How and what do you guys feed your pregnant and lactating does? I have a boerxnubian doe who will be bred next week with her next heat. Ive never had a pregnant doe before so this will be my first kidding. And her 3rd. Im leaning towards Triple Crown 14% Performance textured horse feed and alfalfa pellets starting 2 months before kidding through lactation. She already gets free choice Bermuda hay and small amount of the pellets my pony gets. She refuses any and all minerals. We have a very limited choosing of goat feeds here and I feel the quality for the money is less to the abundant amount of quality horse feeds we have to choose from. Im not sure what I should do.
My goats get fed the same thing as my horses also. They get fed extra grain the month before breeding and then a little during pregnancy. During lactation, they get extra also....if we are milking, they get all they want while on the stand and not at any other time (makes them WANT to get on the stand!) I would still put the loose minerals out. They may be eating a little of it when you don't see them. I've never seen an animal refuse minerals....usually they eat what they need and it isn't a huge amount. If you're sure they are not eating any, then I'd go with Karen's suggestion.
Maybe she refuses it because the pellets I give are highly fortified. It's Triple Crown Lite. For ponies and easy keepers. And you can feed very little to get the nutrients. I'm wondering if she will eat it in a sweet feed type feed? I've left minerals out for her before. For months. Never touched them.
That could be. My motto is: Don't fix what ain't broke! If they are healthy and doing great on what you're feeding....then I would't change it. I think I'd still leave a little bit of mineral out at all times. Up the feed just before breeding (increases your chances of multiples...called flushing) and then cut back in the last month of pregnancy to avoid huge babies. Up the feed again during lactation. Sounds like you're on the right track!
The lady I got her from said that if I'm gonna breed her to make sure she gets a sweet feed the last 2 months of pregnancy to avoid ketosis. How true is that and how can I avoid it? I'm thinking that's why I'm wanting to switch her. Plus the pellets are only a 12% protein.
I don't know about that. I feed a sweet mix all the time. My mix is 3 parts oats, 3 parts cracked corn, 3 parts alfalfa pellets and 1 part BOSS (black oil sunflower seed) with enough molasses to bind it together...about 2% molasses, maybe. I'm going to start adding 50 pounds of calf manna to 1000 pounds of mix next time. My goats, horses and potbelly pig all get this mix. I have mineral out full time for everybody along with a salt block. Feeding this, we DID have one case of toxemia 2 years ago (my hubby was doing the feeding and missed the signs until she was critical...we lost both her and all 3 babies she had)