Feed ratio help needed- is what I feed balanced?

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by B.yusko, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. B.yusko

    B.yusko Member

    Jan 5, 2019
    Hello ! Need some guidance on feeding-
    I’ve read about “ Calcium: Phosphorus Ratio” but I’m still lost, so I’ve listed some questions below

    So my boys ( who are still intact- but will be weathered eventually) get:

    free choice Timothy grass hay at all times

    I have purina grower goat feed (says it has a balanced Calcium: Phosphorus Ratio on the bag? And
    “Urinary acidifiers including ammonium chloride - helps reduce the incidence of urinary calculi” )
    but I only give a small hand full of that a couple times out of the whole week since I heard so much about not giving males or wethers grain at all I’m lost on if I should still even be giving any?
    Attached pic of the grains ratio on post.

    Going to buy ammonium chloride powder to have on hand but should I also add this to their grain too once a week or month now? Or want until they are weathered to do that? For urinary precautions? Or not at all since the grain has it in it?

    I give the manna pro loose goat mineral now but was going to switch to sweetlix 16:8 meat maker goat mineral, is that one indeed better? Or could I get a cattle one from tractor supply or rural king and they will get everything they need from that over the sweetlix?

    Also I wanted to give small amounts off BOSS but I hear mixed things on this for males as well -

    I just got alfalfa pellets too since I now heard all males should have alfalfa, so how much should I give a day of that as well? (They won’t have higher urinaly risk from this will they?

    And lastly should I offer a second water that has apple cider vinger in it at all times?

    I just want them to have the most balanced diet possible!

    Help is very much appreciated !!! :love:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  2. Dwarf Dad

    Dwarf Dad Well-Known Member

    That is a medicated feed and should be fed at directed feed rate. From what I have (possibly) learned on here, the medicated feeds should never be fed at lower amounts because it will create "super" bugs. The medication is for coccidia which all goats have, you don't want to make a resistant strain.
    I, personally, mix ammonium chloride with my goats minerals. It is mixed at one and a half pounds of ammonium chloride to twenty-five pounds of mineral, as to what @mariarose taught me. The Purina Wind and Rain Storm is a very good
    mineral that Tractor Supply sells.
    Also another Purina
    I put water out that has a couple of splashes of Apple Cider Vinegar per eight quart bucket. My water is municipal water supply and has some lime and some iron to it. The ACV combats the lime. The goats quit drinking the plain tap water. When temperature gets 90*F and above I put out electrolytes mixed in water, also.

  3. B.yusko

    B.yusko Member

    Jan 5, 2019
    Thank you !
    For the minerals I already ordered the sweetlix 16:8 meat maker should I still add ammonium chloride too this mineral as well?
    Cathie and toth boer goats like this.
  4. B.yusko

    B.yusko Member

    Jan 5, 2019
    4C41F718-DD67-4FA6-83B3-64B8F1EEC437.jpeg I also have these, should I does them once monthly as a preventative?
  5. B.yusko

    B.yusko Member

    Jan 5, 2019
    Also what does “direct feeding” mean about the grain?
    toth boer goats likes this.
  6. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    Okay, I have 2 wethers, and I’ve gone through ALL OF THIS.

    The grain shouldn’t only be fed “a few times a week” either feed it every day, or not at all. It’s too confusing for them to get it occasionally. I give my growing boys a handful daily, but grain is not necessary. I don’t like giving alfalfa to boys, it’s a lot of calcium, but depends on your ratio, as grain is phosphorous and will probably balance that just fine. My optimal goat balanced diet is orchard grass hay, good minerals with ammonium chloride, free choice kelp meal (that will balance the calcium from the phosphorous rich grass hay), and apple cider vinegar in water is great. Grain fed in a small amount daily, pretty much as a treat, if you want. Small amounts of BOSS is healthy, just not too much. I keep ammonium chloride powder on hand in case of emergency, but if you add it in minerals it isn’t necessary to put over grain. Again, if you are going to feed grain, feed it it in a small amount daily, although it really isn’t completely necessary, as goats can live just fine with a hay diet, even better.

    The selenium vitamin B shouldn’t be necessary to give preventively. Usually that is used for weak kids, or goats with acute deficiencies. Although pure probiotics (probios) on hand is what you want.
  7. B.yusko

    B.yusko Member

    Jan 5, 2019
    Thank you soo much ! :)
  8. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Welcome, @B.yusko
    You've gotten some really good advice. But if you are still confused by anything, please ask more. We want to help, but the sheer volume of knowledge on this site can feel overwhelming. Please keep asking.
    The Sweetlix is a fine mineral. Some people prefer the Purina Wind and Rain, Storm. But some prefer the Sweetlix.

    Ammonium Chloride should be in the mineral mix, not the feed, so far as I'm concerned. It has been a while since I've seen the ingredients in the Sweetlix and I don't remember if the AC is already in there or not. If so, it is easily mixed in. The amounts given above are correct.

    Many people give the selenium/E gel every month, but many people give as needed. Unless you live somewhere that selenium poisoning is possible, there is no danger to giving it monthly. This would be your choice.

    There is very little problem with your wethers getting some alfalfa, especially to counteract the phosphorus in your timothy hay. They may come to regard that as their daily handout/treat.

    They almost certainly do not need grain, and shouldn't really have it unless they are working hard pulling carts or something like that.

    The directed feed rate is for medicated feed. If you feed a medicated feed, then they need to have a certain amount of feed each and every day, The amount that is directed to be given, no more and no less. Same with medicated minerals. The amount directed to eat, no more, no less. I never recommend medicated minerals. Never.

    Thank you so much for joining us at TGS.
  9. Dwarf Dad

    Dwarf Dad Well-Known Member

    I haven't read the tag. I think so.
    B.yusko likes this.
  10. goathiker

    goathiker I'm watching you Staff Member Supporting Member

    One reason you get some contradictory advice is that African and Swiss goats have differing food needs.
    When asking these questions stating the breed would be helpful.

    Wethers/ bucks should not have baking soda except in cases of bloat.
    B.yusko and Dwarf Dad like this.
  11. cbrossard

    cbrossard Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2014
    I can tell you what I do...

    My buck and wether get free choice hay and then instead of grain they get a cup or so of alfalfa pellets and BOSS as a bit of a treat (daily). I offer Purina Wind and Rain Storm free choice and add AC vinegar to their water.
    elvis&oliver and B.yusko like this.
  12. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    Honestly this is probably the hardest part, trying to get the ratio just right. Personally I think it is almost impossible to do and I think adding the AC for a little extra insurance is a good idea. Still try and get the ratio as close to right as you can, don’t just add the AC and think yep they are good no matter what now.
    As mentioned another good idea is to make sure they consume water. Adding the Apple cider vinegar I have heard people have had their goats consume more water when they do that. What people with show wethers do, that are fed mainly grain and not even close to a correct ratio is have electrolytes out to encourage water consumption.
    I personally think the alfalfa pellets are a good idea. Alfalfa usually has a very good amount of calcium.
    What I do with my bucks is they get pretty much free choice alfalfa hay. They do have a small pasture and some trees to munch on but most of their diet is the alfalfa. I don’t give grain unless they are thin and need it, but they are also very good about packing weight on after I get them away from the girls. You won’t have that issue lol. I do NOT ever give them BOSS. It is pretty high in phosphorus. If I ever did have a boy that was super super skinny though I would probably go ahead and add a little to their diet.
    B.yusko likes this.
  13. B.yusko

    B.yusko Member

    Jan 5, 2019
    Oh I see sorry ! I have Nigerian dwarfs
    Dwarf Dad likes this.
  14. B.yusko

    B.yusko Member

    Jan 5, 2019
    Hello ! Thank you so much for the additional help! :) Your break down does help me make more sense of everything, I probably should have mentioned they are Nigerian dwarfs and a couple months old (working on weaning now.)
    So do you recommend me just pulling the grain all together now then? Or one small hand full everyday until gone and then not to repurchase? Regardless once all the grain is gone I believe I’m not going to keep grain in the mix since there is more cons then pros- but I do have almost the whole bag left right now.

    So I updated my feeding as:
    -Timothy still all day availability
    -bucket of normal water and a bucket of ACV water (which they have been loving already)
    -alfalfa pellets once daily 1/4 cup each
    -minerals down all day (sweetlix is shipping to me already, the purina wind rain storm is actually more convenient for me to get next time if they are truly just as good)
    -tiny sprinkle of BOSS once a week
    -working on adding garlic cloves into their diet too, do you recommend this as well?

    And once the minerals arrive I should check to see if they have contain ammonium chloride right? I guess I get confused on mixing them in with minerals for daily use since some say they build up a tolerance then? :(

    Also I took baking soda away as free choice a while ago, when do I know when to ever offer it to them?

    Thanks in advance again for your help!! :)
    mariarose likes this.
  15. B.yusko

    B.yusko Member

    Jan 5, 2019
    Yes ! Definitely Agree ! I can’t belive how much diets Very from owner to owner It makes my head spin when all I wanna do is the right thing for them ! Your info does help me a lot though as well so thank you ! :) even with the BOSS I hear so much back and forth with that too :( do you think even a tiny spinkle once a week for them could threaten their ratio and be more harm then good? I just want it to help their coat and the other vitamins they do help with but if I should never offer at all I won’t !
  16. B.yusko

    B.yusko Member

    Jan 5, 2019
    thank you ! :) I do appreciate your example! And I think I may be switching to the purina wind and rain storm cattle mineral next since it’s cheaper and more convenient then the sweetlix ! Is this the best mineral you’ve used?
  17. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    You are welcome. I'll see what I can answer for you.
    You are fine. This is helpful information. Nigerian Dwarves are an African breed. We'd love for @goathiker to come back and educate us on the diet needs of the African vs Swiss. My ideas on that are way to vague to say anything.
    I'd love for you to consider doing just that.
    No, you can't do that. As said, this is medicated, so you have to give the full amount directed, each and every day, if you feed. Where it says DIRECTIONS, that's what you must follow. We'll need an accurate weight. @Jessica84 I know you use a creep feeder, but can you help with the math on this? 2 months old, being weaned.
    Feeding grain and drugs that aren't needed, is wasting the feed anyway, is how I see it.
    My way of looking at this, is... It is always better to buy a good mineral locally than to order a good mineral elsewhere. That keeps the options available to you all the time.
    Yes, that is an excellent idea.
    Yes. Read the ingredients. If it says Ammonium Chloride, you don't have to add more.
    I'm sorry. I do not understand this. They don't build up a tolerance to either the minerals OR the ammonium chloride. It isn't a drug.
    You should learn the signs of bloat. That's when they'll need the additional baking soda. In the meantime, all that chewing up timothy hay is making the buffering compounds in the goat's own stomach.

    Hope that helps. Good luck.
  18. goathiker

    goathiker I'm watching you Staff Member Supporting Member

    They're just babies and they need protein to grow. You've got yourself going overboard a bit.

    I would be giving them a cup of alfalfa pellets twice a day each plus 1/2 cup grower mid morning.
    I would not buy more grower for a few reasons I will share if you like.
    I would rotate minerals monthly.
    More in a few must gorge lol
    elvis&oliver, B.yusko and mariarose like this.
  19. B.yusko

    B.yusko Member

    Jan 5, 2019
    Yes that helped immensely!
    Pulling all the grain now!
    Better safe then sorry, you made it easier for me to understand!
    Thanks so much again :)
  20. B.yusko

    B.yusko Member

    Jan 5, 2019
    What do you mean by rotate minerals monthly? Thanks !!