Mineral analysis of the liver of goats
By Dr Mackie Hobson BSc(Agric),BVSc

Friday, 24th February 2023

If an idea of the mineral status of the farm/grazing is required then samples should be from goats not be affected by any other condition or disease. It should have grazed in a specific area ideally for 6 months or longer.
Liver samples are an especially good means of assessing mineral status. The liver is the storage organ for many minerals so will give a better indication of the status of the animal than a blood sample which provides a snapshot of the levels in bloodstream on a particular day.

Liver sample reports usually include:

  • Selenium (Se)
  • Manganese (Mn)
  • Zinc (Zn)
  • Copper (Cu)
  • Iron (Fe)
  • Cobalt (Co)

How much liver is required?

A 30 - 60 gram liver sample should be taken from the edge of the liver (caudal lobe) and placed in a 10% formalin solution.

While single samples are sometimes analysed a preferred minimum of three samples from one locality is ideal but costly.

What are the reference range for Angora Goats?

There are no specific reference ranges available for Angora goats. There are limited references for goats in general and many more for sheep.

GOAT: LIVER (dry matter basis)


In many cases although sheep are a different species but are ruminants we have to look at sheep reference ranges.

SHEEP: LIVER (dry matter basis) Ref Pathcare labs


What impact can micro-mineral deficiencies have on production and reproduction?

It must be remembered that some minerals reduce the availability of others.

Intestinal parasitism can damage the gut wall and adversely affect the animal’s ability to absorb minerals.
Very simply described in the table below is the impact of micro-mineral deficiencies and the impact they can have of production and reproduction.


See the website for more information especially the NUTRITION section of Vets Corner. Also see

Vitamin and mineral requirements of Angora goats

Effect of mineral and vitamins on reproduction:

Available mineral and vitamin options:


Pathcare Labs
A review of mineral imbalance of grazing animals in Southern Africa. P Boyazoglu Eurosheep

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