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.
make our mineral feeders from 4" schedule 40 PVC pipe. To make
one feeder, you'll need the following materials:
1 - "Y"
1 - length of
schedule 40 PVC three to four feet long.
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.