Finally rain..... is it dangerous?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by fishhead, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well we finally got a significant (1+") rainfall after many weeks of extreme drought.

    Overnight the grass turned green. Green plants means nitrogen usually.

    Now I'm wondering if that might be dangerous since I remember reading somewhere that goats can have problems after browsing on recently watered vegetation that has gone through a long drought.

    Is this a potential problem? What can be done? I cannot take the goats off the browse so if there is something I need to watch for I would like to know.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    If you can get them to eat some hay they should be alright. It will help "dilute" the amount of fresh growth they get. If you "cant take tehm off" then youll have to hope for the best
     

  3. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What does it do?

    Too much liquid? Bloat? Too much nitrogen?

    Thanks.
     
  4. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Grass contains mostly water, so if they have had nothing green in a long while than you can expect some loose stools, think of a diet without green, it's dry grass, dry grain. But it shouldn't hurt the goats. What hurts the goats is not the grass it's the millions of worm eggs and larve laying in wait during the drought under the top soil, the pasture floods with water, the eggs and larve float up, attached to the grass, waiting for your goats to graze them back into their system. Eating short mowed or droughted grass is not a natural diet for goats, they should be eating with their heads up, and why so much problem with worms, anemia and death occur in pastured goats compared to browsed goats. Some pasture grass can also suffer during drought...Johnson grass etc...making a posion during drought to keep deer from eating it, but goats and horses, I suppose it's a hunger level along with domestication, don't seem to be able to pick it up, eat it, bloat and die...same for hay made from the same grass.

    Goats are creatures of habit, change is your enemy with goats. Vicki
     
  5. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for the info. Flooding is not a problem on my dikes because the water just runs into the ponds. My weeds and brush have stayed green throughout the drought but I have noticed the taller grass would brown the day after the herd walked through it.

    What I can do is to take the goats on their evening browse on a dike that has lots of young aspen, willow and tall weeds. There should be less water in those types of vegetation compared to grass.
     
  6. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Let me clarify, I didn't mean floodling. When it rains, this gives a vehicle for worms and eggs and their larve to float up and cling to the grass in the a pasture. Worms their eggs and larve float up, they do not crawl, they can not live through a true deep hard ground freeze, live very poorly in arid desert conditions, but can live for years under burnt pastures, drought condtions or frosts and light freeze.

    IF you have levies and dikes, than do you also have snails? Lungworm may become a consideration for your worming program then. Vicki
     
  7. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes I have at least 2 species of snails. One is the rams horn. I am working at ridding the farm of snails since they carry trematodes that infect the fish.

    The goats have been wormed with Valbazen which is supposed to work on lungworm.

    The rain wouldn't amount to much more than 1/4" above the ground level but we have had a lot of dew so I suppose the larvae could use that as a vehicle to climb the stems. I've read that goats should be kept of the pasture until the vegetation dries for that reason but that's not an option for me. One thing in my favor is that the farm is "virgin territory" and has not had any large animal (except passing deer) for many years. Plus even with our non-winters lately we still get a hard freeze at least a foot deep. Normally the frost line is 4 feet.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  8. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    Rich grass pasture, especially if it's fertilized and on acidic or sandy soil, can make a magnesium deficency in cattle. Symptoms are twitching muscles, straring eyes, walking stiff legged, foaming at the mouth and seizures & death. Fast growing grass doesn't take up much magnesium and acidic/sandy soil further interferes w/ magnesium uptake.

    Broadleafs have a lot of mag. I *think* tree leaves do too but not positive. Since you have a mixed pasture, I would think your goats would eat some of both types of forage.

    You can add free choice rumen buffer with mag. oxide to increase mag. intake. Or ask at your feed store for a beef mineral for grass pasture.

    We had a nice greenup here too. My does had free choice hay most of the summer and once the grass came in, they switched to that. No problems here.
     
  9. Simpler1773

    Simpler1773 Well-Known Member

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    I had just read that somewhere (now I can't remember where) about lambs quarter. It gets an extreme amount of nitrogen if it's gone thru a drought and can cause nitrogen poisoning.

    If I find the source again, I'll post it. Maybe it was in my Storey's Guide.

    Ricki
     
  10. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My goats get free choice goat mineral and my pond water checks out at 100mg/l hardness (CA and MG) so I'm hoping that is sufficient.

    Yes they seem to like a variety of salad materials. I can only imagine how they blend together during the digestion. Todays favorite weed or shrub is replaced by tomorrows or even the one they find in the next 5 minutes. It also changes by plant stage.