Just like Goldilocks, an important part of a successful sheep or goat mineral program is balance. Too little intake, and your sheep and goats won’t get the nutrients they need. Too much, and your cost of mineral fed starts to climb.
“If you’re feeding a quality mineral and everything’s balanced as it should, performance can increase with better feed efficiency, fertility enhances from higher lamb and kid crops, and health outcomes can improve,” says Clay Elliott, Ph.D. and small ruminant nutritionist with Purina Animal Nutrition. “On the flip side, when a quality mineral isn’t present, conception rates drop, hoof problems pickup and performance can fall.”
Get just the right amount of mineral consumption with these tips:
Consistency is key to drive intakes
A pivotal element to any mineral program is providing vital nutrients your sheep and goats might lack and having it available when they need it. Mineral consumption can fluctuate throughout the year based on forage quality, but there is never a point where sheep or goats won’t need mineral. To ensure consistent intake, provide a balanced mineral year-round.
“Feeding mineral year-round is cost-saving because sheep and goats don’t have to play catch up,” says Maggie Amburgey, small ruminant technical specialist with Purina Animal Nutrition. “Every time the mineral feeder is empty, they’re trying to balance themselves. But when there is mineral already present, they won’t need to catch up.”
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