Brand new herd

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by chksontherun, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. chksontherun

    chksontherun New Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    My husband and I were planning and working toward starting with goats in the spring. Lo and behold, there was an add in a local paper for a woman who wanted to sell her herd of 7 after the death of her husband so my wonderful husband jumped on it and 10 days ago, we brought home 7 goats. We now have as our first experience with goats, 2 mothers and their 5 kids. One mother--Amber has 3 kids, 9 months old--2 doelings and 1 buckling. The other mother--Uhoh has 2 kids, 2 1/2 months old-- 2 bucklings. They are all doing well after 10 days and adjusting without difficulty to their new environment. The 2 younger bucklings were banded last week, but the older buckling is intact. We will see if we have some offspring in some months. Now for my questions.

    1. The mother of the younger kids seems awfully fat around her middle. Her hip bones are showing, and you can feel her spine so she doesn't seem really fat, but She just seems so round. She is still in milk and feeding the babies, we have not started milking her because none of the goats have been handled for 6 months and we are just trying to get them used to being handled. She does seem to be making plenty of milk, and seems really healthy except for her large belly

    I am not really concerned about bloat as she has been like this every day since we got her and she is eating well and pooping normal little round poops.

    She does seem to be bigger in the evening after they have been out browsing and slightly smaller in the morning when they are let out.

    Do you think this is just normal for her or should I be concerned?

    2. We are feeding the 7 goats as follows. 3-4 cups of sweet goat feed twice a day hand fed, free access to hay, free choice baking soda, and free choice mineral. They also browse in our yard--lots of lovely green food--3 hours a day (gradually increased over 10 days from 1/2 hour a day as their previous home was plum out of green food)
    Am I feeding too much? If so, what should I cut back on.

    I tend to be very concerned about our animals, and since I am new to goats, I want to make sure I am treating them well.
  2. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    Congrats on your new additions! What breed are they? Or did I miss that somewhere?

    It sounds like she's got a hay belly. If she's a little underweight you may want to have a fecal done to see if they need to be dewormed or anything. I have found that they start to get a real rounded belly it's usually a good time to deworm. But some are just like that. I've noticed also that alfalfa can cause a real rounded belly if they've been eating on it all day.

    I personally wouldn't cut back. I always like to have a little left over hay and that's when I feel like i'm feeding just the right amount. Sounds like they will start picking up weight and looking good. The diet sounds good to me.

  3. citylights

    citylights Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    Southern California
    Sounds like you are already a conscientous goat owner. A lot of people mistake the normal round belly of a goat as meaning they're too fat. But don't forget that they are ruminants and have 4 tummies. The best way I have found to check for weight is feel for ribs or the spinal column as it heads over the loin. A fat goat should be well-covered, while a thin goat may have a huge belly and no "meat" on their bones.
  4. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    I agree, the feeding schedule sounds good especially since they don't get browse all day long.

    I am also new to goats and learning along the way, good times and some nerve wrecking times, but they are a part of the family :)

    If they are looking real round in the evening, especially after they've gone out to browse the yard, and look 'hollow' in the morning, perfectly normal :) My goats do the same thing - they have a full belly in the evening, and by morning they aren't as full since they don't eat as much at night as they do during the day.

    I've been told that when you have kids on a doe, they can wear your doe down. I have 2 does with kids on them, and they look more 'bony' than all my other does. They are wormed regularly, get their grain, hay and spend all day browsing. They get more than what the others get.
    I think when you wean the goat kids, your does weight will pick up.

    Do you know if your goats are up to date on their CD/T shot? If you don't know I'd ask the seller, and if she doesn't know, I think if it were me, I'd get the CD/T.
    Then you give a booster 30 days later. After that they get the CD/T once a year. HOWEVER, if you get a doe who is pregnant, try to give her a CD/T shot a few weeks before she is due. It'll help the babies when they are born until they are old enough to get the CD/T :)
    You can start the CD/T at 2 months of age.

    I'd also worm them, just so that's not an issue.

    Congrats on the goat herd :) You'll have to get pics to share!
  5. Polarhug

    Polarhug New Member

    Jul 1, 2010
    Southcentral Alaska
    Congratulations! Share some pics when you can :)
  6. chksontherun

    chksontherun New Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    So here are a few pictures of my herd. The White one is Uhoh--she always has a very surprised look in her eyes. They are all 1st gen mini nubians.

    Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I am hoping that Uhoh is not pregnant as the woman we got them from never separated the 9 month old buck from them. She is still nursing 3 month old babies, but I suppose it is possible. Don't really want kids in December :shocked:

    This is Amber
    And this is Uhoh, take a look at her girth compared to Amber
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    no pictures showed

    try making them smaller 430 pix or less
  8. pelicanacresMN

    pelicanacresMN New Member

    Very cute! welcome to the forum!
    Mini Nubians--that's a cross with a nigerian dwarf right? If that's the case...nigerian bucklings are separated from the girls around 8 weeks of age because they can actually breed at that young of an age! Plus, nigerians are year round breeders versus most of the other breeds. I'm not sure how much of the nigerian traits can cross through in 1 generation but maybe something for you to keep in mind.
    The others have given you some pretty good advice & I don't have much else to add in.
  9. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    all i can see is her head - could be my computer though

    its quite possible she is bred - you can do a blood test to find out for sure
  10. chksontherun

    chksontherun New Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    9 mo old buck is going to new home next week with one doe. Then we will have 3 does and 2 wethers. We will have the vet out for CAE tests (does neg previously but we want to retest) and I think preg tests for the 3 does so we at least know what to expect if not when to expect it. What is the best wormer to get for them all? I sort of feel like all of these goats have had the raw end of the deal for the last 6-9 months and need so much tlc. This morning I actually had Uhoh by the collar and she leaned against me for some rubs. We are making progress from 2 weeks ago when they wouldn't come near us. A little food hand fed does wonders. Someone told me goats love peanuts. We got some non salted roasted, but they don't seem to care for them. Any other goat treats that anyone recommends? Thanks all for your ideas and feedback
  11. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    I just use small horse treats. They lvoe them. Raisins seem to be a hit with others goats as well as animal crackers. My friends goats go wild for strawberry mini wheats
  12. Mon Reve Farm

    Mon Reve Farm New Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Southern DE
    I'm not sure if anyone else mentioned that it can vary from goat to goat. Mine are nigerian dwarfs and Magic always seems to have a big belly compared to the others. She is healthy and a good weight but she just seems to round out more than the others and especially end of day.

    I also use horse treats as it is convenient since we also have horses. They tend to like the molasses ones more than some of the others and I get some of the smallers ones that aren't as big as the large round "cookie" type. Also, the smaller goat treats that are licorice flavored are good with the kids as they are pellet size and easier for them to manage.

    If I don't have any cookies handfuls of black oil sunflower seeds are a hit. Obviously not too much is given as a treat just enough for each to take a mouthful out of my hand.
  13. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I agree with everyone's opinions..... :wink: :greengrin:

    Nice herd you have there....congrats... :thumb:
  14. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Pretty girls :) I am glad they are coming around, I think it just takes time, patience, lots of sweet talking, and treats :) I have one doe that was wild when we got her, and I've been working on taming her down, she's getting to the point now where she will let me come up to her and rub on her without having food or treats in hand. HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT.

    I must be a junk food goat mom... because for treats I give pretzels, nilla waffers, raisins, crackers/snack crackers or their very favorite...Animal Crackers! Just whatever we have in the cabinet already. I've found they ALL love the animal crackers, and nilla waffers. Some seem to like saltine crackers, but I have some that won't eat raisins, or pretzels.
    I was told to avoid peanuts? and also avoid fruit that has pits like cherries, peaches, etc. My goats do like carrots, and thanks to garden scraps they found a liking for green beans. Some will eat peeled, cut up apples, others won't.
    So there are lots of things you can give them. I haven't tried horse treats yet. Surprising considering we live in horse country and there is one thing you can find around's horse supply stores with a variety of horse treats. I might have to stop in one day and find something for them.... or I wonder...about making my own home made treats :)