If you’re worried about goats wasting expensive mineral, you need a DIY Goat Mineral Feeder!
A DIY goat mineral feeder is simple to make and will last through wear and tear of goats. The goats will consume the good minerals they need without constantly stepping in it or spilling.
And quality matters when feeding goats. I splurge on expensive mineral for my goats. It’s one of the very few things I buy high quality. Because I believe the goats’ nutrition comes first and foremost. Healthy goats make money.
He is the mastermind behind this awesome DIY goat mineral feeder. And that’s why a good team is key with any business.
And this mineral feeder works like a charm. I am excited to share with you just how we made it. This feeder has made a huge difference in the longevity and quality of the goat’ mineral. It may be an investment to build, but it has saved us a lot of money and wasted mineral!
Here’s what you need to construct your very own DIY Goat Mineral Feeder.
1. 4-inch pipe (as long as you want)
2. V-Shaped Connecter (Wye)
3. A cap for the bottom of the pipe.
4. Wire or Bungee Cords for installation
First, connect the wye to the 4-inch pipe firmly. Then, attach the cap at the bottom of the wye. As you can see in the pictures, the wye will be the opening to the feeder. It is just the right size for a goat’s nose to fit to grab the right amount of mineral to meet it’s needs.
You could also attach a cap to the top of the feeder to keep moisture or dust from imploding into your mineral.
Also, feel free to make the length of the pipe as long or short as you want. all you need to do is cut it with some sharp pipe cutters.
Installing the mineral into the feeder is so easy. You simply just carefully pour the mineral into the top of the pipe.
We found that with our 6-foot pipe, half of a 50-pound bag of loose mineral can fit comfortably in the tube. It will usually take 40 goats about three weeks to consume that much mineral during their times of extreme nutritional needs. Other times, the mineral will last up to a couple of months.
Attach the Feeder Securely
Use the wire or bungee cords to attach the feeder to the side of your shelter building. This keeps the mineral fresh. And it helps to keep the feeder from being knocked over by weather or goats.
If your goats are on pasture, you can tie it to a tree or a post. Just make sure it is completely secure and easy for the goats to find.
But how do I keep my mineral from getting wet in the rain if it’s outside?
We have asked this question ourselves. And we have faced this situation each time we kick the girls out to pasture. While on pasture, our goats have no shelter except for trees and brush. We have had to figure out a way to keep that mineral dry.
So, overtime we have experimented our feeders with weather conditions. Even though most good quality loose mineral is still effective after rainfall, we’ve concluded that the feeders definitely need a cover of some sort to protect the mineral from precipitation.
You can place a PVC cap over the top of the mineral feeder to keep the rain from drenching the top of the mineral. As for the feeder part, a flap similar to a cattle mineral feeder like this one can be placed so the goats can push it up with their nose to get to the mineral.
And, I am happy with the fact that such a small compact feeder helps tremendously with mineral waste. The goats cannot spill the mineral or destroy it with their muddy feet. The mineral stays clean and loose as long as it stays dry.
When you ask this question, ask another one. Why do humans take vitamins or supplements?
You may or may not supplement your diet with vitamins, but many people do. And they do this because they aren’t getting a nutrient in their own diet on a daily basis. And that is a great reason to supplement your goats’ diet with a good quality free-choice mineral.
They may not be getting the nutrition they need while out on pasture. And in order to raise goats smarter and not harder, you’ll need to try to keep those inputs low. Grazing and browsing your goats is a great way to keep inputs low.
But that vegetation isn’t always going to be high quality depending on your location. It’s important to know what type of vegetation you have out there and to provide a mix to keep the quality high. We mow off mature grasses at the end of summer to make room for cool season grasses for Fall grazing.
Another good pasture or browse practice is to rotate around if you can. This really helps with the parasite control. What works even better is rotating pasture with cows because the cows actually consume the parasites that affect your goats. Plus, the different species really don’t eat the same type of vegetation so there’s plenty to be consumed for each.
You’ll just need to be sure your pastures are not overstocked in order to graze efficiently and provide high quality nutrients.
What Nutrients Your Goats Need
The obvious nutrients needed for goats are protein, calcium, thiamine, copper and phosphorus.
The majority of these nutrients can be found in the soil depending on your location. You can certainly conduct a soil test from your pastures to see if you live in a thiamine deficient area, for example. During peak grazing season, goats should be getting most of what they need.
But the nutrients that aren’t as thought of are those micro minerals. Goats need them and may not be consuming enough as the vegetation nutrient quality goes down. And that’s why you should offer them a mineral free choice all year around.
Another option would be to offer goats a complete feed. However, this can be costly and expensive to input. Remember. The goal is to DECREASE inputs (expenses). You can feed a high quality mineral cheaper while on pasture and a low-cost protein diet during the winter time for much less than purchasing a bagged complete feed for goats.
What Kind Of Mineral
You have two main options here that I recommend. And this depends on how many goats you have.
If you have more than five goats, I would recommend a goat mineral. It comes in a very small bag, so I don’t recommend it for a larger group. It’s a really good mineral if you have just a few goats.
Now, here’s what I use for a lot of goats. I’ve been using this mineral for several years and I recommend it as a great quality, nutrient dense loose mineral. Cattle mineral.
Yes…Cattle mineral. I use the Cargill Onyx Right Now Mineral. It is a high quality loose mineral made for cattle that works perfect for goats, meeting all their micronutrient requirements.
I’ve mentioned before that cattle and goats go very well together. Goats and cattle can consume many of the same products, including mineral. I recommend this mineral because as my herd was growing, I was looking for a mineral to purchase in a larger quantity. And this mineral is the one that was recommended to me most. Plus, it’s convenient for me to get when I need it.
If You Have Sheep
Please note that this cattle mineral will kill sheep.
If you’re housing sheep with goats, there are two ways you can supplement copper:
- Implement a regular weekly schedule of penning up the goats overnight and providing mineral. Provide sheep mineral free choice for the whole group the rest of the time. HOWEVER, however, this will not work if you just put out fresh sheep mineral. After they run out of sheep mineral, wait a couple of days for the goats to be mineral hungry before penning them up to consume goat mineral. Also, with this option, you’ll need either a longer feeder or another DIY goat mineral feeder. Because they will fight over one DIY goat mineral feeder and hurt each other. Make sure there’s plenty of space for them to enjoy their mineral.
- Provide free choice sheep mineral and copper bolus your goats once per month. If you have as many goats as I do, this can be very time consuming.
So, we separate our sheep and goats during the winter and early spring when they need their nutrients the most. This way, the goats can get as much copper as possible. And we don’t have to worry about the sheep getting copper toxicity and dying.
Invest In A Great DIY Goat Mineral Feeder
This DIY goat mineral feeder can be a great investment for you and your goats.
- It is low cost.
- It will help prevent waste of good quality mineral.
- They will last for a very long time if cared for.
The cost of one mineral feeder was around $35 in supplies. This is the same one-time cost of a bag of the Cargill mineral I use. We have made more of these feeders for our hair sheep as well. And now, we only using bungee cords to tie instead of wire.
This DIY goat mineral feeder is affordable and dependable for your meat goat herd. If you’re raising goats to supplement your living, why not give them the best of what they need? The construction of this DIY goat mineral feeder will allow any meat goat producer to give goats the nutrition they need to thrive.