Goats eating wood

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Earthbound, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

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    My nubians are eating wood recently including part of their house and some downed logs in their pen. Would this signal a deficiency? Lotsa grazing pasture, goat text, 2nd cut hay....... think we're doing all ok, possibly a deficiency in the soil that is in the foliage??? Or is it nothing to be concerned about?
    thanks in advance
    corry
     
  2. tduerson

    tduerson Well-Known Member

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    Mine chew on wood all the time. I have been told by a bunch of different goat producers that it is a deficency. I keep free choice Minerals and have tried different ones plus feed grain twice daily and keep free choice Baking soda, which they never touch. I dont know what else to do. I keep and give them everythign that they say to and they still eat on wood. I sometimes wonder if it is jsut a past time for them. Maybe they just like to chew and naw on things.
    Tina
     

  3. Eunice

    Eunice Well-Known Member

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    I think that sometimes chewing can be a deficiency, but other times goats chew things out of curiosity or boredom. If you think that their mineral needs are being covered, just get them some more toys to play with.
     
  4. rhjacobi

    rhjacobi Well-Known Member

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    Hi Earthbound,

    I have heard that eating wood is a sign of a deficiency, and it might be sometimes. If you are giving a good "goat" mineral supplement along with good pastures, I wouldn't think that it is a deficiency. I emphasized the "goat" mineral supplement because if the supplement is also for other livestock, especially sheep, it would be deficient.

    Most states, extension offices or agricultural dept.devision will test your soil for you for little or very minimul dollars ($2 to $4 usually). Ask at your co-op. They usually can process the soil samples for you or at least should be able to point you in the right direction.

    For one thing, it might be teething. Wood also is just a cut part of a tree (plant). They may just like it or at least want to taste it like goats try tasting everything else too.

    Bob
    Lynchburg, TN.

     
  5. GoatsRus

    GoatsRus TMESIS

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    My goats do the same thing, but I think it's just an animal thing as my husbands cows did it and when a horse does it, it's called cribbing. I believe there are some supplements you can give to horse (noted as for "cribbing"), but I'm sure it's just minerials and vitamins that they should be getting anyway. So it may be a deficiency thing, but I think a lot of it is just boredom.
     
  6. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I DON"T think its a deficiency....

    my girls will eat bark readily in the winter/early spring...Christmas trees (pine) cedar and maple....and so do deer in the winter.

    My girls get exc. gray/green hay mostly timothy and a little grain and free choice minerals and baking soda.

    My dad would make walking sticks out of the cedar they would strip for him. In the summer he'd get a stick every two days...he would tell them to hurry up sometimes. At the same time saying he was a goat farmer....they are my goats!! ;)
     
  7. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    My goats like to chew on sticks and branches. I actually toss fruit tree prunings over the fence for them in the winter. Mine like munching on maple branches and cedar trees, too.

    I really don't think it's a deficiency as long as the rest of their diet is fine. I think they just like it.
     
  8. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Goats are browsers (eating brush and tree branches). They just like the taste of wood, and since most of them don't get much if any browse (since we pamper them with alfalfa and grain) they will take their wood where they can get it. I was putting down fresh shavings in my baby pen, right next to the doe pen, which is bedded with the leavings of the alfalfa the goats won't eat, and the does were all eagerly reaching through the fence to eat the pine shavings. I offered a little in my hand and they ate them like candy. They don't eat just anything, so I know they liked those shavings! If it's a deficiency, it's a browse deficiency. Does anyone whose goats get lots of browse see their goats also chewing on wood?

    Kathleen
     
  9. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all your reply's. I think you may be right on about the boredom thing as they have managed to eat anything of "interest" months back. I'll set up some more jumps and climbs and see how that goes. It was a "new" behaviour in Amelia so it always pays to be on the safe side and ask. They are getting a goat mineral in loose and in block form and goat text and 2nd cut and....... so they're doing ok in that dept.
    Again thanks a bunch
    corry