general herd health w/ feed

Discussion in 'Goats' started by okiemom, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. okiemom

    okiemom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    May 12, 2002
    Need opinions,

    Our goats are on 50 ac. we have 25 adults. They are given (1/2 bale )alfalfa hay/day and enough grain to keep coming up to the feeders (1/4 to 1/2 lb/day) thre is still about 15 ac. in the back that has not been touched by them. loose minerals too.

    We feed alfalfa hay and about 1lb grain/doeling in a smaller pen which has grass and some forbes. there is a sweetlix block w/ rumension and loose minerals.

    the does w/ small babies are in a pen with grass and fed 1 lb feed and alfalfa hay and sweetlicks block.

    Do I need to look into BOSS out free choice? or anything else?

    I am wanting to breed commercial goats that will produce well in OK on normal conditions. I can't aford to "pamper my goats w/ cavier" I do want to make sure that I am getting correct goat/acre stocking amounts.

    I might be paraniod, but I see some of the show goats and think mine are skinny next to them. Are show goats or the goats you see on line going for big bucks fat? Some look more like small cows or pigs than goats. I have seen some boer bucks look like the wrinkle dogs.

    Thanks on your opinions.
     
  2. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    North of Houston TX
    I totally agree with you, and most folks don't even know why they are feeding what to their stock :)

    Putting out hay like you are, especially good alfalfa also stops the waste, the goats will eat all of it period. I also gave my boers grain (whole oats) each day, because it was the only way I could catch about 10 of them, when they would dive for their oats I would dive for their collar, clip them to the fence and trim their feet, doing one a day at feeding time meant I didn't have to rodeo them every 3 months for major hoof trimming :) The tame girls of course could simple be trimmed at pasture.

    Goats do not need grain period. They can kid, milk and live very long lived healthy lives on pasture, then on alfalfa hey when bred and milking, the kids grow like gangbusters on only alfalfa hay...a really good mineral for your area with 2 to 1 calcium to phos. ratio, with where you live you should also be really sure your copper levels are up there, and Bo-se shots twice a year. You could further their milk production with grain (not ground up crap in pellets, but grain, corn, oats/barley etc...giving you more weight on your kids at weaning, which means more money in your pocket....IF..that extra money is more than the grain costs.

    If I ran boers again I would do somethings the same and somethings different. I would keep the main herd in the woods like I did before, they had loafing sheds to go under when it rained, course we also do not have ice and snow. They got grass hay during the coldest parts of the year, November through April....When heavy bred (uddering) I would move the pregnant does into a smaller pasture with a real barn, they would then slowly go onto alfalfa pellets and have the same grass hay, they would kid and nurse their kids for 12 weeks in that pen, after 12 weeks, bucks where sold, and the dam was returned to the woods pen with the buck. The kids would stay in the pens until the fall when well grown, and able to be bred to a buck in the woods. No bucklings breeding their sisters, or doelings being bred young or harassed by adult bucks. The kids could be raised in creep areas that they only had access to, with one of those crappy pellets :) that contain rumensin or deccox. Which also gives you a gate to inclose them in for the perverbial rodeo to worm every 3 weeks and trim feet.................GOD how I hated them wild kids! I pulled doe kids for my replacements to the dairy barn to be bottled and lambared :)

    Of course these forums are hard to get info from, your talking to a dairy gal right now, a show person who has big goats who carry weight, Nubians who are skinny are frowned upon :) I also milk for a living, so goats at pasture with no grain can't earn their keep here period. My girls are also unnaturally bred for higher and higher milk production, if I don't have calcium as the major source of proetin in their diet we loose goats, hypocalcemia is a constant threat for us both because of the milk production our girls have but also because of their high multiples. Neither could you take one of your does off pasture and put her into the boer goat show ring. Both places are very artificial places, and sadly for the folks who are really raising real goats, they get less money for what they do than us. In all livestock (cows, goats, horses, geeze even bunnies and chickens) the purebred show animal will always pull more money in that any other real livestock. It's a fact of life. I appreciate what you do, we just do things differently. Vicki
     

  3. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Washington
    I think alot of the goats you see are fat.

    Take an objective look at your herd. Do you see shiny fur? Bright eyes? Do they have plenty of energy? Are they actively nosing about looking for trouble to get into? Are the kids growing fast? Do your does have any problems with their pregnancies or birthing?

    My guess is that your feeding routine is just fine. I give my goats BOSS as treats because they just plain love the things (cashews and gingersnaps are the other big hits).