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New Goat Mama any good advice?

Discussion in 'Birthing, Weaning, and Raising Young Goats' started by Vflowing, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. Jul 5, 2014
    Vflowing

    Vflowing Chillin' with the herd

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    Hi, I've been busy since May setting up goat world for my 2, 4 mo old baby Kinders and DIY laearning to care for them. I've gotten a lot of good information and ideas here and am finally getting around to posting. They are 1 Nubian Pygmy/Dwarf (River Nior) and 1 Nubian Pygmy 1/4 La Macha mix, both are wethers. I love my mix-up, mix-ups and am looking for good advice/mentoring so I can be the best Goat Mama I can be for them.

    So far so good, I had help building a pallet barn and setting up a outdoor area for them. I haven't been able to afford fencing yet but I keep a close eye on them when they are out.

    I began a fodder system, seems to be going well. I'm sprouting Barley/Boss right now but plan to add more to the mix. At first they were like, "What!". Last night they eagerly gobbled up their portions. I'm careful to give small amounts of new food until their systems adjust.

    I got my kids from 2 different herds, both are involved in Milk/Kid production. After following the advice of one breeder I got some grass hay and began mixing it with the Alfalfa. I was told they needed to be weaned off Alfalfa by 6 mo. The other breederalways feeds her herd Alfalfa. They are both milk/kidding operations. I am a pet/weeding one.

    My Taller boy, River came to me dramitically underweight. His flanks looked hollow. when I got him plumped up until I mixed his hay and cut back on the Alpalfa on the advice of the larger breeder. Couple of days ago I mixed it with more Alfalfa again and he looks better.

    His herd brother Sweet Solo (w La Macha ears) was pretty solid when I got him and still is. He thinks he is the enforcer and gets first picking of the food. I think he is the Alpha.

    I know growing kids need different nutrition than grown ones. I don't want my boys getting physical problems because I'm a fool and ignorant. Any good advice will be helpful, I do not really have a mentor and get conflicting advice from my breeders.

    I Have them on goat loose minerals, Baking Soda and add Apple Cider Vinegar to their fresh drinking water.

    I do daily maintenance on barn & play area using DE. Pretty much free feeding at this time to keep the weight on River w I/2 2nd cut Alfalfa mixed in Am & Pm in their grass hay. They are on grass hay in their manger when they go to their barn at noon, free choice. Browsing on weeds and branches in between. They don't waste much and both are eating like Hobbits. First breakfast, second breakfast...etc.

    They have healthy looking goat berries. Their coats are smooth and shiny, gums are pink and they are active with sweet natures.

    I had some excessive repairs to do on property & car right at the time I got my babies. Money is an issue right now. I'm determined to do a great job with their health & well being anyway.
     

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  2. Jul 5, 2014
    madcow

    madcow Loving the herd life

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    It sounds like you have a good feel for caring for your goats. Most goats needs are basically the same, but as you have found some will have different nutritional needs that will change over time. Goats are very adaptable to their environment, but having a regular routine with feeding and basic needs like shelter from the elements, fresh water, good quality nutrition for their stage of life, worming, and routine vaccinations. They will also need their hooves trimmed at least every 2 months if they aren't routinely on surfaces that will wear them down as they grow. It's also good to have as extensive of an understanding as you can get about goat behavior and herd behavior, and that will save you a lot of worry concerning their treatment of each other.
     
  3. Jul 5, 2014
    Vflowing

    Vflowing Chillin' with the herd

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    Thank you Madcow for your kindness in answering me. I'm a long time caretaker and have worked as a ER nurse, Nanny, sitter, done elder care hired and ran crews, worked in the service industry and I'm a big reader. I've done a lot of research and have much more to learn. I've practically stalked back yard herds and other sites trying to cross reference issues & improve my performance as a newbie to goats.

    Goats are my favorite farm animal and i have always wanted to keep some but; didn't want the time or want the work of milking, kidding and dealing wirth raging hormones. I've actually been busy the last 15 years first and last caretaking my ageing partents and young first grandchild. Sadly my elders passed but with me by both of their sides each time. My grandchildren live out of town are beautiful and are busy in school now so I thought; it's time to stay home and indulge myself by caretaking myself, my critters and my property. On Goat Hill I take this stand...smile. :thumbsup
     
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  4. Jul 10, 2019
    Jesusfreak101

    Jesusfreak101 Loving the herd life

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    I have a dairy herd the boys get hay only. along with garden weeds and tree cuttings. loose minerals. in my area we have some vitamins miss from our soil so every six month I give cooper bolus, and before breeding time(I would if I had whether she just to help them) give probiotic paste with vitamins and also give vitamin e and selenium. I wouldn't worry to much about weaning off alfalfa I give mine some but not all that often as its twice the price of hay. so I prefer hay.
     
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  5. Jul 11, 2019
    animalmom

    animalmom Herd Master

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    It sounds like you really want the best for your boys and that is fabulous. Sometimes I think my boys are more loving that the girls... but that's probably just me.

    I would not leave baking soda out all the time for the boys. They don't need it unless they bloat from feed. If they bloat from eating too much wet green things that's a different bloat and you need some other product for that. You want your boys' urine to be slightly acidic to help in preventing urinary calculi. The apple cider vinegar in their water is a good thing to do to help keep the urine on the acid side. Ammonium Chloride is a powder you can pick up at most farms stores or can order on line. It isn't very expensive and is good to have on hand if one of your boys comes down with urinary calculi. If you decide to feed them pellets it will probably be in the pellets.

    Another point to watch is the calcium/phosphorus ratio. Minimal should be 2 to 1 of calcium to phosphorus and your goat minerals should have this ratio. If you can get it higher like 3 to 1 or so that is great.

    Do you have a thermometer? You can go to the dollar store and pick up a digital one for a buck. It is a good way to see if one of your lads is running a fever if you think one may be sick.

    Running fecals on the boys is important... if one of them is "off" then either take a sample in to the vet or if you are fortunate enough to know how to do your own. It is extremely important to know if you boys have worms and if so which worms. Please do not throw wormers at them just to be throwing wormers at them. It isn't good for them and it can lead to parasite resistance -- not a good thing at all. Unless you have strange circumstances your boys don't need a worming schedule.

    Hoof trimming is important. It isn't a task I enjoy but the more often you handle their feet the more tolerant they will be of you handling their feet. It isn't that they don't want you to trim their hooves... they just don't like being on three feet, and they fuss more when you are doing a back foot.

    I'm sure more folks will chime in. You are in for a long haul of love from those boys! Congrats! You are now owned, and it is a very, very good thing indeed.
     
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