Feeding does "light" in early pregnancy

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Feral Nature, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

    1,278
    0
    0
    I have not milked in 2 1/2 weeks. My adult does are separate from my LM doelings. I am just feeding the LM adult does good coastal hay and Yaupon limbs cut and thrown in the pen. No alfalfa pellets or feed of any kind. Does are of good weight.

    Can they do well on this diet til 100 days bred or do I need to feed alfalfa the whole pregnancy? I withdrew alfalfa pellets to dry them up but was wondering if i had to get them back on pellets soon.

    I plan to reintroduce alfalfa pellets and then oats towards end of pregnancy. Will lack of calcium in early pregnancy hurt mature does?

    They are freshly copper-bolused and have pink eyelids and good weight.
     
  2. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

    1,278
    0
    0
    BTW, I did read Vickis feeding plan for pregnant does in goats 101, but was wondering anyway. I would rather pour the alfalfa pellets to my doelings if my does don't necessarily need them in early gestation.

    My doelings are getting alfalfa pellets with a small amount of dairy pellets, whole oats and beet pulp. I removed the Boer doeling and wether that shared the pen and put those two with big does and they are on just hay and yaupon like big does. Didn't think Boer doeling or little wether needed alfalfa pellets or oats. Want to mostly encourage growth in 4 LM doelings.
     

  3. Oregonian Chick

    Oregonian Chick New Member

    91
    0
    0
    Hmm..well with my does I am giving them free choice alfalfa pellets 24/7 with supplemental orchard grass hay once a day. That is actually what I have the whole herd on right now. I had the milking does on no alfalfa to dry them up and while they where being bred. When the first doe hit about 1 3/4 - 2 months pregnent (the other does where earlier in their pregnancy also) I started the alfalfa 24/7 again. It is cheaper than just doing hay right now believe it or not :shocked (yes hay prices are that bad right now).

    Justine
     
  4. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

    1,278
    0
    0
    Well, last year there was a hay shortage here but now we have plenty of good hay. I would rather fill them up with hay and browse and save the expensive pellets for the youngsters that need it. I would have to cut my herd WAY down to feed alfalfa pellets 24/7. I have never done that ever. Even when milking i don't do that and they produce well with just alfalfa on the stand and none in the pen. These LaManchas are hardy things are seem to truck on no matter what. That is why i want to challenge them to see how little feed they really need. I don't want to just make fat goats, can't afford to do that.

    I feed them good and well at the end of pregnancy, aware of hypocalcemia etc.
     
  5. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    Diane.....Reading this makes me wonder just how much calcium that their gonna be getting through a diet of hay and yaupon. My understanding is that it takes some time for calcium to build up in any animal through diet alone. Under this line of thinking, my Vet suggest that I keep foods that are rich in calcium to my pregnant doe's on a daily basis throughout the pregnancy. His thinking is this; that he would much prefer that a certain level of calcium be present in a goat at all times, and not run in in a cycle of peaks and valley's.
    My ND's get way to fat while pregnant, so this year I'm gonna try to trim the fat intake in other area's. I'm going on alfalfa only, with grass hay, minerals, and some browse (mostly privet hedge) . Since I have no Idea of what the "available" amount of calcium is in my hay or browse, I will be feeding alfalfa as a sure source. It maybe that I have to cut back on the alfalfa a little bit if these blubber butts start getting to fat, but I plan to make sure that each pregnant doe gets some amount every day. Right now, I'm only feeding each doe 1 cup of alfalfa in the morning, and 1 cup in the evening.........and their still gaining weight tooo fast for me.
     
  6. So here's a question that I'm still working on, what other plants can they eat to get the calcium safely? So far I'm still looking. Alfalfa is great stuff when you can find the good bales or feed in pellets which is expensive. I took our cornstalks after they were dried and chipped and they ate those very greedily (when flushing does) but I can't seem to find a Agriculture breakdown of components. And when flushing does I thought theywere suppose to have their hay and feed intake ration increased. I'm new at breeding goats and am going by local 4-H leader and books only tell you the basics so that's why I'm a askin'.
     
  7. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

    1,278
    0
    0
    That's what I wanted to hear. I don't want peaks and valleys, just don't want to waste alfalfa pellets on does that don't need them at this time. i got spoiled this summer not feeding any alfalfa in the pens to MILKING does when I had all the naturally growing legumes in my pasture, the Partridge Pea that I was so thrilled to discover. So I fed alfalfa only on the stand.

    I will ease them back on it when their udders go down more. They still look like I am milking them and I haven't in over 2 weeks now.

    Here is a website for the composition of feeds and hay:

    http://ag.ansc.purdue.edu/sheep/ansc442/Semprojs/nutrition/442feeds.html
     
  8. Patty13637

    Patty13637 New Member

    876
    0
    0
    clover is high in calcium
     
  9. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

    16,497
    0
    0
    You are gambling that your copper is being taken care of so that your calcium in your minerals is being absorbed in enough amounts to negate the need for dietary calcium in your alfalfa pellets or alfalfa hay. If you guess wrong you will have hypocalcemia and milk fever because the last 50 days of pregnancy may not be enough time to fix the problem. IF they deplete in their bones and in their blood, dietary calcium started at day 100 if she twins with 2 big kids and an udder full of calcium you will be in trouble. This kind of diet is fine for poor milkers...like boers and pygmys.

    Read Sue's article, calcium is need daily in dairy goats, bred, not bred, milking or not. Sure they can survive on less.

    How about just lowering the amount of alfalfa pellets you give. My herd is dry, they are down to 2 pounds each, I haven't seen any adverse reactions, except they are peeved. And my feeders are soo much cleaner :) But to take it all away? Nope not here. Vicki
     
  10. Cotton Eyed Does

    Cotton Eyed Does New Member

    1,918
    1
    0
    I have 3 Alpine does and I feed 6 pounds of Alfalfa pellets to them once a day in their feeders. I keep a good grass hay out for them, but they still have so much tall thick pasture they don't eat the hay much at all. After we get a freeze they will.

    I'll keep them on these alfalfa pellets all winter and when they are about 50 days from kidding I will start adding some grain.