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Hi! I am very new to goats, and just got two 4 month old Nigerian dwarf does. They are currently on 1/2 cup of 12% sweet feed per day, per goat.
-When should I stop feeding sweet feed?
-They will have some forage available this summer... should I start them on Alfalfa pellets? Or will hay and some forage be enough?
- I will be getting a couple full sized goats (Nubian+Sannen/ND cross) soon (8 wks old). How long should I feed them sweet feed(12%)? Same questions as for the NDs above. ( Alfalfa pellets?No alfalfa pellets?)
-One of the ND does has had a cough and runny nose the last week or so... not sure what it is, as the other doe with her shows no symptoms... I have not checked temps though... picking up a thermometer tomorrow.(any advice on what kind?)
Thanks for responding! Im sure Ill have lots more questions, so be patient with me!
 

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You don't have to feed sweet feed. But I would offer them alfalfa pellets. They will need hay along with the grazing. They also need a good loose mineral.

You take their temp rectally. A digital thermometer is fine.
 

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When should I stop feeding sweet feed?
Yep, What ksalvagno said. You actually don't have to feed any type of grain or concentrates if you don't want to, it would just be a matter of if you thought they needed some extra help with growth, then you may want to.

They will have some forage available this summer... should I start them on Alfalfa pellets? Or will hay and some forage be enough?
In my humble opinion you may not need alfalfa, but you might. Alfalfa is high in protien and very high in calcium, so it is very good for them. If you do continue with the sweet feed I would definitely add alfalfa pellets as they are easier to digest than the sweet feed. If it was me, I'd talk the person you got them from to see what they would recommend doing. That's what I did when I first got my goats. I did what the previous owner did until I figured out what works best for me.
One of the ND does has had a cough and runny nose the last week or so... not sure what it is, as the other doe with her shows no symptoms... I have not checked temps though... picking up a thermometer tomorrow.(any advice on what kind?)
Might be too late now for thermometer advice, but I like the rectal thermometers with a beny tip, it's a bit more comfortable for them. Also don't get one that reads too quick. Goat temperatures are higher than humans and the quick reading ones sometimes need multiple goes for it to acurately read the temperature.

By the way welcome to the forum and please ask all the questions you can think of. We love answers questions and helping people out! (thumbup)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yep, What ksalvagno said. You actually don't have to feed any type of grain or concentrates if you don't want to, it would just be a matter of if you thought they needed some extra help with growth, then you may want to.

In my humble opinion you may not need alfalfa, but you might. Alfalfa is high in protien and very high in calcium, so it is very good for them. If you do continue with the sweet feed I would definitely add alfalfa pellets as they are easier to digest than the sweet feed. If it was me, I'd talk the person you got them from to see what they would recommend doing. That's what I did when I first got my goats. I did what the previous owner did until I figured out what works best for me.
Might be too late now for thermometer advice, but I like the rectal thermometers with a beny tip, it's a bit more comfortable for them. Also don't get one that reads too quick. Goat temperatures are higher than humans and the quick reading ones sometimes need multiple goes for it to acurately read the temperature.

By the way welcome to the forum and please ask all the questions you can think of. We love answers questions and helping people out! (thumbup)
Thanks for answering! I actually am taking them off the sweet feed, as many people have said its not very healthy. Im putting them on Dumor Goat Feed for kids and dairy goats.
I was a little worried about the cough being pneumonia, so I got a thermometer... No Temp! Yay! I guess its just a cold then, since she's still acting fine except for the cough
 

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The most common symptom of coccidia is diarrhea. That's what you would probably notice most, but the coccidia is evolving to show less and less obvious signs. It will steal nutrients and cause damage to their digestive tract and stunt their growth over time. Coccidia is nothing to mess with. I don't know what it's like in your area, but it is especially bad in warm wet climates.

I dealt with coccidia when my does were younger and I treated it with CoRid. There are some other methods though that you could look into.

Definitely get a fecal done. Coccidia can be present without you even knowing it.
 

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Yes, cocci can also create coughing issues. I had one do that too, had cough (dry)started with lungworm treatment, got pneumonia coughing sounded a bit wet, treated for that, got well, still coughing(dry), then treated for cocci it helped a lot. Coughing subsided a lot, strange but it is true. The cocci brought down the the immune system and caused more issues for this poor goat.

With coughing it can be pneumonia, lungworms. CL, sometimes cocci.
 
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