Is Your Goat Mineral Working for You? Check the Bioavailability

Wellness : Nutrition

Wellness : Health

Clay Elliott, Ph.D.

Companion Animal Nutritionist, Technical Solutions

Monitor the bioavailability of nutrients in mineral to maximize your goat nutrition program.

Bioavailability is the amount of mineral a goat can ingest and utilize. The higher the bioavailability, the higher the absorption rate for your goats.

Why is this important? A goat mineral with a high bioavailability of nutrients increases your return on investment (ROI) because nutrients are absorbed by the goat rather than wasted.

Ideally, a goat mineral should contain 90% or higher bioavailability. If bioavailability falls below 85%, absorption rates drop, and the goats will pass nutrients through urine and feces. The bioavailability percentage is indicated on the mineral tag as either “percent bioavailability” or “percent ash.”

Here are three things to look for when choosing a goat mineral to increase mineral absorption and ROI:

Organic vs. inorganic minerals

Organic minerals tend to be more bioavailable than inorganic minerals. Organic minerals are naturally occurring, so they are easier for goats to absorb. Inorganic minerals tend to be passed through waste by goats at a higher rate.

Look for a mineral that has a higher amount of organic minerals to maximize the bioavailability of nutrients. Purina® Goat Mineral contains organic zinc, manganese, copper and cobalt to help with several metabolic functions including growth, reproduction and health.

Calcium and phosphorus levels

An important factor to watch for in your goat mineral is the ratio of calcium to phosphorus. An imbalance in these two mineral levels can result in lower bioavailability and other health issues. For example, elevated phosphorus levels can result in urinary calculi, leading to blockages in the urethra. High phosphorus levels can also result in lower fertility in rams.

One feedstuff to avoid is dried distillers grains because of the elevated phosphorus created during ethanol processing. Feeding dried distillers grains to goats can throw your calcium-to-phosphorus ratio off dramatically and lead to urinary calculi issues.

Mineral should be balanced at a rate of approximately two-to-one for calcium relative to phosphorus. Purina® Goat Mineral is formulated with a maximum of 18.36% calcium and 8% phosphorus.

Balanced mineral

Feeding individual minerals and vitamins can reduce bioavailability compared to feeding a mineral mix. Mineral mixes combine and balance each mineral to improve the overall utilization for your goats.

Our mineral products are formulated with combinations of minerals with altered molecular states to increase the bioavailability of nutrients for goats, improving the overall level of absorption. For instance, pairing organic zinc, manganese, copper and cobalt, while adjusting each minerals’ molecular state increases the overall bioavailability for individual nutrients. Purina® Goat Mineral contains an Availa 4® package to increase bioavailability and provide a balanced mineral for goats. The trace minerals from Availa 4® are adjusted through a patented process that consists of one metal ion bound to one amino acid ion, creating a metal amino acid complex that is readily absorbed.

Our scientists and nutritionists work hard to ensure all nutrients are in the proper ratios for optimal ROI and goat performance. Feeding Purina® Goat Mineral ensures your herd gets the proper balance of bioavailable nutrients that won’t go to waste, benefiting your bottom line.

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