Hay and Grain: Opinions Needed!

TheGoatLife

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We feed all of our growing kids a balanced feed. Half cup in morning and half cup in evening sounds fine.
Orchard/Alfalfa hay is fine.
As to the 5-6 week old, that's a little too young for weaning in my opinion.
I agree! Still giving bottles 2x a day to my little pygmy x ND cross
Just got my 11 week old ND to 1 bottle a day, and I am slowly reducing the milk replacer amount.

Right now, I am giving a bit smaller than a handful of Purina Goat grower in a communal feeding trough to my goats. I have Manna Pro Goat Mineral (it has AC in it) and baking soda out in two areas 24/7, and even sprinkle some on their feed every morning. I have a deep fear of my wether getting UC 😫

Thanks for the info!
 

Mini Horses

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Somewhat unfounded fear. In over 30 yrs of dairy and meat goats, never one case. Never used AC. Ample hay, pasture, some grains were added for young growers and bucks in rut, when those groups needed supplementing. Most grains were used for daily, heavy milking does.
 

naturepatty

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At this point in their lives, I would not feed any grain at all. You want their rumens to develop and that requires roughage rather than concentrated proteins. Feed only hay until the does are bred. The wether never needs grain.

The orchard/alfalfa is fine. The caution against the alfalfa for the wether is due to the higher calcium levels in alfalfa which can (but doesn't always) cause urinary calculi in older rams, bucks, and wethers. However, our dairy goats (bucks) lived on alfalfa and we never had any urinary calculi. Our sheep (rams) live on alfalfa and our rams have never had urinary calculi. We have had both on alfalfa for over 30 years and never had urinary calculi although I do know a few people who have experienced it. I do not bother with giving ammonium chloride until they have a problem. If you are worried you can add ammonium chloride to the water. Urinary calculi are more common in certain parts of the country. They also can be more common in certain breeds of sheep and goats.

How much is the timothy compared to the orchardgrass/alfalfa? Cost is a reason to switch but if they are happy with the orchardgrass/alfalfa and it is a decent price, keep them on it.

The main thing with feeding goats and sheep is not to overload them with concentrates (grain and processed feeds). Any animal with a rumen and 4 chambered stomach will do better health wise if kept mainly on rough hay or forage. Grain should be kept as a treat, but not daily, and can be used as a training aid. Think of it as candy for toddler.

Be sure the goats have had their CDT shots.
I'm glad I read this. I have been feeding my nubian cross and pygmy angora cross grain every day. They don't like to eat the grasses and weeds that are in their yard. So I have been giving 2 cups of grain daily plus cutting weeds or giving hay daily. I'm new to the goat world. I bought them both in April. I don't have any experience with them. They were both wormed when I bought them but I don't know what a CDT shot is. Can you inform me?
 

farmerjan

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Get a book on goats for beginners. Read it through and get a working knowledge of the vocabulary and the basic needs of nutrition and shots/diseases. Getting help here is great but you need a hard copy, book in hand, to refer to. I have had cattle for more years than many have been alive and I still use book references...... keeps me sharp on things that can go wrong and happen. And it beats having nothing when the electricity goes out of the stupid internet is not working.
 

Alaskan

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I'm glad I read this. I have been feeding my nubian cross and pygmy angora cross grain every day. They don't like to eat the grasses and weeds that are in their yard. So I have been giving 2 cups of grain daily plus cutting weeds or giving hay daily. I'm new to the goat world. I bought them both in April. I don't have any experience with them. They were both wormed when I bought them but I don't know what a CDT shot is. Can you inform me?
The CDT is for enterotoxemia and tetanus.

If they have limited forage then you might want to see if you have a goat pellet at your feed store that will work. Pellets are convenient. Pellets will work like the grain, in that they tend to be tempting, and they are easy to handle and use for training... but since they are formulated to be a complete nutrition, they won't be too rich for them. (If they have the kind that fits your needs.... so a milk goat pellet is not a good choice for a dry doe)

A good hay feeder, and having hay out 24/7 is also a good choice, especially with limited browse.
 
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