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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning, everyone. :) I’m new here, and I’m wanting to get a dairy goat and possibly a wether as a companion. I’ve been reading a lot about proper feeding, and I know wethers require different feeding than a doe in milk. I also learned that dairy goats require baking soda and that wethers shouldn’t have it or alfalfa because of urinary calculi. What would be an easy way to approach keeping them together and making sure they’re both getting what they need? I appreciate any information. :)
 

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Hi and welcome to TGS!
First, leaving baking soda out all the time is an outdated and disproved thing. ALL Goats make their own soda bicarbonate and only rarely need baking soda as a supplement, Usually for a bloat situation. If you supplement it daily they’ll stop producing their own.

Wethers can have alfalfa as long as you balance your proportion to 2:1 Phosphorus. Feed both a good grass hay Or mix, and give alfalfa pellets for balance. If your does in milk, you’ll need a good grain to help her keep up with her production.
Testing your water will also determine your feeding routine because some waters high in calcium and or iron.
Basically no baking soda, and sticking to the 2:1 ratio will keep them both fine until the doe kids then she’ll need supplements.
 

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:groupwelcome:

First off a goat, no matter the breed or type, needs baking soda offered free choice or as a regular part of their diet.

How old will the goats be when you get them?

When purchasing feed, pay attention to the calcium/phosphorus ratio on the label, and try to stay away from sweet feed. The ratio of all food sources combined needs to be at least a 2.1 higher in calcium than phosphorus for wethers. Start with the hay, different types of hay offer different calcium content. What type of hay would you be feeding them?

Get a good loose mineral and leave that out free choice for them.
 

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If you are worried about grain intake- tie both up separately when you feed grain and adjust the wether's diet according to what he needs. If you grain, the milking doe will need more grain to make more milk and keep her body condition.
 

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2.1 higher in phosphorus than calcium for wethers.
Did you mix up these two? 2 to 1 is calcium to phosphorus not phosphorus to calcium.

Hi Tiffany!

Welcome to TGS.

First of all, you will be feeding them separately as dairy goats have very different grain/feed needs :)

I recommend a baseline of a grass hay, like Bermuda, Timothy, or Orchard - they can both have this!

As for feeding time, you are correct that the doe will need alfalfa but I recommend using alfalfa pellets for this as it is easier to control than the hay.

As for the wether, will he be an adult or a kid? This changes feed requirements a lot.

Your water source also tells you whether something high in calcium like alfalfa may be safe.

Highly recommend checking out this article: https://thegivinggoat.home.blog/2020/08/18/diets-for-male-goats-how-to-prevent-urinary-calculi/
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the information! :) I’m wanting to get a kid wether and a good dairy goat from the same breeder, preferably. As far as housing, I am still planning their housing and setup. My thoughts were to have one main barn or shed for them with a paddock and make two separate feeding areas to make sure they both get their needs met. My biggest concern was making sure she had enough nutrition, which I know I’ll have to adjust periodically based on her current condition. I was also thinking of maybe dividing the paddock, so they could stay separate yet still see each other. Not sure if that’s efficient enough for a buddy system. Thoughts?
 
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