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  #1  
Old 06/25/06, 07:44 AM
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Feeding pygmy goats?

Ok all you pygmy owners, I am curious. How much feed and what do you feed your goats. Like dry does, nursing does, bucks and such. I want mine to graze but know they need suplemental feed and hay. So I was just wondering what everyone else with pygmy goats do.
Here is what I do now.
All 3 does are nursing so they get 1 cup grain mix in the morning, same in the evening plus 2 flakes of alfalfa orchard grass hay mixed. I have 2 bucks and both get 3/4 cup grain mix morning and night plus 1 flake alfalfa orchard grass hay mixed. Free choice purina mineral and baking soda. All goats have a lush green pen full of weeds and grass. Soon we are fencing in 2 acres of weeds scrub and grass. I am not sure if what I am doing is enough as this is my first year with goats kidding.
Grain mix is.

3 parts dumor pelets
1 part corn
1 part oats
1 part BOSS
and I am slowly introducing a new recipe that is
4 parts alfalfa pelets
4 parts 10% all grain
2 parts BOSS

Right now bucks are not getting the new grain mixed in, I am not sure if they need the alfalfa pelets and I know they need the amonium cloride in the dumor pelets.

Ok what does everyone think and sorry so long.

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  #2  
Old 06/25/06, 09:48 AM
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I would not give the bucks any grain at all unless they lose shape from breeding. They do not need grain. Pygmies in general do not need grain. Maybe a little when nursing kids. If you are giving them grain I would give them maybe a handful once or twice a day if they are not nursing kids. If they have plenty of browse, they really don't need it.

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  #3  
Old 06/25/06, 02:41 PM
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I give grain to my young kids, and preggo and nursing does. I give my kids the amount of grain that 'feels right' to me, depending on size and health. The does get grain when they get to the last month of pregnancy till weaning of thier kids. They are weaned on and off of grain, every animal, whenever there is a ration change. Do not make sudden changes. I don't even feed mine hay in the summer, as long as they have grazing. All of mine are a very nice weight and condition. They do also get alfalfa pellets from the last month of grain till end of lactation. Young kids get it too.
Bucks and wethers don't get any grain, as it just causes problems. As long as you have grazing for them, I don't feed grain.

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  #4  
Old 06/25/06, 03:30 PM
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I have 2 pygmy does and I feed them a mixture of sweet feed with hay. I do have some other goats and everyone gets sweetfeed and hay and the boys get medicated pellets and very little sweet feed. I have someother goats in another pen and they are all wethers and I give them only medicated pellets and hay only. Of course everyone gets grass out in the fields.

Good Luck with your goats

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  #5  
Old 06/26/06, 12:35 AM
 
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That sounds like a lot of grain to me. When I had Pygmys the bucks each got 1/4 cup grain twice per day with 1 tsp. of ammonium chloride added. The only reason they got the grain was to get the a.c into them. Dry does got no grain (other than what they picked up from the horses spilling), expectant does (in the last 2 months of pregnancy) were gradually worked up to 1/2 cup twice a day, which is also what they received when nursing and milking. Yes I milked them and they had wonderful (but not very much) milk. Some of the does tended to gain weight easily and had to be cut back, but none of them ever got more. They also had alfalfa hay (rationed), and goat minerals and baking soda free choice.

Debbie

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Old 06/26/06, 06:02 AM
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What does the amonium chloride do for them?

I have had little goats only for a couple of weeks, so I know very little.

We use grain only for treats and luring them where we want them to go.

The vet said they don't need grain if they have good browse.

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  #7  
Old 06/26/06, 06:58 AM
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Ok! You all have given me great ideas. It does sound like I am feeding too much feed but all my advice was given to me by the breeder I got them from and they show all their goats so I guess they need them on the heavy side. A few questions.

Would a 5 month old buck be considered a kid and need grain? He cries for it poor guy spoiled I guess.

Now the pen the 2 bucks are in is aprox 30' X75' and full of grass, weeds and clover. Would you consider that enough to eat on or supplement with hay?

I am fencing in 2 acres but the bucks won't have access to that just the does will.

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  #8  
Old 06/26/06, 11:13 AM
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No, that buckling does not need grain. I usually throw a flake of hay to the bucks & if they eat it, fine. They have a smaller pen. Somedays they eat it, other days they don't. You can try that. If they don't eat the hay you know they are getting enough in their pen.

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  #9  
Old 06/26/06, 11:20 AM
 
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The ammonium chloride prevents the boys from getting urinary calculi (stones in the urinary tract), a very painful condition which can kill them. I have heard and read that bucks do not need a.c. if they are not fed grain, but never wanted to take the chance. So, all my bucks and wethers get a bit of grain with the a.c.

Regarding the size of your buck pen and supplementing with hay I would do as suggested above and give them a flake of hay. An area that size will probably be trampled into just dirt before too long and you will have to feed hay.

Debbie

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  #10  
Old 06/26/06, 12:24 PM
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If you eliminate the grain, there is probably no need to supply ammonium chloride.

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  #11  
Old 06/26/06, 01:36 PM
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Glad to hear the 5 mo buckling doesnt need grain. He wont be glad to hear that. I will start decreacing it over the week. My lazy bucks I can't imagine them trampling their pen down to dirt. I have to mow it every week now so it dosnt get too tall they wont walk in it. They can't keep up with the growth now but maybe with the grain gone they can.

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  #12  
Old 06/26/06, 09:07 PM
 
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Personally, I know my babies don't need the grain but my pygmies are all show animals and need to be in quality fit order. I give them black oil sunflower seeds for a shiney coat and the bucks get chopped hay when they are running the weight off. Maybe even some cob with their minerals. My breeding does get a homemade mix of vigor plus sweet feed and goat ration w/ minerals. My pygmies think treat time is 5pm every night and its how I get them in their pen. Of course their ration probably equals out to 1/4 to 1/2 cup each and they compete with 3 boers and the dominant wether for the food.
All my animals are in no way over weight and very healthy and well decorated. I think I do ok. Still learning but I think we do what works for us. My goats free range in heavily wooded areas during the day also.

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  #13  
Old 06/27/06, 08:53 PM
 
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Here is what I do with my pygmies...

My nannies get grain in the last trimester of their pregnancies and they get 1 cup per goat per day.When they have bagged up in the last month I up their grain ration to 1 cup 2x's a day.This has worked out really well.They have nice large pastures and alot of browse.You have to remember that goats prefer browse over grass.I supplement with mineral and salt and I give approxmatley 1 flake of grass/alfalfa mixed hay,per goat twice a day.Wethers do not need grain at all they are more prone to UC then bucks.I only grain my bucks during breeding season and they will get as much grain as the does. When I do decide to keep doelings I will grain them the first year so I know they get all of the nutrients that they need.

This has worked well for me and I have had great kids this year, my goats are also on a rotational de worming program,routine feet trimming and yearly vaccinations.Plus we just finished having all of the does freshened last week(except our one unexpected preggo lamancha) and all but 7 are sold out of 21 kids.

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