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Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Vytanny, Mar 8, 2012.
Was wondering if Chicken scratch(feed ) can kill a goat? :help
It is not the feed itself but the amount they consume that kills them.
Milo is not digestible and can in large amts cause compaction.
Please give more information when asking for help.
What kind of goats- what age- how much did they eat-what are symptoms that have you worried etc.
It was a nubian female that had 2 babies about 2 months ago, and a couple of days ago my mom had to lock her and a few others in the chicken coop until we could get the fencing fixed where they were getting out, well. there was some trash cans of chicken scrath in there that they got the lids off of and then we found her dead this morning. Was just trying to figure out if it was from the scratch or if we had to look into something else as a cause. I figured the scratch because alot of it was seeping out her back end, I just wanted to make sure. Thank you very much for your help.
Oh goodness, yes, that will do it.
Sorry for the loss of your doe. The scratch grains can be deadly. Were any others in with her eating it also; are they having symptoms? There are measures you can take but they have to be immediate and still then it isn't a guarentee. Seems a lot of folks loose goats over overconsumption (accidental like yours) of grain or chicken feed. Sometimes stuff happens and the best we can do is learn from it and prevent it from happening again.
You are doing the best thing and learning what you can from the experience. You can remember it easily this way. any change can be deadly. For instance if you feed your goats a lb. of grain a day, then one day you feed them 5 or 10... they will be in hog heaven eating all they can, but it is going to be bad. Or if you have a bottle baby that is used to getting a bottle a feeding then one day you feed him 3 at one feeding; he will be sick.
How are her kids doing? They are pretty young to be without milk, but probably too old to get onto bottles very easily. Do you have another doe that you could hold and let them nurse twice a day? If you feed them well they should be ok.
Oh, Norma, I just wanted to say how sorry I am. Welcome to the forum. I wish it was under better circumstances. I'm so sorry. There always seems to be a lesson learned. Again, so sorry.
I'm sorry to hear that. Keep some activated charcoal on hand in case anything like this ever happens again. If you give it to them right away, it should help to get the grain to pass without being digested very much. I hope the rest of your goats are okay!
I worry so much about this happening that I do not buy chicken feed for my chickens. They eat goat grain, whole corn, barley, etc. and whatever they can get free ranging...all of which the goats are accustomed to...well, not so much the whole corn, but they do have corn in their feed and with it being whole, they eat it slow if offered...plus they usually have leftover alfalfa pellets in their feeders and hay in their hay feeders so are hopefully never so hungry they would inhale something lethal to the point of death if given the chance.
So sorry this happened. Must have been a terrible way to die.
Sorry about the doe.
The chicken scratch around here is cracked corn and soft white wheat berries, mixed. I had to look up Milo, it is from Sorghum. I've never seen it. Otherwise the only Milo I knew was a kid in grade school.
The scratch I can get up here is cracked corn, oats or barley and red wheat.
I knew a dog named Milo, but never met a grain named milo!
Thank you all. Unfortunately 2 more mommas were found dead this morning. All the others seem to be ok. Their kids are doing good, they have learned about eating grass, hay and feed plus we still have a few moms that will let them nurse. Also, thanks for the charcoal information, we will make sure to get some just in case.
Wow, so sorry. The kids need to be at least 3 months old in order to let them be weaned. They will never thrive if they are too young, even if they are eating some solid food.
Oh gosh how awful, so sorry for you! Especially when you were trying to save them from another problem... my heart goes out to you. I hope you'll stick around the forum for better times, there's great and helpful folks on here.
We keep chicken feed in clipped closed metal trash cans that are 2-3 gates away from the goats. Not that I'm paranoid in general, but I'm paranoid about it... They're probably at greater risk of getting hit by a car before chicken feed, LOL.
And our scratch around here is like Sully is saying, no milo.
What is it that makes milo undigestable to goats? Seems strange... I see it listed as an energy feed, like any other grain on several feed analysis sites I looked at quickly, and pretty nutritious stuff! Maybe it was just the sheer volume of any grain that overwhelmed the rumen, shutting it down and making nothing digestible?
I did find numerous references like this:
"Milo grain ferments slowly in the rumen compared with barley or corn. Because of its dense seed coat, dry rolling, steam rolling or steam flaking are the recommended processing methods for ruminants"
So a lot of milo whole in bird feed sounds like it would mess up a rumen especially with a big load of other grain too.
But its "slow digesting"... nutritious and in small quantities its not really indigestible.
Milo is really small, so maybe it is passed through the rumen of a goat too quickly and the blockage is in the intestines? Any grain in too large of quantities is bad, will cause rumen acidosis, and then metabolic acidosis.
We live in a milo growing area. It is one reason we have plagues of pest birds.
Scratch here is cracked corn- wheat- milo. 3 things grown locally.
I have never fed it to goats to know if they can grind it during cudding or not but locally many
farmers put it in their cow rations to get the birds to break up the cow patties in the pastures since it passes through whole so I call that indigestible...it is at least poorly digested when used whole if people use it intentionally as a bird attractant.
Cracked or flaked is quite a bit more expensive from the additional processing and compounded if you are feeding a lot of animals but yes...dense nutrition if you can get to it
Little birds open the seeds to eat them and quite honestly our chickens picked around it so we quit using it.
Deaths like this are from the volume eaten with no regard to what it was that they over ate.
Even finely flaked ingredients in pelleted rations that are completely digestible in small amounts will cause the same problem if gorged.
I'm so sorry you lost the does. While chicken scratch can be espcially deadly when eaten in large quantities, any grain, even one the goats are used to, can kill in large quantities. Years ago, before I found goat forums, I had a beautiful Nubian doe, Caitlin. We had gotten a good deal on Purina Goat Chow, so we bought a large supply. At the time, I didn't have the covered trash cans I now use, so I had an open bag in the garage where I milk the goats. One day, after milking, I decided to let the girls browse in the yard to eat knapweed. I was outdoors working. I'd left the garage door open. I found Caitlin in there eating the Goat Chow. She hadn't been in there very long, so I wasn't alarmed. The next day she was ill - diarreah, off feed, no milk, depressed - signs I now know are rumen acidosis. I gave her soda and probiotics, but wasn't able to save her. Goat Chow is loaded with molasses and when that supply was gone, I stopped feeding it. When I fed it for milking, I diluted it with dry COB. Poor Caitlin had eaten probably 1/2 to 1 # of undiluted chow.
I now keep all my open grain in covered trash cans in the garage and if the goats are browsing in the yard, the garage door is closed. They can't get from their pen to the garage on their own. I don't own chickens, but if I ever do, their grain will be similarly secured from the goats and their coop nowhere the goats can have access. Actually I have no need for chickens. Two of my neighbors have them, so we get all the fresh eggs we need.
like has already been stated... I think the problem lies more with the amount consumed. And my goats always have a. pellets available and so in theory shouldn't be hungry... but i can just imagine what they would do with confronted with an open bag of chicken feed or goat grain or whatever.... they would go to town on it! I don't think it is a matter of full goat/hungry goat.
I think it is more the nature of the beast. goats, horses, cattle overeat and gorge themselves on things all the time. I think the key is Change in diet.
Yah, I don't know if they wouldn't eat grain if they're tummies are full. We had the chicken coop in the pasture and didn't realize some of our older kids could still squish through the little chicken door and had a lot of diarhea until we figured out they were sneaking in there and noshing out on chicken layer ration. We didn't lose any.... but those were older kids run on straight pasture in the summer. They had as much food as they wanted but given the chance for grain (or layer ration in that case) they just gorged themselves and I wouldn't say they were starving. I suppose I see your point now though: they had access to that for a week or so until we caught them at it and they ate to the point of diarhea but not to the point of death.
Christine, well that's sort of the idea of a creep feeder, smart kids made their own :lol
Lee, interesting about the idea to get birds to break up the cow patties. I wonder if small amounts pass thru goats too? I'll beg some bird seed off a neighbor to see if my chickens will go after it. If they will it would get them to work harder keeping the pen bedding loose and fluffy so its drier.
I keep all my feed (goat, horse, chicken and dog) in plastic garbage cans with tight fitting lids on my back porch just so nothing can get at it, even if they get loose. That's one thing I am paranoid about-them getting into the grain/concentrates and gorging.