Feed mixes and vitamin/mineral supplements are the Nourishing part of the Cleansing and Nourishing equation.
CLEANSING: We also have to cover the Cleansing part of the equation. Visit my Cleansing page for more information.
Here is what I do to cover Nourishing:
I feed a 50% alfalfa & 50% grass mix hay – free choice, i.e. I stuff their feeder full 2 times a day. If you can’t do that, provide at least 4# of hay per milker per day – if they clean it all up, then you should feed a bit more hay. Ideally, you should see a bit left in their hay feeder – this shows that they are not hungry and that you are feeding the perfect amount for your goats. They shouldn’t be throwing a lot on the ground either. If they are, you may be feeding too much, or the hay is not a good quality for them. Since I like a higher alfalfa content for my milkers, I feed them alfalfa pellets on the stand. Ideally, I would like to find some REALLY NICE 100% alfalfa hay to give them on the milk stand instead of the pellets. NOTE: I have been using Chaffhaye instead of alfalfa pellets, and I’m very pleased with it.
Vitalerbs & Thorvin Kelp. Each day I offer Thorvin Kelp and Dr. Christopher’s Vitalerbs, mixed together. You could add it to their feed instead, if you desire. Let me go into some detail now that may help you find the best way for you at your farm.
Dr. Christopher’s Vitalerbs – Herbal Vitamin/Mineral Supplement. This is the 100% herbal vitamin/mineral supplement that I use for my herd. Vitalerbs is available premixed through my store as a 16 oz loose powder at this link.
Nature balanced, whole food vitamin and mineral supplement. This formula is an excellent source of organic vitamins and minerals that are easy to assimilate because they are whole foods. The Vitalerbs formula is safe for all ages and may be taken during pregnancy or nursing.
According to Dr. Christopher’s website (Herbal Legacy), this combination provides the the following vitamins and minerals in whole food quantities:
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Bioflavonoids (Vitamin P), Biotin (Vitamin H), Calcium, Carotene (Vitamin A), Choline, Pantothenic acid, Chromium, Cobalamin (Vitamin B6), Cobalt, Copper, Fiber, Fluorine, Folate (the plant-based, natural form of Folic Acid), Inositol, Iodine, Iron, Linoleic Acid (Vitamin F), Magnesium, Manganese, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Paba, Pangamic Acid (Vitamin B15), Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5), Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein (RNA), Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin, (Vitamin B2), Selenium, Silicon, Sodium, Sulfur, Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Tin, Trace Minerals, Vitamins D and K, Zinc, and other vitamins and minerals that haven’t even been discovered yet.
Are there synthetic Vitamins added to Vitalerbs? No, there are no synthetic vitamins in Vitalerbs. Vitalerbs is made from natural whole foods. Folic acid derives its name from the Latin word folium which means leaf. Leafy vegetables are a principal source of Folate. Dr. Christopher’s Vitalerbs contains many whole foods that contain Folate (again, this is the plant-based natural form of Folic Acid) like, Beet Root, Alfalfa, Nutritional Yeast, Purple Dulse etc… On average beets can contribute 100 to 150 micrograms of folate. Nutritional Yeast & Purple Dulse are also rich in vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, which is also an excellent source of folic acid. Alfalfa contains a high concentration of Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D, E and K and also Niacin, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin and Folate. It is also rich in the following minerals: Boron, Calcium, Choline, Cobalt, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sulfur and also some trace minerals. As for The Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C): Ascorbic acid is available in many fruits and vegetables and is present in substantial amounts in the seed/fruit of the rose, or the rosehip. Rose hips contain as much as 50 percent more ascorbic acid than any other rose. So in Dr. Christopher’s Vitalerbs he gets his Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) from Rose hips.
If you desire to make this mix yourself I created a DIY (Do It Yourself) page which makes ordering the herbs needed faster and provides you with confidence that the herbs you purchasing the correct parts of the herb and that the herbs are of excellent quality. These are the same quality herbs that I use to make Vitalerbs for my own herd.
Do you feel your animals require extra Copper and/or Selenium?
Consider adding some of the herbs listed below (according to the deficiencies you are wanting to balance out) to the 16 oz bag of Vitalerbs:
- 1 ounce of Brigham Tea – this provides the body more access to copper and safely removes built up copper that the body could not assimilate
- 1 ounce Skullcap for more copper – it is also a spinal nerve tonic
- 1 ounce Chaparral provides copper – it is also a “blood cleanser”
- 2 ounces Pumpkin seed (for selenium) to the above recipe to provide them with easy to assimilate organic copper and selenium. Please note that the pumpkins need to be grown in soil that is NOT deficient in these minerals.
- 1 ounce Milk Thistle seed powder (selenium) supports the liver, it is higher in selenium than Pumpkin seed so only 1 ounce of Milk Thistle is needed instead of 2 ounces of Pumpkin seed.
Our farm is in an area that is deficient in Copper and Selenium, so I add the following to every batch (16 oz) of Vitalerbs:
- 1 ounce Brigham Tea (Copper/safety)
- 1 ounce Chaparral (Copper)
- 1 ounce Pumpkin seed (selenium)(purchased from a tested source)
- 1 ounce Milk Thistle seed powder (selenium)
If you feel they need more Zinc, consider adding 1 ounce of Bilberry fruit powder. I add this in the winter when their diet is higher in alfalfa. This has been harder to find recently, so consider adding an extra ounce of Dandelion leaf.
If you feel they need more Iron, consider adding 1 ounce of Yellow Dock root.
HOW DO WE FEED IT?
To feed free choice: I mix 1/8 cup of Vitalerbs into each 16 oz of Thorvin Kelp. I put this estimated dosage of Vitalerbs into one side of our two-compartment mineral feeders that are in our barn. I have several mineral feeders to prevent the dominant animals from hogging it all. One pound (16 ounces) of the Vitalerbs/kelp mix into each of my mineral feeders per day per pasture (depending on the amount of animals in that pasture), I check it once a day and refill if necessary once a day. As with many mineral mixes, they may eat a lot at first, but they DO taper off, so don’t panic. 😉 I have a video on my Land of Havilah Herbals Facebook page that may be helpful to you.
I have been feeding an herbal mix with Thorvin Kelp for Animals (Ascophyllum nodosum) since December 23rd, 2009 (when I received my Thorvin Kelp), and saw a difference in the quality of the milk (creamier, higher production) in just 3 days. Before I changed brands, I had been feeding an herbal mix (an old mix, not Vitalerbs) for at least a month with a different brand of kelp that was NOT the quality that the Thorvin kelp is. I’ve definitely seen a big difference in how my goats are acting/producing by changing to Thorvin. I’m very interested in watching for further health benefits the longer I use this kelp. Think I paid an arm and a leg for this better quality kelp?? Actually, I paid LESS for a bag of Thorvin. To find your nearest retailer, contact Thorvin. Maybe you’ll be blessed with someone carrying it locally! If not, I buy locally through Midwestern BioAg and you can contact them to see if they have a local source for you. I believe they will ship if you are interested in more information contact Midwestern BioAg at 989-874-6009. They service (deliver to) northern Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and even western Ontario in Canada, so I would encourage you to give them a call and see if they have delivery available near you. If you are in my area (south central Michigan near the border of Ohio/Indiana), I created a co-op where a few of us order at the same time and split the delivery fee. Contact me if you are interested in being a part of that.
To feed as a COLD Infusion/Tea: Vitalerbs can be made into a COLD Infusion (aka strong tea) and add it to their water tank each day. This is a great way to get the nutrition into them and it is very easy for their body to accept, assimilate and eliminate. TO make a cold infusion, use room temperature distilled water and allow the Infusion to steep overnight. Since this is being used as a tea, we go by the size of the tank instead of the weight of the animal. See my Parasite Formula Tea blog post to get an idea of how much to use. I personally prefer to provide Vitalerbs mixed into kelp (see above) instead, as I feel it is more economical. I would use the cold infusion if I had an animal who was sick or injured. That way I could use a one gallon water bucket and they would get a nourishing drink of tea every time they were thirsty.
To feed top-dressed on grain: Go by the weight of the animal. I provided a chart below to help you figure correct dosage.
Dosage is by weight of the creature: