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Discussion Starter #1
I keep getting told my goats are fat. Thoughts?

They are almost 1 yr old.
They are wethers.
They are Michigan goats, so they have thick wooly coats. Maybe an extra layer of fat?

They get 1 cup each of Noble Goat 2x per day
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and free choice grass hay. Alfalfa cubes 1-2 times per week. Not really any treats.
 

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They look good. If you can barely feel ribs and backbone is not sticking up, they should be fine. What nice furry coats!
 

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I'm not in the "fat is healthy" boat. At least not for wethers. It's ok for them to have some extra weight in winter, but keep in mind that they will fatten up even more in the spring and summer. It is hard to tell in these photos with all the winter hair, but your boys do look suspiciously overweight to me. Too much weight can set them up for urinary calculi, hoof problems, knee problems, and a vicious cycle of getting too little exercise leading to more weight gain leading to even less exercise. I don't feed my wethers any grain at all for this exact reason. Most wethers tend to get fat just looking at food, so I've never fed mine free choice hay either. I treat them like ponies and keep them on ration. Of course, there's a limit to how well this works if you have acres of pasture for them to browse all day like mine do. But I pen my goats up at night with a reasonably-sized hay portion so they aren't eating 24/7.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
They mostly seem to have a ghetto bootie moreso than all over body fat. I'll watch their weight come spring and see how their body composition looks after they shed their winter coats and/or fat. Thanks for all the input!
 

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They are absolutely adorable! They look very healthy but chubby. I'd be working to get their weight down a bit. If your goats have any access to pasture in summer, then winter is the ideal time to diet them because you can control their portions. I also like to take my goats for a good solid walk every day all year round. This is good for my weight and condition as much as theirs!
 

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I agree with Damfino...I wish I could walk my goats. I did that when i first got into goats and had a dog attack while we were walking them...made me rethink walking them :(
Reminds me of when I was little. There was a woman who was walking her lab and they got attacked by another dog. I don't remember the details but for months after that, instead of sending my sister and me to the bus stop or letting us play basketball with a neighbor boy in his driveway, my mom grabbed a camping chair, a book, and my softball bat and came with us.
 

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I agree with Damfino...I wish I could walk my goats. I did that when i first got into goats and had a dog attack while we were walking them...made me rethink walking them :(
I've heard Dog Dazers work really well. Pepper spray is also a very good option. Some people have had great success using a large walking stick against dogs. As a packgoat person, my biggest concern is always loose dogs. They cause more problems than bears, coyotes, mountain lions, or any of the other wildlife that people in wildernes get concerned about. But I won't let other people's dogs stop me from walking my goats even it it means "taking measures" right in front of the owner. People need to keep their pets under control.
 
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