New member confused

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by tmfinley, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. tmfinley

    tmfinley Member

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    Hello,
    I have been on the Dairy Goat Forum for a few days now and am finding out just how much stuff I am doing wrong. I have had two Nubian girls for about 2 months now. They are 10 months old now and one of them is pregnant and is due the middle of April. I thought I had done plenty of research before getting them and the lady I bought them from gave me so much information I thought was correct. Most of my concern is with feeding the girls. Right now they are eating grass hay ( their previous owner told me not to feed alfalfa because it would give them diarrhea) and about 3 cups of 15% goat pellets everyday. I also give loose minerals with the pellets from Manna Pro, though it seems that not much of the minerals is actually ingested.

    From what I've read here it seems I am feeding them not just way too much pellets, but also low quality pellets. I'm not ready to mix my own grain just yet, but definitely want to do better than what I'm doing. I have noticed lately the pregnant doe looks really big and now I'm scared she has a 10 lb kid in there!

    I live in Central Texas and the goats are enclosed in a large wooded area. During the day I do see them grazing. Should I be feeding them any pellets or alfalfa pellets or alfalfa hay alone or what? I'm so confused and feel like an idiot for not knowing I was doing something wrong sooner. Any help anyone could give would be very helpful and very appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Tiffany
     
  2. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Mostly they are lacking calcium and protein.

    Easily remedied and you have enough time with her just now reaching 100 days.

    Always feel your does over their ribs, browsing in the woods, the grass hay and the high roughage and byproducts grains in the pellets, gives for huge rumen development, you are just now able to start seeing kids and if born right now they would be only 1 or 2 pounds. The big barrel is all 4 of her stomachs not kids, unless the due date is wrong.

    I would start slowly giving her alfalfa pellets, worm everyone with Cydedtin if you haven't as of yet this winter, and then start thinking about what you want this doe eating when she is milking. Are you going to milk her to use the milk? Than you dont' want her on this product...does it contain drugs? Decoquinate?

    Now if you are just going to let the kids nurse and not milk for house milk than a goat pellet like this is very convienent and you certainly can feed it, they love these pellets. I raise out my kids on them and the milkers will fight me when coming in the milkroom, to get to the babies pellet feeders! But if you want nice house milk than slowly move her to oats. Feed like you are, but just slowly switch, maybe 1/4 oats to 3/4ths of the pellet, then next week 1/2 and 1/2 until you are off them. Now the drugged pellets will make an excellent first feed for your new babies, plus alfalfa pellets of course.

    Slowly start offering her alfalfa pellets, just a cup twice a day, then a little more until you are feeding her at least 3 pounds during the day when she has babies. You of course can feed alfalfa hay, slowly adding it to the grass hay if you can find good alfalfa hay.

    Also read on minerals, perhaps moving to a better mineral with higher PPM's of copper, in the 1000's. Vicki
     

  3. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Hi and Welcome yes everything Vicki just said and look for Blue bonet minerals
     
  4. Terry

    Terry New Member

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    :hello and :welcome
    Terry
     
  5. LMonty

    LMonty New Member

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    welcome! Glad to have you here.
     
  6. Keeperofmany

    Keeperofmany New Member

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    Hi and welcome. :yeahthat What Vicki said. I also add a 1/4 cup of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds to my oats twice daily, also known as BOSS ( Got that from Vicki to ) and a sprinkle of kelp. Hope this helps.

    Wendy
     
  7. 2Sticks

    2Sticks New Member

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    Hi Tiffany and welcome.

    I'm realitivly new also and really appreciate all the great information from Vicki, Kaye, Sondra and the rest. Isn't it great to have such wonderful help available? I am willing to learn from their experience, and appreciate their knowledge.
    Tamera
     
  8. tmfinley

    tmfinley Member

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    Thank you so much for the information. I am going to start weaning them off the "goat chow" and onto the alfalfa and oats asap. I actually might start doing the oat, barley, corn, boss, and beet pulp mixture I have read about on other threads. Will a regular feed store have boss and beet pulp? Sounds exotic to me, but maybe it is commonplace, I'm going to call them tomorrow. Thanks again for all the info. and the welcome!

    Tiffany
     
  9. Shykid Acres

    Shykid Acres Guest

    HI....HOPE THIS HELPS. IT REALLY HELPED ME. THE TEXT IS SOME OF WHAT IS IN THOSE TWO ARTICLES. If the links don't work...just copy and paste into your browser.


    Here are a couple of great articles that tell you why
    pregnant and lactating does need alfalfa....


    http://dairygoatinfo.com/index.php?topic=22.0


    http://dairygoatinfo.com/index.php?topic=21.0



    “Additional options and info: Alfalfa is the only commonly available* forage that has a lot of calcium, grass hays containing almost none. And all grains contain lots of phosphorus but almost no calcium. So ideally, does in late gestation should get lots of alfalfa along with a small amount of grain to provide the proper balance. But if living in an area where grass hay is fed because alfalfa isn't available, in lieu of grain it might be best to provide a loose mineral supplement free choice that has in it the needed calcium to phosphorus ratio along with all of the other essential minerals (ex: Sweetlix 16:8 Meatmaker # 987), perhaps including calf manna in the mixture for additional protein, and powdered dicalcium phosphate as well.

    After reading the above, the first question many will ask is, "But how can I provide the energy and protein needed in late gestation if I don't pour on the grain?" Well, here's the answer!

    Alfalfa, grasses and grains (barley, oats, corn) all contain similar levels (~1.54%) of digestible energy. So reducing the amount of grain fed and increasing the doe's intake of alfalfa to make the proper calcium to phosphorus ratio available will not change the energy level in the diet at all.

    Alfalfa has more digestible protein (~12.5% on average) than do the common grains (oats, barley, corn) and grass hays (~ 8.5% on average). Since late gestation calls for ~ 18% protein, a small amount of calf manna (~24% protein) could either be added to a reduced grain ration, or in addition to the free-choice loose mineral source if feeding straight grass hay. END.”

    (2) If feeding a grass hay or pasture instead of alfalfa, give her NO grain at all. That's because while grass hay does in itself contain a proper ratio of calcium to phosphorus, the total amount of each is exceedingly low. But adding a heavy-phosphorus grain ration to it would turn the balance of calcium to phosphorus upside down to something like 1 Ca to 4 (or more) P, making NO calcium available to the doe, and setting her up for hypocalcemia in late gestation. To increase the availability of Calcium in this instance, provide a good free-choice loose supplemental trace mineral mixture that contains at least 16% protein (grass hay has only ~5%), along with a ratio of no lower than 2 parts of Calcium to each 1 part of Phosphorus (the amount of which could be nicely increased with the addition of powdered Di-Calcium Phosphate, available through feed suppliers as well as online.)

    However, there's an ideal third option available for those who prefer to feed both grain and hay in late gestation, but because they don't have ready access to free choice alfalfa must instead either pasture their goats or feed them grass hay. If alfalfa pellets can be bought locally at a reasonable price, a perfect late gestation diet for prevention of Hypocalcemia would be a ration of 1 cup (by measure) of grain, added to (using the same cup) 3 cups of alfalfa pellets, fed 2X daily, along with all the free choice pasture or grass hay the does want to eat between meals, and free choice access to a good, loose, trace mineral supplement, and baking soda.


    Hope this helps!

    -Kimberly
     
  10. Sharpgoat

    Sharpgoat New Member

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    :welcome Hi,Tiffany I am new to the Dairy goat info as well.
    I am not new to goats I have had goats for over 28 years and still learning I have gotten so much info from this forum.
    I live in Elgin TX, as well and give me a call if you would like to I love to talk goats.
    I have been doing a lot of looking at feed stores around here and have found a lot of the ingredients for the feed :D
    Fran
    281-3141
     
  11. tmfinley

    tmfinley Member

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    Thank you Kimberly! That helped alot.

    Tiffany
     
  12. VickiLynne

    VickiLynne New Member

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    OK, so where I live, there isn't a place where I can get my grain mixed my way. I would have to buy it bagged.
    I would like to try to get oats etc. bagged and then make my own ration. What should I get to improve my feeding program. I was giving them grass/alfalfa hay/browse free choice and Blue Seal Dairy Goat Pellets when milking plus minerals free choice. My girls look good but I think they could possible look better. Please advise.

    Thanks,
    Vicki in NC
     
  13. tmfinley

    tmfinley Member

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    I can't answer your question, but they talk about different feed combinations under the thread titled Grain Feeding.

    Tiffany
     
  14. VickiLynne

    VickiLynne New Member

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  15. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    I would hope that nobody would choose to raise dairy goats in Kimberly's post (2) above. We recently went through this on another thread, a man who sells his milk for $12 per gallon, and the does are grass fed, are trying to kid right now on nothing but bermuda hay and pasture...can't imgaine anyone having decent enough pastrue this time of year unless in the onfrozen south. His does are so lacking the calcium they need that they are kidding with no milk, the ones who are kidding that is. Choosing the raise your goats like this is a disaster, make sure when you do choose this way you understand what the loss can be, and pick bloodlines that are poorer milkers. Vicki