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Old 04-12-2010, 03:52 AM   #1
auntdinana
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Default Goat too thin?

I understand that a milking goat is supposed to be thin but I wonder if my Windy is too thin. Her hip bones and spine poke out and she'll tear into her grain but there will often be leftover alfalfa pellets when I go out for the next feeding. She's giving 6 lbs of milk a day with one kid still nursing (9 wks old) so that would tell me she's still pretty healthy - just skinny. But she's almost skeletal.

I keep my goats with my chickens and the goats love to get into the chicken lay mash whenever they can. I have the chicken feed goat-proof (knock-on-wood) now but I wonder if her occasionally getting into it disrupted her rumen somehow? I have never had goats before and have only had these since September so I haven't checked for worms yet. Could that be the problem? I guess I would be more concerned about worms if my other two were skinny but they seem perfectly healthy. Granted, they're both MM and Windy is LM so maybe they are naturally rounder?

I appreciate your thoughts on this. I just don't want to accidentally overlook the signs of illness or poor nutrition because of ignorance and inexperience.

Thanks!



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Old 04-12-2010, 05:06 AM   #2
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Default Re: Goat too thin?

Daniel (Wizard) is in your state, might want to ask him how he worms, he also has miniature lamanchas which stay round on air

Keeping them out of ground grains like laying mash and laying pellets is essential, plus chickens poop in their water and in their hay and walk in their feeders spreading all worms and cocci from the ground into the food. Sorry but chickens in with your milking stock is simply gross....in my opinion

A doe who is super thin after kidding could be showing you winter worms you didn't take care of, it can also simply be poor dry period managment, they simply have to have groceries to grow out 2 or 3 robust kids and themselves through your cold winters...if they don't freshen with some fat over their ribs to milk off, they milk off their body...and if any worms are eating condition along with that, well they are thin.

Getting a doe who is milking well and nursing kids back into condition during lactation is not going to happen without the possiblity of founder/acidosis or bloat problems. Make sure her water is super clean, her alfala feeders also, her hay feeders and if you are going to try to increase grain do no more than about a handful a week increase.

A fecal sample to the vet can be a very well spent $15 if they can identify worms or use a chambered slide to give you a count of eggs. Vicki



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Old 04-13-2010, 05:50 AM   #3
auntdinana
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Default Re: Goat too thin?

Ummm - I don't think you meant that as it came across but for the sake of argument...

I can understand that you would think it gross to have the chickens in with the goats but I fail to see how it is any different than the goats grazing and drinking where they poop themselves and ingesting worms from each other. I mean no disrespect, but by your reasoning, anyone who keeps more than one dairy goat in the same place is putting their animals at a very large risk and is, therefore, gross. In a perfect world we would all have huge farms where our animals could run free and never graze the same place twice. As an urban farmer on a 1/2 acre, I've got to work with what I've got...

Thanks for the suggestion of contacting Daniel. He's sent some great information. I will send in a fecal sample and see what comes back.


Diana

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Old 04-13-2010, 06:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Goat too thin?

Hopefully your water buckets or troughs are taller than a goat can poop into. Chickens are notorious for roosting in the hay, pooping in the hay, and as they scratch through the goat barn, connected to their feet are the very parasites you are trying to keep out of the goats hay by having hayfeeders that goats can't stand or poop into. Walking through the goat minerals or goat feeders (here they contain alfalfa pellets for the girls to eat) would mean waste since the goats surely won't eat them if a chicken with poop feet has walked through them.

All of the above can be the reason your doe is thin, goats are very picky eaters and her not eating could simply because the goats are fowling her water and hay?

When asking questions on an open forum we can only take the post you have written, asses the situation and post our experiences. Thin milkers living with hens, yes could be any of what I wrote above in the first post, but it also likely is a doe who simply won't eat after hens have been in her hay or food...just worth what it is, an opinion and why I don't have free range hens anymore on the farm. Vicki

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Old 04-13-2010, 02:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Goat too thin?

Well, if the chickens would stay on the ground I guess I could live with it BUT I only had one hen and she was up in the goat feed trough, perched on top of their roll of hay, etc. I guess I really wasn't too concerned when she vanished one night and all that was left was a bunch of feathers.
I personally don't want chickens running free where I feed and water my animals. I have a separate chicken yard and henhouse but have no chickens at this time.

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Old 04-13-2010, 02:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Goat too thin?

As someone who's currently keeping chickens and goats together I HAVE to agree with Vicki , my two does are at a less then ideal weight and i've thought for awhile that it was the living together situation. Now I have little choice ,if I want the babies safe they need to be in the dog yard , in the dog yard is where my banty flock lives. They are there as bug/tick control. With 6 dogs it's easy to miss a tick on a dog. The does arent skinny but they have lost weight and im fairly certain it's not because of the babies drawing them down.
Free choice alfalfa hay , goat feed , plus whatever scraps are thrown out..



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