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Often, your land will be lacking in some of the minerals that goats need.  Sometimes mineral deficiency seems to change with the seasons.  Our solution is to feed a blended mineral compound for goats (make sure you do not feed sheep mineral because their needs are different and sheep mineral has no copper).  We leave this out on a free choice basis and sometimes the goats gobble it and at others, they ignore it for weeks on end.

             

We make our mineral feeders from 4" schedule 40 PVC pipe.  To make one feeder, you'll need  the following materials:

2 - end caps

1 - "Y"

1 - length of schedule 40 PVC  three to four feet long.

For tools you'll need almost any kind of saw (a wood or metal blade will work, as long as the blade is long enough to cut a four inch pipe), a drill with a bit large enough to make a hole for stout wire, the stout wire (we use our 12.5 ga. electric fence wire) and some PVC cement.

Glue an end cap on the piece of PVC, then cut the pipe about three inches above the end cap.  Glue the "Y" to the length of pipe sticking out of the end cap.  When you glue the "y", make sure it is arranged like you can see in the picture with the bottom of the "y" going into the cap.  Next glue the remainder of the pipe into the vertical opening of the "y" as you can see in the picture.  Drill a hole on each side of the pipe about four inches from the top of the pipe through which you'll run your wire.  Fill the feeder to about a foot above the bottom with mineral mix, run the wire through the holes and firmly set the end cap on top making absolutely sure you do NOT glue it.  Run the wire around a tree or post making sure you go over a limb, a nail or other protuberance to hold the wire up.  We also bungee the bottom firmly in place because the goats will use it for a scratching post and otherwise abuse it.  

You may have to loosen the mineral because it can get packed.  You may also have to clean out the surface of it because the goats will back up to it and defecate, leaving fecal matter in the mix.  You can raise the feeder to avoid this but it becomes less stable and subject to being bashed harder and broken loose.  The schedule 40 will stand up to the abuse but eventually the attachments will break and you'll have to re-hang it.  Even with these problems, it's still the cleanest, most economical way we've found to present free choice mineral to the goats.

 


Dan & Paula Lane
Copyright 2002 [Bountiful Farm]. All rights reserved.

 
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