Feeding Dry Does

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by mill-valley, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. mill-valley

    mill-valley New Member

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    What's the best ration for dry does? These girls are not yet bred, will be in the next two months or so. Grain or no grain? This is my first year using alfalfa pellets, I had thought you had to give a little grain for the right calcium/phosphorus ratio but am seeing in other threads that dry does shouldn't get grain at all? Also does flushing (pushing weight gain) before breeding work in goats like in cattle or just get them in good condition and not worry about it?

    I just put my dry does in with the milkers, for 7 does they are getting 24-30 lbs pellets and 12 lbs grain (with 6 of that being on the milkstand for only the 4 does milking) per day, plus a little grass/alfalfa hay just to nibble on. The dry does were up until last week getting 3 lb pellets and 2 lb grain/day and FC grass hay. The milkers are in perfect condition but the 3 dry does are a little on the thin side.

    Also one other question...do you prefer 14% or 16% alfalfa pellets? I have been feeding the 14% as they are cheaper and less dusty than the 16%. My grain is 18% this batch but I would like to cut back to a 14 or 16%, need to talk to the feed guy about how to do that.

    All are recently dewormed with Cydectin, free choice loose mineral and baking soda. They also have a little pasture but don't spend much time out there.
     
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Well here anything dry only gets 14% alfalfa pellets and grass hay no grain at all. I prefer 17% pellets but can't get them here. 18% grain is awfully high % in my opinion.
     

  3. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

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    My dry girls also only get alfalfa pellets and grass/hay. Now my doelings that were born this year and still growing get some medicated goat pellet, and they will continue that until they are 100 days bred then switch to milk stand grain.

    If you are trying to get weight on them or they are milking then you could continue the grain. Otherwise I would slowly decrease the grain until they are off it.

    My alfalfa is 15%, however I just found another source that is 17% and cheaper then the 15%. I plan to start feeding this instead. Usually my grain is 14% I believe.

    Hope this helps.
    Theresa
     
  4. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Can livestock live through your winters on just alfalfa pellets and no energy from grain? Vicki
     
  5. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    OH I never thought abt that (cold cold cold)
     
  6. mill-valley

    mill-valley New Member

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    That's kind of what I was wondering Vicki, as this is my first year using alfalfa pellets (use to use grain/grass hay and ran into problems obviously). It doesn't get as cold here as some places, the lake tempers it somewhat but we are supposed to get a hard winter. I guess I'm going to have to play it by ear a little and just keep an eye on their BCS.
     
  7. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

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    That is true Vicki. By the time it is cold her we are at the 100day bred mark and everyone is on grain. Plus we don't have near as cold as you do there. Better check with some of those who live in that climate.
    Theresa
     
  8. trnubian

    trnubian New Member

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    I am about in your climate area. We tried alfalfa pellets and grass hay one year, it didn't work as well for us as the alfalfa/grass mix hay does, but I've heard of a lot of breeders that have a lot of luck with alfalfa pellets.

    Since we don't generally milk our does past mid November, and mainly freshen in Feb, our older does get their regular free choice hay with a handful of grain a day up until they are 6-8 weeks from kidding, then the grain is slowly increased. The handful or 2 of our milking grain mix (16% protein) every day keeps their energy levels up on cold days and tends to stablize their blood sugar levels.

    As far as our dry does go... generally, if they are dry yearlings being bred for the first time, we feed them just like our older does. With kids, we tend to keep them on their 16% medicated pellet, up until the time they are 6-8 weeks from freshening, then we slowly introduce them to our milking grain.

    I hope this helps :)
     
  9. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    I know goats are different metabolically from horses, but with horses, we feed hay to keep them warm. It acts as fuel for the furnace so to speak. Since they don't ruminate, it's probably different for them. Dairy goats need more calories to keep meat on their bones, so maybe that is a good reason to feed more grain in colder climates.
    Anita
     
  10. Corky

    Corky New Member

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    I think it depends on a lot of things.
    Mine all get grain now as all I have are milking does and doelings.

    I know I am on the right track because I sold one of twins and they showed her at the fair.
    She was half the size of the one I kept.

    I commented on that and the judge said she was the right size for her breed and age.

    My Friend laughed and said that mine are giants.

    They are not fat. They are just well grown out. I want them bred next month. The two that will be bred are now 6 months old and weigh 80 and 90 lbs. They will be bigger when bred.
    I know others on here have goats as big as mine.

    I do not feed grain to dry two year olds or older.
     
  11. MRFBarbara

    MRFBarbara Guest

    I am in Michigan also, i do not feed dry does grain even in cold weather... mix of grass alfafa and alfalfa pellets.. they get too fat, too little exercise in the winter to eat grain.. Mine keep plenty of flesh on them.. of course I have Nigerians which tend to be easy keepers also.
    I do give them beet pulp soaked in hot water on very very bitter mornings..
    Barbara