How to get my breeding boer doe to lose weight a bit

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
3,214
Reaction score
9,286
Points
503
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
Well.... a huge belly simply could mean she has great rumen development, and is eating a bunch of brush.

A belly on a goat has little to do with fat.

For fat on a goat you look at ribs and spine.

You want to be able to feel the individual ribs, but not really see them. You want to feel the spine and not have it prominent or have it hidden.

If you want her to reduce extra fat (depending on what you see and feel) I would cut out the grain. Is her "buddy" a wether for market? If so, he can continue getting grain as long as he does not get fat.

If you are judging her by how she looks compared to your market wether, don't. A good breeding doe or ewe should have a nice deep brisket and large rumen. A large rumen will allow the doe to take in enough food capacity during pregnancy while allowing enough room for the kids to grow. A small rumen is a flaw in a breeding animal. The thing to look for is not the stomach size, but the amount of fat (not muscled flesh) on the doe. Is she small framed or large framed This will make a difference in how much muscle covering she needs. Do you have a 4-H breeding goat or sheep leader? If so they can feel your animal and help you determine condition scores.


looks
 

Wild Bug Ranch

Loving the herd life
Joined
May 5, 2020
Messages
208
Reaction score
148
Points
113
Location
Placerville
If you want her to reduce extra fat (depending on what you see and feel) I would cut out the grain. Is her "buddy" a wether for market? If so, he can continue getting grain as long as he does not get fat.

If you are judging her by how she looks compared to your market wether, don't. A good breeding doe or ewe should have a nice deep brisket and large rumen. A large rumen will allow the doe to take in enough food capacity during pregnancy while allowing enough room for the kids to grow. A small rumen is a flaw in a breeding animal. The thing to look for is not the stomach size, but the amount of fat (not muscled flesh) on the doe. Is she small framed or large framed This will make a difference in how much muscle covering she needs. Do you have a 4-H breeding goat or sheep leader? If so they can feel your animal and help you determine condition scores.


looks
Her buddy is not a market or wether, she is a dairy doe that is 6 months old. In the pictures I have does she have a large rumen and deep brisket> And yes I do have a 4-H leader and I will ask her that! I am not sure if she is small-framed or large-framed, I weighed her a couple of days ago and she is 107lbs.
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
3,214
Reaction score
9,286
Points
503
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
We fed alfalfa to our dairy herd and did not supplement grain to young dairy stock until they went into the milk stand. It interferes with rumen development. Unless you are feeding a low protein grass hay or forage, you don't really grain supplements until those does are bred and have kidded. Better to encourage rumen development with a roughage diet. Breeding animals should have a well developed rumen.

Market animals can be grown out and finished on less hay and a commercial milled feed since they will not need a huge rumen and you want a more streamlined appearance in the show ring. In fact it is common in the month before the show to cut back the amount of hay on show market animals in order to reduce the "hay belly" look for the show ring.

Since you are in California and we have good alfalfa here, you might consider changing to alfalfa. It is high in protein, and calcium which you will want for your milking goats when they start milking. Alfalfa is less available in some areas of California, but I see you are north of Sacramento so should have no trouble locating good quality alfalfa. Alfalfa might also be cheaper than orchard grass.

Your Boer doe might look wider and deeper because she dies not look as long through the body in the one photo. It is hard to tell in the pictures. This can be corrected by breeding her to a long bodied buck if you plan to keep a doe kid and sell a market wether. Remember that in meat animals the loin is the prime meat cut and a longer bodied animal is desirable. She has a nice wide rear (second most important part is a thick rear leg) and I like her depth of body.

Also since you have both dairy and Boer does, although they are both goats they should not resemble each other in type or appearance. When you show you will need to know the differences in order to present both animals to the best advantage. There are showing tricks that if used correctly work well, but used incorrectly can mean a place at the end of the line. Your dairy doe should be angular and sharp in body type, with easily discernable hips and pin bones. Her ribs should feel wide and flat where the Boer's ribs should feel rounded. The Boer should have a much heavier and fleshier appearance. Perhaps you could ask your leader to hold a class on the differences in what you are looking and feeling for between dairy and meat type animals.
 

Wild Bug Ranch

Loving the herd life
Joined
May 5, 2020
Messages
208
Reaction score
148
Points
113
Location
Placerville
We fed alfalfa to our dairy herd and did not supplement grain to young dairy stock until they went into the milk stand. It interferes with rumen development. Unless you are feeding a low protein grass hay or forage, you don't really grain supplements until those does are bred and have kidded. Better to encourage rumen development with a roughage diet. Breeding animals should have a well developed rumen.

Market animals can be grown out and finished on less hay and a commercial milled feed since they will not need a huge rumen and you want a more streamlined appearance in the show ring. In fact it is common in the month before the show to cut back the amount of hay on show market animals in order to reduce the "hay belly" look for the show ring.

Since you are in California and we have good alfalfa here, you might consider changing to alfalfa. It is high in protein, and calcium which you will want for your milking goats when they start milking. Alfalfa is less available in some areas of California, but I see you are north of Sacramento so should have no trouble locating good quality alfalfa. Alfalfa might also be cheaper than orchard grass.

Your Boer doe might look wider and deeper because she dies not look as long through the body in the one photo. It is hard to tell in the pictures. This can be corrected by breeding her to a long bodied buck if you plan to keep a doe kid and sell a market wether. Remember that in meat animals the loin is the prime meat cut and a longer bodied animal is desirable. She has a nice wide rear (second most important part is a thick rear leg) and I like her depth of body.

Also since you have both dairy and Boer does, although they are both goats they should not resemble each other in type or appearance. When you show you will need to know the differences in order to present both animals to the best advantage. There are showing tricks that if used correctly work well, but used incorrectly can mean a place at the end of the line. Your dairy doe should be angular and sharp in body type, with easily discernable hips and pin bones. Her ribs should feel wide and flat where the Boer's ribs should feel rounded. The Boer should have a much heavier and fleshier appearance. Perhaps you could ask your leader to hold a class on the differences in what you are looking and feeling for between dairy and meat type animals.
I actually have wethers and then the Boer doe and the Nigerian dwarf doe so that is why I have orchard grass, I feed the goat chow(Boer doe and Nigerian dwarf doe) but I have stopped feeding that and I am only feeding orchard grass hay. Yes, I do plan on keeping a doe kid from her, so I will keep that in mind for breeding her to a long-bodied buck. I am planning on breeding her to my leader's buck. How does my dairy doe look? Is she angular and sharp in body type? I could get some more pictures if needed. Her ribs do feel wide and flat.
 

Wild Bug Ranch

Loving the herd life
Joined
May 5, 2020
Messages
208
Reaction score
148
Points
113
Location
Placerville
IMG_4440.jpg
IMG_4441.jpg
IMG_4442.jpg
IMG_4443.jpg
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
3,214
Reaction score
9,286
Points
503
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
She is not a standard dairy breed, right? I am more familiar with them however she looks nice and long. Point scale on diary breeds is 50% on udder so she looks pretty good.
 

Wild Bug Ranch

Loving the herd life
Joined
May 5, 2020
Messages
208
Reaction score
148
Points
113
Location
Placerville
She is a registerable purebred Nigerian Dwarf. I am registering her sometime hopefully by the next month or so!

What do you mean by point scale?
 
Last edited:

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
3,214
Reaction score
9,286
Points
503
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
When judging any species of animal there is a point scale assigned to each part of the animal, including condition. This point scale is used by the judge to rank the animals.
The points are distributed depending on the type or variety of animal within the species. This is what the judge is using to score when he judges your animals at the Fair or other shows.

Thus in dairy animals (cows and goats) the system of points gives 50% of the points to the udder structure, ligaments, attachments, and teats. The emphasis on udders is because the udder quality and how it will hold up during the productive life of the dairy animal is paramount.

A dairy animal is expected to remain in milk and producing for 10 months. During that time she will be bred again and only dried off a couple months before kidding or calving again. The amount of milk she produces is not apparent in the show ring and is only important to the dairyman BUT an udder that breaks down in the attachments will become pendulous, leading to udder injury. Lopsided udders can signal mastitis. A large pendulous udder resting on the backs of your wrists while trying to milk is very painful. Badly shaped or placed teats are uncomfortable to milk by hand. Very large teats will not fit comfortably in the inflations of the milking machines. No one milking by hand likes teeny weeny teats either.

The other 50% of the points are distributed throughout the body for structure - deep rumen and body capacity for growing kids/calves and being able to take in enough nutrients to sustain pregnancy and lactation. Shape of body, flat bones width of pelvis and angle of pin bones, sharpness, good feet and legs combine to show an animal that will live a long healthy and productive life. The diary animal is more bony looking - the statement that "she puts it a in the pail' describes the dairy animal. The heavily fleshed dairy animal usually does not produce enough milk for the dairyman to make her a keeper. The show standard is based on the ideal body structure for a dairy production animal. It is not just a beauty contest, but judging the animal's fitness for its purpose.

The meat animal judge is looking for something different. The meat animal is judged on the shape of body and where it is carrying meat. The ribs are rounder and the meat animal should never look bony but should carry good flesh cover without being too fatty. So a beef steer or meat goat will have a wide, thick, long loin. It will carry flesh on the rear legs into the twist, the muscle will be heavy and the animal will look rounded and meaty. The majority of the points on this scale is given in importance to the most expensive cuts - loin, rear leg, then forequarter. Balance and condition weigh in here too since the animal is being judged on its readiness for slaughter. The judge will check for sound feet and legs because they have to carry the cow/steer/goat over territory to eat. Depth of rumen is also important to convert grass or roughage to meat and in the breeding animal allow room for kids or calves to grow. Breeding animals will have other points assigned to udder and reproductive organs.

Once you understand the purpose for each part of the Standard of Perfection and its necessity to the use of the animal you will be able to judge your animals properly.

The important thing to remember is that all animals have a Standard of Perfection relating to the use for their breed. That Standard had its roots in the purpose for which the animal was bred. Livestock guardian dogs are large powerful dogs designed to protect sheep and goats by killing predators. One guardian dog can easily kill a coyote with one bite through the spine due to their powerful jaws. They are slow moving within their flocks but are capable of tremendous speed when needed. They are not good obedience candidates since they think for themselves and make their own decisions as to when they need to attack predators. Herding dogs are extremely trainable since they have to obey the shepherds' commands without question when herding and cutting out animals from the flocks. Dachshunds (Badger dogs) were designed with short legs to follow badgers into their dens and kill them. Sighthounds have a curved spine that allows them to cover ground fast when they stretch out. Scent hunting and retriever dogs have long or short hair and body types which are suited to the type of game on which they are used. They are also very trainable since they have to a=obey the hunters' commands. Horse breeds are also shaped different depending on the work they had to do and for which they were bred. Carthorses and breeds used to pull heavy loads are hugely muscled with heavily feathered ankles to protect them in cold wet weather. Tennessee Walking horses designed to travel all day at a walk faster than a trot have differently proportioned bones than quarter horses and hunters. Quarter horses designed for ranch work are agile.

To each animal a purpose and a design made by man over many years for that purpose.

 

Wild Bug Ranch

Loving the herd life
Joined
May 5, 2020
Messages
208
Reaction score
148
Points
113
Location
Placerville
When judging any species of animal there is a point scale assigned to each part of the animal, including condition. This point scale is used by the judge to rank the animals.
The points are distributed depending on the type or variety of animal within the species. This is what the judge is using to score when he judges your animals at the Fair or other shows.

Thus in dairy animals (cows and goats) the system of points gives 50% of the points to the udder structure, ligaments, attachments, and teats. The emphasis on udders is because the udder quality and how it will hold up during the productive life of the dairy animal is paramount.

A dairy animal is expected to remain in milk and producing for 10 months. During that time she will be bred again and only dried off a couple months before kidding or calving again. The amount of milk she produces is not apparent in the show ring and is only important to the dairyman BUT an udder that breaks down in the attachments will become pendulous, leading to udder injury. Lopsided udders can signal mastitis. A large pendulous udder resting on the backs of your wrists while trying to milk is very painful. Badly shaped or placed teats are uncomfortable to milk by hand. Very large teats will not fit comfortably in the inflations of the milking machines. No one milking by hand likes teeny weeny teats either.

The other 50% of the points are distributed throughout the body for structure - deep rumen and body capacity for growing kids/calves and being able to take in enough nutrients to sustain pregnancy and lactation. Shape of body, flat bones width of pelvis and angle of pin bones, sharpness, good feet and legs combine to show an animal that will live a long healthy and productive life. The diary animal is more bony looking - the statement that "she puts it a in the pail' describes the dairy animal. The heavily fleshed dairy animal usually does not produce enough milk for the dairyman to make her a keeper. The show standard is based on the ideal body structure for a dairy production animal. It is not just a beauty contest, but judging the animal's fitness for its purpose.

The meat animal judge is looking for something different. The meat animal is judged on the shape of body and where it is carrying meat. The ribs are rounder and the meat animal should never look bony but should carry good flesh cover without being too fatty. So a beef steer or meat goat will have a wide, thick, long loin. It will carry flesh on the rear legs into the twist, the muscle will be heavy and the animal will look rounded and meaty. The majority of the points on this scale is given in importance to the most expensive cuts - loin, rear leg, then forequarter. Balance and condition weigh in here too since the animal is being judged on its readiness for slaughter. The judge will check for sound feet and legs because they have to carry the cow/steer/goat over territory to eat. Depth of rumen is also important to convert grass or roughage to meat and in the breeding animal allow room for kids or calves to grow. Breeding animals will have other points assigned to udder and reproductive organs.

Once you understand the purpose for each part of the Standard of Perfection and its necessity to the use of the animal you will be able to judge your animals properly.

The important thing to remember is that all animals have a Standard of Perfection relating to the use for their breed. That Standard had its roots in the purpose for which the animal was bred. Livestock guardian dogs are large powerful dogs designed to protect sheep and goats by killing predators. One guardian dog can easily kill a coyote with one bite through the spine due to their powerful jaws. They are slow moving within their flocks but are capable of tremendous speed when needed. They are not good obedience candidates since they think for themselves and make their own decisions as to when they need to attack predators. Herding dogs are extremely trainable since they have to obey the shepherds' commands without question when herding and cutting out animals from the flocks. Dachshunds (Badger dogs) were designed with short legs to follow badgers into their dens and kill them. Sighthounds have a curved spine that allows them to cover ground fast when they stretch out. Scent hunting and retriever dogs have long or short hair and body types which are suited to the type of game on which they are used. They are also very trainable since they have to a=obey the hunters' commands. Horse breeds are also shaped different depending on the work they had to do and for which they were bred. Carthorses and breeds used to pull heavy loads are hugely muscled with heavily feathered ankles to protect them in cold wet weather. Tennessee Walking horses designed to travel all day at a walk faster than a trot have differently proportioned bones than quarter horses and hunters. Quarter horses designed for ranch work are agile.

To each animal a purpose and a design made by man over many years for that purpose.

Ok! Makes total sense now!

You said that she is nice and long and looks pretty good in the udder area! Great! That's what I was breeding for in her! Let us hope her teats are nice when I milk her next year!!
 
Top