|Helen & Daphne|
When I bought Helen and Daphne, I asked their previous owner what she had been feeding them. I always ask this question when I buy goats, because I want to make as gradual a transition in their diet as possible. She mentioned that she had been sprinkling their feed with Pat Coleby's mineral lick. When she told me her story, I was convinced I needed to try it too.
Besides the two Kinders she had two Saanans from a local goat dairy. She liked them but began to have problems with their hair falling out. When veterinary suggestions helped only nominally, she decided to try Pat Coleby's recipe. She sprinkled it on their food and their coats began to grow back. She ran out and stopped, and they lost fur again. She made and fed more, and it grew back again. Her goats had beautiful coats. That was all the convincing I needed.
|Bunny & Lily|
The recipe is in Pat's book, Natural Goat Care, but also around the internet, so hopefully I'm not violating any copyright by sharing it. Her instructions make a 37 pound batch, so I've quartered that to make 9.25 pounds.
- 6.25 pounds powdered dolomite*
- 1 pound sulfur powder
- 1 pound copper sulfate powder
- 1 pound seaweed meal (I use Thorvin kelp)
Mix well (dust mask recommended because it's all powders). Topdress feed with about 1/2 teaspoon (2 - 3 grams) daily. May also be left out free choice. Also recommended is keeping kelp available free choice, especially for dairy goats.
|California AKA Clark|
I put an asterisk (*) by the dolomite because I actually use dolomitic limestone. Dolomite is supposedly extremely common, but I'll be darned if I can find it. Hoegger carries it, but it's pricey (about $2 per pound) and often backordered. In her book, Coleby states that dolomitic limestone can be substituted. I can find this at the local nursery for about $4 per 50 pound bag. Note that it must be dolomitic limestone, not calcitic. The difference is the calcium and magnesium ratio, which must be twice the calcium to magnesium to be of benefit. Powdered is preferred to granular. My goats actually lick it up from the bottom of their feeders.
|Gruffy, Randy, & Waldo|
While reading Pat's book about the lick, I happened to see the section on boron. It was the symptoms of boron deficiency that caught my eye - creaking knees. My two oldest goats (Surprise and Gruffy), in particular, had this. Since they get a loose goat mineral (Sweetlix Meatmaker Goat Mineral), a deficiency didn't occur to me. I thought the creaking knees and slowing down were due to their getting older. What I didn't realize was that my loose mineral mix doesn't contain boron. Even though we've been including boron in our pasture remineralization program, not all areas have been improved yet. But, within a couple of days of receiving the boron (as Borax), their behavior changed considerably - they went from plodders to prancers! What a difference! They get 1/2 teaspoon sprinkled on their feed once a week.
All in all, I'm very happy with the condition of my goats. Coats are thick and soft, with no bald tail tips. I'll keep the mineral blend available but it's not disappearing as quickly any more, so this may be the right combination for us.