question on feed for pregnant does

Discussion in 'Goats' started by tiergarten-CO, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. tiergarten-CO

    tiergarten-CO Well-Known Member

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    Hi there
    we were told that we should discontinue alfalfa 8 weeks before kidding. We are wondering if this is true and if so why?
    Could anyone help us out.
    thank you in advance...
    Kerstin and Tony from Colorado
    ps: Great board with tons of info THANKS we have learned a lot
     
  2. dbarjacres

    dbarjacres Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Great question. I'm new to goats too and about to have my first kidding season. We are feeding second crop alfalfa and some second crop grass/clover mix too. I think some people are saying to stop feeding it because it's high in calcium. But then there's all the other people that say they NEED to have straight alfalfa because they can get Ketosis otherwise. They are so full of babies they can't eat enough and then they get sick and die - basically starve. One of my goat's breeders had this happen to her last year and this is what the vet told her after she lost her best doe with quads. I don't know what's supposed to be true, I've only heard to feed them the alfalfa, but the last few weeks, seen a couple of places now to not feed it.
     

  3. farmgirl85

    farmgirl85 Member

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    I am interested in knowing why you would want to stop feeding afalfa 8 weeks before. I would think the nutrition from the alfalfa would be good. I plan on feeding alfalfa mix all along. What is the right thing to do?
     
  4. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    It has to do with the calcium levels... from what I understand, feeding high calcium, especially if phos. and magnesium levels are low, can set up heavy milking does for milk fever when they kid.
    I wonder if this is one of those "goats are tiny cows" things, though. I think the odds of a doe with multiple kids starving under otherwise good feed, are a lot higher than a doe down with milk fever. Just don't see a lot of dairy cows carrying triplets!
    I'm going to a dairy goat conference in Jan. where Daniel Considine will do a goat management seminar; I guess I'll find out then!
     
  5. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    all my dry goats get alfalfa pellets and grass hay all the time then 30 days prior to kidding I start introducing grain, gradually increasing until freshening and then depending on their production depends on how much each feeding each individual goat gets of feed. I never take them off alfalfa pellets.
     
  6. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    I ask this question a few months ago on this board. I had read in old archives about not feeding alfalfa in late preg. Someone :worship: that I look to for all the right answers came back with good answers. I was asking about alfalfa pellets since we don't get much of the hay down our way. I think this posts was in Oct. you may be able to look it up. I will go back and see if I can find it.
     
  7. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    i didn't know that you stop feeding alfalfa but i heard that if a doe gets too much calcium the bones from the kid will loose some elasticity and it will be difficult to deliver. mine still are getting alfalfa/hay mix plus grain. one of them is due this month.
    susanne
     
  8. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There is one article that *everyone* with pregnant does should read right now, and that is Sue Reith's article on hypocalcemia. I will just put the link here, because it is pretty long.

    http://www.saanendoah.com/hypoca.html


    Tracy
     
  9. tiergarten-CO

    tiergarten-CO Well-Known Member

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    Thank you everyone for your replies. This is very interesting. We have talked to a few goat people here in this area and if you ask two for an opnion you get 3 different answers. And everyone says if you do not do it their way you will kill your goats.
    So we like to read and ask as many as possible so we can make up our own mind and use common sense in our decision. This board is defenitely great sourse of info thanks
    The artical was very very insightful. Thanks for posting...
    Kerstin and Tony
     
  10. Baaa

    Baaa Active Member

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    Very good artical ,THANK YOU for the link !

    I am wondering about the pellet goat feed that some feed all the time. I have hay but my goats dont eat much as they want those pellets !

    Our pasture boers are eating and waiting for larger amount of goat pellets,crimped oats,BOSS and corn now ...as this is what son bought. I have seen one very pregnate doe that was bloated and this doe has had bloated stargazing before due to overeating cedar. I gave this doe some CMP paste for cows before . Tomorrow I will have son cut back a lot on the feed and let them graze and eat dry hay.

    For my 4 unbred does I am feeding a mix again as I have a little of this and a little of that :( It's hard for me to feed the same feed each time as I ran all over town again hunting the 12%Pilgrams feed again and the store didnt sell it and sold another to replace it (Acco Golden Performer 12% )after that bag was gone I just went to my local feed store and bought goat pellets.. then I found another 12% horse feed that has probias in it and it was cheaper so that is what I am feeding now along with a small amount of alfalfa pellets(leftover from milking) . I was going to buy crimped oats as a filler and they like them. It would be easier if I could find a dairy brand for milking does and a dry doe mix for dry or pregnate does.
     
  11. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    I asked at the conference- got different answers!

    Daniel Considine feeds 1 lb grain/day to dry pregnant does (first fresheners) and increases to 2 lbs to close-up (due within 60 days) does. Grain too early when dry makes fat. Fat should be built in late lactation and in the last 60 days of pregnancy- they should go thru the last 60 gaining weight. Dry pregnant does get a coarse mixed grass/alfalfa 1 part grass to 1 part alfalfa. He also does free choice minerals, with each mineral being offered separately (he thought there was 17 altogether) a supplier comes around and fills the feeders with the different minerals- sounds great but costs about $200 a month!

    Vincent Maefsky put in his 2 cents at this point- he has a Grade A goat dairy here in MN, run for 30+ years so he knows something about goats too- he feeds pregnant does extremely high grade alfalfa- over 200 RFV- and ground cob corn- the corn and cob coarse ground together- free choice for roughage!

    Both agreed that the cal/phos ratios (need to be 1 to 1 or 2 to 1) were the key, not alfalfa/no alfalfa. For this you need a hay test and to know what your grain ca/phos ratio is.
    Also agreement on a total diet with crude protein of 17%, ADF fiber over 19%, at least 20 ppm copper, and less than 5% fat.
     
  12. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    you all also need to go back to www.saanendoah.com and read Sue Reith's article on Ketosis which explains in detail why we continue to feed alfalfa.
    The old school as Vicki so avidly pointed out was that NO alfalfa close to kidding however now days many have realized that this is not a good rule of thrumb and we need to feed it. Too many problems arrive in late stages of prgers and freshening have been elimanted if we follow Sue Reith's advice.
    Vicki led me to this info on www.saanendoah.com when I first got into goats, and so far we here have never had a problem at all. Vicki also feeds basically this same way.
     
  13. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    This is what Vicki said on 12/11/04