Calf Manna in the Place of Goat Pellett for kid rumen development

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Daniel Babcock, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Daniel Babcock

    Daniel Babcock Member

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    As I figure my budgets for next year and prepare for the kidding season (Which does not start for me until March 2), I settled upon a question I am hoping some of you can help me answer.

    For my kids, I am planning on allowing them as much milk as they will drink (via lambar feeder) and when 20 days old (per goat keeping 101) introducing alfalfa hay and meat goat pellets.

    As I have been studying I have read about some feeding a Calf Manna (or other calf starter knockoff) to goats at an early age to start rumen development.

    My questions are

    1- Can calf manna be used in the place of meat goat pellets? The cost to me is virtually the same.

    2- Would there be anything wrong with introducing calf manna and hay to kids earlier than 20 days old?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Actually we have talked about this before and a first feed for years was soybean meal, which is the main ingredeint of Calf Manna and it's knock offs. Kids eat a meal type feed early and love it, then you could slowly start the calf manna, they actually move to a coarse mix then a pellet in the model of sheep/lamb feeding. I don't know if the whole thing is still up on pipevet.com or if it is just in their old newletters. But same idea, having feed out to kids that is palitable to them. I use 20 days because before then they are just wasteing it. I am also using soybean meal this year again.

    I use the meat goat pellets because of the cocci meds in it but also because of the AC for bucklings. If these are non issues for you there is no reason not to start with the calf manna, as the kids age you could then add grain to the pellets....and of course hay is fed after grain for best rumen development.

    I would love to know how your Lamancha's do on this feeding program. Biggy will be to not make any changes, because of the protein content of the Calf Manna. You simply can't run out and switch to something else. Vicki
     

  3. Daniel Babcock

    Daniel Babcock Member

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    Thanks Vicki, I will keep you posted on weights, growth rates etc. I have been feeding my girls who have needed the growth and who will be freshening this spring SBM. I plan to maintain that in their milk stand grain to match the 18% protein level in the alfalfa I am feeding them. I will have to check and see what the protein level is on the Calf starter I will be using. If the protein level is higher in the calf starter, at what point should I wean kids off of it and onto just alfalfa and my milkstand grain?

    Thanks
     
  4. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    If you just move them over gradually the last month of gestation to grain with added calf manna or knock off then your balance remains the same and you don't have the meds in the pellets and into the milk. At least that is what I do.
     
  5. Daniel Babcock

    Daniel Babcock Member

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    Sondra-

    You feed your kids and your does freshening for the first time calf manna up until 30 days prior to kidding? Or do you feed meat goat pellets and then wean them to calf manna in their milk stand grain?
     
  6. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    OK the kids are fed medicated pellets w/calf manna as an extra then 30 days prior to freshening I gradually decrease the medicated pellets and add in my grain mix keeping the calf manna top dress. Until by the time they freshen they are on all grain with the calf manna top dress. now when I say top dress it is only like a 1/4 cup or less. I don't mix it in my feed. However this year am going to try and find the soy meal rather than the mana as am sure it is cheaper.