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Goat Diet

Discussion in 'Feeding Time - Goats' started by Ember Kinsch, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Dec 4, 2018
    Ember Kinsch

    Ember Kinsch Chillin' with the herd

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    Hello, I have a complete newbie question, I pretty much no nothing about what to feed my future goats. I do know that they will eat hay and grass, but other than that, I'm clueless! Can someone help me out on what diet I should be planning to feed them? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Dec 4, 2018
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    What kind of goats? How old? Does? Bucks? Wethers?
     
  3. Dec 4, 2018
    Ember Kinsch

    Ember Kinsch Chillin' with the herd

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    Probably going to get Newbians. Most likely around 4-5 weeks when we get them. 1 doe 1 buck. I don't know what wethers are yet...
     
  4. Dec 4, 2018
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    At that age they will still be on the bottle and will remain so up to 12-16 weeks. Are they currently on the bottle at the breeders?
    Wethers are castrated males.
    You can introduce small amounts of dairy goat feed. Hay will need to be available 24/7. Loose Minerals should also be available 24/7.
    Because they are kids you may want to consider a medicated feed to aid in coccidia prevention.


    If buying a buck and a doeling together and they are brother/sister you will want to wether the buckling at 8 weeks.

    The breeder you are purchasing them from should give you recommendation of feed and mineral.
    You will also want to see if the breeder vaccinated the dam before kidding so you know what vaccination schedule you should use.

    Within 7-10 of getting your kids you should have a fecal analysis done by your vet to check for internal parasites and coccidia.
     
  5. Dec 4, 2018
    Ember Kinsch

    Ember Kinsch Chillin' with the herd

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    We don't even have a breeder picked out yet. We are going to get them in a little bit less than a year, so I'm just trying to figure out how to provide the best life for them. We are not planning on getting a brother and sister, mainly because we do want them to mate. What type of loose minerals? Is there any specific milk that they will need? Do I need to put some formula in the milk? How often would they have to be bottle fed? (sorry haven't done that much research on them yet.)
     
  6. Dec 4, 2018
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    I don't recommend buying bottle babies for newbies.
    Unless it is where they go home but are technically at weaning age and it is a week of bottles with milk sent home for transition or so.
    Not having experience and raising BB is challenging to say the least.

    I do not suggest raising doe/buck together. There are long term problems with this.
    Buy 2 does.
    Meanwhile (while they are growing up) work on a pen that you can buy a buck and house separately. This will save you trouble and issues down the road.
    Because eventually you will have to separate them. The bucks will ride bred does which can be problematic especially late pregnancy.
    Having an intact 250 Nubian buck around your does/kids full time will not be very desirable.
    Then the kids will grow and when the daughters cycle then what? You will not want a buck in rut around your does.

    This also allows you to see how the does develop and you can best choose a buck that will improve the areas on your does that need improvement.
     
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  7. Dec 4, 2018
    Ember Kinsch

    Ember Kinsch Chillin' with the herd

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    What age should I get them at then? I do want to be able to breed, but I also want to start off having them at a young age. Will they need grain in winter? What can I give them for treats but will also be nutritious for them?
     
  8. Dec 4, 2018
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    I would look for weaned bottle raised kids from a respectable breeder.
    A respectable breeder doesn't have to have a well known farm name or show or do anything fancy.
    What you are looking for is a breeder that is knowledgeable about the breed. One who tests. Testing for CAE is a must! CL and Johnes is very important sadly too many make excuses to not test for these. Also and this is key- the Nubians can have a genetic defect called G6S ( http://kinne.net/g6s.htm ) you need to see verification of tested goats! There are Negative, Carrier, and Affected goats. This plays a big part in breeding.
    A breeder that will mentor you and help you in your transition, give info as far as prevention, care, feeding, and will generally be there to give support.

    Treats are 100% unnecessary for livestock animals. Far too many give way too many treats and that is not good for goats. If you must stick to raisins, chopped carrots or something that would naturally be within their diet. Sunflower seeds they may love however too much can throw off their phosphorus as it is high in phosphorus. Too many people feed junk crap like animal crackers and cereal. I however am guilty of a few times giving a Dorito and a few goldfish crackers. Only because I happened to be eating them and the goats took them. LOL

    Yes they will need feed throughout the year, as well as hay. Grass is not a staple for goats as they are not grazers like sheep, goats browse. Goats like trees vines brushy stuff but will require hay and feed year round.

    What do you plan on doing with the goats?
     
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  9. Dec 4, 2018
    Ember Kinsch

    Ember Kinsch Chillin' with the herd

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    I plan on milking them.

    Thanks for the advice about the diseases and asking for verification. I will make sure to do that. I do plan on only giving them healthy treats such as the carrots and raisins.
     
  10. Dec 5, 2018 at 11:30 AM
    Fullhousefarm

    Fullhousefarm True BYH Addict

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    I agree 100% with SBC about both- don't get a buck & doe unless you are going to wether the buck and purchase from a breeder that can and will mentor you. Of coarse I also agree bottle babies can be a steep learning curve for a new goat owner. Add that to the fact that you will spend a lot of $$ buying goat milk and/or risk issues using replacer or whole milk.

    I talk buyer after buyer out of buying a boy/girl set of goats every year. It sounds cute but once you know they will have to be separated at 8-12 weeks to prevent the doe from getting pregnant it gets more complicated. Then they will be lonely. Youre likely to have at least one of them escape. Then they can stay together for a few months at most, then they have to be separated again so the babies and dam don't get bred right away. And you have a stinky boy to deal with and can't breed him to his daughters. If you can't afford two does a doe and wether is certainly a reasonable choice. The wether can always be a buddy for your buck if your herd grows and you get one in the future. If I sell a doe or does to a family that doesn't have other goats- or other goats are from a herd I know and trust- I will let them use my buck to breed their does when the time comes assuming a negative CAE test and the goat is well taken care of. We used another breeders buck for one year with our Nigerians and three years with our Lamanchas. It was a pain shuttling does/bucks around a bit, but not as mush work as having a buck 365 days a year to use him for just a few does.

    Something else you could consider is getting a doe with a doeling at her side to start. That way you get milk sooner and get to raise a baby. Many times a dam won't sell for that much more than a baby (think cute factor here- babies sell) and you are getting 2+ years invested in them. We have learned buying yearlings can be a financially wise choice too. Many times you get the older babies that the breeder planned on keeping (the good ones!) and then realized they have too many goats and decide to sell at an off time for less.