feeding the lactating doe questions

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by baileybunch, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. baileybunch

    baileybunch New Member

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    Vicki's article: http://dairygoatinfo.com/index.php?topic=192.0
    Sue Reith's article: http://dairygoatinfo.com/index.php?topic=75.0

    I have re-read the above mentioned articles and I have some questions. I feel like I am over-feeding my girls on the stand therefore causing a higher than neccessary feed bill. I am searching for answers on how much to feed to maintain condition while lactating and keep production high without over-spending.

    Vicki, in your very informative article, you mention feeding Calf Manna and BOSS to your lactating does. How much of each? Do you feed the Calf Manna through her entire lactation? Calf Manna is for calories (extra protein) right? To keep her in good condition? Do you feed your alfalfa pellets free choice or measured amounts? I know BOSS is to add oil for good skin and coat. Do you feed beet pulp? Do they really NEED beet pulp? I know you have changed things in your feeding methods lately (rice bran, safflower, oil). What I am interested in are the products available to me locally...Calf Manna, BOSS, beet pulp, whole oats, whole barley.

    About Sue Reith's article; I thought feeding the higher amounts of grain was to maintian the doe's condition not neccessarily to increase her milk production. Her article focused on the arguement of increasing grain for higher production. How do you all feel about her idea of feeding just one to two cups of grain in the stand? I understand the 2:1 and up to 5:1 Cal/Phos ratio. I have been implementing that for some time with alfalfa pellets.

    I know, once again, I am beating the dead horse. This topic has been discussed many times. But I didn't save many notes and the posts are all gonzo now with the new forum. I have learned to paste information that I need to read again into a file on my hard drive! ;)

    Thanks again for sharing your wisdom.
     
  2. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Yes milkers have to have grain to milk really well and maintain their body condition, the more milk the more grain they need. In the last 50 days of pregnancy does need grain for energy and calories for the growing kids and the colostrum. But other than those two times, goats really don't need grain, we use grain to keep them in show condition, to grow our kids out fast to breed them young, see that udder, and get them down the road if they don't make the show string.

    Your goats needs are protein, calcium, carbs, energy, roughage and fat. I prefer to use alfalfa for my protein, calcium and roughage. Oats for carbs, energy and some of my fat and roughage. Adding rice bran right now for fat, protein and roughage (each 13%) and was using sunflower oil on the milkstand, BOSS does the same thing. I have always hated feeding corn, but corn is also high in energy and fat. I am using a protein lick right now, it's a crumbly block with cottonseed meal and fish meal (yes ick) as the protein, with my girls dry, no grain and the alfalfa pellets are down to 14% (perfectly plausible explanation by the mill, about TMR etc :) So if I continue the protein blocks which are very convenient than no calf manna. I have never seen a reason to feed beet pulp, although I will when my girls are old women and need the energy and roughage with ground down molars.

    Trying to deal with their needs via their roughage/hay/hay pellets/browse....is much more economical and better for the goats rumen than using grass hay and then supplementing everything else in their diet with grain, it causes milk fever, founder and all metabolic disease and poor feet in your goat. And we are talking dairy goats here not meat goats. Vicki