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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All!

I am considering using country feeds 17% textured goat feed for my goats I am purchasing in january. I have a few questions about the feed that I figured I would post here.

1. The feed states on the tag that adding extra selenium is prohibited. I live in northern California a selenium deficient area. Does this mean I have to follow the instruction on how much to feed exactly? So I don't have deficient goats or give way too much Selenium? Does this mean I wont do injectable selenium on pregnant does?

2. It also states to feed hay based on weight, but I've always heard and seen people feed hay free choice. Does this really matter?

Anything else I need to make sure I do?

I am planning on feeding redmond goat mineral free choice, nutrena goat feed, baking soda free choice, and grass hay free choice. Does this sound right for a lactating doe and two kids?

Thanks!

Savannah
 

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GreenTGoats
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Feed labels never give good advice.

Free choice hay is totally fine.

You will most likely need to supplement selenium. Feed alone doesn't have what they need.

I like to give my pregnant and nursing does alfalfa, high in protein and calcium.

Don't give baking soda free choice.

http://www.alafarmnews.com/index.php/battling-bloat
 

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Feed labels cover the manufacturers' hide ;) I use Nutrena, and I like it better than the purina noble goat (plus its a little more friendly with my budget). I would say you are fine free feeding, and continuing to offer your choice mineral. Especially if you are using it to supplement--or as a treat on the stand etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Feed labels never give good advice.

Free choice hay is totally fine.

You will most likely need to supplement selenium. Feed alone doesn't have what they need.

I like to give my pregnant and nursing does alfalfa, high in protein and calcium.

Don't give baking soda free choice.

http://www.alafarmnews.com/index.php/battling-bloat
How much alfalfa do you give to your does? Alfalfa free choice or portioned amounts? I'll be getting mini nubians so the amounts may be different for me.
 

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I do think you need to add alfalfa hay or alfalfa pellets to your plan - that feed does not have a good calcium to phosphorus ratio so you need the alfalfa to bump up the calcium content of their diets a bit!

I agree, no need to offer baking soda free choice - that advice is everywhere but completely unwarranted.

You should certainly plan to use a selenium supplement - BoSE injectable or oral selenium gel.
 

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I actually am going to recommend the use of free choice baking soda **during lactation**. I was always skeptical about how much good it could really do, and since I never had bloated goats or obvious acidosis issues, I never offered it. However, this year when I started my goats on DHIR milk testing, the entire herd had a protein inversion, where the protein level of the milk is greater than the butterfat percentage. Protein inversions are indicative of ruminal upsets/acidosis. My goats were being free fed alfalfa and only getting a couple pounds of grain while on the milk stand, and I believed I wasn't feeding grain in enough quantity to cause acidosis issues. However, once I learned of the inversion, I began offering baking soda free choice, and the inversion was resolved for the rest of the lactation.

I only leave it out free choice for the pens with lactating does though, as they're the only ones that are given grain. Now that I have enough pens to separate everyone by their stage of growth/production, I will also be feeding grain to my weaned kids, and plan to leave baking soda free choice for them next year too.
 

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I use the Replamin plus gel, and Payback goat minerals, alfalfa pellets or Chaffhaye always, local hay, and this feed as well.... The feed in and of itself is not a well balanced feed, but it’s a good grain, my goats love it...
 

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So what’s the thought in not offering baking soda free choice. We have for years and if nothing else the does like it :). We also have never had a gut issue and it’s not expensive. It there a reason other than you just don’t think it’s needed?
 

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Hi Savannah, welcome to TGS.

You will need more Selenium than provided in your chosen feed. I'm unfamiliar with your chosen mineral, the Redmond Goat Mineral? What is the selenium level in that? Here is a pdf of the tag of the minerals I use

https://www.ourcoop.com/productcatalog/Main/PdfViewer.aspx?el=58310

I have trouble enough keeping up with my goats' demand for the minerals I use and the free choice kelp. I don't bother with baking soda. But I have friends who do.

I usually feed grass hay and alfalfa pellets. I still supplement selenium and copper.
 

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Is this your mineral?

http://www.redmondagriculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RedEdgeGoat5lbFlyer.pdf

If so, that is a lot of salt and not a lot of copper. Your goats will probably like it because of the salt, but they will stop eating when they've had enough salt and maybe not get enough other minerals.

Keep an eye on your goats and be ready to supplement individual minerals, like copper, when you need to.

I like it as a loose salt lick, I would not use it here as a mineral lick, though. In the heat of the Summer, which is when I go for additional salt, I will definitely keep this in mind!

If this is not what you mean, could you let me know? I love learning about mineral mixes.
 

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So what's the thought in not offering baking soda free choice. We have for years and if nothing else the does like it :). We also have never had a gut issue and it's not expensive. It there a reason other than you just don't think it's needed?
The baking soda buffers the pH of the rumen. A goat fed a species-appropriate diet has a rumen that functions just fine! Goats consume the baking soda because they enjoy the salt. However, that means they intake less of the the offered loose minerals which also contain salt.

I do use baking soda as a tool - I put out a pan on very lush spring pastures when they are first out to graze. And some producers feed their goats silage, in which case I believe baking soda should be offered all the time.
 

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That is what I was told, that it decreases the drive to lick minerals and that it alkalinizes (alkafies?) the urinary system and that system needs to be acid for protection against stones and infections. I have not done that milk test mentioned above, but I have seen no problems and don't want to mess with it.

That is good to know about the silage part. Thanks Saltey.
 

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I use that Nutrena grain. I've had very good results with it. However, between my well water (high calcium, high iron) and the deficiency in certain natural minerals in our soil and the local hay, I DO supplement with copper (boluses), selenium (BoSE once a year) and loose minerals. I also have a couple of goats that seem to need extra zinc.
 

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