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Minerals & Vitamins

Minerals & Vitamins For Goats

Hand feeding goats

Vitamins and minerals are usually present in very small amounts in feeds. Mammals do not need a large amount of them. However, they are extremely important to animal health. Too much or too little of them can make an animal sick.

  • Information on Vitamins and Minerals from Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences



Best Goat's Minerals & how to feed them:
  1. Sweetlix Meatmaker Loose Minerals (free choice) Sweetlix has a good formulation of minerals without being overcrowded with too much salt, for your does.
  2. There are other brands of Goat specific minerals-buy one of the good ones by making a comparison of brands which have more selenium, zinc and copper such as Sweetlix Meatmaker and Purina Loose Minerals (not mineral block)
  3. Kelp (free choice) ...
  4. Salt (free choice) Redmond Sea Salt
  5. Replamin Gel (monthly) ...
  6. Copper Bolus (quarterly or as needed in your area)


3 Most Common Mineral Deficiencies in Goats are copper, selenium and zinc. 

Here are some of the symptoms associated with mineral deficiencies:

  • Selenium deficiency: Weak muscles, trouble breathing, turned down/crooked tails, weak pasterns/slippery feet, infertility, miscarriages, weak kids.
  • Zinc deficiency: Stiff joints, skin problems, low interest in breeding, deformed hooves, excessive salivating, flaky skin, poor coat condition
  • Copper deficiency: Fishtail, dull coat, coarse hair, hair that curls at the end only, abortion, stillbirths, weight loss, low milk supply, balding around eyes or bridge of nose.
  • Calcium & Phosphorus (usually found together) deficiency: Rickets, milk fever.
  • Iodine deficiency: Goiters.
  • Iron deficiency: Anemia, weakness.
  • Sodium deficiency: Licking the ground or eating dirt.
  • Manganese deficiency: Slow growth in kids, reduced fertility and stillbirths.
  • Boron: joint problems, arthritis

Feeding Your Goats:

The most important feature of goats diet should be free-choice, good quality hay or forage. However, they don't need the higher protein or calcium levels found in alfalfa or legume hay unless they are in milk or pregnant, so should be fed quality grass hay instead.


For growing kids and wethers, a higher protein grain ration (16% goat pellet) is appropriate until they’re about 6 – 8 months old. Limit grain rations to no more than 1 cup per goat two times daily unless they are pregnant or in milk. The calcium to phosphorus ratio should be similar to the two to one ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the goat mineral supplement.

It’s highly recommended that any grain ration fed to bucks and wethers of any age (bucks also sometimes need to be fed grain during breeding season to maintain condition) contain ammonium chloride, which helps prevent urinary calculi. Many like Kalmbach Game Plan Starter/Developer which has 16% protein, a coccidiostat, and ammonium chloride.

If you buy a 16% goat pellet from the local mill as I do, be sure to also get a few lbs of ammonium chloride for your bucks and wethers to prevent urinary calculi developing and killing them (happens quickly). Add a teaspoon to their goat ration daily, for 2 or more male goats.

Recommended Brands of Goat Minerals

Sweetlix is  Standardized allowing consistent nutrition between products. What this means, perhaps you want to use the different Sweetlix Mineral products for specific needs at specific times. All of the Sweetlix mineral blends start with a standard mixture which is the 16:8 Sheep and Goat Mineral. Each of the other mixes have specific nutritional additives mixed into the standard mix.

#1 Sweetlix 16:8 Sheep and Goat Mineral

  • Highly palatable, self-fed mineral for goats comingled with sheep (personally I never use this one because I have no sheep or other animals in with my goats. *Goats have an established need for copper, whereas sheep can be sensitive to copper toxicity. This product contains no added copper. When feeding this product to goats for extended periods, an alternative source of copper is recommended.
  • Numerous enzymes necessary for reproduction, immunity and growth need copper. In addition, copper is necessary for proper metabolism of iron, maintenance of connective tissue, pigmentation of skin and hair, maturation of hoof tissue, and many other functions. 
  • Proper copper nutrition is essential for a healthy immune system in goats. Copper is needed for proper development of antibodies and white blood cells in addition to antioxidant enzyme production. Copper deficient goats are more susceptible to infections and do not respond as well to vaccinations. In addition, they tend to be less resistant to parasitic challenge. Goats receiving proper copper nutrition tend to be less susceptible to infections and have less severe infections when disease does occur.

#2 Sweetlix Meat Maker® 16:8 Mineral

  • This is the mineral blend most used for goats. 
  • Contains all the nutrients and minerals needed specifically for goats.
  • Added RainBloc for improved resistance to moisture
  • Not medicated

#3 Sweetlix Meat Maker® 16:8 Mineral With Monovet®

  • Recommended to be used if you have kids.  
  • For the prevention of coccidiosis caused by Eimeria crandallisEimeria chistenseni and Eimeria ninakohlyakimovae in goats.
  • Medicated with Monovet which is monensin Type A,
    for the prevention of coccidiosis
  • Same great formula as the Meat Maker 16-8 non-medicated version, with Monovet added.
  • Is said to improve feed efficiency, milk production efficiency and prevent coccidiosis in goats.
  • Here's why AppleJo Farms does not use this Mineral with Monovet® or Rumensin®  at all. Many sources say not to do so if you have lactating goats. states: "Do not feed to lactating goats." Lactating goats fed with Monovet or Rumensin results in decreased milk fat secretion relative to milk volume. The research document for reading may be found here:
  • Caution: monensin/rumensin/monovet — is a potentially fatal drug for horses. Ingestion of monensin by horses has been fatal.

#4 Sweetlix Meat Maker® 16-8 w/Rumensin®

  • Monensin or Monovet®
    is the generic of Rumensin (Not certain if Sweetlix is keeping both formulas)
  • Medicated for prevention of coccidiosis.

#5 SWEETLIX® Magnum-Milk Mineral (Use exclusively if your does are fed only alfalfa hay otherwise Sweetlix Meat Maker® 16:8 Mineral is the one you want)


  • For all classes of dairy goats
  • Designed especially for the needs of lactating dairy goats
  • Provides a 1:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio to supplement alfalfa diets
  • SWEETLIX Magnum Milk Mineral should be self-fed as the sole source of salt or minerals and vitamins. 

Other Good Goat Minerals

BioZyme Inc. is the maker of 2 different Goat Mineral products:

#1 Vita-Ferm Goat Mineral

  • A complete vitamin-mineral supplement for goats of all conditions and applications with the Amaferm advantage. Can be fed free choice or blend with ration.  Includes balanced levels of high quality minerals and vitamins formulated for maximum absorption. Meets or exceeds the National Research Council Requirements for Goats. 50 lb bag.


  • A free-choice vitamin and mineral supplement for goats specifically designed to target cycling, embryo production and conception when fed 30 days prior to kidding through breeding.
  • Especially beneficial in A.I. and E.T. breeding programs.

Where to purchase: You may search for a local dealer by using the following link

  • I have success going to a Feed Coop or Feed Mills, not part of a chain store. They are more willing to order specially for you the products you want for your goats.

Another excellent Mineral:

Kalmbach 2:1 Goat Mineral

25 lb. bag.

Product Code: 6320

A mineral formulated to be fed free-choice to meat and dairy goats.

Features and Benefits

  • Formulated with chelated trace minerals to maximize absorption and utilization
  • Contains Opti Ferm XL® to promote fiber digestibility and gut health
  • Contains organic selenium to improve availability and promote overall health

Now-Let's Talk Specifically about: 

7 Essential Trace Minerals-Called: Microminerals

 There are actually 8 microminerals commonly supplemented in goat rations: iron, copper, cobalt, manganese, zinc, iodine, selenium, and molybdenum. Because molybdenum deficiencies are rare, we will take a closer look at the other 7 microminerals, which physiological functions they support, and how to recognize deficiency symptoms. 

1. Iron: Major component of hemoglobin (carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells).   

Deficiency symptoms: Anemia (you can spot signs of anemia in your goats if they are lethargic, off feed, or the undersides of their eyelids appear pale pink to white). 

2. CopperRed blood cell formation, hair pigmentation, connective tissue formation, and synthesizing of enzymes, supports healthy immune function, and nerve conduction.   

Deficiency symptoms: (Copper is one of the most common mineral deficiencies in goats) Bleached or rough hair coat, anemia, diarrhea, and weight loss.  

3. Cobalt: Synthesis of vitamin B12 (which is responsible for appetite, energy, and weight gain).   

Deficiency symptoms: Lack of energy and appetite, anemia, and decreased production. 

4. Manganese: Bone formation, reproduction, and enzyme functions.   

Deficiency symptoms: Low birth weight, reluctance to walk, deformity of forelegs in kids, and delayed onset of estrus (poor conception rate in nannies).    

5. Zinc: Immune response, skin growth, enzyme systems, and protein synthesis, male reproductive functions.   

Deficiency symptoms: Thick/dry patches of skin, lesions, hair loss or poor hair growth, and swollen feet. 

6. Iodinesynthesis of thyroid hormones (regulate energy metabolism and reproductive function).   

Deficiency symptoms: neck goiters

7. SeleniumAntioxidant, aids muscle function, reproduction, and affects the metabolism of vitamin E and other minerals.   Deficiency symptoms: Poor growth rate, white muscle disease, heart attack, progressive paralysis, and retained afterbirth. 

At Redmond,  they have Goat Mineral Mix which contain a complete balance of 65 essential natural minerals—including all 7 commonly supplemented microminerals discussed above.

Redmond minerals are natural, effective, and work in harmony to nourish goats and bring them back into mineral balance—helping you get the absolute most out of your herd. 

Go To Redmond's website to order directly and you get the exact kind of minerals you need. It is no more expensive than going to a feedstore where rarely do they carry the exact blend you want.

AppleJo Farms is dedicated to breeding, nurturing and placing Registered Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats with Farms where they will flourish!


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