sheep and goats gorging on mineral blocks

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by TSanders, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. TSanders

    TSanders New Member

    13
    Jun 6, 2011
    Michigan
    I have always kept sweetlix sheep and goat mineral blocks, and salt blocks in the pen. Usually it takes two pygmy goats and two Shetland sheep (all wethers) months to eat a sweetlix block, and they have had the same 50 lb salt block for 3 years and barely touched it. All of a sudden, they are eating a sweetlix block a week, and they have eaten maybe a third of the salt block in the last month. Is there something wrong? Over the summer, I was feeding them grass from the field, due to a hay shortage, and also a yogurt container a day of alfalfa pellets, and a 1/2 cup or so of corn and maybe a cup of oats to share a day. Now, I have hay, and they get several flakes a day, plus still a little corn and oats, and some sweet pellets that have minerals in them for sheep and goats. Why should they need so much of the minerals?
     
  2. enchantedgoats

    enchantedgoats New Member

    Jun 2, 2013
    NEW HAMPSHIRE
    goats should get a different mineral than sheep. goats need copper sheep dont, or shouldnt have copper. and goat wethers should have ammonium chloride to prevent uc, i not sure about sheep wethers.all should have a loose mineral. without the copper if you dont want to seperate them, and then give the goats copper boluses. i dont know why it is an all of a sudden need but maybe your hay is deficient.
     

  3. TSanders

    TSanders New Member

    13
    Jun 6, 2011
    Michigan
    The mineral block is for sheep and goats, minimal copper. I asked the vet when I first got them regarding copper for the goats, and he said, usually it is no problem. I have also asked about the ammonium, and was told not to do it,unless a problem shows up. So far, they have shown no problems with urination.
     
  4. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I would be getting a loose mineral for them. The block really doesn't give them enough mineral and they may be deficient.
     
  5. Stacykins

    Stacykins Goats of da UP

    Mar 27, 2012
    Escanaba, MI, U.S.
    Yep, those blocks are mostly NaCL (table salt) and contain levels of other trace minerals too low to make much of a difference. So if the goats are deficient in something, they have to devour a LOT in a desperate attempt to make up the difference.

    A loose goat mineral (not sheep mineral, not enough copper) kept out free choice in a feeder where it can stay dry, would be best. Some cattle loose minerals work for goats too, just do label comparing and make sure the levels of minerals are almost exact.
     
  6. Trickyroo

    Trickyroo New Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    New York
    Can somebody list the loose minerals they have out for their sheep ?
    What brands do you feel are best ? We are using Southern States mineral right now , but I want to know if there is anything better I can be giving them :)

    Thanks :D
     
  7. janeen128

    janeen128 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2012
    Edgewood, WA
    For my sheep and goats I use the sweetlix sheep and goat mineral. They go through periods of scarfing it down. They like the kelp meal added that is for sure.
     
  8. Trickyroo

    Trickyroo New Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    New York
    I think the minerals for goats would have too much copper for the sheep or vice versa .....?
     
  9. janeen128

    janeen128 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2012
    Edgewood, WA
    That's why if you use a mineral for both sheep and goats you do need to copper bolus your goats. I do every 3 months. I even have manna pro goat minerals in the pens that only have goats, I still need to copper bolus.
     
  10. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    THe sheep and goat mineral has low copper so the sheep can eat it. You would need to supplement the copper for the goats.
     
  11. Trickyroo

    Trickyroo New Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    New York
    Ah , ok thanks ;).