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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Or, as I suspect....both! Ok so I look at all these beautiful goats that you northwesterners and Californians have. They are all stunning. My question is related more to why they look the way they do. I hope this question is not out of line or rude.

To me, these goats all look (forgive me here) fat. Is the tremendous width and bulk here due to the feed they receive or is it all genetics? Is there a lot of fat on the show goats' carcasses or in their organs? Do you have breeding animals that do not go to show that don't carry as much condition? Or should I strive to feed better because Boer goats are supposed to carry more bulk?

Because I hope to have my animals pay their way in life to some extent, I want them to be able to maintain condition on basic feed. So, because I have no access to many shows, nor the money to travel to them, I have not tried to maintain any goats in show condition. I am thinking that I may experiment some to see what a few of my goats would look like if I did. Would any of you be willing to share your generalized rations for show animals vs. home animals? If there is in fact a difference?

Eventually I hope to be able to sell some breeding stock, and I want to understand what the upper end of that market looks like and what I should strive for. I would appreciate your input and opinions here, and like I said, I hope this is not an out of line question....
 

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Show does get Essential Showdoe 16%p 6%f or Showrite Doelicious 16% 4%f, both are top dressed with Supremo Supercharge(like calf manna just cheaper) and Cocosoy. I also feed some alfalfa
Show wether prospects get a high protein show wether feed until I can get rid of them. Usually Showrite Grand Drive. No hay
Show buck prospects get feed like a doe but with free choice grass hay and no supercharger and very little cocosoy.

Everything else is free choice pasture with free choice grass hay in the winter. I feed a half pound of boer goat developer 16% per head of doe for one month prior to putting the buck in. I want to see the does in BCS 3 and the buck in BCS 3 for breeding, not in BCS 4 which what a show doe is. Seem to get a good flush of eggs and high precentage of triplets. I then taper off the feed for the does until they kid. Does with triplets that are having trouble maintiaining weight get 1-1.5lbs of boer goat developer 16% and alfalfa.

You should not try to have a big fat show doe carry kids. I turn them on the pasture to get their weight down for breeding.

There are a lot of different ways to feed show breed stock and show wethers.

Genetics is about 10% of what you are seeing the other 90% is feed.
 

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It has been said that many NW goats ARE fat. Some breeders feed more than others.
We don't feed anyone anything special.
Everyone gets 3rd cut alfalfa year round & Boer Goat Developer (17% protein) with a handful of BOSS during growth & lactation.
Our girls are genetically big. There are smaller bodied finer boned lines out there.
I do have a pair of 50% half sisters with fat pockets hanging off the elbows. :eek: They don't go out in public anymore.
 

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getting 3rd cutting alfalfa all year would keep them pretty plump, even with out the goat developer. I would say they are well fed. Ours get grass hay or pasture year round, alfalfa hay only when lactating(2 lbs per doe) and pelleted 16% goat developer when growing or lactating, so some of my 3 year olds and older are on hay and/or pasture only if they are not near the end of their gestation and not nursing.
I think you should also consider climate and parasite loads by region as well as feed and genetics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you GTAllen, I was hoping you would weigh in. You are always so informative. :) Nancy d, thanks to you also! I so appreciate your time. I also have two girls that have fat rolls in the summer. They don't spend any more time on the pasture than anyone else, they are just huge! One of them is my darling Vienna. (aka: Schoolbus)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Huh 20 kids, I hadn't even considered climate as a factor and I should. It sure makes sense that goats not stressed by heat or cold or parasites would naturally have different nutritional needs. Ooooo, so much to think about...:) and thank you too!
 

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Schoolbus!? :wahoo:

One of our fat elbowed was House Boat. At least until she kidded.

But normally big is just big. No Fat Rolls allowed. At least in theory.
I think the two %s just got too much grain for too long a period of time. They processed it differently in that it all went to fat pockets; they should have had lesser portions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ya she got that name on our first ever round of deworming/foot trimming. They were all still pretty wild about being handled and she ran me down. She was NOT my favorite doe at that time! This is School bus when she had no kids loaded. You can imagine her preggo!
 

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Looks more like Texas to me. lol She doesn't look overly fat in that photo, just a nice wide healthy doe. I have visited a couple herds that had Nubians who were WAY too fat. They were basically one huge fat roll from their shoulders to their hips. Each doe easily weighed 250 lbs or more, they were huge.

All of my Boer does (all 9 of them lol) are just out on 5 acres of pasture, no grain and they are all pretty chunky, not overly fat but not thin either. I even have one kid out there, born in May, she is pretty fat on just grass and her mom's milk.
 

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If you took three sets of doe twins and sent three girls to a farm that feeds and their three sisters to a farm that doesn't feed much, you would probably be stunned at the difference at six months old. Everyone that feeds has their own program, but I think the common denominator is a pelleted feed with rumensin. Also the kids out of dams that are fed a rumensin feed while lactating will be bigger. Fatter? Probably, but they aren't just fat, they are big. I don't think it's hurting these young goats to be fed well. I *do* think having a breeding age doe show fat and pregnant is asking for trouble. I have friends that show older does and they are fat and they know it is trouble. They will tell you it is. I know from experience it is trouble in my own herd. Probably the highest risk is the dry yearling show doe that is bred. If you can get them to successfully kid without a disaster, then it gets easier because nothing can take weight off a fat goat like lactation. I try to keep my breeding does lean and mean going into breeding season while gradually gaining back weight from their lactation. For most that means no feed. Just hay and pasture. Last year I fed grass/alfalfa mix early in pregnancy and then switched to straight alfalfa late gestation. They are all different though. Some does are easy keepers and can get fat looking at a flake of alfalfa. Those are the kind I like, but you must be careful not to get them too fat. This year I had a couple of does that I kept their keeper daughters on them too long and they got too thin. I'm feeding them some to get them looking better. One trick on a doe that tends to get too fat too soon is keep a daughter on her. But genetics do make a difference. People that feed are in the best position to know that since they can see kids getting fed the same way with some outgrowing the others. My feed plan is constantly changing with the goats and the conditions. It sure would be nice if hay and grain prices dropped back to a realistic level...
 

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We are having trouble with fat goats... the nutrition they get off eating dry grass down our hill is empty... so we give the purina goat feed at this time.. a very small amount of dry grass hay and oat hay and that is all at this time.. They are FAT. It has to be the acorns - that's all I can think of that is making them this way. We took them out to the dry dirt field where there were no acorns to help them have a break from them as too many can't be good at all. As for our baby boers.. they get fed medicated feed when they are young.. purina goat chow also.. nothing real special.. We had some big 3 week babies that grew rapidly.. They had an awesome sire so I believe it is mostly a genetic trait to put on good muscle quickly but then... de-worming properly and watching out for Cocci is definitely part of it all. We did not de-worm ANY of our meat goat wethers at all and they still put on well. The same hill pictured is now bare and dry grass.
 

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You can feed rumensin to a lactating doe? Or do I have rumensin confused with monensin?
They are the same thing and yes you can. It is not approved to feed to a dairy goat that the milk is used for human consumption. However cow dairies feed it to their milking cows. So there is zero reason not to feed it to a doe that is nursing kids, but not being milked for human consumption.
 

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Here are a few of our Red wethers at 3 months old just before or/and after weaning. One of the reds is not a fullblood but is 8% nubian.. I think you can tell... but the boers do grow slower than the nubian mixes it seems. None of these were fed anything special but just the goat feed with grass. These were later moved to a blackberry and pasture to finish out and on that feed, they got quite fat.
 

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Thanks Tenacross and GTAllen. I've often wondered why my meat goat grower pellets with rumensin/monensin states do not feed to lactating does, but I could never find a reason for it online. That is good to know! :)
 

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Here are a few of our Red wethers at 3 months old just before or/and after weaning. One of the reds is not a fullblood but is 8% nubian.. I think you can tell... but the boers do grow slower than the nubian mixes it seems. None of these were fed anything special but just the goat feed with grass. These were later moved to a blackberry and pasture to finish out and on that feed, they got quite fat.
Your goats look great, Merry.
 

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We do pamper the pregnant Does and give them all sorts of nutritional boosts before pregnancy, during and after. We do give selenium & E, minerals. De-worm at least 3 times a year now and work at supplying as much browse as we can to help balance their diet. I truly believe a lot is diet but it really is the quality bred animal with good genetics that will give you that stocky build that so many desire to have in the Boer goats. We had a Doe.. her legs were so thick and blocky.. not like the skinny toothpick deer type legs that is seen on other breeds... BUT she was quite clumsey... her kids also are this way.. big blocky and somewhat clumsey. They don't run gracefully like a deer that's for sure.... more like a cow. Below is Big Cletus at only 2 weeks old. We wethered all of the them that year at about 9 weeks.
 

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As for California goats being bigger.. I don't think so..California is a big state... lots of breeders many of which are buying out of state to get those big boned Boers. We really don't have show quality goats at all... we are just small commercial breeders... mostly for our own family.. and once in a while sell a few Does out to 4 H.
 
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