Feeding Pregnant Does.

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Milking Mom, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. Milking Mom

    Milking Mom COTTON EYED DOES

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    What are you feeding your pregnant does that you have dried up, that are probably now almost 2 months bred? and how much?
     
  2. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We feed our Boer does great quality hay only. When the does get 6 weeks from due date they get their shots and grain is started slowly. At about 4 weeks from due date they are up to @ 3/4 lb of grain twice a day plus the hay. Remenber the kids grow 80% of their boby in the last 6 weeks. We have kids due @ Dec.31st...Joan :)
     

  3. miclew

    miclew Well-Known Member

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    We do not raise goats as a business so I do things differently. I do not supplement our preggo goats feed. Our goats are on 14 acres of pasture mixed with heavy woods. They have plenty to eat. We do give the goats (all of them) some goat sweet feed mixed with pellets once a day as a treat. I only do it to bring all the goats up where I can do a head count and check on everyone. I fill one 5 gallon bucket about 3/4 full for 22 goats so you can see it really isn't much. In the winter I do give them some hay to help keep their body temp up.

    After a mama has her baby, I will put her in a seperate pen for a couple of days to watch her and the babies. I want to weigh the babies and interact with them as much as possible so that they will get used to being handled. During that time I will give the mama hay and the goat sweet feed/goat pellet mix. Then I will turn her back out.

    Just two weeks ago I had 6 babies in 4 days (5 mamas). All of the mamas look great and the babies are growing like weeds. I have only lost 1 baby in 2 years. He developed bloat after eating a poisonous plant when he was 3 months old. I have not lost any mamas.

    Michele
     
  4. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I feed only hay and alfalfa pellets until they are 100 days bred. Then they get started back on grain.

    Tracy
     
  5. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    What Tracy said :)

    My girls are due the end of Feb, first 2 weeks of March. The 2nd to 4th fresheners get only alfalfa pellets, their minerals and grass hay. Once 100 days bred they get started back onto their grain (obviously with breeding dates scattered over 3 weeks, I simply start feeding grain when the first doe to kid is at 100 days), so slowly that by the time they are kidding I have added that last 1/4 pound to their diet to equal the about 2 pounds a day they get. Some of course get more than this once in milk, some less. Last year I started them on their grain to fast and had some fatso's even kidding with triplets.

    My does who will be first fresheners, since they will be kidding on their first birthday have received grain the whole time, along with their alfalfa pellets. Once again their maybe 1 pound of grain each per day will be slowly moved to 1 pound in the am and 1 pound in the pm getting them ready for the milkstand. This diet would turn my adult does into big fat pigs, but when you are still growing and making and udder and growing kids, you need the calories and the energy. Honestly there are adult does in my herd who could stand to not even eat the alfalfa pellets, but it's the only source of natural calcium I can use reliably. With our selenium and copper defficiencies in our area, I can not supplement enough calcium in their diet with just using their minerals. We will have hypocalcemia symptoms. Vicki
     
  6. Baaa

    Baaa Active Member

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    We feed our Boers just like Miclew does above, with just pasture,loose minerals and sweetgrain as a treat to take a head count and look them over but, for my milker does (2) I pamper those girls ! They get Alfalfa pellets ,crimped oats and 12% sweetfeed & E crumbles.
     
  7. Galloping Goats

    Galloping Goats Active Member

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    I can't remember the reason for doing this but I was told to quit feeding alfalfa the last few weeks before kidding. Have you all ever heard of this?
     
  8. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    If you read old posts even from me, you will have 'read' me saying this also. It's old bad information, which explains lots of problems we had with milkfever back in the 90's.

    The premise goes like this and can be found in lots of cattle publications from the 60s. First you have to remember that this comes from production animals, Animals that are bred, kid/calve then milk all the way until their bred and less than 6 weeks from calving/kidding. Not a doe who milks for 3 months and then is dry until she kids 9 months later.

    A ruminant on this high grain diet, some alfalfa which gives her a readily absorbable calcium each day, also because of the grain diet, has a rumen that is much smaller than it would be if she was only getting a poorer grass hay. So when dry you move them to a poorer grass hay to get some tone back in their rumen. They obviously aren't getting any grain at this point because they aren't going to be milked. The problem is this. If you take the grain away which contain their calcium in the form of alfalfa pellets or meal in the ration, and you take away their calcium in the form of alfalfa hay, then the ruminant has these fast growing kids/calf in her that is making huge demads on her to grow bone in these kids (especially the last trimester of each pregnancy when they aren't being milked) and building colostrum. So she is supposed to in this scenerio, utilize the calcium reserves she has in her bones and blood. But what if her reserves are not there? What happens if you are also copper defficient or deffcient in selenium? Then the calcium carbonate in the minerals is not utilized correctly, and when a doe pulls more calcium from her bones than she should you have bowed legs in fast growing bred yearling stock, and all the calcium gone from her blood, and you have fullblown hypocalcemia.....which has erroniuously been called ketosis for all the years I have had goats.

    Enter Sue Reith, who flies in the face of all old school knowledge, all vet knowledge and written text. She starts telling us about this and I think POO POO. Then my best doe goes down before kidding. I am doing the propolyn glycol bit, remember she is diagnosed with ketosis, which is a lack of energy. You get rid of ketosis with high amounts of quick energy (sugar) and yes if you want to you can give some CMPK because it is a really good electrollite, but nowhere in the amount the animal actually needs. Then of course although you are dumping this caustic paste down her throat she is raw, fights you constantly, but is still not up and eating. So then you abort them. The day after they kid they are up, everything is fine, and then they go down once again with milkfever. You then pump them full of CMPK giving them huge cow tubes and they recover nicely, come into milk and are fine..............now we know that the whole propolyn glycol/abort is not necessary, and prekidding milkfever (hypocalcemia) is treated just like post kidding milkfever! And you keep hypocalcemia away by always looking at the diet of you bred ruminant and be able to find the naturally absorbable calcium in her diet (alfalfa). You will always here the 2 to 1 calcium to phos ratio in your does diet, problem is you can't do this with minerals. Vicki
     
  9. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Vicki, I had ask this question a couple of months ago about cutting back on alfalfa pellets toward the end of a does pregnancy, but got no answer. I knew that I had read this before from the archives section. I was still feeding my girls alfalfa pellets with grain, but not free choise. My girls are due to start kidding in just a little over six weeks. All four will kid in a two week period of time. Spring time gets busy around here so I am giving this earlier kidding a try. Everyone cross their fingers that I will have at least one doe kid this year. :) Last kidding season was a real bummer. All bucks. :no: :no: not again.