Pregnant Feeding Question

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Aozora, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    My two Nubian does are about 2 months out from having their first kids. I know at this time they need to start moving up to milk production rations. Since this is their first kidding, though, I don't want to overdo it and have huge kids. They are in good condition, but they have hollows right in front of their hips that I just can't seem to get to go away. I guess on a body condition score they would be a 3, and I hear they need to be a 4 or a 5 before kidding so they can support milking.

    Their FAMANCHA looks normal, and a previous worm test had minimal eggs. They like their grain, but they will happily ignore it for attention, and they don't always finish all of it within 15 minutes. They have free choice top quality alfalfa, and they spend 8 hours a day in my acre and a half of forest and scrubland pasture. They regularly eat trees and bushes out there to their heart's content.

    They each receive 1/2 cup of Calf Manna, 1/2 cup of beet shreds, 1/8 cup of minerals, and 2.5lbs of DuMor goat sweet feed per day. Do I need to up their feed? I have alfalfa pellets I can add to the mix. Can someone please help me figure out what else I need to do to get them ready for kidding and milking?
     
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  2. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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  3. SueBee

    SueBee Well-Known Member

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    I will step up and try with so answers.

    You are right with the large kids if you give to much grain from now forward. This is how I do mine, our area is low in Selenium so they get a dose of Selenium and Vitamin E Gel about a week before kidding, no grain, Onyx loose minerals and Baking soda when ever they want as I have containers for them to have free choice. My kidding season started in February for the month before we went through a bag of the minerals with 10 does that was a lot so I figure they really were needing it. I give Copper every 6 months and worm them the day after they drop their kids. For the wormer check to see what still works in your area, things are changing with resistance, the winter was non exsistant so we got Barber Pole, but I caught that right away and did not have any problems.

    We had 2 does have triplets and the babies all had white muscle so they all got 1 mm of the Selenium gel 3 x a day for that first day and it worked. Then as I wanted milk production to be at its prime when I give grain to everyone in the morning they get 2 cups total of this combination, Black Oil Sunflower seeds, Whole oats, the Shredded Beet Pulp, and Alfalfa Pellets, I mix equal parts of each in a large bucket, I keep a measuring cup in the bucket for ease. For the does with Triplets I got an herbal combination called Mothers Milk, it is a tea I open up 1 tea bag that goes in each bucket. I have had great success.

    I do not give any Sweet Feed at all or Calf Manna, our goats have 20 acres of fenced pasture mixed with woods to graze on but I also put out a bale of some good hay for them to pick through, NO Fescue as it can can birth defects. By the way we have Nubian's, I don't milk for 2 weeks after they drop and that seems to work. You sound like you have a handle on things and it will be OK.

    Here is a link to a great site that has helped me develop how I raise my goats, have fun and enjoy. Sue

    http://www.fiascofarm.com/sitemap.htm
     
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  4. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    The hollow in front of the hips are called paralumbar fossas and they are NORMAL. The huge rumen hangs off of the body here and due to gravity, makes these hollows. Not to mention that large uterus carrying kids.

    Do not look at belly size when body condition scoring, that is more indicative of RUMEN SIZE and FILL (it is supposed to be a huge fermentation vat - the bigger, the more fermentation, and the more ENERGY formed from difficult to digest things like forage!). It can also indicate pregnancy, of course. To body condition score, look at overall fleshing of the skeleton and areas of fat deposition.

    Taking more than 15 minutes with grain and walking away during it tells me they're getting too much. One to maybe two pounds per head per day for gestation. While gestation does require a little more calories, IT'S NOT AS MUCH AS EVERYONE THINKS. ;) If I recall correctly from past nutrition classes, human needs just 300 or so more calories per day in later gestation. A goat is a bit different because they pop out multiples the same size as human babies. ;) And also, they are RUMINANTS. But, the idea is the same. Lactation is much harder.

    During gestation, TOP priority is to MAXIMIZE FORAGE QUALITY AND QUANTITY. Improve hay quality in the later part of gestation (last 4-6 weeks) This may be all the improved diet that a doe with a single or even twins needs! However, with increasing numbers of kids, the rumen volume will be impaired - the uterus will take up the space that the rumen needs to ferment feed. At this point, she can become ketotic as she mobilizes her body fat to meet energy needs. Instead, this is where grain comes into play. A recommended average amount of about 1 pound per head per day can help prevent pregnancy toxemia/Ketosis. I start feeding my does in the milkstand their pregnancy ration about 4-6 weeks before they kid. We rarely weigh grain anymore, I tend to go by volume. We use cottage cheese and sour cream tubs a lot. Usually the quart size for pregnant does. We work our way up from the 16oz size.

    Singles are just bigger kids, unfortunately. They can even get big on a hay only diet. There are different ways management play a role in kid size, such as flushing does with an increased plane of nutrition during the breeding season to encourage more eggs to drop to be fertilized. Breeding animals in good body weight will encourage multiples, instead of those that are overly thin or fat.

    Most opt to feed a bit of grain on the milkstand to dairy does for a couple reasons. To support pregnancy as well as to make transition to a lactation diet easier. Lactation is the HARDEST work for any female of any species, and requires a LOT more calories than does pregnancy. Many does will lose weight in early lactation and this is NORMAL to some degree. Too many people expect their goats to be fat all the time and thats just not the case for good health. With good management, she should gain weight through mid to late lactation and be gaining for breeding season. She should flesh out well on regular hay during her dry period, to start all over again with the next lactation.
     
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  5. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    Thank you both so much! I feel a lot better about my does' conditions leading up to birth/milking now. I can't feel any ribs and can barely feel their spine, but those huge hollows bothered me so much. They do have pretty big rumens, especially when they've been foraging in the woods all day. Now that they're less than 2 months from kidding, I'm sure their kids are going to start to show as well.

    They're both FFs and these are my first goats, so I guess I'm just being an overly paranoid goat mom.
     
  6. SueBee

    SueBee Well-Known Member

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    You are not paranoid, you are on the road to education because this whole thing is a learning curve. You will do great if you need any more help just ask. have a great day. sue
     
  7. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    There are a few different resources for body condition scoring goats available in the sticky at the top of the goat forum : Informational links. Hope that is helpful!
     
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