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Old 06-25-2009, 03:46 PM   #1
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Default need weight gain help for 4-h goats

Hi all. A friend from another forum sent me here. I have 2 boer goats for my daughter for our fair held sept 5th. When we got them one weighed 22 lbs the other 25lbs. the smaller one started to get very weak on his legs. would not walk on his front legs. only on his knees. He is currently getting stronger and walking more.

They are getting a full bucket of grain twice a day. The grain is a medicated show goat feed. Our feed mill has had rate of gain at our fair for 2 yrs. using this feed. I was told not give them any hay just grain and water. I added a mineral bucket(which they don't like). They need to weigh 65lbs by the 1st of sept.

I really want them to make weight. Can anyone tell me or help me with getting them to gain weight. They are still on mom. She will be leaving july 1.

any help for someone who has never dealt with goats before. I have horses and goats are a new thing for me.



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Old 06-26-2009, 12:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: need weight gain help for 4-h goats

Check the protein level on your show goat feed.
They also NEED plenty of good hay. At least they are still on their moms for now they need that too.
Listen. FFA bought 4 goats from me a few months back. I advised them to stick with what I was feeding, a 17% Boer Goat Developer.
One goat did not make weight by one lb.
The student(s) decided to go with the Show Goat NOT the Boer goat Developer they had been eating.
When I got to the show their feed dishes did not contain what they were accustomed to. Any animal is not going to do as well if the feed is changed!
A show goat is a show goat. A meat animal is a meat animal. Do not be misled.
Im assuming these are terminal animals? Inotherwords they are only shown once. Seee my point?



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Old 06-26-2009, 06:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: need weight gain help for 4-h goats

I disagree about the whole hay issue. I already posted a reply to your other post regarding hay. I don't know ANYONE who feeds free choice hay and very few who feed ANY hay at all. Market goats don't live long enough to have to worry about their rumens developing. I give mine a HANDFUL maybe once or twice a week more as a treat than anything. My kids are 4th generation in 4-H and we have NEVER fed our market goats hay. Every one of my kids' market goats has made weight and won their classes. Whoever told you not to feed hay knows what they're talking about. You don't want big rumens on market goats.

If it is too warm they will tend to eat less as well. They're like people. I know I don't feel like eating when it's hot. Keep them cool. If you don't have them in a barn with lights you can try putting up a light by their pen. As long as it's light they will eat. This helps if it's hot during the day because then they will eat during the night when it's cooler. Lots of exercise also builds their appetite. Make sure you feed them at the EXACT same time everyday and do it 12 hours apart. We've had a few that were just brats about not wanting to eat the show feed. Put a scoop in their pan and give them 15 minutes to finish it. If it's not finished empty the pan and wait until the next feeding. They WILL get hungry and they will learn very quickly that they have 15 minutes to eat and if they don't then they go hungry. Once they get to where they empty the pan in the 15 minutes then up the amount of feed. Give them 15 minutes with the new amount and dump whatever is left after that time. Keep going with that routine until you are up to about a pound and a half of feed per feeding. Anything over 3 pounds of show feed a day is a waste and is doing nothing for the goat.

Just a couple of tips for you to try It's going to be close as far as your weight goals as a goat can only gain so many pounds a month. Good luck!

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Old 06-26-2009, 07:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: need weight gain help for 4-h goats

Well.. I give my goats about 3 pounds each per feeding twice a day. and about a pound of grass hay a day. i've never had an issue with weight gain in any of my animals... it just takes consistency with feedings and routines.. when the animals are comfortable.. they'll perform better.

of course the genetics HAVE to be there for the growth.. you can't expect kids out of a dam and/or sire that grew slowly to grow quickly.. you have to look at the genetic makeup of your goats as well.

our fullblood kid that we just had born is 3 weeks and already 26 pounds.. but his sire is a year old and almost 200.. and his dam is from really strong maternal lines with plenty of milk.


one kid we had that was an 83% took 3 months to get to thirty pounds. his dam was a low milk output, smaller doe. and his sire was only about 200 pounds at 5 years..


also check the protein percentage of your grain as well as copper and selenium levels

if the smaller one is still having issues with his feet/legs.. have it checked out.. it could be an issue with his hoof/hooves.. and it's not going to help with the weight gain if he isn't feeling well

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Old 06-27-2009, 04:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: need weight gain help for 4-h goats

Yep, there is genetics but there is also feeding program. There is also the factor of how many kids the doe has!
One of my FFdoes had trips. Her sister quads. Guess who's kids grew better faster?
And another not FF had a single. Her doeling was 45lbs at 3mos.
The wethers from the quads are just now beginning to look normal for their age.

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Old 06-20-2013, 02:57 PM   #6
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My daughter just went to a clinic to learn how to show her goat yesterday and this is our first time with goats. We were told to feed them pellets because otherwise they may pick through and eat what they like and leave the rest and we were also told to feed them maybe a handful of hay a day but no more then that. Now we get to learn how to trim there feet and hair ;/

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Old 06-20-2013, 03:02 PM   #7
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we feed meat goat grower to all our kids dairy and meat. our babies grow much faster and we give them free choice after weaning. we do offer hay.

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Old 06-20-2013, 04:15 PM   #8
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Make sure the kids have been wormed. I see a lot of families that get their project home and don't worm them. Then they call wondering why the Goat isn't growing very well. Every farm has a different worm load, so I recommend worming 10-14 days after bringing your Goat home.

If the goats are not eating enough and their appetite isn't good, give them a vitamin b12 supplement to increase appetite. Give liquid supplement with each feeding. You can not over dose vitamin B. Anything not used is excreted through the urine.

And I totally agree with above poster....very little hay if any. I give a handful a few times a week, but none within a week of show.

I also don't feed mineral to show goats on full feed. They eat way better. If you feed mineral, their bodies tell them they are getting all they need and they're more likely to turn their nose up to the grain. The show feeds have all the minerals they need in the feed.

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Old 06-20-2013, 04:44 PM   #9
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old post, new comments...still good advice



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