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Major minerals required for meat goats

A list of major minerals needed for meat goats, the source of the minerals and goat symptoms if they are not getting the proper amounts. Minerals occur naturally in all the feedstuffs that the goat eats, but it is necessary to provide extra in some cases, notably common salt.



Deficiency Symptoms

Calcium – Approximately 99% of the calcium in the body is found in the skeleton in combination with phosphorus. Ther remainder of the calcium is very improtant for diverse body functions including

  • helps lower blood pressure and control heartbeat 
  • helps regulate muscle contractions 
  • plays a role in blood clotting 
  • prevents fatal bleeding from breaks in the walls of blood vessels 
  • maintains cell membranes 
  • aids in the absorption of vitamin B12 
  • activates enzymes such as lipase, the fat-splitting enzyme 

Normally present in the leafy part of plants where phosphorus is relatively low.

  • Retarded growth
  • Rickets
  • If doelings are bred when too young or too small, especially if they are carrying the weight of multiple kids.. it is common to have bowing of the limbs and lameness develop
  • Osteodystrophis fibrosa caused by feeding too high a ratio of phosphorus to calcium. Results in decalcification of the bones. Progressive swelling of facial bones. Often occurs when the owner increase the grain in the diet with the thought of speeding the young goat’s growth

Magnesium – required for many enzyme systems. 60 to 70% is in the bones, the remainder is in the soft tissues and body fluids.bone metabolism . Plays a part in:

  • the transmission of nerve impulses to muscles 
  • transporting calcium and potassium 
  • getting energy from the carbohydrates we eat 
  • the production of body proteins and DNA 
  • regulating blood pressure (in conjunction with calcium and potassium

Grasses and hay. Grasses growing rapidly in cool, wet weather or after heavy fertilization are often low.

  • Anorexia
  • hyperexcitability

Phosphorus – 75 to 85 % are in the bones.required for both soft tissue and bone growth. It plays an important part in nucleic acid synthesis, energy metabolism and acid-base balance. The feeding of males, particularly castrated males must be carefully considered with respect to phosphorus.

Found in relatively high levels in grains.

  • Slowed growth
  • Unthrifty appearance
  • Excesses can cause blockage of the urinary system by stones. This occurs in animals fed on concentrates but not in those fed on grass and other forages. If concentrates mut be fed, calcium choride can be added to correct the CA:P ratio.

Potassium and Sodium– found within the cells of the body and concerned with the fluid balance of the body and the transmission of nerve impulses. Not stored in the body. Lactating females have particularly high needs.

Both cereals and grass tend to be low in sodium

  • Deficiency leads to cravings, pica, licking walls, drinking urine
  • Impaired appetitie and digestion
  • Reduced growth and milk yields
  • Poor reproduction

Sulfur – Plays several important roles in the body. It is a constituent of vitamin B1 and of several essential building blocks of proteins. It is necessary for the manufacture of collagen which helps to form bones, tendons and connective tissue and is a constituent of keratin (the chief component of hair and skin)

It occurs in sulfur-containing amino acids such as methionine and cystine.

  • Excessive salivation
  • Weakness and tiredness