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Feeding a dairy goat

Discussion in 'Feeding Time - Goats' started by DustyBoot, Jan 10, 2018 at 2:54 PM.

  1. Jan 12, 2018 at 4:40 PM
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Overrun with beasties

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    Ooooh... if the budget stretches that far, that one is appealing. I'll talk to my husband about what we can do. He always loves it when something like a bargain-priced goat results in me wanting to spend multiples of what I paid for her on other things. :gig (... says the woman with all the lumber and hardware to build a milking stand in the back of her minivan.) I've been wanting the microscope anyway, but still.

    Dottie is looking good. Eating enthusiastically, and I've been taking her out to where she can get a little fresh green stuff for about 15 minutes a day to let her system adjust gradually. She seems to like it, and I don't even have to put a lead rope on her because she just follows me everywhere. Her poop is a little soft; mushed-together pellets instead of individual pellets. But definitely not runny or sick-looking. I'm giving her ProBios daily until everything looks normal. She's chewing cud, drinking water, eating hay, running to greet me when I go outside, and generally doing healthy goat things.

    Just for kicks, I got a picture of the working end of things today. The ground is uneven so she's standing a little funny.

    dottieudder011218.jpg
     
  2. Jan 12, 2018 at 5:10 PM
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    Can't wait to see how her udder comes in.
    She has beautiful teats!
    Nice high escutcheon and wide.
    Looks like she will have a good medial.
    Hard to see the placement of the side attchments.

    I have a feeling she was a hard working doe. Looks like you really have a nice doe to work with!
     
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  3. Jan 12, 2018 at 8:04 PM
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Overrun with beasties

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    I'm glad it looks good! I'd been looking at lots of pictures of dairy goats trying to get a feel for what good ones should look like, but I still have a lot to learn.

    I'm really loving her personality. I like the Kikos and they're friendly and good-natured. But Dottie here is just plain sweet. I'm beginning to understand how dairy goats could be addicting.
     
  4. Jan 12, 2018 at 11:58 PM
    Devonviolet

    Devonviolet Herd Master

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    Congratulations on your new doe. You have gotten some great advice from excellent, experienced goat owners. With a little bit of effort, you should have yourself a nice dairy goat there.

    As @goatgurl told you, I live near Sulphur Springs. I was getting the Big V Dairy Goat Ration from a local feed store. The price was a bit higher than what goatgurl pays, and it got to be a pain getting it from them, as they never seemed to have it in stock when we needed it, and then we would have to wait for it, until they place another order from OK. I don't think anyone else bought it from them. So, eventually, we started buying a very similar, Dairy Goat Sweet Production feed, from our local co-op. We also give our does a Dairy Goat pellet and some alfalfa pellets, and of course all the coastal hay they want, as well as free choice minerals.

    We are in an area that is low in copper, so we make sure we give free choice minerals that are high in copper (1750ppm). And we give separate free choice baking soda (to minimize potential for bloat) and kelp granules, for micro minerals. Our girls are both very healthy.

    We have two LaMancha does (which I got from goatgurl :)) , one of which is a first freshener and the other a second freshener. I only milk once a day, and between them, I was getting almost 1-3/4 gallons a day. My Ruby (2nd freshener) was giving me about 13-14 cups and Falina was giving me about 10 cups. Right now, they have slowed production and I am getting somewhere between 10-14 cup a day, from both of them.

    We also have Ruby's doeling (Angelica) from last Spring's kidding. Ruby and Falina were bred this past November, but we held off on breeding Angelica until next Fall, when she is 17 or 18 months old. Since Angelica is not bred, we do not give her the Sweet Production feed. She gets some Dairy goat pellets and alfalfa pellets, but mostly eats hay and leaves. She loves apple leaves! When the weather turned cold, I started pulling a few leaves, at a time, off the fruit trees, and the girls eat them like they are candy.

    I've also learned Ruby and Falina love orange and grapefruit rinds, and eat them like they are candy! Angelica . . . Not so much! It's hilarious! Whenever I offer her some, she runs away, shaking her head like, OMG I can't believe you expect me to eat that disgusting stuff!!!! :lol: :gig

    I began learning to make cheese last Summer. I started with Chévre, and progressed to Mozzarella. Once you get the knack of it, Mozzarella is easy, and we just love it. We discovered if you add 1 tsp of Wright's smoke flavoring per pound (made with one gallon of milk), it gives it a mild smoky flavor. YUM!

    Since goat milk is naturally homogenized, it isn't easy to get much cream, for making butter and cream. So, I bit the bullet and bought a 100L/Hr cream separator on eBay. So, when we have several gallons saved up, we warm them up to 100 degrees F, and run them through the separator. It is so much fun to make butter and whipped cream in my Kitchenaid stand mixer. :drool

    I also make Kefir, so we have a yummy natural probiotic. It tastes much like buttermilk. When drunk on a regular basis, it builds up good bacteria in the gut. The immune system resides in the gut, and when you have a healthy gut, you have better chance of fighting infections, like colds and flu.:celebrate
     
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  5. Jan 13, 2018 at 12:43 AM
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    Devonviolet has you ready to get more goats and start a dairy! I LOVE IT! :)

    There is one thing that I know many people do and you hear about it often...
    We have never given it, and there really isn't a good reason to.
    The goat makes it's own sodium bicarbonate so giving it may cause the goat more issues... much depends on feeding practices.

    Attached is an article from the Alabama Farmers Co-op
    http://www.alafarmnews.com/index.php/battling-bloat
     
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  6. Jan 13, 2018 at 1:18 AM
    Devonviolet

    Devonviolet Herd Master

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    I had read that it was good to give them baking soda, to prevent bloat. But never was sure we needed it. I figured, "Better safe than sorry." DH takes care of the free choice stuff, and I never think to check levels' when I am in the goat shed. But, I don't think they really eat it. They do eat some loose minerals and kelp granuals, though.

    Thanks for chiming in on the baking soda issue, SBC. I read the article you recommended, and it makes sense. We will stop giving our girls baking soda, and will also be cutting back on the alfalfa pellets, only giving them as a treat now and then. Falina doesn't seem to really care for them anyway. So we had already cut her's back.
     
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  7. Jan 13, 2018 at 5:54 PM
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Overrun with beasties

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    I'll start looking at what options our local feed stores have. Right now she's getting food from TSC because that's what she was being fed before, and it gives me some time to pick something good to transition her to. I may be back with questions depending on what I find!

    I'm excited about trying cheese, and I used to make a lot of yogurt but only had store-bought milk. I'm looking forward to trying our own goat milk yogurt! I'll have to look into my options for getting cream... I'd really like butter, but it's not the end of the world if it doesn't work out.

    Today we built our milking stand (mostly following these instructions: http://www.hobbyfarms.com/goat-stanchion-construct-simple-goats/). Fed Dottie her dinner on it, brushed her, and trimmed her hooves. I'm no expert on goat hooves, but they were pretty overgrown. The sides had folded over underneath her feet so I had to work the clipper blade under it to clip it off. Did what I could for today and I'll check them again soon and regularly and see if we can get them into good shape a bit at a time. I should probably put the Kikos on the stand and check their hooves too, just to be sure.