Lotus & Minnie: Missing Mineral

Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Farm Blog, Goats | 10 comments

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.

"Oh NO! It's missing...the mineral is missing...this bag is EMPTY!"

“Oh NO! It’s missing…the mineral is missing…this bag is EMPTY!”

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've run out, Lotus! This bag is really REALLY empty!"

“We’ve run out, Lotus! This bag is really REALLY empty!”

We use slightly different mineral formulations for the dairy does, versus the bucks, but both formulas had been impossible to obtain in recent weeks.

"Move aside, Minnie, let me look!"

“Move aside, Minnie, let me look!”

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.

"See! I told you this bag is EMPTY!"

“See! I told you this bag is EMPTY!”

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.

"Minnie, hold the bag up, I want to look again"

“Minnie, hold the bag up, I want to look again”

"I told you, it's EMPTY! See?!?!"

“I told you, it’s EMPTY! See?!?!”

Needless to say, the girls were almost as worried we were when we finally reached the end of the last bag on Friday.

"Let's put it down, and I'll try to see all the way to the bottom of the bag, just to be sure"

“Let’s put it down, and I’ll try to see all the way to the bottom of the bag, just to be sure”

"Ok, here I go..."

“Ok, here I go…”

"Ooof!" "Lotus, you're too big, you're not going to fit in there!"

“Ooof!” “Lotus, you’re too big, you’re not going to fit in there!”

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

“Hey! Who turned out the lights?”

"Lotus, are you OK in there?"

“Lotus, are you OK in there?”

"Tee hee...I think she's stuck!"

“Tee hee…I think she’s stuck!”

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.

"See, Lotus. I don't know what you were worried about. I said they wouldn't let us run out!"

“See, Lotus. I don’t know what you were worried about. I said they wouldn’t let us run out!”

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!


  1. We use the same brand. I guess I need to start stockpiling as well. Fortunately we have a relatively new bag right now, but that won’t last forever.
    Rachel Hoff´s last post…Growing, Curing & Storing Onions

    • I’m not sure how widespread this distribution issue is, but I’m hoping it’s now resolved. It certainly made me aware that we have very few options locally for sourcing this product, so it certainly makes sense for us to keep some extra on hand, just in case this happens again.

  2. Hysterical post, great photos. I can see why you became enamored of goats.

    • Honestly, I’d rather watch them, than television. I think goats are so much more entertaining 😉

  3. Great pictures of the goats.

    How is your greenhouse doing? Anything happening in there? How is it holding up?

    • The greenhouse has been holding up great! However, it hasn’t been used as much this year. We didn’t plant a kitchen garden at all due to the drought this season, which is also part of why blogging has been so scarce this season. However, we are planning on at least a limited fall garden (kale, mustard greens, broccoli, garlic etc.), so it is seeing a little more action at the moment. I do intend to post a ‘state of the garden’ post as the fall garden goes in, including the horror that is the garden pre clean-up 😉 Stay tuned!

  4. I’m glad you found the minerals/feed you need! Your goats are always so cute. I feel like I’m watching a family reality show when you share photos and videos of all their antics.
    Beth @ PlantPostings´s last post…Garden Lessons Learned: Summer 2014

    • Honestly, I’ve felt for some time that if the ‘powers that be’ wanted a ‘goat reality show’ they’d have all the entertainment they needed. No writers required 😉 I set the bag down for just a moment after emptying the last of the contents in to the feeder, and I honestly wished I had my video camera to hand! They’re just hilarious. Raw, honest, and adorable. IMO, who needs TV?!?!?!?!

  5. I can’t believe how BIG they’ve all gotten. Seems just yesterday they were wee things jumping around. Their personalities haven’t changed a bit though it seems, just as curious and fun as ever. do you know what the distribution problem was? Seems like the company would want to get their product out there and make money. must be a big issue to stop them from selling like that.
    Marguerite´s last post…Garden Ghosts

    • Actually, despite my inquiry on Facebook, I haven’t heard about what the real issue was in regards to obtaining this supplement. It’s a big deal, because most breeders I know use the same mineral supplement. It is a quality supplement. A simple ‘sorry your supplier was temporarily out of stock’ would be fine. Now I question the supply chain. I’m sorry, but in this day of social media, immediate response from the manufacturer, for the sake of brand integrity, is critical. Thus far, I’m disappointed. We’ll see where this goes. But I am absolutely shopping for alternatives. I have no choice.