feeding bucks

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by baileybunch, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. baileybunch

    baileybunch New Member

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    Since we are exploring the possibility of owning our first herd sire I began thinking today that I don't really know how to feed a "working" buck. We have had a pet weather but that's different. I would like to hear how you all feed your bucks to keep them in good condition. I'd like to know what you feed during breeding season but also out of season. I have read Sue Reith's article on UROLITHIASIS and the suggested management.

    And, after "borrowing" two bucks this year, do they all look scroungy and thin during breeding season?

    Thanking you all in advance.
     
  2. Truly

    Truly New Member

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    Besides scroungy and thin, you forgot to mention STINK.
     

  3. Linda Carney

    Linda Carney New Member

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    There is an awesome post by Tim Pruit on Goatkeeping 101 that answers many questions about the care and feeding of bucks.

    I work along his principles but have thought that I must be missing something, my buck is thin and rangey, with the general appearance and aroma of a working buck. He has been on loan twice this season and I have been embarrassed by the way he looks, yet he lives on and hopefully will begin to gain weight again as breeding season reaches its close. :):

    Linda Carney
    Cedar Leaf Nubians
    Coldspring, Texas
     
  4. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

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    Mine look good till the middle of rutt then get skinny and bedraggled. They seem to be fattening up again now as breeding season is ending though and they are pacing less and less in their pens. It is all the calories that they use and just plain out waste when they are in full rut that helps to make them skinny. Also, they have their minds on the girls and have less interest in food.

    I have mine on meat goat pellets for show goats right now along with coastal hay, cut browse, minerals of course. Also, mine are copper bolused which makes a big difference on my farm.
     
  5. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    On top of what what Tim's article says in 101......I had ask V about feeding bucks also, and this was her response to me.

    Whim..you want more calcium in the diet of all your goats than phosphrous. So grain, grass hay, and all pasture grass and weeds and browse is phosphrous...so the buck needs to eat twice as much alfalfa hay or alfalfa pellets or lepesidea on pasture or clover than they eat grass hay, grain or psature.

    I do this by giving them about 3 pounds each of alfalfapellets each day and about the same in their meat goat pellets (only fed right before, during and after rut to get wieght back on) then it's back to the 3 pounds of alfalfa pellets each day and nothing else but minerals, grass hay (which they rarely eat) and the woods. This is the older bucks....younger guys are like doe kids and get their grain with AC in it until they are through breeding the first year and are well grown. Vicki


    Note; You guys are not alone.....lot's of folks bucks still look rough right now. I don't have a clue as to why my buck is still in rutt so hard.......all the gal's are bred......he must think that I'm gonna let him out to chase the deer around here or something. Whitetail bucks are in full rut right now around my place....and I've noticed when I see one close to my fence, my buck gets all worked up.....I can only figure that it is either a similar smell or vocal connection between the deer and the goats that is causing this reaction.
     
  6. baileybunch

    baileybunch New Member

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    I will look for Tim's article in 101.

    So, are you feeding alfalfa pellets to bucks year round? Keeping with the 2:1 cal/phos idea? I wasn't sure. I wondered about this in a bucks diet as the balance is so important to our does. Any problems with UC?

    Thanks for the information!
     
  7. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    """So, are you feeding alfalfa pellets to bucks year round? Keeping with the 2:1 cal/phos idea?""""

    I am......and this is my goal. I haven't had any problems here with UC.
     
  8. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    yep alfalfa pellets year round here and neve a case of UC yet.
     
  9. Good Goats

    Good Goats New Member

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    I feed alfalfa pellets and alfalfa/grass hay to our bucks. Right now they all are a little on the thin side (and stinky of course) but their coats are great and have stayed really good through this whole breeding season. Never had a case of UC (and hope to never).

    Suriyah
     
  10. Cotton Eyed Does

    Cotton Eyed Does New Member

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    The only thing I ever have fed my bucks is Pilgrim's Medicated Meat goat Pellets with AC in it. They get our grass hay free choice and minerals. They get dewormed prior to breeding season just like the girls do. They have never seemed to get very thin and rangey looking. It could be also because their pen has 3 sides bordering the girl's pasture. It sticks into the girls pasture like a penninsula. They don't act crazy because they are basically surrounded by the girls all the time. I used to let my buck run with my girls year round and they don't get near as smelly and act stupid that way either.
     
  11. Tim Pruitt

    Tim Pruitt New Member

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    Bucks will lose some weight during breeding season because they are running up and down the fence line every day blubbering. As January passes the bucks will start settling down and will gain weight again.

    A mistake some newbies make is that they don't remove all of the hay from the day before. They will throw new feed on top of leftover feed and new hay on top of the old. What they don't realize is the the old feed has mold or contaminates in it and the old leftover hay isn't really palatable and should be thrown to the cows or some other animal and fresh hay put out daily. Also keep their water buckets cleaned out and refreshed.
     
  12. goatmom

    goatmom New Member

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    This is our first year to keep boys -currently 8 and 9 mo old - just wondering how much grain is needed for this age in this season - they are still running and blubbering but I've noticed the smell is going down. I taped the 9 mo old yesterday and he's at 120 lb -he looks fine but he has long thick hair -putting my hands on his rib cage..if he were a doe I would be concerned.

    They both get a lb grain a day (each)-divided into 2 feedings -plus the normal goodies (minerals, boss) good grass hay and some alfalfa - recently started working in some alf pellets.

    Am I feeding them enough to maintain kid growth and buck behaviour? There's no problem with removing hay because they never leave a scrap. According to what I'm reading my ratio is upside down right now on the ca/phos so maybe just increase the alf pellets?

    Keeping bucks is a new experience - Tim's info in 101 is great - because my son loves to let the kids maul him we started out with different rules for the buck kids!
     
  13. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    Ditto on what Tim said about the water buckets.....bucks tend to wash their stinky beards out in the bucket every time they get a drink. I won't cut my bucks beard because it adds so much to his looks and personality......but I really think for (watering) sanitary purposes, it would be better to give him a good trimming.
     
  14. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Honestly feeding meat goat pellets is just the way to go. Grass hay, alfalfa pellets and meat goat pellets. Meat goat pellets contain ammonium chloride and it is just way too much of a chance to use grain without AC in it. You won't have any clue about urinary calculi in your bucks until you have the problem and most of the time without hugely expensive intervention, they are lost or sterile. It's just not worth the chance to me. But keeping the grass hay or browse, alfalfa pellets, minerals and water a constant for them year round, then adding in the meat goat pellets when they need it just works really well for me. Vicki
     
  15. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

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    Just last week I added meat goat pellets (DH brought home "show" pellets, tag in the barn) and the bucks look better already. They get grass hay, browse (yaupon, cedar), alfalfa pellets, "Cargill Right Now Onyx" minerals for cattle. After 2 days on the meat goat pellets, they were running and jumping and twisting in the air like kids...all 3 bucks here and the wether. I think it might be the carbs....it is a little "sweet"... :lol
     
  16. Tim Pruitt

    Tim Pruitt New Member

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    Mine get 1/2 of a 3lb coffee can of goat pellets once a day to which I add a TBS of Bluebonnet Minerals. They also get about a 12 - 14 inch wedge of grass hay. All hay is cleaned out that is left from the day before. Their water is poured out and the container cleaned and refilled with fresh water. I actually use a plastic mini sheep feeder with a float valve that provides a constant flow of fresh water. They eat and drink by reaching through a key hole in the barn. I do not have to go into their pen to feed and water them. Mine have always returned to show condition by April.