The Goat Spot Forum banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, we got our herd of 6 about a month ago and have kept them on the same diet as their previous home. 1c grain, 1 c soaked beet pellets plus free access to hay plus whats in their pen (more shrubbery than grass).

My questions:
What's the consensus on beets? I feel like I have read that they are unnecessary or at least not necessary everyday. Do they count as grain? I don't want to feed them too much and have them bloat up, that one cup fluffs up to quite a bit!

Does this sounds like an adequate amount of food (they are Saanen, Nigerian crosses).
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
58,834 Posts
I take it that it is beet pulp. It isn't grain. Why is it soaked? You may want to ask the previous owner why they feed it. That may help you decide to feed it or not. It isn't bad for them but it usually isn't the first choice since it is usually added to help gain weight.
 

·
Registered
Goat Mentor
Joined
·
7,389 Posts
Are the goats in good condition and good health? Usually there is a reason for feeding beet pulp, although some feed it all the time. I personally feel it is unnecessary in most situations, and I don't like to add things to my goats' diet unless I feel it benefits them in some way. I don't just feed things to feed them.

What type of hay are you feeding? Grass hay, orchard grass? Alfalfa?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are the goats in good condition and good health?

What type of hay are you feeding? Grass hay, orchard grass? Alfalfa?
To the best of my knowledge, yes, they are in generally good health/condition. In if the milking mamas is having poops that clump together, but we are fixing that with worming.

Right now, for lack of a better option/the time to find a better option hay is being bought by the bale at TSC. Not the greatest choice, but now that we've a truck, and in the next few weeks as finances settle and the pavilion is cleared, we can look for purchasing larger quantities of hay direct from a supplier/farmer.

I do not know the difference between grass and orchard hay.

How old are the goats? Are they still growing? Or are they pregnant or lactating?
The mamas are 3 and 4 and are lactating. One is just for us, one splits her milk between us and her 2 doelings. The doelings and one of the brolings are 3 mos and the other broling is 1yr.

No idea why the beets are soaked, assumably because it bulks it up as well as adds water? That's just what she told us she did and we have been trying to do exactly as she did during the transition. I can email her to ask though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,199 Posts
So, typically, 1 cup of grain and 1 cup of beet pulp per day is not going to be enough to sustain lactating does on grass hay. Is that each goat or do they share with their kids or what? It might be enough for the doe that is just feeding one three month old with no milking but the doe feeding two kids and being milked is likely going to need more on the order of pounds rather than cups.

Soaking beet pulp prevents choke, it's really a horse thing but totally fine if your goats like it soaked! It's good for calcium which they need during lactation.

How do their hips and spines feel? Sharp and pointy? Perhaps you can post some current photos of them all and we can help more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,252 Posts
As others said, beet pulp is not the same as grain. It is a fiber. It is however an excellent, very digestible fiber. We feed to ours all the time. It's good and it's good for them. It can be given dry or soaked. You do have to be careful with dry because it can cause choke. We feed it dry mixed in equal parts with grain ( a mixed feed) and alfalfa pellets to our bucks all the time. We usually give it soaked with cold water in the summer and warm water in the winter to our lactating does and kids.
In my opinion, it's just a really good animal feed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,252 Posts
They look a little thin to me, but I have mostly Nigerians which are fairly easy to keep in good condition. In fact you have to watch out to not let them get too fat.
But, we have a hard time keeping weight on one of our Toggs.
I would keep feeding the soaked beet pulp and maybe up the beet pulp and their feed a little at a time. 1 cup of feed per day is is not much for a Saanen cross. My Nigerians get more than that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,834 Posts
To answer an earlier question, Orchardgrass Hay IS one of the many Grass Hays. Hay is generally divided into grass hay and legume hay. Orchardgrass is one of the grass. Alfalfa is one of the legume.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay, update because I went and bought the feed today. They get 1cup twice per day of a mixture of: organic VT sheep/goat pellets, alfalfa pellets, BOSS and now, while flax seeds 1:1:1:1 (well, we are introducing the flax slowly, so that’s more .25 today then .5 and next week fully 1).

They also get 1c soaked beet pellets twice per day and free access to hay. Right now it is Timothy hay.

Without upping their grain, what’s a good way to bulk them up?

Which one do you want more pics of?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
Timothy hay is usually low in protein. It’s good for critters that get fat easily. Not the best for maintaining milkers.

Bulking up lactating dairy goats is hard. Don’t expect them to gain much weight or gain weight quickly until you dry them up.

Giving them a more calorie dense hay will help. Legume hays (like alfalfa and serecia) are higher in protein than grass hays. There are good grass hays out there. However, my milkers hold weight better with less grain on legumes than on grass. My buck went from a skeletal skinny thing to sleek and well conditioned on alfalfa pellets, grass hay, and a mostly clover with a little grass mixed in lawn to “mow”. No grain for him. The lactating dairy girls, however, need grain to keep their weight while milking. We’ve bred them for that for centuries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
I second not overloading them with too much BOSS and flax! Those are very potent ingredients for them. Very good in small amounts, but not in large quantities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
On pictures: get a side view from their level, and one from above to show condition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,834 Posts
@NigerianDwarfOwner707 and @singinggoatgirl are giving good advice. Just because something is good to have in the diet, does not mean that it is good to have equal amounts as everything else in the diet.

In general terms, Protein makes milk, and sugar makes fat. What you want is a nice balance that will maintain a healthy weight, and won't encourage them to put everything into milk and stay gaunt.

BTW, yours don't look skinny to me. They look like they have a few mineral deficiencies, and perhaps a parasite or two, but they do NOT look bad as far as weight goes (to my eye)

@goathiker has a very nice mix. I'll try to find it again. Here it is. https://www.thegoatspot.net/threads/favorite-goat-feed-mix-pre-or-homemade.199733/#post-2147885
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,834 Posts
Full disclosure. I'm not anti beet. I currently have shredded beet pulp out free choice because a bunch of kids had their momma's sold on them and I want to keep their weight up as they adjust to life without milk. But in a normal situation, I don't keep it out every day. This isn't normal.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top