Newby goat feed question, please help!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Granolamom, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    525
    2
    151
    Sep 9, 2008
    Dallas
    As a brand-spanking-new goat mom, I'm trying to do everything just right, but 4 weeks into it I still feel somewhat confused about certain feed issues for my Alpine/Pygmy momma and her 5-month old kids (one girl and one little wether).
    I have them on free-choice Alfalfa hay, Dumor goat pellets 2x a day, and free-choice Golden Blend minerals.
    Since I don't have my electric netting fence yet, I take them down to the pasture 2x per day, and let them graze and browse on the brush surrounding it. I also cut brush for them, when I can't take them to the pasture.
    Here's my question: I found out yesterday that Alfalfa hay, as well as goat pellets (I have the 12% kind), will likely cause my little wether to develop kidney stones and urinary tract problems (the previous owners neutered him at barely 4 months old).
    Do I need to feed him seperately from the girls, or is there an "all-purpose" hay and feed that will work for all 3 of them??? Also, do they need "sweet feed"?
    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. buckeye chickens

    buckeye chickens Out Of The Brooder

    70
    0
    39
    May 27, 2008
    Ohio
    I have had goats for around 8 years. right now we have around 50 boer/boer cross goats, and two Alpines.

    Alfalfa hay with wethers in very bad. Get him some grass hay(timothy and orchard grass are common) feed around 1 lb of feed, a feed with ammonia chloride for a preventative of Urinary Calculi.

    The doe will get fat on Alfalfa, grass hay free-choice would be better. She does not have to get any feed if she is not bred. I would be nice and give 1/4 to 1/2 lbs of a 16% feed sweet feed or pellets

    The doeling also can get only grass hay. I would give her 1 to 1 and 1/2 lbs of a 16% feed pellets or sweet feed.

    To feed I would put on dog collars/leashs and give them all a bowl of feed. Do not leave the collars on as they may get hung on something.

    If you need more help you can PM me. Love to talk goats!
     
  3. Chatychick

    Chatychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    I think you need to find out what the % is you need 2 to 1 with more calcium and thats what alfalfa is good for. I feed my wethers grain but I make sure there is more alfalfa pellets than grain. This way the phorprous is better balanced. The alfalfa will help keep him in balance. If he is getting grain her needs the alfalfa hay or pellets. Remember to much phosporous and not enough calcium you get Urinary calculi. Also you can give him Ammonium Chloride. You can give him a little ball of it each month, My neighbot does this after we saved his wether as it was eating cattle feed and got UC so we drenched him with AC and now he uses it faithfully even if they dont need it. He does this each month on the first so he wont forget it.
    So I personally would give him all the alfalfa hay or pellets he will eat if he is going to get grain. And Kate (helmsted) will agree with me there...I bet ya...
     
  4. Chauntecleer's Keeper

    Chauntecleer's Keeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    108
    0
    109
    Feb 28, 2009
    West Little Rock, AR
    When you castrate a wether, the urethra and penis will stop growing. If he was castrated early, the threat of urinary calculi is increased because of the smaller diameter of the urethera. You will probaby be in pretty good shape with him being casterated at 4 months. A lot of whethers taken to market will be castrated in weeks, not months. But those are usually not gonna be someones pet. Get a salt block that is suitable for goats. This will stimulate water intake which will be good for him. The minerals will probably do the same thing. I would lay off of the alfalfa hay. It is too rich for goats. That is one of the great things about goats, they prefer a mixed grass hay. Which is usually cheaper than Alfalfa or Bermuda hay. The hay I buy smells like the tea my wife drinks. It has all kinds of herbs and flowers mixed in it. My goats love it. I can get a round bale for 20$. I would keep providing the grain, but just give your weather the minimum recomended for his size. I cut brush for my goats too. They LOVE pine, and it is a natural dewormer. Make sure to worm them on a normal basis, and that they have their shots. You can get them at the farm store and it is really easy to give. We just lost a little whether to tetnus becaus I had been lazy about shots. There is no cure. I am sure you will be a great Goat Mom.
     
  5. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    525
    2
    151
    Sep 9, 2008
    Dallas
    Thanks you guys, for all the input! There is so much confusing/conflicting information out there on feeding goats (even the past 3 responses are that way!), and I'm beginning to realize that I'll probably just have to find a "golden medium" and go with my gut.
    I will try really hard to find a reliable source for grass hay, though (TSC only has Alfalfa). Okay, one more dumb question, before I'm done for the night: if I feed goat pellets, do I need to feed sweet feed? Aren't the pellets made of grain, just as the sweet feed? And if it's the same, nutrition wise, which is better for them? (sorry if I sound ignorant...[​IMG])
     
  6. buckeye chickens

    buckeye chickens Out Of The Brooder

    70
    0
    39
    May 27, 2008
    Ohio
    Do not deworm on a basis, There are lots of dewormers out there but, they all go into three class. Worms become resistance to dewormers.

    "Producers have relied too heavily on a chemical crutch by overusing dewormers," says Dr. Ray Kaplan, veterinarian and parasite researcher at the University of Georgia. "The results are alarming. The situation is critically serious in goats and just as serious in sheep."

    Source: Progressive Farmer Magagzine & referenced in ABGA Online Newsletter.
     
  7. buckeye chickens

    buckeye chickens Out Of The Brooder

    70
    0
    39
    May 27, 2008
    Ohio
    Goats do not need pellets and sweet feed. Sweet feed is fine for does/doeling but, I like a pellet with wethers, for a good goat pellet will have the Ca:p ratio right, with ammonium chloride added.

    I have a six year old alpine/boer/nubian pack wether. I feed no grain or hay in the summer, about 1/4 to 1/2 lb of kent goat pellets and free-choice grass hay in the fall, winter, and spring. He has never been sick or had any stones. all of our goats get minerals free-choice.

    My goats are my favorite animal,I like much better then a dog.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2009
  8. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    525
    2
    151
    Sep 9, 2008
    Dallas
    Chauntecleer's Keeper :

    the The hay I buy smells like the tea my wife drinks. It has all kinds of herbs and flowers mixed in it. My goats love it. I can get a round bale for 20$. I would keep providing the grain, but just give your weather the minimum recomended for his size. I cut brush for my goats too. They LOVE pine, and it is a natural dewormer. Make sure to worm them on a normal basis, and that they have their shots. You can get them at the farm store and it is really easy to give. We just lost a little whether to tetnus becaus I had been lazy about shots. There is no cure. I am sure you will be a great Goat Mom.

    I want that!!! Hay that smells like tea! I'll probably fight the goats for it, and roll around in it![​IMG] Where do you live, where you can get hay like that? (Everything advertised here in Georgia seems to be "limed, fertilized and weed-free", which does NOT sound good to me).​
     
  9. Blooming chicks

    Blooming chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    423
    2
    141
    Mar 4, 2008
    Bucks County
    My goats are my favorite animal,I like much better then a dog

    That is so funny--I feel the exact same way. If I had goats first, I wouldn't have any dogs.

    I just had my buckling wethered at 2 weeks old and I was told that as long as I didn't feed alfalfa and offered a good grass hay and minerals free choice he would thrive and be just fine.​
     
  10. cutiepieacres

    cutiepieacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    472
    3
    131
    Jan 20, 2009
    S. CA
    2:1 Calcium Phosphorus ratio is the most important thing in feeding wethers and even does. Read your tags and do the math if its not 2:1 find one that is. Watch the goat minerals often the are way off on the ratio I have only found a few good ones. You have to find what works for you are far as what you feed to balance out that ratio and get a weight on your goats that you want.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by