Feeding confusion

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by billmac, May 28, 2009.

  1. billmac

    billmac Member

    Sep 8, 2008
    I have two boers, 4 and 6 months old, two pygmys, about the same ages, and 3 nubian kids, about 6 weeks old.

    I feed them hay and I feed them 16% textured dairy goat grain. The kids get free choice, and the 4 others get about 2.5 lbs total, twice a day.

    Thus far, I have given them no supplements. I bought a mineral block but they don't touch it.

    They seem to be doing fine, but I have little experience so I don't know if they are growing as fast as they should.

    Should I be doing things differently? I assume there are minerals in the goat grain but I don't know if that is enough. I have a friend who feeds yeast to his goats every day, but I'm not sure why.
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    I dont know the need for the yeast but I do know that your goats will do much better with a loose mineral as opposed to a mineral block.

  3. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    There are some minerals in the grain, but the thing with premixed grains and even pre mixed loose minerals is they are formulated for goats from florida to california to washington to main and every sate in between. Most goats are under dosed on most minerals. so while i do give purina loose goat mineral i do have to suppliment extra with copper and selinium. Dairy kids at six weeks are usually between twenty and thirty lbs...at least my kids are. some a little less some a little more. but thats the average. Im not sure on the others as i only have dairy goats.
  4. billmac

    billmac Member

    Sep 8, 2008
    Sparks: What made you decide that your goats needed extra copper and selenium?

    Are loose minerals fed on their own, or do you mix them with the food?

    The nubian doelings are about 19-20 lbs and the buck is 25+
  5. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    Well im in washington which is a low selinium area. You can usually tell if you have kids born with retracted tendons. The same happens with horses.
    As for copper check out your goats tail, if they are low in copper the end of it will be bald. You will see what is known as a fish tail and this is exactly what it looks like. Also goats lacking on copper will change color. Around the upper parts of their front legs and thighs. Black goats turn a ressish color, toggs and lavender alpines will turn a yellowy brown color. another good sign is a rough dull goat. goats that are getting proper mineral amounts will have a somewhat soft and shiny coat even in winter. If your doe feels like a bristle pad, her hair is growing in odd abgles more then likey she is lacking minerals.
  6. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    beth.......that is very informative...........all those signs are good to know....thank you......... :wink: :greengrin:
  7. Zelda

    Zelda Guest

    May 2, 2009
    I was reading up on feeding yeast and wanted to add this information.

    The yeast fed to goats is a nutritional yeast, I just started feeding Diamond V yeast to mine. It is supposed to be very good for replenishing flora in the rumen, and feeding yeast is supposed to raise the stomach pH. Why would you want to do that? Well, say you have a heavy milker that has to eat a lot of grain. She is prone to acidosis because of the grain (that would be low stomach pH). If she is fed nutritional yeast, it can help prevent the low stomach pH and help her utilize the grain better. I've read it can be added to grain or mixed with the minerals.

    There are studies on it's use, so it's not just anecdotal info.

    My anecdote is that when I put some out, my thin doe gobbled it up. She seems to think she needs it. We shall see if it helps her.

    ETA: Baking soda is similar, but the goat eats it after their stomach becomes too acidic. Yeast is supposed to prevent it from becoming too acidic in the first place.
  8. badnewsboers

    badnewsboers New Member

    May 9, 2008
    Newport, NC
    With your Boer kids they should be gaining about a 1/2 lb a day.
  9. I tried quite a bit of things and found, with help of course, that a premixed food made at my local mill is cheaper, and healthier. I for one now only pay 12.35 for every 100lbs of feed. 1500lbs cost me about 180.00. That is much cheaper for me then the 7-10.00 I paid for premixed food I had no clue what was in them. I raise meat goats so the feed is a mix I got from another breeder that we doctored to better our goats here. If you like I can post the mix but it would not be the same for dairy. I for one am not experienced to tell you what would be better for dairy goats.
  10. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    John-Derek Gray...I'd be very interested ..........please PM me about it....I also raise meat goats................thanks
  11. Sent but here for others...If you need more you of course double it. Less divide by two. Again, this mix started with another breeder and I custimized that to fit me and my needs. I know my mill will only let you do as little as 500lbs at a time, less then that will not mix well. This is about 1500lbs mix give or take.

    The feed looks like this...

    500lbs Chipped corn
    350lbs Oat Pellets
    150lbs Soybean MEAL (Great for protein)
    100lbs Wet Molasses
    8lbs Salt (Double in the summer 16lbs)
    17lbs Calcium
    35lbs BOSS (Black Oil Sunflower Seeds) -- Needed in ALL goat feed for selenium. You will never see Floppy kid syndrome with this in your feed.
    50lbs Soybean Hulls (Great for Fiber)
    35lbs Goat Mineral (Which has the Copper needed in Goats)
    4lbs ammonium chloride (Very Important for farms with boys, this will keep from having the stones and urinary problems that can come with any feed) If you do not use this I would recommend Fast Track. Either one will work but I would choose one of the two.
    Vitamins A,D, and E (Very Important...)
  12. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    I was over at the dairy the other day, and one of the does was looking very copper defficiant. We took some pictures i will get them up as soon as vicki emails them to me.