Vickie, a question about oats for goats?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Jillis, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    You posted just recently that whole oats are better than sweet feed for goats. I just bought some rolled oats. Is there a significant difference in rolled and whole?
    Also, I know that too much oats can cause horses to founder. Is it because goats are ruminents that they don't have this problem? I was a little nervous about giving them only oats because I have been accustomed to thinking of too much oats as a problem.

    TIA! Jillis
     
  2. stoneymom

    stoneymom Well-Known Member

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    Sorry - I know that you were addressing this to Vicki,but I firgured I would put my two cents in - hope that's okay. I feed a mix of whole oats and sweet feed about 2 parts oats to 1 part sf and I have never had a problem with any of my does. It isn't ever nessesary in my opinion to feed rolled oats. You lose so much of the nutrient value in that process - it's hardly worth it. Besides the animals even young ones can handle whole oats just fine. When I figure my feed rations and who gets what and how much - I always break it down and feed them half in the morning and half at night. Hope this helps!
     

  3. Terre d'Esprit

    Terre d'Esprit Boer-ing Mom

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    Okay, this is a totally newbie, totally dumb question, and a tiny bit OT. I was thinking about asking about oats, though...

    I have three goats. 2 of them are strictly pets, 2 boer/dairy cross wethers. The third is a Saanen doeling.

    The Saanen is about 7 mos old, and she is getting sweet feed 2x a day, and alfalfa free choice. She looks a pretty good weight this winter.

    I am having a tough time with the boys and knowing how/what to feed them. They are penned most of the day, in the barn (about a 12 x 12 pen, so fairly generous), though they do get some outside time each day. However, one is very dominant and always butts the other at feeding time. I have heard that feeding free choice alleviates some of this, and I'd like to do that because I am afraid that someone will get hurt.

    They used to get sweet feed, but I have stopped that, since they are chubby and don't need any more calories. I feed alfalfa (1 flake 2x a day), but really shouldn't because they are just getting bigger. However, if I feed grass hay (or less alfalfa) they are more destructive and the dominant one is meaner. I have also tried "forage max," a product my feed guy suggested, which is a type of sweet feed with a lot of minerals in it so they don't hog it down, and "graze" on it more. They hate it, and won't eat it.

    So, my question is if there is something that is "less fattening" than sweet feed (like oats?) that I can feed them. Also, is there something I can feed them free choice that will keep them from being so destructive and competitive, but will not have them gain so much weight?

    I know that is a dumb question-- they are probably going to crave something more that is richer and more fattening. Also, they are meat goats, and bred to gain weight, so that makes it tricky. But if anyone has insight, please share!

    Thanks.

    T
     
  4. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wethers are better off with a small amount of whole oats than sweet feed. If they are getting too fat, they probably shouldn't get any grain at all. They may not like grass hay as well as the alfalfa, but it is better for wethers. They are less prone to get urinary stones eating it than alfalfa hay.
    As for does, I like to feed my milkers sweet feed mixed with lactation pellets. I used to mix whole oats in with this too until I started having problems with the place I was ordering them from. The went up from $6.25 a bag to $9.25 a bag and they usually did not show up on my shipment. With any goats, you need to watch that you don't over grain them or they could bloat or founder.
     
  5. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    Goats need cracked corn, but oats whole please! They cost so much more rolled and they loose roughage! The do of course love them. I'd substitute it if whole were not available

    T, wethers do not need grain. unless they are hauling wood or back packs.
    Grain is for growing, milking, pregnant, or working goats, every body else just gets fat. Sweet feed is = to candy bars, if you feed it keep out the baking soda. My goats rarely ever touch it any more (baking soda) I just keep it out do to habit I guess. I feed one lb a day basically of 2 parts oats, 1 part corn, top dressed with 1 cup sunflower seeds, and 1/2 cup calf manna to milkers and pregnant 2005 babies. I would add barley to the mix but my herd Queen hates barley and she tosses out all her grain if it's in there.
     
  6. Terre d'Esprit

    Terre d'Esprit Boer-ing Mom

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    Hi All-

    Just to clarify, I got my wethers when they were 3-4 mos old, and they are about 10 mos old now. At the time, the breeder was feeding grain, but after about 7 mos, I weaned them off of it, as I know that they do not need it.

    It's the alfalfa that's making them fat, and they yell all day long and destroy things (and the aggressive one is more aggressive) if I give them grass hay, or even a grass/alfalfa mix.

    As I am also a mom of fleshy, 2-legged children, I know the concept of tough love! So I am open to that suggestion, too. I just wondered if there was something I could give them that would taste yummy, fill their tummies, but not be as rich (=make them gain weight) as the alfalfa.

    Thanks. I love this board. : )

    T
     
  7. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Is that cracked corn you put in your mix? My girls LOVE BOSS, sometimes I give them a (very small) snack of cracked corn when I need to get into the babies and don't want them muscling in for the babies' grain.

    I give them a few apples for a treat once in a while, also I gave them some broccoli stems once which they went crazy over.

    We also cut lots of cedar for them and they devour that. I was told that cedar is also somewhat of a natural wormer. They've stripped all the cedar posts on their fencing of the bark.
     
  8. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    Yes cracked corn in my mix, "always cracked" oats are safe and more nutritious whole. Boss very good for goats, roughage, fat for shiny coats.

    T- I think your whethers might have you trained. I would give them more than 2 flakes a day grass hay maybe 1/4 a bale, and minerals and water. :rolleyes: I have a steer who has me trained right now, but that big bully's not here much longer. So if you want them thinner put them on grass & alfalfa mixed, if they are destroying things either give them what they want or.... You could send them off to the ____. I would give them more than 2 flakes a day grass hay, and minerals and water.
     
  9. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Alrighty then. Now, what is "calf manna"???
     
  10. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I feed a sheep and goat pellet, which is expensive, and free choice grass hay. I've been looking for ways to reduce my feed bill but still get everybody what they need. Why is whole corn a bad idea for goats? Do the whole oats provide much protein fed alone or do they need to be combined with something else? I have a small group of goats and am slowing growing a flock of milkers, mostly nubian, with some percentage boer/pygmy.
     
  11. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    Whole corn wears down teeth to the point they need floated, and its very hard to find a vet to float teeth, espensive for the things you'll need to float goats teeth, and when their teeth are worn wrong they can't chew food right and can also choke to death on their feed, (happened to one of mine) I've heard of choking on whole corn also. If for any reason you can't afford to buy corn, oats, barley, boss.. then the best thing to stick with would be a bag of oats.

    Calf Manna, I only feed during the fall and until they kid, it's to increase Protein, Energy, Vitamins & Minerals (plane of Nutrition) to fool them into releasing more eggs, I want two and three kids per doe. Now on 2005 doe kids who are bred at 7-8 months, I start the calf manna after they are bred, they don't need the burden of extra kids. Older does I start the month before I intend to breed them. It's basically Minerals and extra protein. $18 for 50 lbs. There are generic brands out there also.

    http://www.mannapro.com/CM_home.htm
     
  12. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    Could you perhaps copy what's on your feed label? Do you also have sheep? Sheep and Goats have different requirements yet they love to group them togther.
     
  13. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Sherrie did a very good job of answering this, just didn't want you to think I was ignoring you.

    Yes of course goats love sweet feed, who wouldn't. But there isn't a nutritional reason to feed molassas, and of course most molassased feeds are sticky sweet only to cover up inferior products. How can you buy a 50 pound sack of sweet feed for $5 when a sack of oats is $7? It's because there isn't a whole piece of oats within a mile of that sack :) Yep whole oats, race horse oats, fat oats is what you want. And yes it's because horses and pigs are single stomached that you can get away feeding them differently than you can ruminants.

    It's hard to answer some questions on nutrition, as a blanket statement, since everyone on this board uses their goats for different reasons. Always take that into account when trying to find answers. Feel over the ribs of your goats, are they just skin and bones? Than increase their high quality roughage...move to better hay first, than add a small amount of high calorie feed, oats with samll amount of flaked, or crushed, or chopped corn. Barley is too expensive here to even recommend, it's the cadillac of carbs though! Increase the fat in their diet with BOSS. If you can feel ribs, but it is covered in a layer of thickness than they are at a good weight, now if they jiggle when they walk or you can grab a handful of fat, than what are you doing out in my barn!!!! :) but unless at the end of a pregnancy, you need to cut their calories!!! Alot of goats who are easy keepers, can live on alfalfa, even duing pregnancy and milking they need no grain at all....we love goats like this!

    Protein is needed for growth, and they can get all the protein they need from good quality alfalfa, if the quality is poorer than normal than you can use the protein of soy (like Sherrie does with her Calf Manna). I like using a soy based protein pellet like this, on my kids, because it is soo jammed packed with wonderful vitamins and minerals, most babies eat very few of their loose minerals. But protein is not needed to milk or to breed, or grow kids. Once grown lower the protein in all your feed stuffs to your goats.

    Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, I promised my family a non goat Christmas, well broke my promise both Xmas Eve and 7am Xmas morning when folks showed up with their does in heat to be bred :) Family was not amused, think after all this time they would be used to this :) Vicki
     
  14. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the "soy is poison" school of thought so I won't be giving them any of that...
    I was wondering about the advice on oats because the protein analysis on my rolled oats was the same as the protein on the sweet feed. The protein level of whole oats must be significantly higher then. I'll check it out.
    My goats are not skinny, but now that it is winter they might be just bordering on pleasingly plump. I've been thinking I need to decrease their grain a little...

    Thanks for all the advice, everyone!
     
  15. MillsFarmFamily

    MillsFarmFamily Well-Known Member

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    Jillis, why do you say that "soy is poison"? Just curious. Does anyone have any experience/information about sorgum (sp?)
     
  16. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    I believed unfermented soy products were a "health" food until someone on a homeschooling forum respectfully corrected me and directed me to some links that gave good info. I never ate or drank a lot of soy but had bought into the idea of it being healthy hook, line and sinker. Here are some links if you are interested.


    http://campaignfortruth.com/Eclub/180602/theshadowofsoy.htm

    http://neuro-mancer.mgh.harvard.edu/ubb/Forum175/HTML/000145.html

    http://www.bellaonline.com/ArticlesP/art14831.asp

    http://www.vegsource.com/articles2/harris_soy_products.htm

    http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz/

    http://www.rense.com/health/soydanger.htm

    http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/soydangers.htm

    http://www.rheumatic.org/soy.htm

    http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/soy.html

    http://www.tuberose.com/Soy.html

    http://www.mercola.com/article/soy/