I offer loose minerals, free choice, at all times. I offer it in a way that it cannot be "soiled" (stepped in or pooped in), because if it does get soiled, the goat will not eat it. I do not use mineral blocks because the kids climb on them and soil them and then the goats will not use it.
I use a cattle mineral mix that we can find, and buy, locally and has in it what we want for our goats. We mix it equal parts minerals to Diamond V Yeast Culture.
Diamond V Yeast Culture XP is all natural and helps increase ruminal yeasts and bacteria, which, in turn, aids in digestion and helps the goats better utilize their food. It a sense, think of it as a "food booster". It also contains extra protein and vitamins. (NOTE: This is not the same thig as brewers yeast, bread yeast or nutritional yeast.) I find when I feed this yeast my goats health is generally better and their coats are shinier in the summer and thicker in the winter. I also find that it increases milk yield. There are a few forms of Diamond V Yeast such as XP and XPC. I use, and really like, the "XPC" . This XPC is on the expensive side but I feel it is most definitely worth the cost and effort. .
Do not use a mineral mix labeled for "sheep and goats". This mix is really just for sheep and will not contain copper (sheep can't have copper). Goats do need copper. You are better off using a general livestock mix.
Look for mixes that contain the proper ratio of about 2 parts Calcium to 1 part Phosphorus.
I also offer baking soda free choice in a separate container. Baking soda aids the goat to buffer their rumen, which aids in digestion and helps avoid bloat. The goats will use it if they need it. If the baking soda "gets old" and you feel it is time to refresh it, just sprinkle the old remainder soda on a stall floor.
Goats like their minerals and baking soda fresh, so I offer only as much as they will finish off in a couple of days. This helps avoid waste.
I offer omy minerals in such a way that the goats can't "soil" them. I hang the mineral feeders, which I have modified by cutting out a section in the middle so they will hang on a modified "livestock panel". I have modified the livestock panel by using bolt cutters to remove a section. The goats can now stick their heads through the panel to get to the minerals, but cannot step in them. The other side of the panel is our chicken coop, and the goats are not allowed in there, so they cannot get at the minerals from the other side. Hardware cloth keeps the chicken out of the minerals from the other side.
The following is the analysis of some mineral mixes that are good for use in goats. You can use these comparisons to help find a mix available in your area that will work for your goats.:
Vigortone FC No. 32S- For Beef Cattle on Pasture
Purina Mills Goat Mineral (5509)
Golden Blend Goat Minerals
|Phosphorus (P)||minimum||7%||8 %||7%|
|Salt (NaCl)||minimum||18.2%||41 %||20%|
|Salt (NaCl)||maximum||21.8%||45 %||24%|
|Magnesium (Mg)||minimum||0.20%||1 %||1%|
|Potassium (K)||minimum||0.40%||0.10 %||0.90%|
|Copper (Cu)||minimum||1250 PPM||1750 ppm||0.15%|
|Selenium (Se)||minimum||26.4 PPM||25 ppm||12 MG/LB|
|Zinc (Zn)||minimum||3000 PPM||7500 ppm||0.40%|
|Vit A||minimum||300,000 IU/LB||140,000IU/LB||220,000 IU/LB|
|Vit D||minimum||30,000 IU/LB||11,000IU/LB||45,000 IU/LB|
|Vit E||minimum||100 IU/LB||750 IU/LB||220 IU/LB|