This table tracks the amount of each mineral, in ounces, that I have either put into the mineral buffet feeders or into the small jars I keep at the farthest feeder from the barn.
In June, we had 16 yearling or older Nigerian goats, 8 ND kids, 6 hair sheep cross ewes and 3 lambs consuming from two mineral buffet feeders. About halfway through the month, one adult and one kid went to new homes, so we ended with 15 adults and 7 ND kids. These numbers indicate the totals for both feeders. All animals are on pasture with no supplemental hay, but because of the high silicon consumption, we added alfalfa hay back in at the very end of this reporting period. We’ll see if it affects consumption in the next 4 weeks.
Total mineral consumption of all minerals this month was 951 ounces, or 59 pounds. Of that, a whopping 25# was silicon, something that is not listed in the ingredients or analysis for any blended mineral I’ve ever seen. If they have such a need, why do we not see this in more minerals? It has been the single most consumed mineral in the buffet since my herd started a year ago. Time will tell how consumption evens out for them, but this was a startling level for the month.
My initial estimate of herdwide consumption was 10# total of all minerals per goat per year. We averaged 20# of blended minerals per goat per year on regular loose minerals. I always count growing kids as adults in my calculations and the sheep are about 2x a ND goat, so our starting numbers for this month are the equivalent of 39 ND goats for an average of 2# of all minerals per goat this month. Last month we averaged 1# per goat and the silicon almost makes up the difference between the two. I’m looking forward to more data to really get a picture of annual consumption.