Cobalt Blocks

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by cmharris6002, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    I’m thinking of getting cobalt blocks for my goats. Do any of you use them? How do I know if my goats need cobalt blocks?

    Christy
     
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Cobalt is B12 so if your mineral are good and feed program good then they should produce their own B12 unless sick.
    I keep on hand Fortified B Complex also Thiamin and also B12 and use when needed.


    Cobalt deficiency in ruminants causes unthriftiness, "weepy" eyes, severe wasting and eventually death if sufficiently severe and prolonged. Mild cobalt deficiency is easily confused with unthriftiness caused by underfeeding, heavy worm burdens or selenium-responsive illthrift. Cobalt deficiency can only be accurately diagnosed in livestock by tests for vitamin B12 in blood or tissues.
     

  3. Halo-M Nubians

    Halo-M Nubians New Member

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    Okay, well this probably isn't much help but my first goat mentor who I admired a LOT. Told me ALWAYS have a cobalt block available to the goats. Don't remember why exactly. Her goats were healthy and gorgeous. I have always followed her advice. I have a block right under the loose mineral dish and they go through a lot of minerals but their are also big deep tracks where they have licked the block. I've also heard it can help with milk flavor. I just figured it probably can't hurt!
     
  4. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    I need to do some more research as think I read something abt the absorbtion of either copper or calcium with the lack of cobalt.
     
  5. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Well I was wrong in my statement above Cobalt is what is turned into animals making their own B12
    Here this explains it all and why we might want to use a supplement.

    http://www.saltinstitute.org/47r.html
     
  6. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    If your goats need cobalt you would want to supply it in another form than a cattle block, no way could they be licking enough of it to supply them with anything. I have an old 50 pound mineral lick out in the buck pen (it used to be a quaranteen pen), it has deep lick holes in it...it's probably conservatively 10 years old...enough minerals? :) Vicki
     
  7. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    How much cobalt is in you minerals Christy? probably enough.
     
  8. wheytogosaanens

    wheytogosaanens New Member

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    We feed a good loose mineral free choice and offer a cobalt block to the Dairy girls.

    They manage to eat a block in about 6 months. We started doing this after observing what another goat raiser was doing and he had been raising goats for about 20 years.
    More than this, he is good friends with several breeders with herds that I (and lots of judges, esp. at National level) admire. they do this as well...so I guess sometimes I imitate those who seem to have it all figured out.

    And yes, I too have heard that it helps with milk flavor.

    Camille
    P.S. I find it interesting that I offered a cobalt block to the bred Boer does and they don't even touch it. I guess I need to move it to the "mommy and kids" pen to see if they want it while nursing young.
     
  9. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Camille, which areas do these herds live in? Vicki
     
  10. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    My mineral has a min. 240ppm. The reason I brought it up is because a breeder in my area uses them.

    Christy
     
  11. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Never done any research on Cobalt, tell me what you find anyone, post it to the list. Interesting. Vicki
     
  12. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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  13. wheytogosaanens

    wheytogosaanens New Member

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    In the E. Washington/ N. Idaho area.

    I never asked what mineral they were feeding (maybe good in all areas except cobalt...so they supplemented?) I do know that the one fellow was feeding Golden Blend, which I felt was too $$$ for what you were getting and could do better with a cattle mineral that had 120 ppm selenium compared to 26 ppm with golden Blend.
    Heck, even Sweet Lix has 50 ppm plus plenty of copper.

    I spoke with Dr. Parrish, WSU, about a month ago (talk aout taking notes as fast as I could!) cobalt came up and he said that it helps in lactose assimilation for the goat--in other words, important for making milk by converting available nutrients into lactose for energy to make milk.

    BTW, he also warned folks about trying to add fat to their goats diet by pouring vegetable/corn oil on their grain, because he said that it ends up coating the rumen and the nutrients can't be absorbed then. Made sense in light of the advice I have read here regarding NOT giving a sick goat oil because it coats the rumen and can mess her up even more than the original problem. (Unless of course you are dealing with an impaction.)

    Well, I have digressed completely from cobalt! I haven't done lots of research on it...again following example of other breeders, my girls look good, and a 50 lb. block costs $8.00. Maybe overkill? Perhaps, but glad I had it out when I had to change
    minerals (mine no longer available) as the new mineral was lower in cobalt.

    Camille
    P.S. I am very jealous of the folks in Western Washington who feed a dairy cattle mineral to their goats and are very happy with it (Pat Hendrickson and Lori Acton), I can't seem to find one at our local feedstores. So anyone (Sandy R?) who knows how I can get some I sure would be interested in finding out.
     
  14. Halo-M Nubians

    Halo-M Nubians New Member

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    Well, I live by Camille so either we are copying the same people or it is just popular up here ;-) Have no idea except that my block is a year and a half old and is about 1/3 gone with about only about 6 animals with access to it until recently. I've been feeding sweetlix meatmaker which is working well for the min levels we tested for- they eat that up so fast I can hardly keep up. It has 240ppm cobalt and 10-12% salt. They still go for the colbalt block. I'll have to look up what the pecentage of that is.

    Camille-Mary can order you the cattle Lacto min 8-16 mineral. I had it recomended to me, I don't use it because my hay isn't pure alfalfa.
     
  15. wheytogosaanens

    wheytogosaanens New Member

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    Mishael,

    Thanks for the info. Tempted, very tempted...Saw a straight salt at D & B with 90 ppm of selenium. BTW, Sweet Lix Meat Maker is what we are using right now.

    Ummm...who is Mary? :) And how do I contact her?

    Thanks so much,
    Camille
     
  16. Halo-M Nubians

    Halo-M Nubians New Member

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    Sorry, Mary at Mary's Feed in Oldtown. I "Think" land o lakes makes that mineral.
    I don't think you need to worry about selenium. The liver test we had done showed high normal range of selenium on my goat that had just been getting the Sweetlix, no bo-se for over 5 months before test.
     
  17. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    BTW, he also warned folks about trying to add fat to their goats diet by pouring vegetable/corn oil on their grain, because he said that it ends up coating the rumen and the nutrients can't be absorbed then.
    .....................

    This conversation has been had before. I will give you a synposis of it. The amounts of oils you give to add fat in your diet to oats, is less oils that are used in byproducts feed tagged sacks of grain that if you are feeding a grain that has veggy oils in it listed. Because the oil in sacked grains is not only used to increase fat, but also protein and to bind pellets or to keep dust down in dry mixes.

    I think that folks saying this are thinking we are using cups of oils when in fact we can incease fat in the diet with tablespoons.

    So are your farms part of the 'poor land' idea the article Sondra posted is talking about, like land in Florida? This would be super interesting with liver biopsy a way to tell cobalt levels...with likely a liver being used in my herd this year for copper levels I will certainly run this also. Vicki
     
  18. wheytogosaanens

    wheytogosaanens New Member

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    I think that Dr. Parrish probably has folks contacting them after they have done something that has their doe go off feed..only to find out they have been adding quite a bit of oil. And you know people, if some is good, more is better! :) He probably figures it is better to steer people away altogether.

    He is a big fan of BOSS for fat and fiber.

    Thanks Mishael. Really appreciate the feedback on the selenium test with your use of
    the Sweet Lix Meat Maker. Maybe I'll leave well enough alone then. :)
     
  19. LMonty

    LMonty New Member

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  20. UnRuli Acres

    UnRuli Acres New Member

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    I have a friend that uses these cobalt blocks for her herd when she can get her hands on them (they're constantly on backorder up here). Her does go through them far quicker than I ever imagined they would.

    I don't understand the idea behind cobalt, but I do know her herd looks veeeery nice.