Does eating dirt?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by zoomom, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. zoomom

    zoomom New Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    I have noticed my two new does digging a small hole in their pen, and eating something. I thought it was roots but I was watching them for awhile today and it looked like they were eating the dirt. I also unearthed an old t-post from their run (it used to be the dumping ground for the barn I think, this was about a foot down). The post was still in good shape, had some rusty colored dirt on it, and I tossed it out of their pen to use for something else. Yesterday I decided to use it to shore up a sagging post in their pen until I can get a new hole dug, and pour in some cement. Since i put up this post, the goats have been licking the dirt off of it.

    Is something missing in their diet? They get timothy hay, alfalfa hay cubes, and goat pellets, with some 'Sunshine Plus' as top dressing, and they have goat minerals (loose) and baking soda available. The goat minerals seem to be disappearing alot more lately, i just thought maybe they had finally figured out they can get it themselves (versus me offering it to them in my hand) I've only had them a little over a month, so i don't know if this is normal for them or not. My other goats never did this.
  2. citylights

    citylights Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    Southern California
    Hmm, sounds like you're getting the right food to them. I've not heard of this, but maybe they like the taste of the rusty metal, like a horse will like a sweet iron bit that's oxidized?

  3. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Hmm...maybe the goats that are eating the dirt ...are not licking on the loose salts and minerals.....with those goats...if you can sprinkle some on their grain or even put some in there mouth.... would maybe stop it.... they are craving something in the dirt.... and may not be getting it ..cause they aren't licking...the loose salts... :wink:
  4. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    My goats eat dirt too...and they have freechoice minerals that disappear too fast as well as good hay, browse and grain.
  5. Mully

    Mully New Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Mt Ulla , NC
    Could be something in the dirt, old grain kernels. spilled mineral on the ground. I find my goats lick the dirt every once in awhile .. :whatgoat: it is a goat thing.
  6. CrossCreekTX

    CrossCreekTX New Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Central East Texas
    Some of mine did it for a while after they came here. Once I got their copper deficiency addressed, they stopped.
  7. zoomom

    zoomom New Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    Thank you for the advice. It sounds like it might be normal behavior then - i guess i won't worry (about that at that they are hopefully bred, i have a whole new set of worries lol)

    It is the new goats that i have noticed eating the minerals more often. My one doe that i had all along nibbles on it periodically. It's the two new does and the borrowed buck that I catch licking it more often.