I am making a recipe for some feed. I feel I am on the right track. I have the help of a program that shows me protein, calcium and phospurus amounts. I know I need a 2:1 Ca/P ratio. The problem is, all the high Ca (calcium) content comes from the really expensive grains. Corn is still the cheapest thing to add but it is so high and phosphorus and barely any calcium at all so that throws off the ratio. I know I can add feed grade lime ,which is calcium carbonate, to the feed mix and that allows me to get the level where it needs to be and lets me use a little more corn and a little less alfalfa pellets to save some money. Is limestone calcium carbonate added to the feed an OK source for calcium or should I make the feed be correct with the grains and without adding the lime? Also, I've added some soubean meal to get the protein up a bit. This is going to be a dusty feed unless I add a binding agent like molasses or something. However, that causes the feed to have a much lesser shelf life. I want to order at least a 1/2 ton mixed. What would you suggest I do about cutting the dust without taking shelf life away? I almost have this recipe ready but I have to figure out these last few things before I can move forward. I looked up quite a few recipes on past threads and when I ran the recipe through the program, many of them were so high in phosphorus and were too low in calcium. Too much phorphorus is the main cause for urinary calculi in male goats....at least around here. Thanks for your help!!
I've been a fan of the tome, <Morrison's Feeds and Feeding>, for decades. It is THE rescource for feed values of all kinds, and requirements for the various classes of livestock. The goats are lumped with the sheep section, however, but the basic nutrients of ALL feeds are endlessly investigated. See if your library system has it, or a good used bookstore can find you a copy.
In general, figure that grains of all sorts = phosphorus.
Legumes of all sorts = calcium.
Lysine, found in soy, is the trick ingreedient for the body's ability to USE the phosphorus.
Both the calcium and the phosphorus need magnesium to be utilised by the body.
I found this recipe on line (I was uncertain, too, as to what to put in my goats'feed) and had it mixed up for me. I'm not sure, though, whether it really is ok - so maybe someone else can give us both some sound advice ...
Very simply, if you have defficency in major or minor minerals on your farm, you can't use calcium carbonate or sorbate and have it utilized as a dairy goats sole source of calcium without metobolic disease.
I feed alfalfa pellets for my calicum and roughage.
Oats for carbs and energy.
Calf Manna supplement (which is a knock off here of this brand) for minerals and protein.
BOSS (you can also use oils)for fat.
A high copper mineral with kelp and yeast and probiotics, free choice loose minerals with no added iron.
I don't feed corn in Texas because it is not tested for antifloxin which can kill production and your goats.
I don't have a problem feeding soy which is the protein in the calf manna.
I don't feed baking soda because my girls don't get molassas in their grain and good cured grass hay has natural bicarb in it.
My bucks rarely get grain, they live on alfalfa pellets, grass hay, minerals and live in the woods, before and after being used they get a very simple meat goat pellet that contains ammonium chloride for urinary calculi.
The 2 to 1 ratio for goats is of course old cow information...I would bet a much better rule of thumb is at least 5 to 1. Especially in dairygoats. Vicki
I'm curious about the Ca:P ratio that you mention. Every seminar that I have attended on goat nutrition, from the Kent Feeds Research Farm to Langston University online has noted a 2:1 ratio. Merck Veterinary Manual even notes a lower ratio being acceptable (1.2-1.5:1).
Can you elaborate more? This is very interesting to me.
Chris I use Bluebonnet Tech Master complete, and yes it has kelp and yeast in it. If your local TSC sells Bluebonnet grains (it's a high end grain for the TSC yuppie crowd) although I used their horse all grain dry mix for years on my milkers because of it's high quality, than if you talk to them and also Bluebonnet you can get it added to their order. It can be a headache with that store ran by college kids.
Hi, T....I haven't found nutritionists at our coop very helpful in formulating a feed for my goats, because they are simply not small cows, like vets, unless the nutritionist at your mill has hands on experience with goats, you simply get what you can find in any book. Even my boer does did better with more calcium...the one thing even a nutritionist who knows nothing about goats will tell you is that dairy stock and alfalfa...the numbers aren't there on the alfalfa for what it truly does for milking stock.
You can't have a simple 2 to 1 ration for any farm if you don't take into account your defficency. How much of that 2 parts of calcium is being assimilated with copper defficency, little to none. High in iron? Low in molybellum? High in Zinc? All of this effects all your does. I know I come at this whole conversation from a commercial asspect although I certainly am not a commercial dairy anymore milking so few, but feeding your goats what they need to stay in good flesh while they milk as much as they genetically can, makes good sense be it a large farm or small one. Feeding extra of anything, especially protein and now grain, because of the price and not a rise in quality, means someone is spending money on your goats that they are not making for you.
In reality unless you are showing your stock you could have some of the best looking milkers around, even boers, by only supplementing alfalfa with a small amount of grain and calories to your does while they are heavy bred. My girls look great on alfalfa year round, there is natural phosphurous in your minerals, in your hay and in all browse.
About 90% of metobolic disease (ketosis, milk fever, hypocalcemia) problems in dairy goats is always answered with calcium issues...you simply can't keep good milkers alive on grass hay and sweet feed. Add alfalfa to the mix and your grain isn't really even a consideration unless you are trying to keep show bloom on your does.
You can read on this forum the worm and cocci problems...not fecal sampling kills off your does one by one.....if you copper bolus in the south, pacific northwest and the highway from Texas to Michigan, you have less worm burdens, more copper also helps with calcium absorption so calcium carbonate can be utilized as a large portion of the diet. If selenium is also a problem then all of the above effects reproduction and muscle strength. It's cheaper in the end to know what problems you have in your area and dealing with them, because you then loose no stock, have more milk, healthy and more kids for sale... Vicki
So high values of copper are good for goats...not for sheep though, I understand - with less than two acres I must pasture and house both my goats and sheep together - how would you suggest I handle the situation, I give them a mineral lick which is fairly LOW in copper, because of the sheep. I feed the pack good second cut mixed grass hay plus the grain stuff mentioned in my other message...oops, I'm a bit confused - would someone give me a detailed - recipe - for - dummies while I wait for pasture to be tested for nutrients?
I'm just learning about this, so please excuse my ignorance. I've been giving my goats a salt lick with minerals. Now I'm hearing loose minerals and baking soda, but no mention of salt...is that covered by the loose minerals, or baking soda? I did give my girls some baking soda last week and they love it.
I'm not milking...these goats are just for weed control, so I don't want to spend too much, but I want them to be healthy. They get grass hay, alfalfa pellets, and fresh browse (grass, weeds, pine and maple, and shrubby brush) daily.
Oh, and I've had goats for years and never had a sick goat...all very healthy.
It's just guilding the lilly at best, worst is that adding 3 forms of sodium....loose salt, baking soda and their minerals, gives them choices for the salt they crave, to not choose the mineral, which is what you want them eating. There is salt in minerals, there is baking soda (bicarbonate) in all good cured grass hay...so why give it. Plus you are not feeding sweet feed, so there is no need to 'sweeten the rumen' which is needed when you feed molassas feeds with sweet minerals. Vicki
For what it's worth, I attended a seminar today given by Fred Homeyer, an ABGA judge and Boer goat breeder from Texas. Dr. Homeyer owns Tarzan T66, a champion Boer buck.
Dr. Homeyer shared his feed recipe with us, and I thought this would be a good place to post it. I don't know how much of these things folks can get in certain areas (like, I am not sure we have too many cotton seed hills in Iowa), but it's just an idea.
17% protein feed
ingredients are for 1 ton of feed
Thanks for posting the ration. Call me stupid but is milo short for something? I don't know what that is. LOL!! I'll tell you one thing, I am not adding any coccidiosis preventative or Ammonium Chloride to my feed ration. I just don't like chemicals. I'm trying other more natural methods of dealing with these things. I just had a feed ration mixed up. It is a custom ration that I came up with on my own. It took me a couple of weeks of spending hours studying. Talk about difficult!! I think I have a pretty decent ration that will take care of every goat regardless of age and place in production. Some might need more than others, of course. I'll have to let you all know how well they are all doing on it, after they've been eating it for a while. I'll tell you one thing, they love it!! I did have baking soda added right into the feed, along with a blend of natural minerals, vitamins, kelp and probiotics. I also had diatomaceous earth added because it is known to help control intestinal parasites, keep down on fly populations and cause more nutrients in the feed to be utilized (results in faster growth and lower feed costs). I'll have to let you know how well this works. We are switching everyone over to it, including the kids, who are 4 months old and older. We have a wether that we are feeding out for the freezer. He was 7# at birth and now weighs 44# at 4 1/2 mo old. If you go by the 10 lbs/month rule, he should be 52 lbs and so is 8 lbs underweight. I'm hoping to see him make quicker gains now. BTW, we have a postage scale that goes up to 150# and we put a large piece of plywood on it and zero it out. Then we can walk goats up onto it just like a livestock scale. DH says he thinks he can get a scale just like it that goes to 400#. Then we could weight the big goats too. That would be great. I'll keep you all posted on the feed. I would be happy to give out the recipe if anyone is interested. It is a 16% protein ration.
Ammonium Chloride is not a chemical, no more so than your baking soda, it is a mineralized salt used for urinary calculi.
DE does nothing on intestinal worms, it does being pooped out stay in the pellet and keep flies from laying eggs in it. When adding DE to feed it should be pelletized or should be fed wet in molassas or oils, because it will cause respiratory disease being inhaled while your goats are eating it. I know just in my own club we had gals feeding DE and having untreatable pnemonia signs in their goats, it was the DE dust. I know when using it in my barn under my shavings one year, I kidded my does out in the grass in front of the barn, because them digging to china in the barn to kid, I couldn't breath in there with my asthma and the airborne DE. Be careful with internet information. Vicki