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Old 04-27-2010, 08:14 PM   #1
hyamiranda
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Default Grain ration question

I'm getting my information from various sources, but it has raised a question in my mind. In a book I read that goats should receive 1lb of grain concentrate for maintenance and about 1 lb for each 2lbs of milk they produce. I'm assuming that refers to the total amount and would be divided in 2 for morning and evening milking. I figured out that I have been providing about 2lbs of grain ration a day for each goat. However, taking Redeemed for instance, she is milking 8+lbs a day, which, in an of itself would mean 4lbs of grain + 1lb for maintenance. Is that a good starting place for her needs or is that more of a recommended maximum?

I know that each individual animal has individual needs and that there is really no hard and fast rule that is applicable in all situations. I'm looking for a better starting place or wondering if I'm okay where I am.



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Old 04-27-2010, 11:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Grain ration question

It depends

On 5 pounds of grain (and there is a huge difference in what each person thinks is grain) is way to much per day for most of my goats, even those milking more than 8 pounds. For to of my goats milking more than 8 pounds one gets 2 pounds of grain morning and night, and the other gets as much as she wants to eat. I do feed free choice alfalfa pellets in the barn though and they eat at least 3 pounds a day in thier barns each.

Grain here is about replacing calories from milking and improving the alfalfa pellets, which means energy, fat and carbs. So much less significants is put on grain here, they get enough only to keep their weight up, it has little to do with how much they milk. Vicki



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Old 04-28-2010, 12:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: Grain ration question

Great question.

When I first got Nettie last October, her owner said she had started to dry her off (even though that is not what I wanted). When she brought her here, she said to just "up her grain" if I wanted more milk. I did. I upped her from about 1/2 lb to about 1 lb per feeding, and then slowly increased it to 2 lbs per feeding based on that "1 lb for the goat and another lb for every two lbs she produces". Grain for me is Purina Goat Chow. She produced about 5 lbs/milking (after increases), and she did eat about 2+ lbs of grain/milking (ok, not quite the formula in the books, but it was all she could eat.

She also went from 1st cutting alfalfa + "some" pellets to 3rd cutting alfalfa hay - all she could eat.

Her milk increased to about double from when I got her within about 3 weeks (give or take a week?).

Today, after drying her off at Christmas, kidding in March (although the kid was DOA), she is again milking about 5 lbs/milking, but eating only about 1/2 lb - 3/4 lb grain per feeding (she gets 1 lb, but doesn't eat it). Gets browse when I walk with them. Her condition is good.

So was it the grain increase (like I was told to do and in the books) or was it the better alfalfa hay?

I'm guessing the hay is key.

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Old 04-28-2010, 02:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: Grain ration question

Quote:
there is a huge difference in what each person thinks is grain
Yes- calling a manufactured pelleted ration 'grain' is totally confusing the issue.
Grain is the seed made by the flowering part of a grass and nothing else.
It is completely impossible to discuss feed regimes unless we agree on terminology.
Calling Purina crap nuggets "grain" and expecting advice pertaining to the seeds of flowering grasses to equate to that is going to be really bad if not totally irrelevant information.
Our 12 pound a day older does would have cow plops on 5 pounds of grain of any description.

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Old 04-28-2010, 04:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: Grain ration question

Lee, we are only allowed to call them crap in Off Topic On this side of the forum it is just yOUR opinion that mystery pellets aren't grain. Having said this there is an extruded grain pellet made locally that is a recipe from a dairy person who wanted their grain mixture pelleted to keep their goats from sorting through it on the milkstand. It's been around awhile, I actually got a call on it yesterday, and they are bringing me the literature and a sack for free. Yes it is a byproducts label but only for convienence, whatever that really means, they said on the phone it is a menued feed, mixed exactly the same each time...then why is it not on the label? Because they don't want anyone to copy it, so can't I have a list of the ingredients or can you tell me whose mixture it is (because there is decidedly those who if it came from them and thier goats look like that on it...no thanks, they are supposed to get with me on that tommorrow. I do know someone who tried it before and am going to have her refresh my memory as to why they don't feed it now, and I know a competetive herd that is on it also...we shall see. Vicki

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Old 04-28-2010, 12:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Grain ration question

OOOOOppppps -sorry!
And no it is not my opinion that pellets are not grain.
Grain is a term used to refer to seeds used as food. Pellets are called just that or are ration or are feed.
Grain is from the Latin for SEED>!!! Grain means seed heads from grasses. It does not mean a ration manufactured by agri engineers.

The opinion part is whether or not it is proper nutrition.
Lee

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Old 04-28-2010, 01:24 PM   #7
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Grain ration question

Here we feed by goat. One needs more than another and such. But they all receive 1/4 lb calf manna and a 1/4 lb meat goat pellet a day as well as their grain and BOSS, pure alfalfa free choice and loose minerals. I consider minerals as essential as the feed, grain, and hay. This is "our" recipe for our goats. Must be working! Tam

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Old 05-01-2010, 06:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Grain ration question

[quote=buckrun ]

Quote:
Our 12 pound a day older does would have cow plops on 5 pounds of grain of any description.
Can I ask for clarification of what you meant by that?

The reason I haven't posted again is that I wanted to find out the formula for our grain mix, which I now have.
Our "grain" mix consists of oats at 3.2/100 weight, corn at 1.35/100 weight and 1.0/100 weight of dairy goat concentrate, and .25/100 weight of sunflowers. The dairy goat concentrate consists of:
36% crude protein
1% crude fat
8% crude fiber
2.7% min of calcium with a max of 3.7%
.95% of Phosphorus
1.85% minimum, 2.35% maximum of salt
70ppm minimum, 80 ppm maximum of copper
1.4 ppm minimum of selenium
27,500 IU/lb of vitamin A

I was feeding this at 2 lbs a day per goat.

How do you know when a goat is one you feed a certain amount to or when it's a doe you let eat all it will?
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:10 AM   #10
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Default Re: Grain ration question

When you feed alot of grain the girls simply don't have the rumen bugs to eat it so it causes acidosis, leaving undigested grain in the intestine and acid in the rumen, giving you from dog poop to cow plops to diarrhea to death of the rumen lineing. So much of this comes with time. Start by improving the roughage you feed, if you feed grass hay move to alfalfa if you can, if you can't than add alfalfa pellets to the barn next to the grass hay. Your grain really is about keeping the girls in good condition while being milked, so does who start losing weight feed them more grain, does who don't milk more on more grain, feed them less grain. Your feed mix is fine, most on here feed very similarly, we just call our concentrate Calf Manna, it's a high protein soy supplement.

When we say make changes slowly we are talking so slowly that you increase grain on the milkstand but a cup at the most, it's why we don't like to change feeding programs around because it takes months for a doe to make the big change. It's also why I don't feed byproduct feed tags that are not formulated the same everytime they are milled, it means each to milling of those is different. Make sure you don't run out of old bags, you want to mix old bags into the first bag of new feed, so they have a chance to get used to it. Vicki



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