Mineral Buffet General Discussion

  • theholisticgoat

    May 13, 2023 at 8:35 pm

    On copper bolusing while using the buffet, Michaiah said, reposting here with her permission:

    We haven’t bolused any goats in years since about 6 months after putting the goats on the buffet.

    We were bolusing copper for years because we feed a high alfalfa diet and it slows the absorption of copper, so often we were bolusing every month or every other month, with darker goats needing it more. We went 2-3 months without bolusing despite obvious signs the goats needed it while we were deciding to switch and then waiting for our buffet mineral feeder and the minerals to show up. As a test, we offered the mineral buffet without bolusing. Within 6 months almost none of showed signs of copper deficiency. We believed that if we had done nothing, their mineral needs would have rectified given more time with just the mineral buffet, but on the handful of black goats that still needed copper, we chose to go ahead and bolus one more time to help them catch up to what they needed faster. We’ve never bolused goats since then and it’s been many years now. The whole point of the mineral buffet was to get away from the constant supplementation. If it hadn’t have worked, we wouldn’t still be using it. We don’t supplement anything beyond what they buffet offers and haven’t in years. We run 60-100+ head of sheep and goats a year and have for all these years that we’ve been using the mineral buffet.”

  • Kimberly

    June 2, 2023 at 5:40 am

    Timely post! Thank you. I was just coming up on the time to bolus mine and was trying decide if I should hold off or just give the buffet time. There are a couple that are showing significant signs of needing a bolus, so I think I will do them just to get them to where they need to be, as you did. Again, thanks for the information.

  • theholisticgoat

    June 22, 2023 at 12:14 pm
  • theholisticgoat

    June 22, 2023 at 12:21 pm

    Cafeteria Style Free-Choice Mineral Feeder for
    Lactating Dairy Cows


    In two short trials we evaluated the
    cafeteria-type free-choice mineral feeder
    as a method of providing minerals and
    vitamins for lactating Holstein cows under two nutritional regimes. Trial 1 was
    16 wk in which two groups of cows in
    mid-lactation (10 cows/group) were
    group-fed rations with either corn silage
    or alfalfa hay as the sole forage, and all
    supplemental minerals and vitamins were
    provided free choice. Trial 2 was 9 wk in
    which two groups of cows in late-lactation (10 cows/group) were group fed
    rations of corn silage and alfalfa hay.
    Group 1 was force-fed minerals and vitamins in the grain ration while both groups
    had access to free-choice minerals. Intake
    was variable between weeks, and cows
    selectively consumed some minerals. Bentonite intake remained high during both
    trials. Little evidence was found that dairy
    cows offered minerals and vitamins free
    choice consumed to a specific appetite or
    need under the two nutritional regimes.


  • theholisticgoat

    June 23, 2023 at 11:28 am

    May’s mineral trends.

  • theholisticgoat

    July 16, 2023 at 2:39 pm

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