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LDS homeschool mom of 6
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My goats destroyed the little bucket I zip tied to the fence with their loose minerals in about 2 days, so I need a more heavy duty option. I was really disappointed with the cost of the PVC feeder, as expensive as purchasing a feeder manufactured specifically for this purpose!

http://www.caprinesupply.com/products/goat-management/mineral-feeders.html

So, does anyone use or like this feeder? Is the PVC version more durable?

If using PVC, can I use the cheaper low-pressure pipes, or do I need the sturdier and 2x the cost for high-pressure pipes?

Are there other low-cost options to get loose free choice minerals into my goats than buying a feeder or building the PVC one? Thanks!
 

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I've got pvc mineral feeders out that have lasted for several years. I use schedule 40 pvc pipe, and it does get a bit pricey - the 'Y' clean out part alone is pretty close to $25.00. If memory serves, a 6' piece of actual pipe is pretty close to $60.00. Whether you can get away with the cheaper stuff is going to depend on how many does you have, whether a buck will have access to them (anytime mine get broken it's always be my bucks), and whether your does like to scratch on them, bang them around, head butt them, etc.. Recently I've started using Chowhound automatic dog feeders for feeding mineral, and they work really well. In my area they run about 40.00, they hold at least 25 lbs of mineral (I've never filled them to capacity, but I can split a 50 lb bag of mineral between 2 feeders and still have quite of bit of room left), and I can mount them to any wooden surface using screws because they are rain and snow proof. It's easy to train my girls to push the door open by propping the door open for a day or so and, so far, no one has destroyed one. I've never used the feeder in the link, so I can't comment of it. I hope this helps, and good luck getting it sorted out.
 

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I just put the mineral feeder on the outside of the fence so they have to reach through the fence with their head to get the minerals.
 

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I used ABS for mine. 1/4 of the cost and they don't draw moisture nearly as bad.
 

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LDS homeschool mom of 6
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ABS is thinner than low pressure pvc: do you find it durable enough?
 

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We just use a small rubber dish for our minerals. I'm afraid to put them out in a large feeder because out humidity is so awful. The goats won't eat it once it's moist and it's moist about an hour after I put it out.
I guess that's why mine won't eat it too. It's super humid here all the time. I've noticed that mine never eat any long after I out it out, though they will usually take some fresh from my hand.
 

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I only put out a small amount of minerals at a time because goats really do prefer their minerals fresh and won't eat them if they get clumpy and moist. They usually eat up what I've put out in 2 days time, then I add a bit more.
 

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I clean out my bin of minerals and baking soda ever other day. I only put out a handful (my little lady sized handful) at each time but I'm always throwing some moist clumpy stuff away each time. I hate waste. I'm considering getting a block as that I don't have to worry about humidity with it.

This is the feeder we have
http://www.jefferspet.com/product.asp?pn=FX-MF&camid=LIV
They've stood in it and knocked it off and all around. I figure eventually it may break but at $4 it's doing a pretty good job.
 

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I use that same feeder, Amy. It's still going strong after 6 years! You may want to consider NOT switching to a block. I have read often that goats just can't get enough minerals to meet their needs from them, I think because they have soft tongues....?
 

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LDS homeschool mom of 6
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just finished making and hung up a pvc feeder from sewer/low-pressure pipe (SDR 35?), on the outside of the fence for less damage, and they are lapping up their minerals.

however, the only size of low-pressure pipe at the home depot was 4", and even that is too small for my nubian buck's big nose! So, I am making another one with the lip cut back for him to fit in it and using this one for baking soda for everyone else LOL!
 

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I had heard negative things about the blocks. They're just not eating the minerals now anyway because of the humidity making them clumpy. I'm thinking of blocks and dry mineral combination for the summer. Dry inside and block outside. I'm not sure what the answer is really. I bolused them so there is that at least.
 

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LDS homeschool mom of 6
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If the block and loose minerals are the same manufacturer and profile, having both is probably fine. Otherwise they get too much sodium

http://www.sweetlix.com/media/documents/articles/Goat_025.pdf

I am making more of these pvc feeders for my dog and chickens. They are great! I got 4 of them for $30 in supplies and can finally control who gets what a little better.
 
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