toxic level of copper. If you are unsure as to whether or not your goats need copper, take a look at their tails. If they have taken on the shape of a fishtail, copper is needed.

5. Much like copper, selenium is another possible deficiency goats can experience. Although selenium typically comes from soil, there is sometimes not enough, resulting in a need for a supplement. White muscle disease is a sign of a selenium deficiency but reproductive health can be affected as well. Before dosing with a selenium product, it is important to find out if your area is deficient. From there you will need to determine the correct dose for each goat before administering as it is possible to experience toxic effects if too much is given.

Though there are many other products on the market that you may wish to add to your nutritional stockpile, covering the above bases is sure to get you off to a good start. Having supplies such as these on hand at all times is important because running to the feed store in the moment is rarely an option. Sometimes you will need to act immediately to bring a goat back from the brink of illness. In order do to so, you must be prepared with supplies and the determination to see your goat through, so be sure you have the supplies on hand to do so.

What nutritional supplements do you keep on hand for your goats? What would you add to our starter list above? Let us know in the comments!

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October 5, 2015  •  09:40 PM
good article -- thanks! I keep all of the above except the drench (need to get that!) a few other things I keep on hand include:
-- Dyne. It's primarily marketed for dogs, I think, but I use it with my goats as well.
-- ACV, Karo, molasses and a few other things to mix my own electrolyte solution when needed.
-- vitamin C (chewable or syrup, and injectable) It's a great detoxifier, and my goats love the chewables as treats. Vitamin C got one of my Nubian does back on her feet after a copperhead bite!

Keep the great articles coming!