Purina and Sweetlix, two of the most popular goat mineral companies, have both changed their formulas. This may be a good thing in the long run, but they did nothing to alert consumers to these changes, which could have negative consequences. Many goat breeders supplement their goats with additional copper and other minerals beyond the free choice minerals. Because the new formulas of Purina Goat Minerals, Sweetlix Meat Maker, and Sweetlix Magnum Milk include chelated forms of copper, manganese, zinc, and cobalt which are better absorbed, many goats may no longer need additional supplementation. And Purina has increased the amount of copper in their mineral substantially. Sweetlix Meat Maker also increased the amount of salt, although they did not increase the salt in Magnum Milk.
Consequences of more copper in goat minerals
If breeders continue supplementing with additional copper, which gets stored in the liver, this could have negative consequences. If the goats try to self regulate, they may avoid the mixed mineral and ultimately wind up with multiple mineral deficiencies. On the other hand, if the goats continue to consume the mixed mineral, they may wind up with copper toxicosis, which can be fatal.
After doing a Facebook Live about these changes, I have received many questions, mostly asking what to do! What would you do if you changed to a different mineral that had more copper in it? Many people have changed minerals on purpose through the years because they got tired of giving their goats additional copper (a.k.a. copper boluses). And I’m sure this is why these two companies switched to a more absorbable form of copper and why Purina increased the copper.
Basically everyone who uses these products has changed to a new mineral. We just didn’t know it. I’ve been feeding Sweetlix with great results for 10+ years, but I also have had to give my goats additional copper oxide every 3-4 months because we have a lot of sulfur and iron in our well water, which are copper antagonists that bind with copper and make it less available. I will continue to use Sweetlix, but I will not give additional copper unless I see signs of copper deficiency.
To complicate my life with this, earlier this year we switched to a new chlorine water treatment system that appears to have eliminated the sulfur from our water, so I have been holding off on giving more copper oxide since they should need less copper now that there is no longer that copper antagonist in their water. It has been six months since I’ve given copper oxide, and I’m still not seeing signs of copper deficiency — but we will see how breeding season goes! (Copper is very important for fertility.)
If you are giving your goats copper oxide, you probably remember the symptoms you saw that caused you to begin giving the copper oxide, but here’s my article on copper deficiency, if you need a refresher. (And I also need to update that article with this new info!)
What if you already gave your goats copper oxide and just now realized you are feeding the new formula of one of the minerals? Copper builds up in the liver and ultimately causes lesions on the liver. If goats are consuming copper orally, it usually takes months for toxicity to happen and eventually cause death.
In one study I read where goats received a mineral with 3000 ppm copper for three months, the goats had liver levels twice as high as normal but they had no lesions on the liver. With liver levels of copper that high, it’s reasonable to assume that at some point, they will wind up with copper toxicity. Unfortunately the study only lasted three months, but it proves that goats can live with higher liver levels for shorter periods of time. If they are not continuing to consume high levels of copper, the liver levels would eventually go back down. In other words, if you gave your goat a copper bolus and then discovered that you’re using the new Sweetlix formula, it’s probably not a problem. But it’s a good idea to hold off on supplementing again unless you know the goats need it.
I know people who’ve had goats die from copper toxicity after giving a MultiMin shot, and they died from liver and kidney failure. The level of copper in a dose of MultiMin is MUCH higher than what goats get in copper oxide consumed orally, and the liver and kidneys have to deal with it all at once, which is why it killed them almost immediately.
Other changes to the goat mineral formulas
Beyond the copper changes, which I think will ultimately prove to be a good thing, the companies have made other changes as well. In addition to changing the copper to a chelated form, they have also changed the manganese, zinc, and cobalt to chelated forms. So, if you have been using injectable MultiMin, which includes copper, selenium, manganese, and zinc, you may no longer need to do that either. Hopefully we will all see less problems with zinc deficiency.
With the cobalt being changed to a chelated form, you may no longer need to use cobalt boluses, if you’ve been doing that. One of the reasons I recommend Sweetlix is because it has always had 240 ppm cobalt, which is more than any other mineral. Most have less than 100 ppm. Cobalt is not listed in the nutritional analysis on Purina, and I requested that information more than a week ago and have not yet received it. I will update this post when I have the answer.
Purina has also increased the calcium in their mineral, which is a great change as the old formula did not even have the 2:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio that is recommended.
I will be updating my posts on copper toxicity and copper deficiency within the next month after I complete my next book, which is due to the publisher on Nov. 22, but in the meantime I wanted to get this information out there so that people are aware that their minerals have changed, so they may need to change or eliminate what they’ve been doing for additional mineral supplements. This post will also be updated as I learn more about the changes.
45 thoughts on “Changes in Purina and Sweetlix Goat Minerals”
I noticed Sweetlix looked different but I had no idea. Thank you so much for the information.
A friend forwarded this information to me. Very helpful . I also intend to forward it to other breeders Thank you so much for sharing !!
You’re welcome! And thanks for spreading the word!
When did the new formula come out? I bought Sweetlix a couple of months ago and I’m not sure whether it’s the new formula or not
Check the label. If it says 10-12% salt, it’s the old formula. The new formula has 15% salt. The new formula came out last year, but several people have told me they still have the old one, so apparently some people don’t sell it very fast.
Thank you for sharing this information. I recently purchased my first bag of sweetlick minerals. I had been using a general mineral in the past and giving copper bolus twice a year.
This will probably help your goats a lot! And you probably won’t have to bolus. All stock minerals usually don’t have much of anything in them other than salt.
I gave up on trying to buy a good goat mineral that had adequate amounts of copper, zinc and selenium. I don’t want to have to copper bolus 80 head of goats.
I was going through two to three bags of mineral a month which was about $20 a bag.
This year, I tried the Goat Trace Mineral Premix from Premier1. I was afraid that it would be more expensive. You mix it with 50 lbs of plain stock salt. You can also mix a vitamin mix in with it but they suggest you only do that in winter or unless you goats are not on pasture. I also bought a bag of dried molasses to mix in so the goats would eat it better and the other storebought mix had molasses in. I have been pleasantly surprised because the goats eat it well but they don’t over eat it. They only have to eat a small amount to get the minerals they need so I am having 50 lbs of the mix lasting two months or more. So before I was spending 40 to 60 dollars a month on mineral and now I am spending about 20 to 25 dollars for two months. The goats are doing well. Their coats look great. I still provide some plain white salt blocks but the goats aren’t using those as much as they did before. I free feed it in home made PVC mineral feeders.
You can find the pre mix here.
I mix the salt, goat trace mineral mix and molasses in a tote by hand. It works well but I might invest in small cement mixer after I sell some more goats.
Spent a lot of time doing the math comparing different mineral mixes to make sure this one would provide the amounts of copper I wanted for my animals.
Anyhow, I hope this might help someone out and save them some money.
Where are you able to find sweetlik that you can ship from. So far not finding any in my local stores. Through Amazon I can Get Purina or Mana
Check the list of distributors through the Sweetlix website. Purina is available at most Tractor Supply stores, so you don’t have to pay for shipping.
Do you give Sweetlix Meat maker to all of your goats? Do you ever use the Sweetlix Magnum Milk? Thanks!
I do not use Magnum Milk because it has half as much calcium as the Meat Maker. The names of these minerals is rather confusing. Magnum Milk is made for goats that eat nothing but alfalfa. I don’t really know anyone who has goats on 100% alfalfa diet. Alfalfa is very high in calcium so the idea was that they would not need as much calcium in a mineral. Without enough calcium, milkers could wind up with hypocalcemia. Goats should have a 2 to 1 calcium to phosphorus diet, which is what Meat Maker has, but Magnum Milk is 1 to 1.
I saw that the Sweetlix now contains Rainbloc–whatever that is. Is that something I want in my milk?
I have 6 Nigerian Dwarf wethers youngest are alittle over a year old the oldest are 2. What brand/ formula do you think would be the best for them? Currently they have mixed grass hay. I have been using the manna pro mineral but it’s expensive for such a small bag. Thank you
Wethers are very easy keepers. You could switch to either Sweetlix or Purina, and they should do fine. You will probably see them reduce their consumption of the minerals when you switch, however, because MannaPro has half as much selenium and much less copper. In fact I don’t recommend MP minerals for breeding animals because of the low mineral levels. Wethers usually do fine on it though because they are not producing sperm or babies or milk. Sounds like you go through a lot though, so you’ll save money two ways when you switch — they’re less expensive because you’re buying a large amount, and they’ll consume less because there are actually more minerals in both of these than there are in MP.
I just switched them to sweetlix mineral. Do I need to worry about them over doing it on the minerals at 1st ?
If they were deficient in anything, they might initially consume more than normal the first week or two, but it’s not anything to worry about.
Another question for ya.
I have 2 four month old calves in with my goats will it hurt them to eat it also?
No, it’s won’t hurt calves.
Will it be ok to have out with LGD’s? I heard it might have something in it that could be toxic to dogs
There is nothing in unmedicated minerals that would be harmful to other animals. If you get MEDICATED minerals, that can be toxic to equines.
Does the new Sweetlix mineral formula have ammonium chloride in it? I have 2, 3 month old Nigerian dwarf wethers
No, it does not, and your wethers don’t need it. Grain and alfalfa causes stones to form, so if you don’t feed grain or alfalfa, then stones usually don’t form. Wethers don’t need grain or alfalfa, so if you feed them grain or alfalfa, you are just creating a problem that needs to be fixed. I usually tell people who buy wethers from me that they can buy one bag of grain and use that for treats and training up to about 1/2 cup a day per kid, and when that bag is gone, don’t buy another one. Alfalfa can cause calcium stones when the diet contains TOO MUCH calcium, and alfalfa is high in calcium, so it’s okay to let wethers have alfalfa as long as they are growing fast (because they need calcium for bone growth), but once they are about 50% of their adult weight (about 30 pounds), you can switch them over to grass hay because their growth really slows down at that point.
I have two Wethers about 4 years old, they have always had really dry skin. They are on city water, straight Timothy grass hay from nearby field, they sleep on pine shaving horse bedding, thinking it’s a zinc issue, they have been on Redmonds mineral and also trucare top dress 4, both free choice. It’s Ben a year and no change, I just bought the purina mineral hoping to switch out both the Redmond and the truecare or should I be doing something else? Once they shed out next month I will be getting blood work done and have my vet do skin scrapes. I don’t think it’s mites or lice and their coats are great, skin is horrible. Ridge of back and legs are main problem areas. Thoughts?
I do not recommend Redmond because it is about 80% salt and actually has very little other minerals in it. This post includes a chart that compares Redmond and four other minerals, so you can see how it comes up short on most minerals.
And the problem with it being 80% salt is that goats are not going to consume much of it because all of us can only consume so much salt in a day. So, in addition to it being low in minerals, the goats will consume less of it than they would consume of other minerals. When a mineral is that high in salt, it needs to be really high in actual minerals.
If you are switching to Purina, give it a couple of months to see how they’re doing because that could solve your problems. You never want to make multiple changes at one time because then you don’t know what caused what.
Thank you so much for replying. Good to know the Redmond is a bad choice. It’s been a month so far and they are almost done shedding out their under coat, so we’ll see how things look in the coming months. Last question, could pine shavings (horse bedding) dry out skin too? I have had to put weavers hide lotion on their front legs, due to dryness, I called weavers and spoke with product lab engineer, they said it’s OK for goats and legs
No, pine shavings are not a problem for goats. We used them for a year or two before we realized how much cheaper straw was because we could buy straw directly from a local farmer. Most people use whichever is cheaper in their area, although straw in warmer for those us up north. Pine shavings are a very common goat bedding though, so no worries there.
We’ve been very happy with New Country Organics goat minerals. Copper minimum is 1800ppm, with “typical” analysis at 1960ppm. We don’t have a local distributor, but even with shipping it’s cheaper per pound than the Manna Pro bags. And since our Tractor Supply doesn’t keep anything else in stock, it ends up being only minimally more than ordering Purina/Dumor.
I’m glad you commented because it looks like New Country Organics has changed their goat mineral again. I don’t recommend them. They are included on my mineral comparison sheet, and when I created that, they had 3000 ppm copper, which I contacted them about because that is dangerously high for goats. They sent me what they called a study that was done on one herd where that worked, although liver levels were dangerously high (around 500 ppm), they said it was okay because there were no lesions on the livers at slaughter. Well, the goats had only been on that mineral for 3 months, so who knows what the livers would have looked like a few months later. I am very happy to see that they have reduced their copper.
However, checking their current guaranteed analysis, I still would not recommend them because it does not include selenium or zinc. A “typical analysis” is not a real thing. They are only committed to including what is in the guaranteed analysis. Although they do have selenium in their “typical analysis,” it is only 20 ppm, which is not high enough for breeding animals. Pets could do okay with that, but selenium is so important for breeding does and the kids they are growing. Almost half of selenium in BoSe gets peed out within 24 hours, so that’s really not a sustainable option. Both Purina and Sweetlix have 50 ppm selenium.
It is also incredibly important that zinc is included in the correct ratio, which is 4 to 1 zinc to copper. Even their “typical analysis” does not have 4x zinc to copper, so chance of zinc deficiency is higher.
The Purina goat mineral is much better than what you are using, if you are breeding your goats. I also do NOT recommend MannaPro, which has only 12 ppm selenium, and I do NOT recommend the Dumor goat mineral, which has only 20 ppm selenium and a max of 1200 ppm copper.
This is incredibly useful information. Thank you so much for all the rigorous work you do!
Any chance you can review my post from March 16th?
Hi, I have 5 NG bucks I have Goatlyx tub
(any thoughts on if that’s good) out for them but I read I doesn’t have salt. I was thinking I should put out loose minerals and picked up a bag of Sweetlix meat maker. Is it a bad thing to have both available for them. Thank you
I just looked up their nutritional analysis on the company’s website, and they have only 300 ppm copper and only 6 ppm selenium, which makes it pretty close to worthless. Both Purina and Sweetlix have 50 ppm selenium with copper around 2000 ppm. Once you have the Sweetlix, you might as well as just toss this one.
I give my goats purina and meat maker mineral, not mixed just switch back and forth. I have some missing hair on nose, ears and fistailed. They have been on it for about a month. Im wondering if adding a 2g bolus would be too much? They came to me looking rough, I also just started filtering water. Should I hold off and see what happens or would a 2g bolus be worth it? I also know some of the Nigerians received a multimin shot in February.
I’m not clear on what you’re doing with the minerals. Which one have they been on for a month? Also, it sounds like these goats are new to you? When did you get them? Do you know what they were receiving at their old farm? If they haven’t been with you long, then conditions on their old farm are more relevant than your farm right now.
A cheap filter from the store is not going to eliminate sulfur or iron, which are copper antagonists. Does your water stink like rotten eggs? (That’s sulfur.) Does the water turn your white sinks orange? (That’s iron.)
MultiMin in February doesn’t count at this point. I had a buck die from lab-verified copper deficiency three months after a MultiMin shot. It is not a good long-term option for copper deficiency. If the previous farm was giving MM shots, it sounds like they had an ongoing problem with deficiency. Did they talk to you about it?
Hi Deborah, a friend and I are talking (still and again!) about minerals for goats. The one we are currently using has no salt in it and I add it to their feed plus offer it free feed. There’s another that’s available to us and the directions say to free feed. I wonder if I should switch to that, free feed it, and stop putting some in their individual feeders. Thoughts? Thanks. jocelyne
10:10 Goat Mineral
Feed Form: Mash Product #: CFB03859 Registration #: 840126 *This feed contains added selenium at 25 mg/kg.
Calcium (Actual) 10.0% Copper (Actual) 2,000 mg/kg
Phosphorus (Actual) 10.0% Cobalt (Actual) 95 mg/kg
Sodium (Actual) 10.0% Iodine (Actual) 200 mg/kg
Magnesium (Actual) 3.0% Fluorine (Max.) 1,070 mg/kg
Sulfur (Actual) 0.6% Vitamin A (Min.) 2,000,000 IU/kg
Iron (Actual) 2,400 mg/kg Vitamin D (Min.) 80,000 IU/kg
Zinc (Actual) 10,000 mg/kg Vitamin E (Min.) 2,500 IU/kg
Manganese (Actual) 4,500 mg/kg
List of Ingredients:
Mono-calcium di-calcium phosphate, sodium chloride, calcium carbonate, wheat millrun, magnesium oxide, dried molasses on beet sugar pulp (Reg.#980434), zinc oxide, copper sulphate, Vitamin D3, manganous oxide, canola oil (dust control), Vitamin E, potassium iodate, sodium selenite, Vitamin A, anise flavor (registration number 981559), cobalt carbonate.
Feed this mineral free choice to goats. Expected intake is 12-15 grams per head/day by goats when fed hay or pasture. Free choice salt and water should be available at all times.
1. Directions for use must be carefully followed.
2. Do not use in association with another feed containing supplemental selenium.
When I saw the sulfur in here, I was concerned because sulfur is an antagonist for copper, selenium, and zinc, which also happen to be the three most common mineral deficiencies in goats. I tried to see if I could find some info on the sulfur to _____ ratios, but no luck. I also emailed a vet professor, and as I suspected, there isn’t a good reason to add sulfur to a mineral because sulfur is not a common deficiency at all, and because it can reduce the absorption of other minerals. If this did NOT have the sulfur in it, I’d say it’s a good option.
Thanks, Deborah. I think that I will keep feeding the minerals I’m currently feeding. I use it without salt as the label doesn’t ask for it. I put some in each individual feeder daily, and I keep some in free feeders. Hope that meets their needs. Thanks
Fixing to pick up a bag of Sweetlix, and now reading they’ve added something called RainBloc to solve moisture problems, but I’ve no idea what that’s made from. Any insight?
Deborah emailed the company and did not receive a response. Since the goats are only supposed to consume 1/4 to 1/2 ounce per day, the amount of RainBloc they are consuming would be miniscule.
Thank you for the response. I emailed as well but haven’t heard back yet, and went with Purina instead. Since we’re homesteading all natural, any amount of synthetic additive doesn’t work for us. So far I can only find RainBloc as an additive in construction applications, so we’re steering clear unless we learn more about it’s composition.
Update: The company responded and said that RainBloc is just palm oil. (Unfortunately palm oil cultivation has a devastating impact on tropical forests, both accelerating global warming and causing habitat loss for endangered species, so my family boycotts any products that we know contain it.)
Thanks for sharing the update on their response!
I have 3 Nigerian Dwarf wethers. We have used the sweetlix meatmakers free choice (baking soda free choice, timothy hay) their entire life. They are 2 years old. Our well filtration system removes iron and sulfur from our water.
I am curious of your thoughts on the new sweetlix formula and how it may affect my boys. Is there anything special I should do to make the switch. I am on my last bit of sweetlix meatmakers and can now only find the new formula of sweetlix. It seems that I may need to begin supplementing with copper boluses? Anything else in your opinion? Thank you for your vast goat knowledge!
Copper will be better absorbed with the new formula, so you DO NOT need to give copper boluses due to the change. 🙂