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 2. Alpaca Healthcare & Nutrition
 Loose vs. Block minerals
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johnson

219 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  3:44:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit johnson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello all, Happy Thanksgiving.

My question is about minerals. We use loose still water minerals. We were top dressing our food but decided free choice in another food bin was better. Our way of thinking is that each Alpaca has the choice for minerals instead of having to consume them with food.
Feeding loose free choice we find the minerals to get clumpy as they gain moisture. I clean my feed bins regularly so I end up throwing more mineral away than the Alpaca consumes. I have even tried to cut back but I don't want to cut back to far.

Recently I picked up a mineral block at our local feed store. I compared the minerals side by side and there is nothing in the block minerals that is not in the loose. The block is not specific for camelid in fact, it came from a horse tack shop that I purchase our feed from (Evans Blue Seal).

Does anybody out there use block minerals instead of loose and if so are they Camelid specific and where do you purchase them ?
Sorry so much at one time

This is important from a financial aspect because the price between loose and block is significant. The block is only $2.00


worthingtonacres
www.alpacanation.com/worthingtonacres.asp

Sue Ives

134 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  5:21:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit Sue Ives's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We also use mineral blocks instead of the loose minerals. Our alpacas do fine with them and they are easily maintained using the block holders sold at the feed stores.

It has been said that alpacas (and llamas?) will not lick the blocks but we have found that to be false, they do a very good job licking!

I don't believe you will find minerals that are camelid specific but the all species blocks are fine. Just make sure that you do not buy any that are medicated. I have only seen those once but they are out there.

We like the price difference too!

Sue Ives
Alpacas of Nottingham Hollow
Woodford, VA

Edited by - Sue Ives on 11/21/2007 5:22:52 PM
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Louise

40 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  9:37:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit Louise's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We also use the mineral blocks instead of loose. Believe me, they do lick them! I even have a yearling female who likes to play with it...somehow, she manage to lift and roll the block on itself into the holder. However, not sure if it's the banging noise it does that she likes so much...

So, they like it, they lick it and they play with it. Good thing in my book and didn't pay a bundle for it!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Louise
Un Brin d'Alpagas / A Bit of Alpacas
St-Alexis-de-Montcalm, Quebec, Canada
http://www.brindalpagas.ca
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johnson

219 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2007 :  10:47:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit johnson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
How about Selenium in the mineral blocks. Where I purchase my blocks from I have the choice of with or without selenium.
What are your thoughts.

worthingtonacres
www.alpacanation.com/worthingtonacres.asp
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Sue Ives

134 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2007 :  4:07:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Sue Ives's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I would check to see what the Selenium levels in your area are and/or ask your vet's opinion on that. In VA, we are in a low selenium situation. My vet never mentioned the selenium but did recommend the blocks. I didn't look to see what the selenium levels were in the blocks I have out but will compare the next purchase.

Sue Ives
Alpacas of Nottingham Hollow
Woodford, VA
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farmgal

232 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2007 :  10:03:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit farmgal's Homepage  Send farmgal a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Johnson, for asking this question! I have come across the same problem with loose minerals. I will now feel secure in just buying a block for each pasture!

Thanks again and God bless!

Kim

Kim Pressley
PHD Alpacas
Home of MB boy with AFD of 15.1!
Hendersonville, NC
kimberly@phdalpacas.com
(828)808-0048
www.phdalpacas.com
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The Paca Factory

592 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2007 :  11:42:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit The Paca Factory's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We use Stillwater minerals and when it appears to be getting a bit hard or gray on top I just reach in the bucket with s scoop and break it up. I keep their bucket of minerals in the barn out of the rain and snow. I have never had a problem with lumps. There is more then just selenium as a beneficial supplement in Still Water that our camelids need. Most of the US is selenium deficient though. I really believe in using what is specifically recommended for Camelids. I have a very health herd. Good luck. Linda

David & Linda Bradley
The Paca Factory
Durand, Mi.
989-288-3315
thepacafactory@aol.com
www.alpacanation.com/thepacafactory.asp
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WmChristian

36 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2008 :  02:58:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use block but they are getting harder and harder to find since you can not have copper in your block. Anyone have a good supplier or know where I can find them easier?

William
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fisher

26 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2008 :  8:16:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We were at Big R today and I saw many blocks. There were horse blocks, horse and cattle blocks, cattle blocks, goat and sheep blocks, or deer blocks. I didn't see all species specific. ANy suggestions?

Devin & Erika Fisher
Devin and Erika's Alpaca Ranch (DEA Ranch)
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allamericanalpacas

4245 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2008 :  11:39:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just an opinion of course:
I'll pay the big bucks for the Stillwater (or Cache le Poudre for those that prefer them), same thing. They are made for alpacas.
I feed my cats cat food. Dog food is cheaper.
Our birds get food for their individual type, cockatiels and canaries. My koi get koi food.
I don't skimp on feeding myself, my fish that just swim around, my birds that annoy me, my cats that were all rescues and wake me up every morning.
I guesstimate that the Stillwater costs me about $.005/day per alpaca. The late term pregnant ones may cost me $.05/day when they gobble it up. New arrivals are about the same.
I've been hearing about production problems in some herds and a couple of deaths from copper deficiency. This came out of the UC Davis Camelid Vet Symposium.
I'll spend the pennies on the Stillwater.



Rick
--
Rick & Pati Horn
All American Alpacas
35215 Avenida Maņana
Murrieta, Ca. 92563
alpacanation.com/aaalpacas.asp
http://aaalpacas.com/updates.html
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Heidi Christensen

4211 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2008 :  12:47:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit Heidi Christensen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hey Rick,

Sounds logical, but we are talking about minerals here. Stillwater and C de P both have guarenteed analysis information on their websites. I printed them up and took them to the feed store with me and looked for something similar. And found it.

Heidi Christensen
WingNut Farm
Graham, Wa
(253) 846-2168
http://alpacanation.com/wingnutfarm.asp
http://wingnut-alpacas.com
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willis2u

131 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2008 :  06:59:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Heidi Christensen

Hey Rick,

Sounds logical, but we are talking about minerals here. Stillwater and C de P both have guarenteed analysis information on their websites. I printed them up and took them to the feed store with me and looked for something similar. And found it.

Heidi Christensen
WingNut Farm
Graham, Wa
(253) 846-2168
http://alpacanation.com/wingnutfarm.asp
http://wingnut-alpacas.com

Where did you find it, and who is it made by?
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Heidi Christensen

4211 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2008 :  10:02:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit Heidi Christensen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I found it at my local feed store. I tossed the bag - wasn't sure it would stay in a loose form in the bag, so put it in a bucket with a lid on it. Don't remember who made it.

Heidi Christensen
WingNut Farm
Graham, Wa
(253) 846-2168
http://alpacanation.com/wingnutfarm.asp
http://wingnut-alpacas.com
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vlyons

670 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2008 :  10:32:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit vlyons's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I now use Purina mineral blocks -- not the salt blocks, but the equine mineral blocks. I used to buy 25lb bags of Stillwater minerals for $75. The 40 lb Purina mineral block costs $14, and the animals can't push the "bucket" over and spill the minerals on the ground. The animals like the blocks and have "sculpted" them into interesting shapes.

Virginia Lyons
Able Oaks Ranch Alpacas
Rusk, Texas
www.ableoaks.com
contact@ableoaks.com
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