Alfalfa....AGAIN

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by paulaswrld, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. paulaswrld

    paulaswrld New Member

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    I know we have been over this again and again...but, one thing about being viewed as a "newby" is that every experienced goatowner/breeder feels the need to tell me what I am doing wrong....or, what I could be doing better. In general, I welcome the advice and suggestions but, sometimes I just feel confused and overwhelmed. SO....I was recently told that I am REALLY doing a bad thing by feeding free choice alfalfa pellets, or 3 lbs per day per doe. I was told I am "burning them up"????

    I was also told that I sould NEVER give my bucks the same mineral as my does. Nor, should I let my bucks have the alfalfa pellets. I was told to give my bucks meat goat minerals.

    I have been feeding the same way now, very consistently since June....and, I think my girls and boys have never looked better....and, we were BOB in the last 3 shows this season. I had decided that this program of grain, alfalfa pellets, beet pulp, grass hay, FC minerals and BS was perfect....The first two years I was always changing based on incoming info...I found this board and decided to adapt a plan and stick to it....but, I was really slammed abouth the above choices by someone that really seems to know goats...

    :help

    Paula
     
  2. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

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    Well, all I can tell you is what I do. All my goats get the same mineral which is the Tech Master complete by Blue Bonnet. And all of them get 3 lbs per day including the boys. I would do free choice but just can't afford it. Now, that is all the boys get unless they are in rutt. Then I will add some meat goat pellet because they run themselves thin. Oh, and of course everyone gets hay and browse. The girls do get grain when they are bred, milking, or are still growing themselves.
    My advise, if your goats look good, and you are not having problems with kidding or worm burden, and you are meeting the goals that you set for your farm, then don't change your management. Also, look at those giving the advise, what do their herds look like, and how long have they been in goats.
    Theresa
     

  3. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    and, I think my girls and boys have never looked better....
    ...........

    I think the proof is in the pudding. Plus, most are very fast with what you need to do, but very closed lipped when it actually comes to what they do in their own herd. Very quiet when you ask them their true mortality. Most think milkfever....ketosis/hypocalcemia and the loss of does and kids at birth or for aborting to save the doe is normal. With the program you are on you simply will not have problems with this, unless because of defficency in your area you aren't dealing with the calcium is not absorbed. Also remember that us old folks are very hard to change our minds. You can't tell them that sweet feed is bad for does, causes the acidosis, founder and the absorption problems they are having. That the feeding of mega protein is why they can't sucessfully breed their young dose without bowing legs. That worm burdens are out of control, does get lice, ringworm and other nuciance problems even though they are a older herd, because of defficency. Few will change with the times. The old ways of grass hay during pregnancy, no calcium, and copious amounts of grain is what causes the very problems that they will tell you the way you feed does. Protein will burn your does out, but not in the form of calcium rich alfalfa...it's soy, blood and bone meal (which thankfully is a thing of the passed and the use of fish and feather meal (only because it does not raise protein in the goats system because they are not single stomached animals, so it is an expensive protein source that is really not protein at all.

    Hands down when someone moves from the old way of thinking to the new way....a digestable form of calcium every day in the form of alfalfa, then dealing with calories, carbs and fat with grain....and not the other way around is key. Then getting the old notion of a smorgusboard of minerals which includes too many forms of sodium for the goats to choose from...Dr. Guss has been preaching this since before I got goats, most didn't read his book obviously :) In dealing with out goats in a much more simple, streamlined way, you have healthier stock, stock who keeps their weight, stock who doesn't get fat, stock with great weight gains who can breed that first year, and competetive hard athletic goats, gone are the rolly polly fat goats that folks think are big when they aren't big they are fat.

    Stick to your guns, don't let them take you over to the old dark side :)

    Trade my herd health now for my old herd health...no way. Vicki
     
  4. paulaswrld

    paulaswrld New Member

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    Thanks....I needed to hear that! But, what is "burning them out"?.....I did not ask the person I was talking to because I really did not want to prolong this part of the conversation.

    Paula
     
  5. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

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    There are some people who will say you can burn out a goat's kidneys or liver by feeding certain things. The one I heard here is too much wheat. As for alfalfa pellets, I can't see how it would make any difference to the system of a goat to feed it pellets or alfalfa hay. My goats get some of both and haven't burned out. I've also seen goats who are fed mainly pellets and do very well. Kathie
     
  6. NWgoats

    NWgoats New Member

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    I have only had my goats for a couple of years. But I did lots of reading and research before deciding on my current feeding program. I did change my original program a bit after finding this website. My goats are very healthy, and it sounds like yours are as well. If your goats are healthy and you aren't having issues like Vicki said, stick with what is working. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." If and when it stops working for you, then change something.
     
  7. shawhee

    shawhee Member

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    Paula,

    I cant help but wonder ..... Is this person someone that you have shown against??

    I agree with the previous posters stick to what works.

    I have had people tell me that feeding alfalfa to horses is going to burn mine up too (when I moved to Texas). But being from AZ that is all we fed for years. I have seen more horses colic and have more health problems on coastal than I ever did on alfalfa. Now that said I feed both and think mine are very healthy.
     
  8. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    1st...Great reply Vicki.

    Next time I get the chance, I'm gonna take a pic of a very old wether (about 18 y.o. now) that resides in our community, that has eaten tons of alfalfa, grass hay, pasture browse, horse block mineral most all of his life. Burned up on alfalfa ? I don't think so.
    I would ask this person to explain what is burning up, why, and how do you know when a goat is burned up.....what are the symptoms of being burned up on alfalfa ? Have they ever fed much alfalfa ?, or have they ever been on the same feeding plan that you are using ?

    Too many rumors and old folks tells out there about one thing and the other.....and a lot of these start because some old wormy goat fell over dead after the owner seen it eating 2 acorns or green pine straw, etc......of course, the goat couldn't have fell over dead (or burned up) because of anything else. :crazy

    WHIM
     
  9. mill-valley

    mill-valley New Member

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    I have run into the same thing with some breeders. Pretty much you just agree to disagree....nod and uh huh, uh huh...etc. I have had breeders tell me that once you have CAE on your farm...you might as well sell out and move because once it's in the ground...you can't get rid of it. ???

    I would think they are talking about too much protein when they say "burning up?"
     
  10. paulaswrld

    paulaswrld New Member

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    Thanks so much for all the responses and encouragement! I am not going to change anyting ... except, I am adding Kelp into the diet as soon as it arrives.

    Paula
     
  11. Bella Star

    Bella Star New Member

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    Excellent reply Vicki !
    I have followed your plan for years now and I love the way my dairy doe's and also my Boers look ! Thankfully ,Since feeding by your plan I have never had to deal with the problems you mentioned . My doe's look great right after kidding and the kids are big ,strong and healthy.

    I too have heard from other goat people and they say dont feed alfalfa , :rofl .... even my feed store lady told me to not feed my goats copper :rofl .........The " Vicki plan" :D is working great for my herd !!!
     
  12. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Well some think alfalfa is to "HOT" thus the saying burning them out. but if thats the case my goats should all be dead 10 years now listening to Vicki and I haven't lost a goat due to the feeding program.
     
  13. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    As the gals who know me are ROTFPTP it's not the Vicki plan, it's the Vicki stole plan from a gal who fed alfalfa pellets free choice when she became debilitated and could not lift bails of hay. She had a ton of pellets delivered in a truck and poured into feeders her husband built for her...I would do this to if we didn't have the humidity we do, or they would mold. I checked her and her goats out via others in her show circuit and then just bit the bullet. There are as many ways to raise goats as there are those doing it, this just works for me. Vicki
     
  14. Kaye White

    Kaye White Guest

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    :rofl WELL....at least a feed plan named after you is better than a blasted funnel! :rofl :sigh
    Kaye
     
  15. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    Soooo true! I only get to claim the Turkey Fryer idea! :rofl

    Sara
     
  16. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Well at least you all have some claim to fame besides just OLD :rofl
     
  17. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    I don't know Sondra I do think you pretty much started us all/pretty much everyone I know, in Mini-manchas! Vicki
     
  18. Bella Star

    Bella Star New Member

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    Well, come to think of it, I never got my " Vicki teat sprayer " from Sharon :blush
    Dang, nothing's named after me .... just call me OLD or maby STUPID :sigh
     
  19. Haglerfarm

    Haglerfarm New Member

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    I figure this came from too much protein is hard on the kidneys. Hence burning them up. I always heard this about horses. I would feed more alfalfa if I had it or could afford it.
    Alfalfa hay is non-existent where I am. So I add alfalfa pellets to their feed. Plus we have crappy fescue in our pastures and in most hay available here. I have done this for years. I pay special attention to my bucks and make sure they gets theirs.
    I love the mineral I use from our local co-op. It is a great mineral, plus it has kelp in it.
    I fed Sweetlix meatgoat something or other for a while. I like the Forage Master mineral better. Paula, the lady that formulated this mineral was at our meeting Sunday, An Peischel. It is a grayer mineral rather than the red looking kind. Our water and soil is high in iron, hence the red color of the soil and rocks.
    I also try not to used feed with much molasses.
    I have hardly ever had problems with calcium deficiency or ketosis since doing this.
    Les
     
  20. Kaye White

    Kaye White Guest

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    Leslie,
    Here is the # for a man that hauls alfalfa from the mid-west into Tn. I believe somewhere between Memphis and Nashville. He hauls me a load when he comes to the race track in Hot Springs. Good hay, especially the orchard grass/alfalfa mix.
    Dale McManigal 615-975-7307
    Kaye