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I need some help, I have questions about feeding black oil sunflower seeds

Discussion in 'Pasture, Hay, & Forages: Information & Management' started by WILLIFORD, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. Sep 28, 2018
    WILLIFORD

    WILLIFORD Chillin' with the herd

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    I am new to the goat world. We just purchased 3 Nigerian dwarfs does in the last 2-3 months. One is a 3 year old who is in milk. The other two are only about 6 months old. My 3 year olds production seems to be a little on the low side. At best I am getting about 3 cups a day, this is the total from milking twice a day. She gets all the grain she can consume during the 2 milkings and has free choice quality alfalfa, plus free choice minerals, copper and baking soda. I have read that adding BOSS to her diet can help boost production. My question is should I be giving her whole sunflower seeds or is it necessary to give her already hulled seeds, and how much should I give her?
     
  2. Sep 28, 2018
    lalabugs

    lalabugs Loving the herd life

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    A lot of things can affect lactation. When did she kid? Do you happen to know how many babies she had? When you say grain, what grain do you mean? Do you have any pictures of her? Love seeing pics. :)

    I would not keep baking soda out. I have not milked a Nigerian in a little while. I think we were getting around 3-4 C for the day with our doe who was a 3 y/o 3F. She had triplets.
     
  3. Sep 28, 2018
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Check fecal count. If high it will effect production.
    Then look at Somatic Cell Count if you can.
    BOSS helps put a little weight on and is nice for the coat and skin, however it is very high in Phosphorus and can throw off the Calcium to Phosphorus ratio very quickly which can lead to metabolic issues.
    Baking soda should not be left free choice.
    Attached is an article from the Alabama Farmers Co-op
    http://www.alafarmnews.com/index.php/battling-bloat

    I am unaware of it increasing production.

    Sounds like you are providing adequate feed and good hay.
    Does the doe utilize the feed? IOW does she turn it into milk or body fat?
     
  4. Sep 29, 2018
    WILLIFORD

    WILLIFORD Chillin' with the herd

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    She seems to utilize the hay well. I did not have a fecal test done. since I have had them I have not noticed any issue that would lead me to believe there is any health issues or heavy worm load, other than when first got them, the 3 year old doe seemed to be off her feed for about 3 days, then returned to what I expected. Which I attributed this to the stress of being separated from her herd and haul 60 miles away. I did just as a precautionary measure, use the Molly's herbal dewormer program in the last 6 weeks. I was not aware they should not have baking soda free choice. Everything else I've read states the opposite. I'm not arguing, just conflicted. I want to make sure I do everything with the well being of my herd in mind.
     
  5. Sep 29, 2018
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    3-6 weeks after kidding is generally the time where there is a bloom of parasites and goats should be checked for load to see if they need treatment.
    Whenever moving a goat to a new home there is stress which also can cause a bloom. Goats should have a fecal 7 days after going to a new home.
    When low production is at play a fecal, again should be checked.

    Going off feed for 3 days is never good. Hypocalcemia (milk fever) is the first thing I would have checked for and the second is to run a CMT (California Mastitis Test) to see if there was any trace of higher Somatic Cell Counts. Lastly - a fecal.
    Any goat that goes off feed is a concern and a big one.

    Whenever you use a herbal dewormer or chemical a fecal for follow up in reduction of load is necessary.
    You can't assume it worked.
    Herbal wormers can be very effective however there is a false sense of security with most that the herbals have worked ( same with chemical).... Most every consult we have done where the farm used herbals the goats had significantly dangerously high loads of parasites. I believe this is due to not following up with fecal analysis, not because they were herbals.
    Knowing what types parasites your goats have is important.

    As far as baking soda... yeah, and old practice that people just "do" without any real knowledge or understanding of the why.
    The practice apparently started with dairy cattle that consumed high levels of grain to prevent acidosis.
    Baking soda interferes with ammonium chloride and renders it useless.
     
  6. Sep 29, 2018
    WILLIFORD

    WILLIFORD Chillin' with the herd

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    Well being new to this I may not have communicated the situation very well. When I say she was off her feed, she didn't completely quit eating. She was eating, just not the amount I had expected. Within 2-3 days her intake increased to what I thought would be normal. I probably should get a fecal test done, However I have not seen any signs of any health issues since I've had them. They are all active and playful and are very social. Their eyes, eyelids and coats show no signs of issues.
    Is it necessary to take them to a vet to have a fecal test done?
     
  7. Sep 29, 2018
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Generally by the time you see external evidence of parasitic issues you are in real trouble.
    Inner membrane of the eyelid is only useful for the barberpole worm, the bloodsucker that causes anemia. There are other parasites that rob them of nutrition and weaken their system.
    You can send out a fecal.

    Using the Mc Masters method is the most effective method to determining if your parasite load is within reasonable limits.
    I strongly recommend goat owners learn to do their own for monitoring purposes. You learn so much about each goat and their threshold as well as how well your dewormers are working.
    I have several articles on the subject under articles- goat. There is a two part tutorial as well.

    You may simply have a doe that just isn't producing well for you. Since she is new to you it will take time to see her "norm".
    When did she kid, IOW how long into lactation is she?

    She could be having an off year.
    We have had crazy weather here this year in NC. Nothing has been the norm for us.

    Sometimes goats that are moved to their new homes don't always recuperate after a drop.
     
  8. Sep 30, 2018
    WILLIFORD

    WILLIFORD Chillin' with the herd

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    she kidded on 5/5/18. I may be jumping the gun. The breeder I purchased them from said she was producing a quart a day. I am only getting about 3/4 quarts a day. I know that milk should be monitored by weight not volume, but the breeder did not track by weight. Heck to be honest the 3/4 quart a day maybe acceptable for a Nigerian.
     
  9. Sep 30, 2018
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    If she was giving a quart a day and has dropped some, probably from the move, that would explain it.
    A quart is roughly 2# . Lactations also have a curve. Generally there is a peak and then a drop and toward end of lactation a significant drop.
    After she kids next time you will better be able to tell where she stands with her production.
    We prefer goats that have long steady lactation without much curve.
    Some goats will produce great for 5 months and then tank after that.
    Some goats cannot make it through a 10 month lactation.
    There are many factors to take into account.
    This year has been a crazy one for us. Last year our Lamanchas were not milking like we liked but our Nigerians were fine. This year it's the Nigerians that have been off and our Lamanchas have been more stable. The nice thing with a Nigerian is if the doe is really not making much milk and is in great condition you can breed back without worry, the milk will dry up faster after breeding but you can start a whole new lactation. Personally I have never found bringing a doe in that is in milk already to be advantageous as they always drop -usually to amounts not worth milking- Standard breeds earlier in lactation are a little different.

    If you want to try and increase you could try milking 3x a day for a few weeks and see how it goes.