Did you know that, just like humans, goats need vitamins to help maintain a healthy diet? Not only do these essential nutrients help to aid in the overall growth and development of goats, but they can also help to prevent certain health issues such as poor nutrition and other serious nutritional disorders. Ensuring your goat has the vitamins they need helps protect them from sickness and helps them live happy and healthier lives.
Since goats primarily eat grasses and plants, supplements are necessary to ensure they are healthy and well. Continue reading to learn more about essential vitamins and minerals for goats and more.
Essential Nutrients For Goats
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are all key components of a goat’s diet. Suzanne Gasparotto, the owner of Onion Creek Ranch in Texas, told us, “Free-choice top-quality grass hay is essential, even if forage/browse is available.” This is because hay is a great source of both carbohydrates and protein, which form the basis of a healthy goat diet. Carbohydrates provide the goats with a source of energy, and proteins are needed to build muscle.
While fats are especially important during goat pregnancy and lactation, it’s important to remember that goats layer fat, especially around their internal organs. Furthermore, feeding goats too many carbs and too much fat will result in an unhealthy animal.
Vitamins And Minerals For Goats
It is important to supplement your goats’ diets with vitamins and minerals. A common way to provide these nutrients is as loose minerals. Below are a few important vitamins and minerals goats need adequate levels of to be healthy.
Calcium and Phosphorus
Calcium and phosphorus are two key macrominerals that goats need. Both are important for bone strength but are unlikely to be found naturally in the quantities needed. For goats that are kidding, a calcium drench can help them get their strength back quickly.
Key Benefits: Calcium and Phosphorus work together to help goats grow and maintain proper levels of cell growth, muscle contraction, nerve and cardiovascular functions, and enzyme balance and activity.
Selenium is present in soil but typically not at the levels needed for goats. It is an essential mineral for reproductive health and muscle function. Selenium & Vitamin E Gel for Goats comes in a tube as an easy-to-administer gel, making it simple to provide your goats with this nutrient.
Key Benefits: Selenium combined with vitamin E work well together to help reduce the likelihood of being affected by diseases or worms, maintain reproductive health, and helps to prevent white muscle disease.
Copper is another essential mineral. Often, providing it as a loose mineral isn’t enough; you will still need to supplement with something like Copasure, as goats tend to be copper-deficient. If a goat is copper deficient, it will experience poor growth, poor coat quality, and less resistance to parasites.
Key Benefits: Copper helps goats grow, maintain resistance to disease, helps their coats stay healthy and shiny, and increases fertility.
Other Important Vitamins
Goats cannot make vitamins A, D, E, or K themselves, so including them in feed is necessary. You may need to supplement vitamins B and C when a goat is sick or recovering. Also, vitamin B1, or thiamine, is good to keep stocked, as a thiamine deficiency can result in several life-threatening conditions.
Products like the Goat Mineral Supplement from Manna Pro make providing goats with their minerals easy. The bag contains most of the macro and microminerals that goats need, so you can just portion it out into a feeder. This mineral supplement includes calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, zinc, selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, and Vitamin E.
Replamin Gel Plus is another goat supplement that makes providing minerals for your goats easier. Providing twelve vitamins and minerals for your goat in an easy-to-use tube form, this supplement is a convenient way to provide your goat with the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids they need to be healthy.
For more information, check out Merck Veterinary Manual’s article, Nutritional Requirements for Goats.
Supplements For Sick Goats
Good nutrition plays a huge role in making sure your goat stays healthy and free from sickness. However, if your goat does become sick, it is important to provide your goat with vitamins and minerals that are easily absorbed to help give your goat the energy they need to recover. One product that works well in helping a sick goat recover from sickness is Nutri-Drench. Nutri-Drench is a concentrate of vitamins and minerals that goats can easily absorb. It can be used for weak newborns, appetite, diarrhea, multiple births, antibiotic/vaccine response, and travel and heat stress.
We also recommend treating goats with probiotics when they’ve had stomach issues or are stressed. Probiotics are a concentrated source of essential nutrients and microorganisms, and they can help maintain appetite and immunity. Above all, when caring for a sick goat, one of the most important things you can do is make sure they get enough fluids and electrolytes.
All together, providing quick access to vitamins that can be easily absorbed, probiotics if needed, and ensuring your goat gets plenty of fluids can greatly help a sick goat recover.
Getting The Right Vitamins & Supplements For Your Goat
Jeffers Livestock offers a wide range of goat supplements from top brands. We also offer a variety of goat supplies as well as supplies for most other livestock. If you need help, feel free to reach out to us. Here at Jeffers, we are happy to help with all of your animal needs.
Information in this blog is purely for educational purposes only. It should in no way intended to undermine the diagnosis, treatment or advice of a licensed veterinarian.