Our herd enjoys access to 50 acres of fenced in pastures to browse, legumes , grasses, and small wooded under brush. We feed a small bucket of grain every day for extra nutration, and we supplement with grain and hay throughout the winter and kidding season.
Our goats have access to high-copper loose minerals in PVC feeders at all times. Copper deficiency is a concern in many parts of the country, particularly in Georgia's Piedmont Region, which is famous for its red clay. Copper absorption is also slowed by the iron in the clay. A dull shaggy coat, difficulty shedding their winter coat, and/or a tail with hair shaped like a fish tail are all signs of a copper deficiency in goats (hair missing from the tip of the tail). A shortage of copper will make parasites more difficult to deal with. We don't use salt or mineral blocks because we believe they are too difficult for goats to obtain what they require.
We copper bolus all of our goats with 2 gram capsules for 25-50 pound babies over 3 months of age and 4 gram capsules for everyone above 50 pound to further address their copper needs. Depending on the goat, the copper lasts 60-90 days. To make copper bolus, we utilize a high-quality balling cannon; do not use the cheap plastic ones.
We use the Richie Waterers installed in every pasture but you can use multiple troughs with automatic filling floats that are cleaned on a regular basis are supplied by our well. Drinking water of high quality is essential. if I wouldn't drink it, neither should the goats. We put a little molasses in a few of water buckets for some refreshing goat hydration on exceptionally hot days... they suck it down. If desired, some electrolytes can be added to the molasses water for a more energizing effect. Yes, we indulge our goats, but the Alfalfa, grain, animal crackers, and molasses water all help to keep the herd under control and friendly.