How to fatten up a thin milker?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Freeholder, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,665
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    It may be too soon to worry, but . . .

    I bought an Ober/Boer cross doe almost three weeks ago. One week later, she kidded -- twin doe kids. I didn't have time to get any weight on her before she kidded (and didn't realize how thin she was, as she looked in fairly good shape with all that extra weight!). Now she's giving about eight pounds of milk a day (at eleven days fresh, milking three times a day), and she is very thin. Much thinner than a dairy doe ought to be, IMO. I've never had much luck trying to put weight on a milking doe, other than last year when I had to cut my Kinder doe's feed back a little because she was getting fat. This girl is getting eight to ten pounds of alfalfa pellets a day, another five pounds of alfalfa hay, three pounds of cob, a handful of BOSS, has fresh water available at all times, mineral/salt mix available, has been wormed . . . I am upping her grain slowly (didn't want to do that too fast). I was thinking about getting her some beet pulp, but that's not much more than empty calories. And I'm going to start taking her out to graze on a lead rope (with me, I don't tie goats out and leave them). Any other ideas? I'd really like to get some weight on her. I'll probably dry her off early if she stays this thin, so she has some time to fatten up a little before she kids again next year. She seems to be healthy, and came from a healthy herd, but had been on brush-eating duty (still getting hay and alfalfa pellets, though).

    Kathleen
     
  2. NewlandNubians

    NewlandNubians Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    142
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Location:
    Virginia
    I'd give her at least a month to see any definite improvement... Has she any lice problems? You may want to make sure you got the worms good too.
     

  3. Milking Mom

    Milking Mom COTTON EYED DOES

    Messages:
    425
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    Can you cut back to just milking her twice a day, morning and evening? Maybe her body is just having too hard of a time keeping up with that pace. Some dry mix grain, horse feed without molasses in it might help. I give my Alpine about 6# of this a day, top dressed with beet pulp (for calcium) and BOSS for fat, plus all the alfalfa pellets she wants plus hay. Maybe take a fecal sample into the vet to see if there might be any worms there. Worm with Cydectin pour on given Orally to goats, do not pour on, Dosage: 1cc per 25# body weight or 1% Ivermectin injectable given orally, dosage 2 cc per 100# body weight.
     
  4. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,665
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    I'd like to cut back to milking twice a day, but then we'd be buying milk for house use until I get those babies onto milk replacer (I don't like to switch them until they have had mom's milk for at least a month). Does the dry grain, without molasses, make a difference? We'll be going to town tomorrow and I could pick some up. I can worm again, but did worm her right before she kidded. When they are getting as much alfalfa as she is, do you think the extra calcium from the beet pulp would still help? I'm already feeding some BOSS, but could up that, too. She's eating more than all three of my Kinder does put together! Yikes! Of course they are all dry right now, but still . . . . If she keeps this up, she's going to be giving awfully expensive milk!

    Kathleen
     
  5. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

    Messages:
    747
    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    N.Ar
    why are you milking her 3x a day if you want her to gain ?
    if youre demanding that much milk from her, she is gonna produce it , its genetic, not like she can stop it
    start by shortening your demand at her mid day milking, then cut it out entirely,
    what is her actual weight ?
    shes an odd cross, but i would guess her ideal should be somewhere around 150# , not too much more, even with the boer genetics ober doe ideal is 120#
     
  6. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,665
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Initially, I had to milk her every time I fed the babies, so we started out milking four times a day. I cut back to three times when her milk started to come in. I could cut back to two milkings a day now, but there would only be enough milk for the two kids, and we really need milk in the house. Or, I could put one of the kids down, I guess. One of them has an undershot jaw, so I was planning on putting her in the freezer this fall anyway, just would rather wait until then so we get some meat. I will be cutting back to two milkings a day anyway, as soon as she comes up enough to feed them and still give us some milk for the house.

    I think for now, I'll worm her again, and keep upping her grain, and see if she picks up over the next two or three weeks. By then, I will have cut back to milking twice a day (I can't keep 3X milkings up for very long, anyway). Then the Kinder doe will be kidding, and my only worry with her is that she's too fat (well, that and the worry that she might have a litter)!

    Kathleen

    Oops -- forgot to add: I'm not sure what she weighs, as I don't have a weigh tape. I'll see if I can find the chart and take my sewing tape down and measure her in a few minutes.
     
  7. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,665
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Okay, goats all measured. If that on-line chart is accurate, and if I got accurate measurements (the buck was NOT wanting to hold still, LOL!!) here are weights for all my goats.

    Opal, 4-y-o OberXBoer doe, eleven days fresh, 150-160 pounds. (Maybe I shouldn't even be worried about her weight?)

    Mazola, 6-y-o Kinder doe, due to kid in a little over a month, measures at 150 pounds also which I'm sure doesn't take into account her pregnancy! I *thought* she was getting too fat! She should be around 120 at most.

    Thunder, 10-m-o Kinder buck, weighs a hair over a hundred pounds and is fat.

    Lightning, 10-m-o Kinder wether is 75-80 pounds, about where he should be.

    Linnet, 10-m-o Kinder doe is about 100 pounds -- she's fat.

    Lark, Linnets twin sister, is about 75-80 pounds and she's fat, too. She is about four inches shorter than her sister. No wonder these guys are getting hard to pick up!

    And, Opal's two 3/4 Boer doe kids, at eleven days old, weigh about twelve pounds.

    So, do I really need to worry about Opal's weight?

    Kathleen
     
  8. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,312
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    SE Indiana
    OK, a doe should be wormed the day they kid because the stress of delivery will cause dormant worms to become active. So yes, worm her again. I would also cut back to twice a day milking. It would not hurt the kids at all to mix their bottle with half replacer. I do it all the time from the beginning of bottle feeding. By a week of age, my kids get 2 bottles a day as much as they want up to 20 oz. at a time. I do not give more than 20 oz. at each feeding & they get 2 bottles a day until they are 8 weeks. I then cut out one bottle & when they are 12 weeks old, I quit giving them a bottle unless I have plenty of milk. You are demanding a lot of milk from her & it is taking all she has to give you that milk. I would add beet pulp & some calf manna to try to get some weight on her.