Can wethers eat grain?

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by ilovegoats, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. ilovegoats

    ilovegoats New Member

    Nov 26, 2013
    My goal this year is to rescue a goat from the Puget Sound Goat Rescue. I was just reading their website and it said not to fed wethers grain or alfalfa because it can make the wether have a urinary buildup. Here is what the website says: "Urine blockage (Urinary Calculii)— Straining to urinate, depressed, bloated looking. this is important if you have a wether (castrated male)—it is fatal and believed to be caused by alfalfa and/or grain in their diet. Wethers should not have alfalfa or grain and always have salt so they drink plenty of water to keep them flushed out" and here is the website: I have a wether right now and feed him 4 cups of grain (2 in the morning and two at night) and he is about 10 months old. Should i stop feeding him grain?
  2. dreamacresfarm2

    dreamacresfarm2 also known as Mayia real life Cheri

    May 10, 2014

  3. lottsagoats1

    lottsagoats1 Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Middle Maine
    Their information is grossly incorrect. 40 years ago that was the thought, but it has been disproved. All goats, male or female, need a calcium/phosphoris ratio of at least 2:1 Calcium/Phos. Alfalfa is a great source for the calcium. A balanced feed is fine. I always feed my goats grain because my hay is poor. Bucks, wethers, does-they all get it. I have never had a case of UC.

    However, once grown, wethers probably don't need grain unless, like me, your hay is poor quality or you are raising them for the freezer.

    For your guy, feed him grain as long as you are giving him some sort of calcium supplement, like alfalfa pellets.

    Also, you can feed Ammonium chloride (AC) as a supplement to prevent urinary calculi (UC). Some goat feeds have it added.

    What breed is your guy?
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  4. ilovegoats

    ilovegoats New Member

    Nov 26, 2013

    The grain I feed is a mixture of corn, wheat, and barley
  5. ilovegoats

    ilovegoats New Member

    Nov 26, 2013

    He is a purebred nubian
  6. Feeding cereal grains does indeed mess up and Ca:p ratio, which can result in urinary calculi. In bucks this is dangerous as they have a fine tube at the end of their penis though which urine flows. That tube can easily get blocked by a urinary calculi with very nasty consequences.
  7. ThreeHavens

    ThreeHavens 7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether

    Oct 20, 2011
    New Jersey
    The diet depends on your location. I am in NJ, and that is a calcium deficient state. As such my boys need added calcium to keep them safe. So they get straight alfalfa and browse (pine trees, grass, and blueberry bushes). They could also get alfalfa/hay mix, or grass hay with alfalfa pellets.

    I choose not to give any of my boys grain. The alfalfa grows them nicely.
  8. janeen128

    janeen128 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2012
    Edgewood, WA
    I've grained mine and have never had any issues. I also feed alfalfa, again no issues. However, I do feed manna pro minerals too..
  9. bbpygmy

    bbpygmy Member

    Apr 14, 2014

    Giving them grain is fine as long as they have hay available at all times. We have about 8 show wethers and have never had a problem with Urinary Calculi. We also feed them alfalfa hay and have never had any problems.
  10. canyontrailgoats

    canyontrailgoats New Member

    Jan 4, 2014
    western montana
    Alfalfa is good for wethers due to its calcium content. Many people feed them alfalfa pellets in lieu of grain, because it helps weight gain without the risk of UC. However, I've fed grain to all my young wethers with zero issues (cob mix and medicated pellets). They had minerals, fresh water with acv, and plenty of browse. I personally don't see the harm in it, as long as you keep the diet balanced overall. And like I said if you're really worried about UC, try alfalfa pellets with a little boss, or calf manna.
  11. ilovegoats

    ilovegoats New Member

    Nov 26, 2013

    How do I go about feeding this to them? I have 2 goats so I just put the acv in the water for both of them to drink? How often do I put it in and how much (I have a 5 gallon bucket)? Also, when feeding BOSS, how much do I feed them and do I mix it with alfalfa pellets?
  12. Marcus

    Marcus New Member

    Nov 19, 2010
    My Nubian wether boy gets grain in below freezing weather for energy to burn (about half the year here in northern Wisconsin). No urinary issues so far, but he has gotten as fat as a pig, which isn't good either.
    I had a large domestic buck years ago that tended to founder, and in retrospect I wish I hadn't fed him so rich even in winter.
    Now I try to feed them alfalfa balls mostly, with grain just for the taste.
    Pasture in this cold spring weather is coming along slow, so it's harder to balance the feed needs. I would say minimize grain as long as they aren't skinny or stressed by the cold.