Feeding During Gestation

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Candy, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. Candy

    Candy Guest

    May 14, 2008
    Does anyone use this information when feeding pregnant does? I found it to be very interesting! I was taken from Maxine Kinne's website on the care of the WAD (West African Dwarf)

    "This summarizes an article from The Journal of Agricultural Science (1992), written by Dr. A.I.A. Osuagwuh, of the Department of Veterinary Surgery and Reproduction, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, who conducted a study on nutrition during gestation entitled, "Effects of Strategic Feed Supplementation During Pregnancy on Birth Weight and Perinatal Survival of West African Dwarf Kids." In an earlier study, Dr. Osuagwuh demonstrated a positive relationship between crude protein intake and fetal weight gain.

    In this study, varied measured amounts of concentrates (grain) were fed to three separate groups of pregnant West African Dwarf Goats (WAD), the distant ancestors of American Pygmies. The experiment assessed the impact of varying levels of nutrition on birthing ease, fetal birth weights, neonatal vigor, and neonatal weight gain during the first month of life. The mothers' udder capacities was measured, and milk production in each group was reflected in the kids' daily weight gains. Forage (hay) was continuously available, as were water and salt licks.

    Fifteen WAD does were randomly divided into three equal groups, each confined to its own pen for the duration of the study. Each doe was individually bred to the same buck when she came into heat. Each group received a specific quantity of grain supplement at different gestational periods. All births were observed for difficulties, and each doe raised her own litter. All newborns were weighed within 24 hours of birth, and again weekly until 28 days of age, to determine average daily gain. Each doe's udder circumference was measured on the day after she gave birth. Kid mortality was recorded and necropsy determined the cause of each death."

    Group A
    day 1 - term--1 cup

    Group B none
    1 cup
    1/2 cup
    day 1 - 60--none
    61 - 120--1 cup
    121 - term--1/2 cup

    Group C
    1 cup
    day 1 - 60--none
    61 - 120--1/2 cup
    121 - term--1 cup

    Average weight at breeding was 61 pounds, ± 6.5 lbs.
    It was not noted whether any does had previously reproduced.
    Gestation length averaged 146.5 days across all groups.

    Group A

    Received concentrates throughout pregnancy
    Had the only kidding problems in the study
    Kidding problems were due to large fetuses - 2 of the 5 does required Caesarian section
    Absolute fetal oversize occurred when the fetuses were 3.63 pounds.
    Fetal growth rate pattern in the WAD makes a high level of feeding unnecessary from days 1-70
    A high level of feeding is not necessary between days 1-70
    A high level of feeding is not necessary between days 120 to term

    Group B Received concentrates at optimal time for fetal growth and survival
    Had moderately sized kids with no problem births and no deaths
    Kids had the highest average daily weight gain
    Concentrate restrictions during pregnancy did not affect birth weights, survival or growth rates
    Concentrate feeding between days 61-120 is the most important period for strong, survivable kids

    Group C
    (underfed) Received less concentrate days 61-120, part of the critical period of fetal growth (days 90-120)
    Had very low birth weights, weak kids at birth and the only deaths in the study (45% died)
    Neonatal death was preceded by progressive weight loss and weakness - cause of death was starvation
    Milk production in the mothers was equal to the other groups
    Neonatal deaths were related to reduced concentrate feeding between days 61-120
    The 5 living kids gained one-third less weight in their first month than kids in the other groups
    Increased concentrates in the last month did not improve birth weights, survival or growth rates

    Overall, this study points out that:
    * Goat fetuses do not grow much during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
    * The WAD doe does not need grain until 60 days after breeding.
    * Heavy concentrate feeding during late gestation leads to obstetric problems.
    * Reducing grain intake in the last month of gestation does not significantly affect birth weight.
    * Reducing grain intake in the last month of gestation does not significantly affect the kids' neonatal performance.
    * Supplements are the most valuable in the middle of gestation when fetal growth is most affected by it.

    Candy :sun:
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    yup thats how I feed -- I found it works really well. I dont talk about it much because it isnt popular in the goat raising world so I just do my own thing and let everyone do theirs.

    I know it seems weird to cut back on feed before kidding but having to big kids from the moms to deliver isnt something I want.

  3. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Exactly Stacey!

    Mine do get a handful of feed from day 1 on to day 60....but I don't increase at all til the week before they are due, gives them something more to add to milk production.
  4. BeeLady

    BeeLady New Member

    Wow, great information. I have had my does on about 1/4 cup of feed 2x a day and now they are about 90 days pregnant and their appetites have increased hugely. They are really grazing more intently and seem hungrier. I will increase their grain for another month. They will love it!

    thanks for posting this.
  5. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    This study was done with pygmies but I am sure the basics are the same
  6. Candy

    Candy Guest

    May 14, 2008
    Yes, the WAD is a pygmy. I would think that if you're raising the larger breeds you would have to increase the basic feed amounts accordingly.
    Candy :sun:
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    possibly - but dont all kids in utero (sp?)grow at the same rates and have the same needs? I dont know - just throwing questions out there.
  8. lesserweevil

    lesserweevil New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Mm but a bigger goat needs more food normally anyway - because... it's bigger. So... bigger babies for bigger goats probably need a bit extra food. I plan to feed Demi like I do my sheep before they lamb. This year anyway, and see how it goes.