Water. The quality of your goats’ water is extremely important. Studies have shown that water intake controls feed intake, milk production and weight gain. Some thoughts to consider: Do you have hard water? If so, do you use a water softener? There is anecdotal evidence that the salts in water softeners can be a health risk. Generally, force-feeding salt (what softened water does) is not recommended in most situations. Do you provide your water in galvanized metal troughs or buckets? Metals such as zinc, lead and cadmium can leach from the galvanized surface. Do you use soft black rubber buckets? Rubber is conditioned with the chemical ethoxyquin, which can leach into water, especially in the hot summer sun. There is debate whether ethoxyquin has harmful side effects. I personally take the cautious approach and avoid rubber water buckets and feed tubs, choosing instead to use hard plastic buckets and troughs. Do you water with garden hoses? Many garden hoses are made of PVC, which is stabilized with lead, and can leach lead, especially if left sitting in the sun. A simple solution is to use hoses labeled for potable water use.
- Oxides (about 1% absorbable)
- Sulfates and carbonates (about 15% absorbable)
- Amino acid chelates (about 80% absorbable, small size of 800 daltons)
Minerals: Right on Target by Steven N. Harvey 1987