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Fatty Melt

569 Views 18 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Cedarwinds Farm
Hey y'all! Been awhile. I feel like a stranger!

So, you all know (if you have been following my threads, which you probably haven't) that my pygmy wether, Jimmy, is a lardass. No offense to him, but he's HUGE, horizontally. But nobody tells you how to get your goat to lose weight. People want goats with more weight, but since I have a pet, not a supply of anything, he needs to shed some pounds.

He is a free range goat, he gets to roam our property. We can't really manage what he grazes on or steals. But I don't want to pen him up, because he's used to being a free goat. It's not fair to make him lose his freedom of our land, so we can't really manage what he eats on his own. He doesn't get hay, though, since both our goats eat grass and alfalfa whenever they want.

So, if we were to keep letting him roam and graze, how should we get him to lose weight? I can try to walk him as much as I can, but I can't do it daily.

P.S. About 1/4 of the reason I am getting him to lose weight is so I can create a pie eating contest for goats and enter him in it without killing him...
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Are you sure he's fat and doesn't just have a large rumen? How easily can you feel his ribs and spine? One of my bucks has a ridiculous rumen that makes him look seriously fat, but he's really not. Maybe a picture of him would be in order.馃槈
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First of all, Pygmies are meat goats. So they are wider than Nigerians. Please post a picture.
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Are you sure he's fat and doesn't just have a large rumen? How easily can you feel his ribs and spine? One of my bucks has a ridiculous rumen that makes him look seriously fat, but he's really not. Maybe a picture of him would be in order.馃槈
Well, we gave him 1 cookie one time. He walked like 5 yards and couldn't catch his breath. I think that's pretty fat. 馃槀 But I will try to post a picture. I am at a Boy Scout Camp now and will be back late tomorrow afternoon, I'll try to remember to do it then.

First of all, Pygmies are meat goats. So they are wider than Nigerians. Please post a picture.
I didn't actually think of that... But he also acts like a lardass. When he sleeps it looks like he's dead and bloated. He even sticks his legs out like a dead animal 馃ぃ Not kidding!

But yes, I will post pictures.
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This is every picture on my phone with Jimmy in it... Sorry I don't have more 馃檭

By the way, Jimmy is the brown Pygmy wether. Snickerdoodle is the calico Nigerian Dwarf doe, ignore her
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It's hard to tell from those photos... Directly from the side or above would be helpful. These are the different areas you need to feel in order to tell whether he is fat: How much "meat" does he have in the area between the spinous process and his transvers process? Can you feel his individual vertebrae? Can you feel the "bumps" of the flank area? When you grasp the sternum can you feel a pad of fat there?
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Those are the things you should be checking in order to tell whether he is really fat. Some goats just have lazy personalities. It doesn't necessarily mean they are fat.
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P.S. About 1/4 of the reason I am getting him to lose weight is so I can create a pie eating contest for goats and enter him in it without killing him...
Also, I have to mention that it is not healthy for any goat to consume a large amount of junk food, over weight or not. 馃槈
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Also, I have to mention that it is not healthy for any goat to consume a large amount of junk food, over weight or not. 馃槈
True. Maybe a small amount? Either way a goat pie eating contest would still be one of the most hysterical things a person can witness
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He looks an OK weight to me. He has short legs which may contribute to looking rotund.
I didn't know there were goat pie-eating contests. We have a tall, lean British Alpine wether who has been known to eat an entire large apple pie in about a minute. The other 2 goats are still sniffing and nibbling a tiny crust of pastry, deciding if they like it or not, in the meantime this fella has finished the whole thing and is chewing on the alfoil pan
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Actually, he looks extremely fat to me. His front legs are starting to breakdown as well.
I would limit his free range time.
Let the does out wait an hour
Let the does out wait 1.5 hours
Keep going until he's out half the time. He'll have to exercise to catch up to the herd.
No goats should be eating green alfalfa, most especially African dwarves of either kind.
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P.S. About 1/4 of the reason I am getting him to lose weight is so I can create a pie eating contest for goats and enter him in it without killing him...
You need to dcide for real if you wan to help his health or not. Not saying that to be mean.
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Any way to keep him out of the alfalfa? I have found that to be the one thing my goats will overeat on, to the point of making themselves ill. If he's friendly and leash trained, you could start taking him on little walks with you to increase his activity level.
Free ranging is usually a very healthy lifestyle for a goat, as they normally eat a little here, a little there, and end up walking quite a lot to fulfill their daily food requirements. But if there's a lot of something that they like in one place, then they will just stand there and eat it all.
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I agree with @MadHouse. Not to be mean, but a pie eating contest sounds like an easy way to get a goat killed... bloat, overeating disease, poisoning... there are a lot of things that could go wrong- whether he鈥檚 fat or not.
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I agree with @MadHouse. Not to be mean, but a pie eating contest sounds like an easy way to get a goat killed... bloat, overeating disease, poisoning... there are a lot of things that could go wrong- whether he鈥檚 fat or not.
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Any way to keep him out of the alfalfa? I have found that to be the one thing my goats will overeat on, to the point of making themselves ill. If he's friendly and leash trained, you could start taking him on little walks with you to increase his activity level.
Free ranging is usually a very healthy lifestyle for a goat, as they normally eat a little here, a little there, and end up walking quite a lot to fulfill their daily food requirements. But if there's a lot of something that they like in one place, then they will just stand there and eat it all.
He mostly just eats grass. They rarely go into the alfalfa. But they do just stay in the same place to eat grass whenever they do. Most of the time, though, they lie in the shade in back instead of eating. That confuses me. I understand that they're being lazy, but they don't eat a bite then.
Agree - contest for eating is not healthy at all for goats no matter their weight..... please reconsider in the best interest of the animals.
I second removing the alfalfa! Some goats just gorge on the stuff and won't stop, and the ensuring mineral imbalance along with the excess weight can cause urinary blockage which can kill them very quickly.

Along with removing alfalfa and limiting pasture time, I think you need to start a daily exercise regimen. If your goat is getting winded just walking a few yards, it's a sign that he's really out of shape and doesn't just need diet--he needs exercise! Exercise is good for his whole body. You'll have to start with a little and work up so you don't harm his legs or overheat him, but in time it will be very good for his lungs, heart, muscles, joints, and hooves. A healthy goat is a happy goat.

Use "goat safe" ingredients and don't make your pies too huge and I think a goat pie eating contest would be fantastic! I'd totally sign up for that. I think my boy Sputnik could be a top contender. But no one would beat old Cuzco if he were still alive. ;-)
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Another way to check if he is over weight is a scale, how much does he weigh?
He mostly just eats grass. They rarely go into the alfalfa. But they do just stay in the same place to eat grass whenever they do. Most of the time, though, they lie in the shade in back instead of eating. That confuses me. I understand that they're being lazy, but they don't eat a bite then.
Goats spend a lot of time ruminating. So they will eat for a few hours, then lie down and chew their cud for a few hours, then go back to eating again. In the summer, if they've got plenty of good stuff to eat (sounds like yours do) they will usually choose to eat during the cooler parts of the day, then find a shady spot to chew their cud in the hot afternoon.
You might consider seeing if a vet clinic will let you use their scale, if he's too heavy for you to lift, to see what his weight really is.
I don't know how doable this would be, but you could try restricting his access to grass and fencing him into brushy and wooded areas, if you have any. When they're on brush, they have to keep moving to get enough to eat. My boys are out on brush all summer long, and they are pudgy right now, but they'll probably lose that weight during the winter when they will be on hay. They stay so active, moving from place to place to find the best things to eat, that I rarely have to do anything with their hooves during the summer, as they wear them down naturally. I've thought it would be interesting to track how many miles they walk each day. I suspect it is quite a few.
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