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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all newbie here as well had a quick question-- how do you feed free choice minerals? Leave it out in a bucket next to their hay feeder? (Its raining this week so everything will be under our porch ramp to stay dry)- Is it ok for the chickens to get into it-- they free range and everything will take cover this week....
(we are getting a pair of 16 week old minis next week)...
That is why I was considering a goat block -- the chickens will be less likely to get into it I think....
We are keeping the doelings near the house(Chicken coop and yard is built onto the back of the house its about 15ft by 20ft and the hens fly over the fence to range daily and come back at night) to start with while I supervise and train our dogs to them (vs keeping them out in the far back of the pasture in the old horse shed)....
 

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First, welcome to the forum, glad to have you with us!
Ive never used goat blocks. Are they soft?
It's always damp here so I have to go out everyday with a pan of the loose, otherwise it cakes up & they wont touch it.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanx! Am leaving for work so will do intro later....
No the blocks are like the horse salt blocks that they lick...
I go out of town 3 days a week so cant supervise the free choice those days ... so was thinking that a block would best-- otherwise I can free choice the minerals 4 days a week I guess....
 

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Welcome to TGS!

I have used the goat blocks and my girls didn't like them. But, then again I was using the farm store bought kind. So after that failed I bought some minerals from Hoeggers online and my girls LOVE it. And I like it because it smells nice, lol!

I also just put my mineral out in a small plastic pan for them. A shallow bucket could work too though :)
 

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Goats don't get enough minerals from the block. They can't lick enough off to get a proper amount. Plus there is a lot of molasses in it which isn't good for the goats.

You just put out enough loose mineral that they eat it up in a day. Just put a small amount out in a bowl or small pan or something. Manna Pro Goat Mineral from TSC is a good one. You want to keep any feed, hay or minerals out of the rain.
 

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Blocks make it difficult for goats to get enough mineral without literally burning their tongues with the salt content as well as how hard they need to work to get what they need.
I use loose minerals and in a pvc pipe feeder, very similar to the link above that was given. I have them mounted to the walls with pipe straps inside their sheds to keep the weather from affecting the mineral quality.
Manna Pro is one that is available at most Tractor Supply stores, I use it for my bucks because it has ammonium chloride in it to help acidify their urine to prevent calculi, my does are on Cargil's Right Now Onyx for cattle due to the benefits of the higher copper content.
PVC pipe feeders are awesome, placed high enough to prevent goat berries from dropping into them, they work extremely well :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OOPs well on the way to work I stopped off at Tractor supply (I wont be passing back thru til Mon nite around 10pm and we getting the goats Tues am....
I bought a bag of alfafa cubes, a bag of Purina goat chow the natural kind, but it says "sweet" and a bucket of "Goat protein block with minerals" its very low sodium (I decided against the Block as it was 10% sodium)--
didnt know which loose mineral to get....

The kids are 16 weeks and still nursing/ not fully weaned you might say! (owners are a bit new too I think) so these doelings will be going cold turkey and i thought to have some supplemental feeding on hand (I have a bale of orchard grass hay in my garage ready to go nice and dry)....
 

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That's not abnormal or them to still be nursing at 16 weeks. I let mine go to 5 and 6 months...
 

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That protein bucket will not provide the required minerals needed....it is also very hard, loaded with molasses and will cause them to not want to leave it once they get started, I've a friend who has used it and has had goats get diarrhea from it.
The alfalfa cubes are what I use to supplement grass hay, I flake them apart to make it easier for my goats to eat.
I don't use Purina but do use Blue Seal from TSC.
Be prepared for these girls to be stressed and crying loudly once you get them, it usually lasts a few days, ALOT of TLC and time spent during their transition helps them adjust...also, get a bit of the hay and feed from their breeder to transition them to what you have.
 

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...how do you feed free choice minerals?
I either use PVC pipe mineral feeders or the metal automatic dog food feeders for mineral. All are either hung or installed under the sheds, although the dog food feeders I use are water-proof - I left them sitting out in the rain and snow to make sure. I just need to figure out how to install them on the fences.
 

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Find someone who has a herd of cows and politely ask them if they have any extra empty mineral tubs laying around. I got a few buckets i use for water that way. Even if they ask for a small contribution of say 5.00 or so it's worth it. The empty mineral buckets are great to have around. Just don't buy a new one from TSC and expect to get much benefit out of it for your goats.

I don't like the buckets because they lack the required minerals and more often than not the goats will get poo all in it.

Ok will do (to be honest that free bucket it comes in attracted me....)...
I need a good source for cheap livestock buckets it sure adds up ....
 

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I need a good source for cheap livestock buckets it sure adds up ....
If you have any grocery stores with a bakery department, check with them. The icing used on cakes comes in nice sized buckets, and work very well for feeding and water. The grocery store here sells them for somewhere around 50 cents to a dollar. The only draw back is that they have plastic handles and the handles break at some point in time. Another option is to check with any farmers in your area that have center pivots. Center pivots require drip oil (mineral oil), and it isn't that difficult to remove the lids, wash them out with Simple Green, and you have a fantastic feed/water bucket with a metal handle that will last for a number of years if treated properly.
 

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I only have 3 does... but I LOVE the one-gallon ice cream buckets! They dont last super long, but I've found they're easy to come by. Got a BIG stack of them for free just by posting on a facebook selling group.

I'm still trying to find the ideal way to offer minerals. I use Sweetlix MeatMaker minerals. I bought one of those mineral trays you mount on the wall... but if I put it down low enough for my smaller doe and doeling, the big one poops in it. :/ I mounted the feeder under the hay feeder, but it fills up with hay waste. One of these days I'll figure it out. :)
 

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I'm still trying to find the ideal way to offer minerals. I use Sweetlix MeatMaker minerals. I bought one of those mineral trays you mount on the wall... but if I put it down low enough for my smaller doe and doeling, the big one poops in it. :/ I mounted the feeder under the hay feeder, but it fills up with hay waste. One of these days I'll figure it out. :)
Mount it about chin height of the shortest goat, then put a cinder block or a section of railroad tie under it. They step up on the block/tie to eat, but that should put it high enough that they cannot poop in it. I really like the four hole cinder blocks because that allows me to put the feeder a little higher, and the cinder block is too heavy for them to knock over.
 
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