Featured Fattening up a doe who doesn't care for feed?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by Goat_Scout, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Goat_Scout

    Goat_Scout Well-Known Member

    629
    Mar 23, 2017
    Louisiana
    I was wondering, how do you get a doe to gain weight if she doesn't have much of an appetite (isn't a piggy like goats typically are) for grain/any type of feed?

    I have a Nubian doe that we bought at the end of May with her 5 day old buckling. Scarcely a week after we brought her home she went down with a heavy load of Barber Pole worms. She was (then) almost 2 years old, and at that point she barely weighed 50 pounds, and looked like a sack of bones. We were very surprised that she even lived.

    Well, now we're coming on 4 months since she was cleared of the worms (our vet ran a fecal after they had treated her for BP, and she didn't have worms anymore).
    Last week we had the vet over to castrate and dehorn two calves and to perform Ultrasounds (on 4 does), and draw blood from all the adult goats to test for diseases.
    Well, when it came time to draw blood from Matilda, the vet saw that her lower eyelids were very pale and that she had Barber Pole worms... again. We had noticed these past few weeks that she wasn't looking as good as she usually did, but unfortunately the thought of her having BP worms again hadn't even crossed my mind.

    So we dewormed her, and now are working on getting her fattened up. I weight taped her and she weighs almost 80 pounds, which I think is good considering the 50 she was back in June?
    My problem is, she just doesn't seem to have much of an appetite for grain/sweet feed/calf pellets/alfalfa pellets. She eats grass, brush, hay and leaves like there is no tomorrow, but just doesn't really love feed. All of my other goats are huge pigs and just love feed regardless of what kind it is.
    Matilda has been this way since I got her, it isn't because she's anemic or sick. Has anyone else experienced this? I need to get some weight on her for breeding season, and of course for her health's sake. We are going to dry her off soon, which the vet suggested doing.

    Thanks so much!
     
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  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator

    There is no way I would breed her at that weight. Alfalfa hay would help. Try beet pulp. I'd also do rumen boluses.
     
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  3. Goat_Scout

    Goat_Scout Well-Known Member

    629
    Mar 23, 2017
    Louisiana
    She is separated from the buck and I am awaiting the arrival of anti-breeding aprons as another safeguard. How much should she weigh before I breed her? We have alfalfa hay, and next time we go to TSC I'll get some beet pulp.
    Where do you get the rumen boluses?
     
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  4. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2014
    SouthCentralKY, USA
    I've seen them advertised in online catalogs for livestock stuff. You might want to ask your friendly neighborhood Farm Co-op too.

    I agree, this does seem like a rumen issue. Did you give her any Probios or similar after you treated her BP worms last time?

    I agree about waiting to breed, and would baby that rumen. No grain until you get some probiotics. Flat dark beer, or Probios while you are waiting for the rumen boluses, and a splash of ACV in her water, too..

    I'm glad she's devouring all that roughage. That's a sign she is trying to raise the ph in her gut.

    Poor thing. She's lucky to have you looking out for her.

    Last year I rescued a full grown Boer who was down to 43 lbs. The vet warned me she was not long for this world, but she fought her way back.

    You are so awesome.
     
  5. Goat_Scout

    Goat_Scout Well-Known Member

    629
    Mar 23, 2017
    Louisiana
    Awww, thank you so much for the encouragement!!

    We gave her Probios during and after treatment last June. But I am pretty sure that it is now expired, so another reason why we'll need to head to TSC soon!

    And out of curiosity, how can you tell that it is a rumen problem?
     
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  6. Goatzrule

    Goatzrule Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    Maybe someone with more experience will correct me but for horses we use Canola Oil and/or black oil sunflower seeds.
     
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  7. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2014
    SouthCentralKY, USA
    I love horses, and am glad to see someone knowledgeable about them.

    However, horses are not ruminants, so don't have a rumen to shut down. And too much fat will shut the rumen down. A lot of things will shut the rumen down.

    Healthy rumen, healthy goat. is a truism for a reason. Yeah, there can be a lot of things go wrong, but a nonfunctioning rumen is always a killer, and a partially functioning rumen prevents complete health and vigor.

    I like seed oils, and BOSS is one of the easiest seeds to find and use for most of the US. I think a little bit of it would be a great supplement once the goat can digest it.

    I see a lot of abused, skinny, and dehydrated horses here. Wish there were more horse people like you around.
     
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  8. Goatzrule

    Goatzrule Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    Ive used the seeds on my does before and bucks to fatten up for winter. But obviously make sure the rumen is working fine before you try anything new
     
  9. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Does she eat loose minerals? What kind of feed are you offering her?
    I like using the Goats prefer brand Goat Probiotic Power from TSC. Dose it daily. You can mix it with some Vitamin B Complex, I'd think 15 minutes before offering feed.
    Something we tried this summer and I think really helped was using a product called
    Vita Charge Liquid Boost. It's a bit costly and probably have to order it unless your lucky enough to have a store that will sell it locally. We gave it to does/bucks that my kids were showing to help with stress and keep them eating/drinking before shows. It came recommended by some good breeders.

    You can try a different feed and see if that makes any difference. Beet pulp and BOSS. Or you can try Calf Manna.
    You can try Healthy Goat Coat oil on her feed, if she won't eat it you can drench her with some.
    Rice Bran Oil works really well too. It depends on what your able to spend, and how picky she will be with the feed suggestions. one thing I've learned, goats love to spend our money and waste the things we buy!
     
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  10. Goat_Scout

    Goat_Scout Well-Known Member

    629
    Mar 23, 2017
    Louisiana
    Thank you all for the replies! I moved Matilda to a different smaller area - recommended by the vet so that she doesn't have to go very far to browse. So for the past week she didn't have access to loose minerals until I put some out there in a small trough today (which her kid promptly overturned, so I will need to go out there soon and fix it permanently to the wood :rolleyes:). We have Manna Pro minerals from TSC and kelp too.

    Yesterday we went to TSC and I got some Probios and another probiotic supplement to be given via syringe. I decided not to get beet pulp, to just to work with what we have for now. I forgot to get Healthy Goat Coat oil but will hopefully next time we go into Zachary.

    @HoosierShadow - we've tried three different types of goat feed (from TSC) so far, none of which she went crazy over. But for the past couple days I've seen some improvement, she is eating more readily! She likes calf pellets and some really expensive grain (what else) we get shipped in from New Country Organics. Oddly she eats better when I feed her alongside the other goats.
    I also tried giving her a handful of BOSS yesterday, and she loved it! Previously whenever I've tried to give it to her she'd take only one tiny bite and then be done.

    Below are some pictures attached of Matilda, taken yesterday. In the second picture she is beside her 4 month old son (in the red collar). We are going to wean him once I get around to making some goat milk soap for a friend. I have some of her milk in the freezer, but I don't know how much I'll need just yet, and don't want to dry her off until I do.
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2014
    SouthCentralKY, USA
    Just in case you don't know. Weaning a kid does not mean drying her up? You can wean the kid and actually get more milk for yourself.

    I'm not saying wean the kid before you want to. I'm not saying you can't dry the doe. I'm just saying the 2 are not inextricably linked if you don't want them to be.
     
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  12. Goat_Scout

    Goat_Scout Well-Known Member

    629
    Mar 23, 2017
    Louisiana
    Yes, I knew that. :) I actually didn't want to wean him this early, but our vet told us that it would be best to dry her up since drying her up would mean all the feed/protein she eats would go towards gaining weight, not making milk and needing to gain weight. We do "need" milk for our (human) foster baby, but we'll just have to wait until mid January when we'll have does in milk again.
     
  13. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2014
    SouthCentralKY, USA
    I often supply for foster babies. I wish you were close.
     
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  14. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    If she has kids on her or in milk, she is putting all her reserves into her milk.
    That brings them down in weight, especially if she doesn't eat, drink enough.

    If she repeats getting worms, I would give her copper bolus. I think I also see some fishtails there.
    Copper helps to fight worms. But stress too can trigger them.

    Loose salt and minerals is good to have out free choice with good copper and selenium in it.

    Anytime a goat is not eating well, get a temp. If normal or a bit sub, give probiotics and fortified vit B complex, 6 cc's per 100 lbs SQ for a few days, even longer if you wish. It helps with appetite as well as giving her rumen thiamine needed for good health.

    Calfmanna is a good product for weight gain, but expensive.
    Alfalfa hay is really good too.
     
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  15. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2014
    SouthCentralKY, USA
    How is she doing?
     
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  16. Goat_Scout

    Goat_Scout Well-Known Member

    629
    Mar 23, 2017
    Louisiana
    So sorry, I didn't see this until now!
    Right now we have her and Vivian together (in the same small grassy run), and sometimes they get let out to eat leaves. She definitely has been eating her grain with more gusto (and she also has access to loose minerals and a full scoop of alfalfa hay during the day), and I think I see a little improvement weight-wise - what do you think?
     

    Attached Files:

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  17. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2014
    SouthCentralKY, USA
    Yes, I do think there is improvement. I think also she is so lucky to have you. Great job.
     
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  18. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    She is looking better, you are a good goat mom. :)
     
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  19. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    NC
    She is looking good :)
     
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  20. Goat_Scout

    Goat_Scout Well-Known Member

    629
    Mar 23, 2017
    Louisiana
    Thank you! I am so glad that you all think so. :)
     
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