I'm new to this and would like some info

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by backtotheland, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. backtotheland

    backtotheland New Member

    I'm new to this and just purchased a bred LaMancha and a bred Nubian, both first timers. They look incredibly small to me and I can't get the woman I bought them from to give me their dates of birth, the dates they were bred or any health info on them. I do know the LaMancha was bred in November. I feel like such an idiot for buying goat that were so little but I didn't know that when I bought them. I figure they can't be more than six to eight months old. I'm not sure what to look for. Every day when I feed them I feel their bellies and rub their legs thinking this might help when it comes time to milk them. Right now they are in the same pen with my sheep and everyone seems to be getting along remarkably well. The woman I got them from told me not to feed them more than a handfull of grain a day so the babies wouldn't get too big but now today someone told me something different. A handfull of grain a day doesn't seem like a lot for a gestating female. Also what minerals can I give them? Should they be getting extra copper? I have a mineral mix that I use for the sheep but since sheep can't have copper I will have to figure out how to get the goats the copper if they need more than what is in the mineral mix. Also, should I be feeding them baking soda? I think I read somewhere that they should have access to baking soda. I know this was probably a dumb thing to do but I'm hoping we can get through this without loosing the goats or their kids. Thanks for any help. Donna
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    Hi Donna first things first you need to update your profile with the breed of goats and your location so we can help according to the location re: minerals /worms/ feed etc.

    tho some of these things are basic to any goat if you have sickness we need to know this.
    as for minerals and this is a biggy goats do not do well on sheep minerals or sheep/goat minerals. your goats need to be on alfalfa pellets or alfalfa hay especially now that they are bred. go ahead and keep them on the handful of grain for now and start increasing it since they are on the small side they need that extra protien to grow but they really need at least 3 lbs of alfalfa pellets each or free choice alfalfa hay 24/7
    I don't keep BS out 24 /7 but I do offer it every now and then and especially if on new feed or something.
    I personally would have them separated from the sheep or at least a separate place for them to eat and have thier high copper/selenium minerals

  3. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

    Oh Gosh, sorry you had to start like this! This does happen all the time though, goats are sold and the minute you give them your money you can never get any more info...ever. And sadly it is usually because they don't know the answers.

    Do you know they are LaMancha and Nubian because of paperwork or because they look like it?
    Do you know how much they wiegh? You can measure around the heart girth behind the front legs and tell their weight by these measurements.
    What kind of hay are you feeding?
    A handful of grain isn't much but if you are feeding good alfalfa, or alfalfa pellets, they don't really need much grain until further along in pregnancy. Giving them lots of grain right now will not make them grow bigger.

    I breed my does to kid right around their first birthday. My 8 were all bred in November, and other than this thicker appearance to them, you can not tell yet they are bred, we range in the 111 pound to 125 pound range right now. I am trying to keep the 120+ ones from gaining right now. Once around 100 days bred they will get more grain.
    Your goats demand for calcium and copper will be much higher than those of your sheep, especially with these girls bred so young. Can you make them a place where they can get away from the sheep and eat alfalfa pellets or alfalfa hay free choice, and have access to minerals with copper in them?

    If you have out good quaity grass hay it contains all the bicarb that your goats need, unless you are feeding sweet type feeds with alot of molasss in them. Vicki
  4. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature Active Member

    Hi Donna, and welcome to the forum. :D

    Can you wt. tape them like mentioned above or weigh them? perhaps they just look small to you because they are "teen-agers". Feed them like has been suggested and get them on a good mineral and paracite program. Good luck to you and so glad you made it here :D
  5. SherrieC

    SherrieC Active Member

    If you don't have a weigh tape, grab a dressmakers sewing tape and we can help you with how many inches around the Heartgirth area equal how much estimated weight. right behind the front leg up over the back pull tight.
  6. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

    Welcome to the forum. It's too bad the breeder wouldn't give you the info you need. You've gotten some good advice on feeding them. I keep sodium bicarb out 24/7 to be on the safe side in preventing acidic rumen. Since you don't have any health records on these does, it would be a good idea to get them blood tested for CL and CAE before they kid. You wouldn't want the babies nursing off a positive doe.