How to get weight on a doe and milk production up after giving birth to multiple

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by classychassysnubians, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. I have a few does that milked really good last year after kidding, but this year they are not doing so well. I have tried everything that I can think of and nothing seems to work. I have talked to my friend that also raises dairy goats and she has given me a few suggestions and I have tried them and they haven't worked. I even wormed them thinking that maybe this was the problem. I use the FAMANCHA CHART for this usually. Milk production is really down to rock bottom even with milking them twice a day. I did not stop milking them early last year so it can't be that. I milked them for 8 months twice a day. I gave them a break after they were breed. The one doe this year had quads and she looks awful. Her udder filled up like always right before kidding. I am having a hard time getting weight on her. She has all the hay she wants, she eats her grain and she drinks water all day long. The only thing I can think of is the fact that it is really cold here for a change. Last year this doe kidded and the weather for November was very mild. It didn't get really cold until she had been milking a few months. Milk production did go down at that time, but picked up as soon as the weather got warmer again. This year she kidded when it was cold and really we haven't had much of a break in the cold weather only maybe a day or two. I water , but it seems like it freezes within the hour. I go out and break the ice again and again during the day. I have tried the heaters in their water, but they don't really like the heater being there. This does weight concerns me. This doe is one of my heaviest milkers, and this year I have first freshners milking more than her. I have another doe that milked good last year, but not this year she is doing the same as the other doe. Her weight is down also, and eats very well. Can someone help me. Give me some suggestions I am listening!!!!!! Not all of my does milk productions are down, just a few. I have tried Vitamin C tablets, but these two does will not eat them. Thanks in advance for all of the advice from everyone that responds!!!!! Chastity (classychassys ADGA ID)
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    Well first off you don't mention any alfalfa at all
    2nd the Famacha chart is a good tool but you have to know that you don't have worms so I would do a fecal check on them and worm if needed. you have to do regular fecals to even begin to use Famacha
    They have to drink water or there is no milk so whether the like heaters or not they need to have water available at all times. You won't get any weight on a doe except during dry periods. my does get 3 lbs of alfalfa pellets per day each, plus all the grass hay they want and then grain on the milk stand.
    What are your minerals like?? hopefully lose high quality minerals.
    PLEASE UPDATE your PROFILE telling us where you live and what breed of goats this helps us to help you

  3. New Member

    Hi, and welcome to the forum!

    What you will find as you hang around with us is that few to none of us have this problem anymore dealing with our does soo differently. Our feeding programs we use, high in alfalfa, low in grains except when milking, and a real imputus on getting these girls in the best shape we can when dry. Because no dairy goat worth her salt in the milk pail can you get any weight on during the first part of lactation. And if you grain or do anything outthere to try, she will go into milk fever from the overfeeding of all this phosphrous.

    Leave her be. Feed her normally for the amount of production with your grain. Make sure your grain isn't fluff, but real grain, and start increasing her alfalfa, be it hay or alfalfa pellets. Try to get out of the sweet feed mode if you can, those who say my goats won't eat anymore grain on the milkstand...with all the acid that molassas makes it's no wonder they won't eat anymore.

    Learn to fecal or send fecals in, this time of year they are a little unreliable as is Famacha because blood sucking worms are not the problem...winter worms eat does alive, making for emaciated does as they come into kidding. Make sure you know what you are worming with, why, how much and know it is working.

    Just deal with her this year, use the last half of her lactation and the increasing of your alfalfa to get her starting into better flesh, then more so as she starts milking less and is bred next year. You want her looking, at 100 days bred, like you want to see her in the showring after she kids.

    But as far as getting weight on this just fresh can't without harming her or her feet, or her rumen. Vicki
  4. Ashley

    Ashley Active Member

    Vicki, why would beet pulp not be helpful? Since it's fiber instead of sugar and is converted to a lot of calories.
  5. With my does they are on full alfalfa hay. They do have plenty of alfalfa, learned this one the first year we started to milk. That's all of the hay we have because we grow it ourselves. Our does won't even touch grass hay. I grain on the milking stand. Corn, oats, and dairy goat pellets (kent). We have a little bit of molasses, not much. They havefree choice minerals with them also at all times. I am not expecting her to gain a lot of weight, because we went through the same thing last year with her. She gained her weight slowly. I did just let her be just like you said and it worked with her weight but her milk production wasn't down like it is this year. I guess her milk production is my main concern not her weight gain .. I am doing everything that I did last year, but not getting the same result. This is what concerns me. I thought I had it in the bag new what I was doing. Things went great last year, but not the same results this year. It's not all of my does, just a few of them. This is why it is so confusing to me.

    Water is a must this I know. I am doing the best I can with this. The comment I made about the heater in the water is that the goats refuse to drink when the heater is in there. So, I break the ice and they drink that way. I carry a lot of buckets of water a day for all of my goats. Most of the time when I bring water to them during the day, they don't even come over and drink which tells me that they are not thirsty. The only time they are usually over at the tank is when I bust the ice in the morning and put some fresh water in for them. I thought that maybe the heater might have shorted out and shocked them , but changed heaters and still no change. They don't like anything in their water tank. I know this sounds unreal but it is true.

    Fecal samples I do, but haven't yet this year. I had already planned on doing this next week. I don't believe in over worming. That is why I use the Famancha. Understanding that it doesn't take care of all of the parasites problems but it does help. This is the reason why I went ahead and wormed a few of my does with IVERMECTIN.

    I participate in the Goat and Sheep seminars any chance I get to help me understand all of the options, sicknesses, etc..... out there. I also believe in not over medicating, not over worming animals. I do work close with my vet, and if we can't figure it out he contacts the University of Illinois, and I rely on other peoples opinion to help us out. My vet will call me sometime if he is stumped about a goat and I will go on the calls with him to help him observe the problem. I do everything that I can do to make my dairy goat raising a success. All my goats are my babies, and I treat them just like I would treat my kids when they are sick. I will do whatever possible to keep them healthy.
  6. New Member

    Corn isn't improving anything in your mix, it is energy and certainly is already in the kent pellets. What is in the Kent pellets? If it's byproducts and not a menued feed....oats, barley, soy etc...than, unless someone with your breed is using this and having success with it, than I would take this out. What is the Kent feed improving in the diet of your oats and corn? Oats are the perfect carb, protein for the grown milker (especially with alfalfa it could also be enough protein with a growing milker) and your corn for more energy and fat.

    What was her diet during the dry period?

    She had an uneventful delivery so uterine infection is not a concern?

    Her temp remains normal and her discharge after kidding was normal?

    Is you alfalfa hay the same quality? We know byproducts feeds are not, so I am betting this is the difference.

    My goats also will balk at certain water containers...and of course milk is mostly water...can you offer them hot water in the milkroom?

    Does Ivermectin work in your area?

    Did she have more kids than last year, you supported her better last year with triplets or twins and it simply isn't enough for quads and for her to keep enough stores of calcium, selenium etc for herself?

    What mineral are you using?

    Has her place in the herd changed, is she being picked on, gets less to eat, do older does keep her from eating all the alfalfa she wants...when dry do the does share a common feeder for their grain when heavy bred..does she get to eat it?

    There is always a common thread with this type of question, although you think everything is the same, something is different, you just have to figure it out.

    Obviously it's questions for you to answer, not on the list...but just all things that would give you an overthin doe at kidding and a doe who is not milking to her potential.

    Also since I have thought about this several times in typing wording of water tank....we do not use galvanized water troughs because of the leaching of zinc into the water, also under the zinc coating is iron, iron in minerals, iron in molassas (and in byproducts feed pellets you have no idea what the percentage of molassas is) and not enough copper in the mineral could be your whole problem with this heavy kidder.

    Ashley: Beet Pulp is a wonderful addition to a really good base feeding program...but you have to have the base down. Your feeding program should be set way before a doe kids, changing late in pregnancy and in early lactation can cause more problems than you think it may help. Vicki
  7. Well...I have a totally different view on things. Image that

    Corn is great to put weight on an animal. That is what the feed yards use to get the feeders fat. I am not talking about corn gluten...straight whole or cracked corn. Its the carbs that add to the pounds. It will increase a little milk but will take a long time for you to see that.

    To increase milk....add more protien in the it soybean meal, roasted beans, urea or whatever. That is cause a fast jump in the milk pail. But, you need to watch that since it will cause some breeding problems if you get carried away with it.

    I like to feed a good 2 or 3 rd cutting of alfalfa with about a 17 to 18% grain. Its best if you feed your grain in smaller amounts in the daytime. Try like 3 feedings instead of just 2.

    Ken in MO
  8. ellie

    ellie New Member

    1. Someone remind me why urea is not good for goats??? But I know it's not.

    2. Beet Pulp. You all may think it just fiber, but I foundered three does when they got extra beet pulp. I think it's HIGH sugar! duh...they're sugar beets after all.

    3. Cocci damage the digestive tract and the damage is permanent, so if the goat has had severe cocci, she may not be able to absorb nutrients as well as a non damaged digestive tract. That's just a "may"

    4. Any diarrhea (sp???)? If so, Johnne's would be a concern...

    5. I don't know what breed they are (did I miss that?) but I know I always had a problem with Nubians getting too fat...even with I don't have any other ideas.

    Good luck!!!

  9. New Member

    Ellie, Urea is a synthetic protein that is toxic to goats...and not assimilated as bypass protein like it is in cattle. The first symptom of uric poisoning in goats is death.

    And yep, even with a set of quads in a 2 year old, Dove her photo when fresh is on my webstie...and quints in a 6 year old, getting flesh on Nubians is never the issue here either :) Vicki
  10. Ashley

    Ashley Active Member

    Yes, beet pulp can have sugar in it, and often has added molasses, so check on that when buying it. But you can soak the sugar out of it with water if you need to.

    I know adding it to my doe's grain ration put weight on her after she kidded, but she was an FF, so not milking as heavy as an older doe.
  11. Vicki,

    Thanks so much for all those questions. It really has me thinking now.
    The Kent Dairy Pellets are actually supposed to be a complete feed without adding anything. I have a lady around me that uses this without mixing and her does do fine on this. I tried this last year and my does did awful on this. That's when I found my own mix that worked last year. It is called Kent Dairy Goat it is 18%. It has 18% crude protein, 2.5% crude fat, and 11% Fiber. High levels of minerals and vitamins balance diet for milk production. Here is the web site I decided last year to talk to my local feed mill about mixing this pellet, and he called Kent direct and they told him that this was fine to mix this, they just sell it as a complete feed. I decided to come up with the mix of corn, oats, soybean mill and the kent dairy goat pellet. Oh crap, I just remember after typing this, I forgot to tell him to add the soybean mill to my mix. This might be my problem!!!!! My feed mixes to about 14% for my milkers. During the dry season I have the same mix, but he mixes it at 9.5% and I take out the soybean mill. Could this be my problem?

    She did have a normal delivery, her temperature is fine and her discharge is normal.

    The hay is out of the 2nd and 3rd cutting. They eat all of it.

    Ivermectin is successful in our area, but for me the Stage #1 of the wormers SafeGuard, etc......... do not work for me in my area.

    Last year this Doe had twins, this year she had Quads. She was fat before she got pregnant. I refuse to have my does bred if they are too thin. I want a healthy pregnancy for both my does and the unborn kids. After she had the Quads she really didn't milk like normal from day one. Her colostrum was even low for her.

    Her place in the Herd is the same as it has always been. Her place on the milk stand is the same as last year. She always knows right where to go. I try to keep this the same if all possible to make them feel comfortable. I don't have an overly bossy goat on my farm. I get rid of them if they become this way. They really don't have many disagreements at all. Most of it is just play when they do. I only grain on the milking stand twice a day and they have their own sections for their grain, so they all get the same amount. I do feed a little more if necessary on the stand.

    During the dry season yes they share the same feeders without fighting. They are still on full alfalfa hay during the dry season. They look fat and healthy and I like them that way.

    My water tank is actually the Black Rubber/Plastic tank not steel. ( That was my Grandfathers words coming out my head.) LOL

    My goats this year that had triplets look like they did before they got bred 3 weeks after kidding with the exception of this one. Nice and healthy. The doe that is having the problems was overly thin about 3 to 4 weeks after kidding last year and finally started to gain weight about 2 months later. She looked very healthy as I was drying her up. If I could just get her milk production up it would be great!!!!!