Questions about feeding does

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Ravens Haven, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. Ravens Haven

    Ravens Haven New Member

    Hi all,

    Well I am in need of some suggestions or how you do things. I have 6 does in milk still, most are giving 7lbs or less a day, I have been feeding 1 1/2 lbs of grain 2 x a day, I believe this is too much if I am not mistaken, they also get free choice grass hay, browse, and alfalfa 2 x a day. I also have 8 kids from this year and for the 6 doelings I feed 5lbs of grain 2 x a day, the kids are HUGE but isn't this too much grain. I even give the buck kids a lb per buck 2 x a day with just grass hay ( i am guessing this is not good). I didn't realize the little tupperware square bowl I have been using holds that much grain. I have been feeding 34lbs of grain a day, it is good feed, I have always used it. All the goats have free choice grass hay (good quality) awesome alfalfa hay, and browse. Any suggestions on what amounts I should be using for my goats?

    Autumn :crazy
  2. Well Autumn,

    Just depends on how much milk you want out of the does really. With kids...I go a little heavy on grain...cause i WILL NOT have a dry yearling. If they are to small to kid at a year...they go for tacos!

    With does...i go by the old rule...1 pound of grain to 3 pounds of milk. Now, that might be 12% grain or up to a 18% grain. At peak milk I will feed a 18% and about a month from dry off they get a 12%. But, that is cause I want to put some weight onto them.


  3. Ravens Haven

    Ravens Haven New Member

    My grain is 16%..that is what they get year round. My kids are 80lbs and up January to March kids..they are huge kids and all will be bred this October. I do have alfalfa pellets but I just cannot get the hang of feeding them, I keep forgetting they are there. But this new alfalfa hay is just awesome and I can't get the girls past a little a day or one of them is gonna scour. They get free choice mineral, baking soda, and salt block. I forgot the milkers get 1 cup of a mix I call granola, (boss, beetpulp, yeast, and alfalfa pellets 2 parts beetpulp to 1 part everything else) 2 x a day.

    THese girls milk alot when in milk but we are in late lactation and all is slowing down right now and several have had the scours over the course of the past few weeks with one with scours again today, fecals are clear, eyelids look great, only a small amount of alfalfa hay per 16 does, so I just don't understand the scours unless they are eating too many falling leaves.

  4. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    Would think that is too much protein for the buck kids make sure your giving AC
    I would be switching them some grain for alfalfa pellets to keep your phos /cal bal in tack with your grass hay.
  5. Haglerfarm

    Haglerfarm New Member

    The alfalfa itself can cause scours in some animals. It is a natural laxative. My goats get soft pellets or stool when they get alfalfa. Especially at shows when they get more.
    16% protein is as high as I want to go on my animals. Too high a protein is hard on them. I like 14%-16% while milking and when dry 12-14%.
    My bucks get fed pretty much the same as the does. As it is the phosphorus being off balance, usually, that causes UC in bucks. I also do not feed a lot of molasses. As my vet said there is some correlation to it and UC.
    I add alfalfa to my grain mix as our hay is grass for the most part and it is high in phosphorus. I do not have problems with stones.
    Years ago I had a pygmy wether who got stones late in life. We had especially bad hay that year. I was not feeding alfalfa pellets. We were able to save him. I started back adding alfalfa pellets to their feed and added apple cider vinegar to their water. He never had any more problems. He lived to be an old man.
  6. FRW

    FRW New Member

    I always fed a 16 percent Dairy Ration and gave 1 lb for the Doe and another pound for each quart of milk she gave(per 2 lbs approx). I also fed free choice alfalfa pellets and most of the time I would have need to give less grain ration to the does to keep them from getting too fat. You have to look at your animals to see if it is enough food for them.Some will be naturally more dairy looking(thinner) and some will need more than the 1 lb per quart of milk to stay in good shape.It is important to keep up with how much you are feeding.If you are having to feed you does more then the formula that I gave I always had fecal done to see if my worming program was working. Sounds like you are doing fine. Just don't get the does to fat or they will have kidding problems and if they are a little fat most of them will milk it off when they come fresh(KID).
    How do you tell if a doe is too fat? Well I always looked at them walking and if I could see a little of the rib when they are walking you're OK on weight .If you can't see ANY your does are too fat.
    Remember to keep the minerals,kelp and Sodium Bicarb available at all times.That usually stops any clumpy stool.
    Like I said sounds like you are doing great. Goats are like people- Some need more food than others and some just eat too much.