An essential part of any nutrition plan for goats is access to free-choice supplemental minerals, to aid in the prevention of various nutrient deficiencies. It is especially important to source mineral mixes that are formulated specifically for goats, as they have higher requirements for some nutrients, including copper, compared with other species.
Unfortunately, a few weeks ago we began to have significant difficulty in obtaining the brand of supplemental loose minerals we offer to our herd. This was of particular concern as this year hay quality has been less than optimal as a result of the drought, so running out of mineral for the goats wasn’t really an option.
We use slightly different mineral formulations for the dairy does, versus the bucks, but both formulas had been impossible to obtain in recent weeks.
The principle issue was with the distributor for our region, so all sources local to us were unable to obtain the loose mineral we feed. We even contacted the distributor directly, ourselves, which proved to be an exercise in futility, and frustration.
With breeding season on the horizon, to ensure optimum fertility, it’s especially important to ensure the does, and bucks, are all receiving a well-balanced diet. As we don’t wait until we run out of feeds, or supplements, to source more, we were able to make our supply stretch for a while. However, after a few weeks of being unable to source the minerals the goats needed, we were forced into having to look for alternatives as our supply was running critically low.
If you have goats you know that the one thing goats tend to shun, is change. As goats are creatures of habit, we can’t just change which supplements we feed to the herd on short notice. The goats would most likely refuse to eat a different formula, and if they don’t eat it, there’s really no point in buying it. Goats are quite suspicious by nature, and it can take some time to convince them that you’re not trying to poison them when you change any feed, or add new supplements. There aren’t a lot of other livestock mineral choices available locally, and honestly some brands are simply not of a quality that we’d be willing to feed.
Needless to say, the girls were almost as worried we were when we finally reached the end of the last bag on Friday.
Thankfully, our local feed store did a lot of running around, and did finally manage to source a few more bags for us over the weekend, just in the nick of time, so we do now have a fresh supply.
Although maybe we should stock pile a little more, just in case. I’m sorry girls, we’ll try not to let this happen again!