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Has anyone tried Geoff Lawton's Mineral Mix?

 
Ben Walter
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Here's a site describing the mix and how it's used...I'm curious if anyone has tried it and how it works for them.

Mineral Mixture
 
Paul Ewing
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I haven't tried it. Looks like a pretty limited mix to me. I am experimenting with a free choice buffet style individual mineral program this year. I got the individual minerals from Free Choice Enterprises out of Wisconsin http://www.freechoiceminerals.com They have a delivery truck that runs monthly routes throughout the country.
 
John Polk
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The original post was about mineralizing the soils, not direct animal feeding.

The beauty of minerzlizing the soils is that once the soil has been 'fed', the pasture will continue to feed the required nutrients to the livestock. If it is being directly fed to the livestock, this becomes an ongoing process - it must continue until the soil has become mineralized. If mineralized, a well diversified pasture will supply all of the minerals needed for good nutrition and health of the livestock.

Supplementing the animals is good practice until the soils have achieved a nutritious balance, which could take a couple of years.

 
Paul Ewing
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Feeding this mix through livestock as discussed in the article is a pretty inefficient way to spread minerals if the only goal is to put them into the soil. All the ingredients can be directly applied to the soil much more efficiently and evenly with simple equipment. That is one reason I prefer the buffet style feeding since the cattle get exactly what they need which is also what the soil is missing. When you feed any premixed mineral you either have to have a very good soil analysis because often it is possible to overload one mineral that locks up other minerals if the concentration is too high.
 
John Polk
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Free choice feeding is an excellent way of getting the lacking minerals into the animals (& their manure).
The animal's instincts tell them what they are missing.

A good soil test should be the first step. Many of the pre-mixes are heavy in some minerals, and sparse in others. Very true about putting too much of one into the soil, as it may bind up others that are needed.

Directly adding it to the soil is probably the best alternative, as this will directly feed it to the forage. Free choice feeding until the soil is holding its own.

 
Ben Walter
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I appreciate the thoughts...I do soil test and have applied organic fertilizers and some micro-nutrients. (B, Cu, etc) I can't really afford to amend my pastures as well as I would like at this point.

My main curiosity is around the worming affect of the CuSO4 and the neutralizing affect of it's toxicity with the dolomite.
 
Cj Sloane
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I have all the elements but haven't been religious about giving it to the animals. Maybe when it warms up I will get back to a once/week regimen.
 
Ben Walter
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Paul...I was looking at that site you shared and was wondering, if you don't mind sharing, how much does it cost you per year for how many head of cattle?

Also, do you move your mineral box with the cattle or do you have boxes in each paddock? Thanks!
 
R Scott
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Like most things in permaculture (and life), it has a big up front cost to get the savings in the long run. Figure a little over a grand to get a feeder and your first pallet of mineral. Depending on your herd size and mineral deficiencies, that could be all the mineral you ever need or it could be a month's supply. Usually what happens is the animals eat quite a bit of one or two minerals and not so much of the rest. That is where the savings come from, only giving what is needed and the animals not over eating the mixed minerals to get the one trace mineral they need.

You could have separate feeders, but they are made to drag between paddocks. It would be expensive to have multiple feeders for a single herd. It is easy to pull with a 4 wheeler, I don't think a garden tractor will do it and you wouldn't want to do it by hand. Now if you could train your cow to be a draft oxen.... Still, if you can figure out water for a paddock shift, the mineral is easy to deal with.

 
Cj Sloane
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R Scott wrote:Figure a little over a grand to get a feeder and your first pallet of mineral.


Just to be clear, that's for the holistic management style free choice minerals.

I bought all of the element for geoff lawton's Mineral mix and the total was about $80, not including ACV and molassas. Some of these ingredients will last a long time.
 
R Scott
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Cj Verde wrote:
R Scott wrote:Figure a little over a grand to get a feeder and your first pallet of mineral.


Just to be clear, that's for the holistic management style free choice minerals.

I bought all of the element for Geoff Lawton's Mineral mix and the total was about $80, not including ACV and molassas. Some of these ingredients will last a long time.


Yes, and that is for a feeder and the first 1,000 lbs of mineral. So it is a completely different scale.

Running a big herd of cattle, free choice saves money fast. For a family milk cow or a dozen goats/sheep, not so much.

Still better for the animals and soil IMO, but there needs to be a happy medium. Let the animals do the work...

There should be a business to do this on a homesteader scale--Sell mineral in 5 lb bags (or whatever fits in flat rate USPS boxes) and a UPS shippable starter kit. For someone who likes doing customer care.

 
Cj Sloane
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Geoff actually calls this Pat Coleby's Mineral mix. The amount is for 1 dairy cow (or several milking goats), once per day. All other animals is once per week but I can't find the exact amount. For sure he said that amount for 10-12 chickens or ducks, give a bit to the dog.

Minerals for pat coleby mix.png
[Thumbnail for Minerals for pat coleby mix.png]
 
Cj Sloane
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I should add that it's very controversial to give copper sulfate to sheep. It accumulates in the liver and can be released all at once during a traumatic event or illness. If it bothers you, Geoff has suggested putting in mugwort or another vermifuge.
 
Cj Sloane
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R Scott wrote:
There should be a business to do this on a homesteader scale--Sell mineral in 5 lb bags (or whatever fits in flat rate USPS boxes) and a UPS shippable starter kit. For someone who likes doing customer care.


Perhaps you meant the holistic free choice minerals but here's a link where you can buy a 5 lb mix of Pat Coleby's "Goat mineral mix"
 
Paul Ewing
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My first load of minerals was $780 delivered. It cost me about $100 to build a feeder. It is probably worth the $250 for their feeder since it is already built and is oak instead of the pine I used. I am just starting the program so I am not sure how long it will last. I bought roughly a half ton of minerals in their recommended ratio for a starter setup. They said it was enough for 50 head for close to a half year. I am running around 25-35 head depending on the season so I will see how things go.
 
R Scott
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The problem with mugwort or wormwood or other natural wormer is getting them to eat it. Chew on a piece of wormwood and you will agree.

$3/pound for the goat mix in the big bag, not bad if you have a handful of goats. But free choice averages 80 cents a pound, and they don't overeat it--but you have to have a feeder. Again, it depends on your scale which is the right answer.

I think there is a market for the free choice minerals for small herds, I just don't know how to scale down the feeder price-wise.
 
Gabe New
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R Scott wrote:I think there is a market for the free choice minerals for small herds, I just don't know how to scale down the feeder price-wise.


It's not hard to build your own. If I can do it, almost anyone can.
 
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