• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Feeding Goats

 
Berry Chechy
Posts: 45
4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello,

Okay so I have another newby goat question. I am getting two pregnant Nubian yearlings that have been in a fenced pasture that has no forage whatsoever so they have been fed goat feed (whatever that is). My question is, if I bring them to my somewhat overgrown acreage, and let them forage will they get sick and die (like what happened to one of geoff lawton's new cows)? The land here is rich with grasses and clovers etc, but it's not what they're used to. My thought it is to feed them goat feed (once I find out what that is and where to bloody buy it), but to slowly cut it back while they get used to grazing and then finally not offer it at all.

What about electric fencing? I'll have to use electric fencing which they are not used to, can it harm the gestating kids? Is it advisable to pen pregnant goats with electric fencing?

I may be over thinking it.....
 
Pia Jensen
Posts: 218
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Are you in a zone you can grow mulberry? If you can, I bet they will totally forgive for all other food mistakes... lol...
 
Thomas Partridge
Posts: 130
Location: Zone 7a
3
books chicken duck
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
With almost any type of animal that has been fed one food exclusively, if you transition you should do so gradually. I would recommend providing "goat pellets" at first and then every day giving them less of them than the day before while monitoring their health. I have done this with both rats and rabbits to avoid illness at the recommendation of breeders in both cases. It may not be 100% necessary, but it often better to be safe than sorry.
 
Tracy Kuykendall
Posts: 165
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm not an experienced goat guy, but with my associations with goat ranchers I've heard of them giving weanling goats an overeating shot, it's supposed to prevent internal problems from the goats transitioning into new green pasture. If you have a vet or other animal health person it may be worth investigating.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The shock will not hurt the fetus. You want to train them the 1st day about the fence. Make a tiny electric fence, but some food on it and let it shock them really good. So that they know it will shock them and that is it's purpose.
 
Stephanie Meyer
Posts: 39
Location: West Michigan Zone 5
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am pretty new to goats but "goat feed" usually seems to refer to either the pre bagged grain mixture or a grain mixture from the local mill. I would have the current owner tell you either what brand so you can get some or have them throw in a week or so worth of their grain mixture so you can transition over. Mine have been on hay and grain all winter so I am gradually letting them spend more time grazing to let their guts adjust, a little more each day, kind of like hardening off plants.
 
Katy Whitby-last
Posts: 280
Location: North East Scotland
1
forest garden goat trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Your suggestion sounds fine. the problem with switching feeds is that the goat does not have the appropriate bacteria in her rumen to digest the new food. So make any changes slowly and if possible feed a probiotic during the change over. They are also good for the stress of moving to a new place. Make sure that you get some of the exact same feed that they were having before.

How long are they off kidding? Their intake will need to be gradually increased over the last trimester of pregnancy so that by the final week they are on full ration so that you can avoid pregnancy toxaemia. They will need supplementing during this period as however good your grazing is, when the foetus gets too big it limits the space in the rumen and the goat cannot always take in sufficient calories and can suffer from ketosis. You need to avoid overfeeding though as that can cause problems when it comes to kidding. If they are just yearlings they won't know what they are doing so try to find someone local to you who is knowledgeable about goats who can help at kidding time.
 
Pia Jensen
Posts: 218
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
if you get a billy
friends have been seriously rolled over by their big boys horns forward launch suddenly sorta circumstances, be careful...
 
traci gabriel
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hi berry, its good you are asking questions. first off, i dont recommend breeding yearling goats, they are not mature enough and many times need help with their babies. i prefer to wait until they are two. second of all, their diet they have been on is not adequate. they should be getting alfalfa since they need the extra calcium and protein, a good goat mineral and baking soda free choice to help their rumens develop. since they are just being given feed, they dont have much of a rumen and you will have to help them develop one so they will be more healthy. their bellies should look large, as a sign of a healthy rumen. many healthy goats look pregnant, even though they are not. its hard to tell if a goat is pregnant. too much grain is not good for goats or other grazing animals. pasture is best and due to winter weather, supplementing with hay.

you should be able to let them browse in the pasture, they are not going to overeat as long as you are still offering them feed so they can transition to better food. get them some alfalfa hay, they will need this also when they kid and after for better milk production so they dont get toxemia. a great website on goats is http://fiascofarm.com/goats/index.htm
she also has herbal formulas which are very popular for natural worming, mastitis, lactation, and many different things.
oat hay is great for goats and our mothers like oat hay as well.

many people do not recommend electric fence for goats, they will just go right thru it.our goats are only fenced in their pens and graze around our loosely horse fenced property and dont go very far. no climb horse fence or even field fence is good to keep them out of any plants or trees you love.

there are so many things to tell you, please check out the website i gave you. i would also find someone to disbud your baby goats within the first week they are born, we disbud all our goats. horns can cause alot of problems for them and each other and you cant show goats with horns if you plan on selling them, this could be an issue.

do you have a milk stand and are you going to milk them? do you have someone to show you how to do this? we give grain only when we are milking, otherwise they get hay and pasture. we always leave hay for our pregnant and lactating does free choice to make sure they get enough. anyone who has had a child knows how much more food you need when you are pregnant and nursing. nursing mothers require even more food than pregnant mothers do, of all species.

make sure also you have someone able to band your boys if the kids are boys, unless you are gong to sell as bucks. and you may need to seperate them from their moms as early as two months if they are still intact because they may try to breed their own mothers or sisters. if you dont need a buck or plan on selling a really good quality ie; personality, milking ability of mom, etc. you should have them banded within the first few weeks. wethers make wonderful companions.

we let our moms nurse their babies, they bond and love their babies and we still get plenty of milk from them. you dont have to bottle feed a goat to get them to like you. you dont want to drink the milk for the first few weeks anyway due to the colostrum, it tastes a little strong, and its better for the kids to have it.

good luck with your goats, if you enjoy and love them as much as we love ours, you are very lucky.
 
The moth suit and wings road is much more exciting than taxes. Or this tiny ad:
Got Permaculture games? Yes! 66 cards, infinite possibilities::
www.FoodForestCardGame
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic