Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I live in North Georgia and have 3 dwarf pygmy goats, 2 female and 1 male.
These goats are pets. No intention of reproducing or producing milk.
I purchase Timothy hay and feed them approx 6 hand fulls/day all year round. More in winter.
(I say hand fulls as I sparsely fill 2 of those goat troughs from Tractor Supply)
I have 1 acre for them to browse 24/7 and do not seed the pasture. It is almost always green with various grasses and weeds. I was giving them each a hand full of Dumor goat feed with a sprinkle of sweet feed every evening both as a treat and as a "supplement" but they are seeming to be tired of it.
*Any suggestions? I am totally open to creating my own evening treat .... I see oats may be an option. I just want to make sure they get the necessary vitamins. I also saw that someone gives their goats whole grain cheerios .....

I look forward to the responses :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,836 Posts
Males, intact or otherwise, are at extreme risk for urinary calculi or bladder stones. These stones form and lodge in the urethra leading to death in the vast majority of cases. The best treatment is PREVENTION. I cannot stress this enough.

Females also form stones, but they have short, wide urethras and it is exceedingly rare for them to form stones and block. Males have very long narrow urethras that have radical turns (sigmoid flexure) and narrowings (sigmoid flexure, urethral process) that are excellent places for stones to lodge.

If an animal cannot pass urine, it is deadly. Often these animals seem 'constipated' according to owners. They are actually straining to urinate. As the bladder fills beyond normal limits, it very well can burst filling the abdomen with urine. This gives an immediate pain relief so owners often think they're 'better', but toxins quickly diffuse back into the bloodstream and cause death. Treatment is very expensive, risky, and animals that are successfully treated are at extremely high risk for recurrence.

Genetics likely play a significant role. However, MANAGEMENT plays the single most important role in development of this disease, ESPECIALLY NUTRITION. And, it is the one major thing we can control as owners. Wethers and bucks require a calcium to phosphorous ratio of 2:1 to be maintained to prevent them from being predisposed to stone formation. This is VERY hard to regulate with treats or 'home made' grain mixes. Many commercially produced goat diets are balanced 2:1. But, rarely are they eating solely this diet - they often graze or are provided with hay so you must be careful of those foodstuffs as well.

Recently research has shown that acidifying diets (with ammonium chloride) may be less useful than the majority of mostly opinion based literature suggests. Recent studies have shown the longer males are kept on ammonium chloride, the kidneys adapt and the urine becomes less acidic. This means it is likely best utelized as being fed for a week, but then being off for a week or two. Also, the level required to sufficiently acidify the urine may be much greater than previously thought. The level required may be very close to the toxic level which often occurs long after the food stops being very palatable.

Wethers should be fed a plain grass hay with LITTLE OR NO ALFALFA OR GRAIN added. Does do just fine on such a diet as well if they are not expected to reproduce or produce milk. If animals become thin, it is always other illness especially PARASITES which are to blame, likely not nutrition.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SueBee

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Males, intact or otherwise, are at extreme risk for urinary calculi or bladder stones. These stones form and lodge in the urethra leading to death in the vast majority of cases. The best treatment is PREVENTION. I cannot stress this enough.

Females also form stones, but they have short, wide urethras and it is exceedingly rare for them to form stones and block. Males have very long narrow urethras that have radical turns (sigmoid flexure) and narrowings (sigmoid flexure, urethral process) that are excellent places for stones to lodge.

If an animal cannot pass urine, it is deadly. Often these animals seem 'constipated' according to owners. They are actually straining to urinate. As the bladder fills beyond normal limits, it very well can burst filling the abdomen with urine. This gives an immediate pain relief so owners often think they're 'better', but toxins quickly diffuse back into the bloodstream and cause death. Treatment is very expensive, risky, and animals that are successfully treated are at extremely high risk for recurrence.

Genetics likely play a significant role. However, MANAGEMENT plays the single most important role in development of this disease, ESPECIALLY NUTRITION. And, it is the one major thing we can control as owners. Wethers and bucks require a calcium to phosphorous ratio of 2:1 to be maintained to prevent them from being predisposed to stone formation. This is VERY hard to regulate with treats or 'home made' grain mixes. Many commercially produced goat diets are balanced 2:1. But, rarely are they eating solely this diet - they often graze or are provided with hay so you must be careful of those foodstuffs as well.

Recently research has shown that acidifying diets (with ammonium chloride) may be less useful than the majority of mostly opinion based literature suggests. Recent studies have shown the longer males are kept on ammonium chloride, the kidneys adapt and the urine becomes less acidic. This means it is likely best utelized as being fed for a week, but then being off for a week or two. Also, the level required to sufficiently acidify the urine may be much greater than previously thought. The level required may be very close to the toxic level which often occurs long after the food stops being very palatable.

Wethers should be fed a plain grass hay with LITTLE OR NO ALFALFA OR GRAIN added. Does do just fine on such a diet as well if they are not expected to reproduce or produce milk. If animals become thin, it is always other illness especially PARASITES which are to blame, likely not nutrition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks @CapriceAcres - I think it's the "Momma" in me that wants them to have "more" .... I've been trying some fresh fruits and veggies - but they aren't too interested.
Timothy hay is what we are feeding them.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top