Providing Loose Free Choice Minerals - gradually?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Chili Goat, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Chili Goat

    Chili Goat New Member

    May 27, 2009
    I'm sorry in advance if this is an annoying newbie question! In my other post I talked about one of my goats eating the hair off the other goat and that the breeder thinks it is a mineral imbalance (they just turned 1 so I took them off their heavily fortified grain) and am going to supply them with loose minerals. Now for the question:

    How do you introduce the loose free choice minerals to goats who have never had them? Do you gradually put out small amounts, if so - how much and how often (this is what I have been doing and they gobble it down and beg for more) OR do you just fill the dish and trust them to know when to stop?

    In case this affects the answer - they are 1 year olf Nigerian Dwarf wethers.

    Thanks so much!!
  2. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    when i first introduced it i let them have it for 5 minutes, then 10, 20, and now i just refill the feeder when they run out :)

  3. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Don't worry about questions....that is what we are here for... :wink:

    If it is the kind that looks like fine sand.... I would give them all they want.... if they sit there and eat and eat on it ....their bodies need it is good for them... ....after there bodies have what they need ...then they will come to it... as they need it.... put out some and watch ....when it is empty...refill.... :greengrin:
  4. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    If they get a little runs at first dont panic. When my babies (Boers) discover loose minerals they go a couple days with some runs.
    I was real concerned about the amount too this is a good question.
  5. Chili Goat

    Chili Goat New Member

    May 27, 2009
    Thanks everyone, I feel better now! I think I will go with the 5 minutes today, 10 minutes tomorrow, 15 the next etc. just because I am a worrier by nature and the OCD side of me likes the structure of the method...
  6. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    the only problem with the 5 -10 -15 is that they have to want to eat it in that time frame. Some goats need time to adjust to the minerasl being available.

    So unless they start gobbling it down immediately the best option is to leave out 1/4 cup at a time and then gradually increase it till you leave 1 cup out free choice till they finish it or you can have an automatic mineral feeder
    mariarose likes this.