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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I have 3 wethers and when I got my goats (nigerian dwarfs) I was told by the breeder that I should feed them grain. I only feed them a bit everyday (less than 1/4 cup). A few of the articles on this platform are saying that wethers shouldn't get grain at all though so I'm a bit confused. They're about a year old and I put ammonium chloride in with their grain. I did have a few issues with them not peeing enough (I also realised they weren't drinking enough water) but then I just started feeding them a lot less grain. Someone please help:)
 

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Wethers do not need grain as they are not "on duty" so do not need the extra calories. Especially ND who tend to get a bit too chunky..So as long as they are not thin.. I wouldnt feed grain. Also grain increases the phos. In their diet increasing the chance of UC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would not recommend feeding grain to year old wethers unless their condition is bad. But we do need to make sure the rest of their diet is balanced too, so please tell us what else you feed!! :):)
Okay. I just don't know if I should just stop feeding them grain because it is a balanced/correct ratio (calcium to phosphorus). Other than the grain, they get grass hay, free choice baking soda, mineral/salt block and their pasture has some taller grass in it that they eat a bit
 

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Okay. I just don't know if I should just stop feeding them grain because it is a balanced/correct ratio (calcium to phosphorus). Other than the grain, they get grass hay, free choice baking soda, mineral/salt block and their pasture has some taller grass in it that they eat a bit
Well baking soda is a BIG problem for wethers. It de-acidifies their urine, and urine must remain acidic to prevent the buildup of stones. It also deactivates ammonium chloride. Grass hay is good for wethers, I would replace the baking soda with some free choice kelp. Kelp is lovely for wethers, it provides a gentle source of calcium, and is safer than alfalfa for them. Unfortunately, mineral blocks and salt blocks do not provide enough minerals for goats. Their tongues are very soft, they cannot get enough from the blocks - in addition, blocks are mostly salt, and do not have enough minerals even if the goats could lick enough of it. I recommend buying a high quality loose mineral, such as Sweetlix Meat Maker 16:8, Purina Wind Rain & Storm Cattle mineral, or perhaps you have some other local minerals near you that would be good - where are you located?

Do you have hard well water or hard water in general?

I just don't know if I should just stop feeding them grain because it is a balanced/correct ratio (calcium to phosphorus).
Can you elaborate on what you mean here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah I know what you mean. I’ve been trying to get loose minerals from amazon but right now they’re sold out. I live in southern Ontario and there aren’t many people around here that have goats so I looked at one of my local stores and they didn’t have any loose minerals. I’m not sure what to do about the baking soda because the breeder was the one who told me to leave it out free choice for them. Would you say that I should stop using baking soda completely?
 

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Would you say that I should stop using baking soda completely?
Yes, but wean them off over the course of a couple days.
I live in southern Ontario
Aha, yes minerals are difficult in CA. I recently discovered this one: https://www.masterfeeds.com/nutrition/ritemins-ranch-n-range-beef-mineral-salt/
See if it is available in any of your stores or if they can get it!

Baking soda is somewhat "safe" for female goats, and some breeders don't usually recognize the difference between their health needs and the needs of wethers.
 
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