Skinny Milking Goat, Refusing Grain


Ridin' The Range
Jun 18, 2019
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I've got myself a skinny goat! I need advice to help put some weight on her.

She's got a complicated history and I'll share as many details as I know. I'm the third owner. I'm aware that there could be a variety of things going on here. First step definitely involves proper feeding, IMO.

Nigerian Dwarf.
About two months post first freshening.
Babies moved to another farm recently.

She's in milk, and seems a pretty decent producer for her size (more details below.) However, she definitely is losing weight and was already thin to begin with.
Last several meals, she's eating less and less grain.

She DOES eat. Lots of Timothy hay. Occasionally eats at whatever forage I bring her to/to her. Will eat Timothy pellets if offered. All my goats change their minds regarding HiFiber bagged hay every few meals.
She will nibble the grain, eats most of the chaffhaye, pushes the rest around.
I tried adding some enticing molasses, didn't help.
Owner #2 suggested adding ACV to her grains, I'll try that tonight.
My understanding is that she needs this grain!

I can, and will, try various things such as feeding her companions in visible proximity to her on the milk stand, in case she's stressing from being separated at milk time.

She was wormed with Ivermectin three weeks ago by Owner #2. In Owner #2 care, she was also weekly wormed with Molly's Herbals. I have not brought this into my own farm rotation yet. I plan to, but want to see what else is going on with my herd first.
Her herd includes her and two other does from Owner #2. They moved to my farm together. They all got "over" a cold this spring just recently. During the transition to our farm all three does had pale FAMACHES which is what prompted Owner #2 to chemical worm.
All three does are still a bit pale, but far improved. I occasionally manage to get RedCell into them. They won't eat it top dress so it can be real fun forcing it down their throats.

The doe in question is being offered 1 cup of grain plus 1 cup of chaffhaye at both AM and PM milking.
Free choice minerals and Timothy hay.
I just bought copper bolus to try Goat Rodeo with. I do think all my does need it
I don't know what that grain weighs, but I will weigh it out later today to know for sure. Either way, don't matter if she don't eat it.
New Country Organics grain. Going to transition to another brand that appears to be tossed with molasses, because I'm not driving 90min for New Country like Owner #2 does. I think it's DuMor.
She gives average 2.5 cups of milk per day despite her losing weight, which scares me.
She is a uniquely petite Nigerian. We believe that Owner#1, her breeder, did not mineral supplement her herds. She's much smaller in build with essentially no padding upon her, was this way when Owner #2 bought her. Owner #2 did not realize she was already bred. I'm questioning if she should be bred in the future, hoping I can get her to a healthy position though.
It is NOT possible for her to be pregnant now.

I am still waiting for all her papers from Owner #2 (I'll get them, she's trustworthy) but I am assured that the entire herd was tested negative for all icky things and we both run closed herds. Owner #2 is very careful and responsible regarding these matters, I trust her.

I know that I need to call around to find a vet that will fecal float. I have plenty of time to do so with rainy weather all week!

Oh my, did I get it all? How can I help her out some weight back on without milk cessation?
*I will update with a pic*


Loving the herd life
Jul 27, 2016
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Welcome to backyardherds. Were you able to get a fecal done? Pictures can help to show her condition. Where are you located? The grain you say you are feeding now, my goats would not eat. I had to look it up to see what you were talking about. I personally give my goats that are pregnant/milking mare and foal grain. Nigerians are usually easy keepers.

Where I am at in CA the only hay I can get year round is alfalfa. That is what my goats are fed. Knowing your location will help know what is available around you. Did you switch her to DuMor? If you did what DuMor product did you get?

I have not personally put weight back on a doe in milk. Some will just put more in the milk bucket if you feed more. I have had great success using calf manna to help put weight back on a skinny doe. The doe was not in milk though. More people who may be able to help @Goat Whisperer @Southern by choice @babsbag

My goats would not eat grain with ACV on it. Did you try it? Do you happen to have a weight for her?

I do not know what others get out of FF ND's, I have a FF in milk. She is giving 3 1/4 C at each milking. Total 6 1/2 Cups for the day. She gets mare and foal on the milk stand. She eats about 2 cups of grain each time she is put on the milk stand.

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