Occasional Big Belly On Doe

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Anita Martin, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Hi,
    I have a 6 year old Alpine doe that occasionally will get a really large stomach/rumen. The first time she did this, a month or so ago, I thought she was bloating and so I dreched her. She kept the large stomach for a couple of days. Since then, she's done that a couple of more times, the last time being last night. She was out on the lawn, (no pesticides or fertilizers) for 5 or 6 hours while I was doing chores. She was eating browse, small trees, weeds, and grass. At milking time none of the girls finished thier grain, which I thought was due to them eating so much yummy stuff right before. After I put them away for the night, I was out examining my newest fly bait trap, waiting for flies to die, when I heard Delilah making more noise while lying down than I thought was normal. I got her up and checked her belly, which was quite huge and much tighter than normal. I went in the house and got a big box of baking soda, which her and one of the other does ate quite a bit of. Delilah is a normally quiet doe, and doesn't like a lot of attention, but she stood perfectly still while I rubbed her belly and got some calming essential oils and massaged her. Afterwords she would sometimes let out a little bleat of discomfort, (think it was discomfort.) Anyway, my question is, is this something common in dairy goats? Over eating and then being uncomfortable? My two other does seemed fine, although one of them also had a larger than normal belly..but not to the point of discomfort.
    They have grass in their paddock, free choice hay, alfalfa pellets etc. Can they bloat on excessive amounts of grass and browse in a fairly short period of time? I do have a bloat remedy on hand, but hope to never have to use it. I've never seen bloat, and don't want to, but I know that it can be life-threatening. Is there a good place to go online to learn more about the symptoms and prevention?
    Thanks so much
     
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    sounds to me like a good rumen working. But limit the amount of time on fresh new grass.
     

  3. Jo@LaudoDeumFarm

    [email protected] New Member

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    Anita,

    Go very slow when introducing fresh feeds to your animals. Start by leading them to the browse and giving them ten minutes at first, then 15 then maybe an hour and do it over a couple of weeks. It takes a couple of weeks for the ruman ecology to fully adapt to a change of feed.

    So the big belly you saw could well have been bloat, and yes they can die of some bloats very quickly. The only time we give baking soda to the goats is in the spring when the lush growth comes out, and in the late summer early fall, after the heat of the summer when things start growing again. A good way of avoiding this is to make sure they have dry hay to munch before you put them out in the pasture.
     
  4. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    They have dry hay all the time. Really nice hay too. This doe has also gotten this "big belly syndrome" as I call it while in the paddock, which has grass, but since they walk on it, they prefer not to eat much of it. They normally go out to graze several hours each evening when I get home, so I figured she's used to it by now. I was thinking maybe she found something extra good as we were clearing out a wooded area. Honestly, most of the times her belly gets big I can't think of anything out of the ordinary in her diet that she might have gotten. I guess what I am wondering is if anyone has a doe that does this with some frequency and what they have done about it? Probiotics, baking soda, etc.
    Thanks,
    Anita
     
  5. Ashley

    Ashley Active Member

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    Some of my goats normally get a huge belly when I let them out to get real browse. They just cram in all they can.
     
  6. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Yeah I just moved the bucks from their winter pen out to the woods pen, they spent the whole day out eating all the new stuff they could find. They look like they are bred. It would have to contain alot of fresh grass they aren't used to, for them to need treatment.

    If they ate so much they didn't want to eat their grain on the milkstand, it's no wonder she is uncomfortable. You could offer baking soda if you want, I would just limit their time. Figure if they aren't in this every day, it's new for them. Vicki
     
  7. CarlinsDarlin

    CarlinsDarlin Guest

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    My girls will do this occasionally. Eat so much graze/browse you think they're going to burst. I have noticed recently with so much new growth, that they've also been eating a whole lot more baking soda, so I figure they're stuffing themselves and then getting indigestion :). During the winter I end up throwing out as much baking soda as they eat. This time of year, they finish off what I have out, and I have to add more.
    Kathy
     
  8. eliya

    eliya New Member

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    Yeah, my girls get huge when they decide to stuff themselves. They sure can fit a lot of food into those little bodies!!! And sometimes they will look/act a little uncomfortable after being so piggy. You ought to see the kids after they get their milk! It's a good thing I limit the amount of milk they get or they would literally explode.
     
  9. Bethany

    Bethany New Member

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    They just blow up like little balloons don't they?? :D
     
  10. eliya

    eliya New Member

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  11. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Well, she is just fine today. I'm keeping baking soda out, and they are really eating it. She went out this morning and tonight and her stomach is still normal sized, so she must just occasionally find something she really likes and eat too much of it. Thanks so much for everyone's comments. I feel better now that I know she's not the only doe to do this and still be healthy. My boys are out on really good pasture and so far they have not gotten big bellies....guess it's just the girls that overeat...
    Thanks!
    Anita
     
  12. eliya

    eliya New Member

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    I'm glad she is doing well and that it wasn't something serious!
     
  13. Jennie

    Jennie New Member

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    Glade to hear your doe is doing better. I keep the baking soda out all the time. That way if they need it its there. Some use it more than the others.
     
  14. Karen Bailey

    Karen Bailey New Member

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    As long as the goat is not bloated and/or experiencing any pain, my hubby and I make jokes about "all that great rumen capacity" and how many people asked when that doe was due to kid when she wasn't bred yet. Goats are just funny, aren't they?!
     
  15. Terry

    Terry Member

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    Glad she is doing better.