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Great discussions last week you all!

Ok so how do you feed your pregnant does? What special supplements do you give them if any? Anything special you do before delivery?
 

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I don't do anything special. I increase there grain a month before their due, give them a CD/T shot and reworm, and continue waiting in anticipation until babies are due.

Andrea
 

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I only feed them hay until about a month before they are due, or unless the weather really turns cold, then I give them just a little grain. As most of you all know that the hair folicals grow about a month left to kid so that is when I start to give the grain, because as a cashmere breeder you want the goats to have LOTS of hair foilcals.
I give then a CDT 2-4 weeks before they are due (or before I THINK they are due). After they kid that is when I slowly poor on the grain. I leave free choice grain out at all times for the mom's and babies. It is amazing how they will chose the hay over the grain after they eat it the grain for a bit.
 

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Ok, everyone says they "up their grain" the last month of pregnancy, but I never hear exactly how much (quantity) grain do you feed a pregnant doe...is there a set amount to feed? Lori, how much grain do you give your cashmere does? And, also NDG's how much grain should they get? HELP! Thank you!
 

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I also do not grain year round. About 45-60 days before kidding (depending on time of year, how much graze has been available, etc.) I start graining and giving alfalfa on top of their free feed grass hay (if it's a time of year they need supplemental hay due to no graze/forage available). I went to a 3 day "goat boot camp" this past fall and they gave a formula based on the does weight as to how much grain & alfalfa to feed. Of course I can't remember this formula off the top of my head, but will try to find it in my notes. I do know that it worked out that my 120 lb. first freshner should get a pound of alfalfa and a cup of corn on top of her free feed grass hay. Will try to find that formula and post!!
 

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I continue to feed grain but make sure to feed in the evening 2-3 months before kidding starts. When I started in goats I was told that goats would not kid on a full stomach. If you wanted them to kid in the morning hours you would feed hay or grain in the evening and if you wanted them to kid in the evening you would feed hay or grain in the morning. This has always worked for me. Kids usually born between 6 and 11 am. If a doe didn't kid by that time there usually was a problem and the doe needed a closer look at. I stop any alfalfa feeding a month before kidding. I try to make sure the does get plenty of exercise. I give BoSe about a month before kidding but do not always give the CD-T as I feel if they are up to date they don't need the booster dose at this time.
Sue
 

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Is there a chance the kid could get to big before delivery and cause the mother to have a difficult birthing because they ( the kids) haven't become to big in the womb? I ask because I have been told to decrease what I feed my doe before delivery because of the reason mention above.
 

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I have always been told the opposite. That graining in early pregnancy will cause issues, but if you do not grain in the last 45-60 you risk toxemia. Any experts out there?
I also have followed the grain at night for day births notion. So far, all kids born between 10-11:00 a.m. with one except - one born at 8 p.m. Don't know if there is really any validity to it, but so far it has worked.
 

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This is a great topic, and very timely...I've read somewhere about feeding at night for day births, I'll try that out. Thanks for the info, I guess I should be feeding the Cashmere girls more grain. It's just about 30 days till kidding for them. I guess I didn't have to wait so long to breed them...it's 58* outside at 9:00 am. In FEBRUARY! Won't last long though.

Thanks everyone for the info.

Di
 

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FarmGirl18 said:
Sybil said:
I stop any alfalfa feeding a month before kidding.
Sue
Just curious, what is your reason for that?
Some people stop feeding alfalfa to force the goat to use its own calcium stores to prevent hypercalciuma. However from my readings it is a big misconception coming from cow people. I would never withhold alfalfa at a time when does need it the most especially diary goats.
 

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For my Nigerians
In the past I have fed my does from breeding time to weaning 1lb of alfalfa pellets per 50 lb doe along with 1 cup of grain once a day. This year I have done alot of reading and have switched my does to pure alfalfa hay and for 10 does I put out 6 flakes each morning and they munch on that all day. In the evening they get 1/2 cup each of grain (corn, oats and barley with beet pulp and boss added) As the girls start to bag up good the last month of pregnancy I will start to increase the grain and feed them twice a day 1/2 cup each morning and evening so that by the time they start kidding they are getting up to 2 cup total each per day. By feeding twice a day at the end of pregnancy it helps them get what they need as the kids are getting big and eating large amounts at one feeding is hard for them to do and by feeding morning and night my does all seem to kid between 1 and 3 in the afternoon which I like. By the time the girls are ready to wean their kids I start reducing their feed back down and return to only feeding in the evening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
For pygmies only:

I feed a small amount when first bred and up it mid pregnancy and then drop down just a bit the last month so that they don't get to big babies.

THere was a study done which is what I took my feeding rutine from.


For dairy goats I up their feed slowly to double the amount of their usually ration in the last month of pregnancy. I keep their feed steady unit the kids start being weaned and then I drop their feed down slowly
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think you were the one who showed me the link on the feeding when I first started with pygmy goats. :D

Once I find it again like I said I will post it.


I followed that feeding rutine with my girls last year and their kids were huge anyway - so glad I didn't give lots of grain in that last month!
 

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i was always told to hold the alfafa the last month of pregnancy, but i feel pellets not hay. I had a doe go down and i almost lost her to calcium deficiancy, after tat i kept the alfafa through the pregnancy have never had a problem again. it might be because i feel pellets rather then hay. I feed a small amount of grain throughout the year, my girls only have a small amount of pasture. Hay most of the time (local grass) so i feel the need the extra nutrition. Right now they only get grain once a day hay and pellets twice a day. seems to be working well.
beth
 

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The reason for withholding alfalfa is due to the risk of milk fever in very milky does. When the doe is dry and is eating excessive calcium beyond her needs and the needs of her developing kids this causes calcitonin producing cells to cause deposition of calcium in the bones and prevents movement of the stored calcium. When the doe fresehens and the demand for calcium is suddenly increased (milk production) the hormone system necessary for its removal from bone is not active because it had been depressed by the hormone calcitonin. Then the blood levels fall and the doe starts showing signs of milk fever. Its not a deficiency of calcium reserves but a failure to activate calcium mobilization. I have only had one doe in my life time come down with milk fever. She milked 1 1/2 to 2 gallons a day and usually had twin and triplets. It probably won't be a problem for most goat owners as most goats don't milk 2 gallons a day. Small breed dogs like pom's with 4-5 puppies seem to have a problem with milk fever. Working as a small/large animal tech for many years, we always told people not to over feed the last month or so of pregnancy. The animal should be in good condition prior to breeding and you want to keep them in good condition. Over feeding to try and catch up with what should of been done in the beginning is risk for complications. The doctors I worked for always told people about the most growth the last month of pregnancy.
Sue
 

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For my pygmy/nigi's they get free choice browse when in season winter mixed grass hay available free choice, each doe gets 1/2 cup grain 2x day til 2 weeks before they are due then they get a full cup 2 x day. I don't decrease the grain til they start drying off as I want as much milk from them as their kids would . My does are milked from 7-8 weeks past delivery til about 7 -8 months fresh.

I try and time their due dates to the month after they would be due for their CD/T and they get wormed 2-3 weeks before they kid.

My girls have always done very well with this amount and if they seem to be putting it all towards milk production and not keeping enough for their condition, I'll up the grain to 1 1/2 cups am and pm.
 

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For our girls, they get taken down to a dry ration of about 3-4 cups 2x a day. then 2 months before they kid we slowly up them till they are up to their milking ration. We feed free choice alfalfa/grass mix hay, and free choice minerals. We take the salt away 2 months before they kid because salt can cause water retension and can cause hard udders at kidding.

We also give the does the remedies Caulophyllum and Pulsatilla 3 times a week 2 weeks to one month before kidding. This prepares the uterus for kidding and also helps to position the kids properly.
 

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Had to google fetal development. Maxine Kinne who has rasied pygmy's for a very long time has on her website about fetal development. "goat fetuses do not grow much the first 3 months of pregnancy" and "supplements most valuable middle of gestation" and "heavy concentrate feed" increased risk of obstetric problems. On Georgia Coop. Extension Service, their meat goat article also states 70% of fetal growth happens the last 50 days of pregnancy.
Sue
 
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