Goats getting smaller!?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Emily Anne, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. Emily Anne

    Emily Anne Active Member

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    I have nubian goats, for almost 7 to 8 years now. Each year my kids don't grow quite as large as the last year even though they are from the same mother. No one has been able to give me an answer on this. I give them selenium/E, B complex, and CD/T shots and given med. to prevent cocci. I deworm often. They get free choose bermuda hay (NC quality) and between 1-2 lbs of grain a day, it's the mule city 'MG' feed. The bucks I use are very large and my goats are very healthy and great conformation, just small. My does from february are about 1/3 -1/2 the size of my original/ largest doe. Does anyone have any suggestions?
    -Emily Anne Schilling
     
  2. Kathy Norris

    Kathy Norris New Member

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    Dec 17, 2004
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    I have the same problem. I have mixed nubians and my first batch two years ago were pretty large, especially my billy. I'm 5'4" and when he stood on his hind legs he was at least a foot or more taller than me. Last year's kids were , even those off my largest nannie, and I thought it might be due to them being female, but this year we've gotten two billies from that same sire and both of them are small. I've asked my vet, but he doesn't really know the answer either.

    Maybe you can help me with another problem I'm having. I'm from Eastern NC and my goats have a tendency to forget that it does get cold here in the winter. I have 3 new babies that are less than two weeks old and the weather has been well below freezing for several nights now. Besides separating the sexies, is there anything I can do to postpone kidding about 4 months until the spring?
     

  3. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Emily, one thing really jumps out at me -- you feed them grass hay and grain -- these goats have NO calcium going into them. Can't grow big goats without it.

    Kathy, yes you have to seperate bucks from does if you don't want them bred on their first heat cycle. There is no other option.

    Tracy
     
  4. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Hi Emily Anne, there is probably several answers to your question. First who raised the original does and bucks? Did they feed like you did? There is little nutrition in some bermuda hays, especially bahia, coastal is better, there is also little nutrition in any horse and mule type feed, it's the least expensive that MG carries here, and is nothing but byproducts, meaning you have all the leftover grain, chaffe and then it's heavily molassased to get your goats to eat it. There is also no calcium in your goats diet except for the calcium carbonate in their mineral mix and in the grain mix, certainly not enough to grow the bone a large dairy kid needs. You could correct alot of this by feeding alfalfa pellets, adding it slowly to the diet, even keeping the hay and grain the same.

    Another thought is have you ever fecal sampled? Cocci and worms are the number one stunting problems in goats. Just because you are using a wormer or using a cocci drug, does not mean it's working. Are you starting it soon enough? Before they are 3 weeks old, giving enough and giving it consistantly? Worming constantly is not a good thing. The damage that uncontrolled cocci and worms does to the goat...cocci eats the lining of the intestine, causing scar tissue, the goat is then never able to absorb nutrients from that section of intestine. Worms suck the blood and eat the nutrition that is absorbed in the gut.

    It takes many years of heavy linebreeding before you see stunting from genetics. Do you need to add some new blood?

    How old are the does and what do they weigh when they are being bred? Are they being bred young to their brothers? This could be all your problems right there. To get a March born doe bred to kid in March of the next year takes worming with products that work, cocci treatments, alfalfa pellets or grain (and this is real grain, the tag says oats, corn, barley, no by products at all, they are 85 pounds plus when bred at 7 months and some are even more than this...but take that same doe and let her get bred by her brother at her first heat in August and you have ruined her. I don't keep bucklings in with my doelings, or bucks in with my does when I don't want them bred.

    Hi Kathy, perhaps something above will help. And then just move the bucks out of the pens from May until September, get the bucklings off mom and away from thier sisters or castrated before they are 8 weeks old, introducing the buck you want to breed back in the pens in October, this will give you March kids.

    Obviously this is just a general answer. Vicki
     
  5. Kathy Norris

    Kathy Norris New Member

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    Thanks for the help Tracy and Vicki. I'll separate them early next spring.
     
  6. Emily Anne

    Emily Anne Active Member

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    Thank you Vicki and Tracy,
    The feed I use is Mule City Specialty Feeds inc. MG which is their show goat feed. It says on the tag 'maximum nutrition for goats & cattle' crude protein 16% crude fat 7% crude fiber 15%. it says to feed with hay and/or pasture but not to feed with other supplements. the ingredients are : cracked corn, extruded-expelled soybean meal, corn byproducts, molasses product, soybean hulls, cottonseed hulls, flaxseed, stablized soybean oil, calcium carbonate, lactose, wheat middlings, cultured sweet whey, whole sweet whey, and many added vitamins and minerals. For roughage as well as hay I also feed them beet pulp and some bread. I have been thinking of mixing my own feed and have been looking around at getting bulk feed around here. The person that we bought the goats from gave them free choise beet pulp and bartlett pellets. How do I find out about how to take fecal samples? I'll start giving them alfalfa, thank you for the advice.
     
  7. Emily Anne

    Emily Anne Active Member

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    I was lookin around and found the information on how to check fecal samples