Goat feeding questions

Discussion in 'Goats' started by hoovershounds, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. hoovershounds

    hoovershounds Well-Known Member

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    I have had my dairy goat for almost a year and generally just feed her grass hay & about a 1/2 quart scoop of goat chow/cracked corn mix. When I mix the two 50lb sacks I add one box of baking soda to the mix. I also have a sulfur salt block out for her. I had her bred in october & after looking over some of these posts, I am wondering if I am feeding her right. All opionions appreciated.
    Amy
     
  2. Jcran

    Jcran Well-Known Member

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    For what its worth, someone once told me that a salt lick won't give them all the minerals they need(licking all day long won't give them enough?), that loose minerals are what they need. My opinion is that your goat is being well fed!
     

  3. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You may also want to give the baking soda free choice so the goat can decide when to eat some.

    Goats need a lot more copper than sheep so be sure to get minerals that are made for goats.
     
  4. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Now that your doe is bred, you need to make sure she has the proper calcium/magnesium/phosphorous balance. Alfalfa is the best way to go with that. Since you are feeding grass hay, I'd slowly add alfalfa pellets to her diet until she's getting 2-3# a day. I'd also give her goat mineral and soda free choice.
     
  5. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    you need to add Alfalfa in eather Hay or Pellet form, and you need to find some Loose Minneral for Goats,
    dont mix the bakeing soda in with the grain but offer some free choice so that she can decide how much she needs and when.
     
  6. kerrinatoz

    kerrinatoz Well-Known Member

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    Is there such a thing as too much alfalfa? If one is feeding pellets mixed in with grain ration, would it hurt to mix in alfalfa hay with grass hay. When making the transition should this be done slowly??

    Kerrin
     
  7. hoovershounds

    hoovershounds Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replys. What kind of container do you put the soda in so that it dosent draw moisture? Also on the pellets, what do I ask for at the feed store? Are these marketed for goats or cows or what? I read on another post about not feeding grain untill further along in the preg, should I cut this out completely for now and then reintroduce this later. And finnaly when I do reintrodue this, what do I look for in a quality grain for a milking doe.
    Thanks a bunch
    Amy
     
  8. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    You don't stop anything and you start adding stuff slowly and not until you know why you are doing it. Alfalfa pellets are marketed for horses. Your good cured drygrass hay has all the sodium bicarbonate your goats needs as long as you don't feed a sweet feed. You are going to now add alfalfa pellets to your does feeding managment because grass hay doesn't have enough calicum in it for a doe who is pregnant, growing kids, udder and soon to be milking (it's alot to do in 5 months). Do not take away her grain because her diet is inadequate right now for a bred doe. Improving her diet, then next year, while she is still getting protein and calcium and a small amount of fat from alfalfa (hay or pellets) and is full grown, she won't need all the extra calories and energy from grain once you wean the kids or dry her up. For now keep doing what you are doing. But slowly add from perhaps 1/2 pound today and for the next 2 or 3 days, then 1 pound a day for the next 3 or 4 days slowly up to 3 pounds a day. She doesn't really need more than that.

    A good grain for your doe is oats. If you have a good mineral out for her and feed alfalfa you don't need any fancy grain mix, just feed good whole oats. I feed a mixed horse grain, preferring horse labels in my area rather than goats, because the quality of product is higher. It contains oats, some barley and some corn, it's called Equine Dry or Dry mix, COB (corn oats and barley) but mine is dry with no molassas. You could slowly move her from what you are feeding now to it, but once again slowly halving what she is eating now with the new, until she is only eating the new grain, and ceratinly no more than 1 pound a day now, perhaps moving to more as she moves from 100 days pregnant (in a couple of weeks for you and me also) onto 150 days bred and kidding, this will then become your grain you feed while she nurses or you milk.

    Before your diet and minerals were adequate for an unbred pet goat, now that you also need to take out the sulfur block unless your vet or the cattlemen in your area have specifically told you that sulfur diffiecency is a problem in your area, in which case you are going to have a very hard time keeping bucks healthy, and move to a loose mineral, one for cattle or horses in your are are usually better than goat anything. Have fun with the new babies. Vicki
     
  9. hoovershounds

    hoovershounds Well-Known Member

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    I got the alfalfa pellets today & will slowly start her on those. The loose minerals will be in on monday. All they had in stock was the sheep/goat minerals & I think I had read in another post how that does not contain copper. The reason we had the sulfur block out was because someone told us that it would help with external parasites (flys, fleas, ticks) on the mule & cows. And then next time we get grain I will get something with some oats & start her on that.
    Thanks
    Amy