Another Feeding Question

Discussion in 'Goats' started by steff bugielski, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. steff bugielski

    steff bugielski Well-Known Member

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    NY
    I am currently feeding Blue Seal caprine challenger for my milking does. I feed about 3-4 lbs aday. I also give 1-2 lbs of alfalfa pellets. I am still not real pleased with my milk results. I have a question for those of you feeding BOSS. Do you give mineral suppliments? if so what kind and how much.
    I would like to try switching them over for the next kidding and milking season.
    Thanks in advance for any thoughts and advice.
    Steff
     
  2. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    North of Houston TX
    Your grain mix is a good one, we can't get it down here. I would up the amount of alfalfa pellets you are giving (feed them in the barn, not on the milkstand) and decrease the amount of grain given unless they milk more. My top milkers are eating 3 to 4 pounds, staying in good flesh...does who are fat or who are not milking well simply don't need that much grain. I challenge feed, 1 pound in the am and 1 pound in the pm, then I slowly start feeding 1/4 pound more each am and pm until they no longer make more milk...keeping their alfalfa pellets constant. Once I get no more milk, weighed on Mondays, they go back down 1/4 pound and I write their name and amount of grain on the dry erase board. If their milk goes down during August, they go down on grain, increase in Sept, it goes back up to the pre grain amount. None of my does milk well in August (well I freshened a doe in July, she is milking gangbusters).

    I am only feeding BOSS now during pregnancy and early milking. My girls simply don't need the fat in their diet and get plenty of roughage in the woods, from grass hay and their alfalfa pellets. Plus it's an expense that wasn't needed. Feeding it winter and spring though gives me excellent coats and skin to slick down to show, so it's really a vanity food for my girls and me :)

    Minerals are 100% needed here. I feed the best I can afford. I choose to use a grey mineral that contains little to no iron, we are iron rich here and it binds with other minerals that are more important. I also feed no molassas because of this. I copper bolus incoming stock, once on my program I don't have to do this anymore. I prefer the Bluebonnet Tech Master Complete. I get mine from TSC.

    IF you are doing all of the above, especially with the nice grain mix you can get, you may be looking at bloodline. Sorry I don't remember off hand what breed you are talking about...geeze hopefully full sized with the amount of grain you feed :) If your does are fat and milking, you can pretty much be assurd it is not anything you are doing...does who are able to keep their weight or gain weight during lactation are not milking what they should......don't ask me how I know that :) Vicki :shrug:
     

  3. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    Have you thought of trying the Dairy Goat Plus from Blue Seal? We use that for our milkers and the Caprine Challenger for our non-milkers (kids and Myotonics). They LOVE the CC, but it seems really "sweet" to me, like it's really heavy on molasses. They not as crazy about the DG Plus, but they always eat it. I still give loose minerals, even though the CC is supposedly a "complete" feed. I use the Techmaster as well. It just feels like an insurance policy to me. KWIM?

    As far as amount, I give 3 lbs. a day (divided between two feedings), to my heaviest milker, less for the other. And they get about 3 lbs. of alfalfa pellets as well.