Hay question?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Chaty, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. Chaty

    Chaty New Member

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    OK, My son bought 50 bales of hay well it has alot of Johnson grass in it. I havent ever fed this type of hay and the girls are sued to the hay we bale here at home. I have a Alpine doe that kidded the 20th of Feb and I have noticed that she has eaten some of this hay and now her udder is drying up and she has ran a temp for 1 1/2 days. Could the johnson grass init have cause any type of problem like this...she gets grain and alfafa pellets 2x a day and they have hay also. I am at a loss as her temp will go up and then back to normal. I have been treating her with CMPK, Fort.B Complx and Dura-pen 2x a day Just started the pen this afternoon. Has anyone had a doe start to dry up after just 4 wks? This is driving me crazy as the other Nigi does are doing fine so far. Thanks
    Kathy
     
  2. Rose

    Rose New Member

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    From the Texas A & M website:

    Toxic Agent
    Most losses from johnsongrass are due to hydrocyanic acid (HCN) poisoning, although this plant is also capable of accumulating dangerous levels of nitrates under certain conditions such as after fertilization and during drought. Most mortality occurs in cattle, with sheep poisoned to a lesser extent. The plant is considered to be a fair forage in most instances but becomes toxic under conditions that favor HCN or nitrate poisoning.

    High levels of nitrate in the plant can complicate the issue and produce symptoms of nitrate poisoning in sheep and cattle. Typical nitrate poisoning symptoms may be evident (see Descriptions of Animal Conditions).

    Livestock Symptoms
    Hydrocyanic acid is one of the most rapidly acting poisons. Signs of illness may begin within five minutes of the time the animal starts eating the plant. Death may occur within fifteen minutes, or the animal may live for several hours. Symptoms in general order of occurrence are as follows:

    * salivation and labored breathing
    * muscle tremors
    * incoordination
    * bloating
    * sustained contraction of voluntary muscles
    * bright red venous blood
    * convulsions
    * death due to respiratory failure
     

  3. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Hi Kathy,
    I don't know if the Johnson grass is causing your problem, but it's possible. Before we got goats, it was commong knowledge among horse people that Johnson grass could be bad news, although I had a friend who used it for years as hay with no problems. It seems the problems start when the grass is stressed. I had been going out and cutting a big pile every day for my mare in foal since the vet had warned me about fescue, and all the paddocks were full of fescue, and I wanted her to have some grass. I just about had a heart-attack when I got online and looked it up and realized I was probably poisoning her with wilted Johnson grass. Luckily, no harm was done, but now I look at the lush, tall, green grass as a WEED, not a FEED.
     
  4. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    kathy does this hay also have some weeds in it that have little berries on it? can't remember the name but they are like marble size and smaller green with lines on them it is a form of nightshade and causes poisoning also.
     
  5. Chaty

    Chaty New Member

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    Thanks all for the info.
    No Sondra havent seen any evening nightshade is this. I have seen it before and when I do see it I pull it out of the hay. This is odd as she is very picky about her hay, and I am so at a loss as to what is causing this.I am going to take her temp this morning as see how she is doing. She will get her pen shot and some more CMPK and fort.B Cmplx too.
     
  6. coso

    coso Guest

    The way I understand it as long as the hay is cured there is not a prussic acid problem. Usually the prussic acid is caused by a drought or at the end of a growing season when the grass is stressed. Advice is not to use as a silage or chop.
     
  7. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels New Member

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    Yes. I have successfully fed Johnson Grass hay...it was well cured and the goats loved the big leafy blades.
     
  8. Cotton Eyed Does

    Cotton Eyed Does New Member

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    I would tend to believe that it is not the grass causing the doe to run a fever and dry her milk up. I would continue the CMPK, make sure that she is getting plenty of calcium in her diet such as alfalfa hay and/or alfalfa pellets. What grain is she getting to eat and how much are you feeding? Does she have any runny nose? What does the milk look like coming from her udder? No sign of mastitis? Does she have any odor coming from her vagina? When she kidded are you sure she passed her placenta? Has she been tested for CAE? What is her milking schedule?
     
  9. Chaty

    Chaty New Member

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    :sniffle Thanks for all the help..I just lost her...
     
  10. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Oh Kathy I am so sorry.
     
  11. Cotton Eyed Does

    Cotton Eyed Does New Member

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    I'm sorry for your loss. :down
     
  12. Chaty

    Chaty New Member

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  13. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    :down :down :down

    I can only assume that the rest of your goats are eating the hay and are fine.......got to think it must have been something else.

    Sorry, Whim
     
  14. Chaty

    Chaty New Member

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    Yes Whim the other goats are doing ok and havent seen anything like this with any of them. I am at a loss as to what went wrong with her. I lost her mother last year to hypocalcemia and this year with Grace I dont know what went worng. I am bottle feeding her babies that are a month old. The little doe is doing great on the bottle but he little buck just dont want anything to do with it at all...I know he is too young to go without so I am still trying , I guess when he sees his momma isnt comming back hopefully the tummy will take over and he will take a bottle.I am as determined as he is...Alpines are so stubborn sometimes. Thanks all
     
  15. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    If the little buck is eating and drinking water he will probably be ok at 1 mo old
     
  16. Im sorry you lost her.

    The buck kid will probably take the bottle soon. I purchased an 8 week old pygmy buckling and put him on the bottle. With in 3 days he knew what the bottle ment and was very happy to see it. Lol. Just keep working with him. Goodluck with the two babies.
     
  17. Chaty

    Chaty New Member

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    thanks all I am still at them and watching them close to just incase whatever the mother died from they wont get that bad. They seem to be fine this morning but just not wanting the bottles like I had put poison in them...lol...will try again later today...
     
  18. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    yep with the older ones it takes time and patience.
     
  19. Cotton Eyed Does

    Cotton Eyed Does New Member

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    I had a boer baby one time that was about 2 months old and I sold his Dam. He would not take a bottle. I poured milk in a pan and set it in his pen. He wouldn't touch it as long as I was in there, but when I walked out of the pen and back into the yard I could see him drinking it dry and then pawing for more.
     
  20. CarlinsDarlin

    CarlinsDarlin New Member

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    So sorry you lost your doe :(. I hope you figure out what it was and that the baby continues to do well.

    I wanted to say thanks to everyone that has replied to this thread. I have also wondered about Johnson grass, since we have some of it in our pasture. This weekend, though, the information in this thread could have saved my goats.

    A friend brought me a bale of hay over that she'd bought for her horses. She said it was "weedy" hay and she didn't want to feed it to her horse, so she thought my goats might like it. Well I thanked her, and after she left, I looked through the hay before I would give it to them. Turns out it was full of the weed that Sondra described (like nightshade). If I hadn't read that information here, my goats could have been poisoned. Thanks.
    Kathy