Goat Minerals

Pip and Caper are wethers – which means they’re neutered boys, and that means that I have to be careful what I feed them. Unlike pregnant and lactating does (female goats), the boys don’t have high energy needs. If fed too rich a diet, they are prone to urinary calculi. If they got into a bag of chicken feed, they could die. The bulk of my goats’ diet comes from second cutting grass hay (not first, not timothy, not alfalfa.) What looks coarse and unpalatable to us is good for them. They also eat fresh forage, from grass to leaves, to briars to herbs (and my roses if they could get to them.)

To make use of this forage, their digestive system is complex, and much of its success relies on good bacteria that digest the roughage for them. When that goes off-kilter, they can bloat from excess gas. It’s painful. It can be fatal. To function properly, this system needs a periodic table worth of micronutrients, from copper to iodine. Far-ranging wild goats might be able to find this in the soil, but my goats cannot. I supply them with two supplements: goat minerals and kelp.

hay rack


These are offered free-choice, and that is a challenge. Goats, being goats, climb on and take apart everything. They are also fussy eaters who will turn up their noses at a minerals with a small damp clump in them. I ended up purchasing these dispensers. There’s room for two goats to eat at one time.

kelp feeder


Although, of course, the goat boys are sure that the side that the other brother has is the best!



Once in awhile, the goats do get a treat. This jar contains peanuts, goat treats and black licorice. It is tantalizingly out of their reach.

goat treats



Two treats each (that’s all, boys!) for standing on the stumps.

goats getting treats


  1. Great blog, brilliant pictures. Missed your jam blog, I have picked buckets of strawberries. given loads away and still had plenty left to eat with cream and make tarts, jams, a gateau and my version of eton mess. Yummy !!!

    Have read the articles on your new website very interesting, Tonka is such a great horse you must be really proud. Wish you all the best with the site. :)

    Can’t believe your weather. Do you not have a problem with the metal water bin getting to hot in your temps ?

    • I find the metal waterers to be the easiest to fill and use. It’s in the shade, so the metal won’t get too hot.
      Thanks for saying nice things about my new site – it’s a work in progress!

  2. Someone else’s stuff is -always- better! Didn’t you know that? Ha Ha :D In my house, the dog always wants the cat food/treats and the cats want the dog food/treats. And the hermit crabs will fight over one dandelion flower even though there are 10 in the dish! The sad thing is people are like that too. *sigh* Loved the pictures of your boys!

  3. The goat boys are adorable and definitely deserve more treats. They made me write that but I would have done it without their insistence. Love your new website, The Cooperative Horse! Congrats on doing what you love. It is a big and wonderful accomplishment.

  4. Oh, come on, Goat Maid, just one more, please, please, pleeeezzzze! We are cute and funny and your readers eat us up!

  5. Love all this insight into chickens, goats, your dogs and now your new website is great. I have always been a horse lover. My mother-in-law use to train horses until she got too old to do so and then she turned to dogs. Once an animal lover always an animal lover.

  6. That last photo….thanks for an all-day smile!

    There are a couple of videos circulating online of baby pigmy goats gamboling around like little jumping frogs. Really wonderful. Let me know if you haven’t seen them.