Goats getting bored with their food...?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by FunnyRiverFarm, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    I've been feeding my goats a mixture of 16% sweet feed, alfalfa pellets, and BOSS. They used to be very enthusiastic about getting fed and would clean everything up within a few minutes. Now they get kind of excited when they see me coming with the feed pail, but as soon as I put it in front of them they're like "oh, that again..." and Just kind of pick at it throughout the day. They always finish it up by the end of the day but don't really act like they enjoy it that much...I am worried that they might stop eating it altogther...

    I don't think I am giving them too much...they each get about 2 cups of the grain mixture plus a handful of BOSS...and they are 80lb LaMancha doelings. They always have browse and alfalfa hay available.

    They are not sick...they are as active and bright eyed as they've ever been. I think they've just gradually lost interest in what I'm feeding them.

    Is there anything I can change/do to keep them interested?? I am planing on breeding them this month and want to make sure they stay in good condition throughout their pregnancies...
     
  2. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    Hmmm. One thing I'd maybe try is taking their bowl of food away from them after about 10 minutes or so. Not sure if it will do much good but for them to know that the bowl won't be there all day and to eat it up quick. :shrug:

    Also, 2 cups seems like quite a bit for dry does. That's about what we give to our lactating girls. But we do have miniatures, so that's different. Not much else I can think of now. . . . our goats seem to never get bored with their food. :roll:
     

  3. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    some goats simply do get bored with what they are eating. You could try adding some rolled oats to the mixture. or even a handful of beet pulp, but if you add something make sure you back off a little of what they had before so essentially its the same amount just something different.
    beth
     
  4. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    maybe experiment with it.............sounds like they are getting bored or not liking something..................take 1 of the types of grain....and see if they ....go for it big time....do this with each of the grains until you find...... what they are not liking.......when you do ....next time feeding put in a little(very little) in the mix.......so they will not know the difference.......maybe increase it day by day.....and if they get to the point again......... that they do not like it.........then back off a little more..........so they will eat it...........
    find what.... they do not like.....so they are not skipping all the grains..... you want to give them.... :)
     
  5. Pam B

    Pam B New Member

    175
    Oct 15, 2007
    Southern Michigan
    Are they in heat? My girls always go a bit off feed while they are in active heat. Then when they cycle out of it they get enthusiastic about eating their grain again. Since it's that time of year when does are more interested in boys than anything else, it could just be that they have other things on their mind.

    There are some people who don't feed their dry does grain at all. Maybe you should try cutting back on their grain ration, or maybe skip a feeding and see what happens.
     
  6. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Sometimes I think it depends not only if they are coming into heat, but what the weather is! And how active they are! If there is a cold streak coming on, they eat more. If coming into heat, they arent as interested.
    I have left pans out for my 9 mo olds that never get all eaten. This is 4 "little girls" with 1lb feed. I dont worry about it so long as they are eating hay drinking & pooping fine. :wink:
     
  7. heathersboers

    heathersboers New Member

    629
    Sep 5, 2008
    Wilson N.C.
    I guarantee you that if you add about a half cup of corn to their diet-They will eat better-we did it when our goats did like yours-they are eating the feed as well as the corn.
     
  8. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Thanks for the replies!

    I guess their disinterest could be due to breeding season. Now that I think about it, they first started ignoring their food around the same time they began cycling this fall. I might try decreasing what I feed a bit over the next couple of weeks and see how it goes...I hate to take it away completely because they've grown so well for me over the past few months. I have skipped a day before when I wasn't home to feed them their grain and they did seem a bit happier to get it...so maybe I am giving them too much at once. Maybe they're inbetween growth spurts or something and don't need as much. As long as they're healthy and keeping weight on, I know I shouldn't worry...but it's hard not to...lol...

    heathersboers--I know they love corn, so I might try to use that trick in the future when they're in milk or I need to put weight on them.
     
  9. Pam B

    Pam B New Member

    175
    Oct 15, 2007
    Southern Michigan
    Don't overdo it on the corn. Corn can cause major tummy troubles for goats.
     
  10. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Pam B--thanks for the tip...what do you think the cut-off amount for corn should be (full-sized dairy goats)? I definitely don't want to cause any troubles by giving them too much. Right now they only get it occasionally for a treat (other than the small amount that's in their food)...I have never given them more than one ear (to share) at a time. They usually eat the cob and everything...
     
  11. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA New Member

    25
    Nov 11, 2007
    Northeast Georgia
    I agree with toth boer goats. I assume you are mixing ingredients? Did you change to a new bag of one of the ingredients at about the same time this started? Before I started adding anything I'd try to find out if one of the three things is different so that they don't like it, maybe a different odor.

    Can you try feeding sweet feed alone, then alfalfa pellets alone, then the BOSS? See if there's one they don't like.

    Or maybe the mixture has gone a little stale. If they like all three separately, then mix up a new batch.
     
  12. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Nancy_in_GA--I don't remember if I started a new bag or not when I noticed them not eating as well...I'll have to do a test like you and toth boer goats suggested...I know that sometimes my guinea pigs turn up their noses at food from a new bag...even when it's the same brand! There must be slight variances in "batches" that only they can smell and taste.

    I don't mix my ingredients together ahead of time--I mix it daily right before I give it to them...they're all still in their own separate bags so if I did happen to get a "bad" bag of something I can just get rid of that without tossing everything...
     
  13. heathersboers

    heathersboers New Member

    629
    Sep 5, 2008
    Wilson N.C.
    Our goats started eating alfalfa pellets pretty good, and then they didn't want them anymore after about a month-Could it be that?? :shrug:
     
  14. deenak

    deenak New Member

    296
    Oct 10, 2007
    Ames Iowa
    My goats are not eating as much grain right now because they are eating every leaf on the ground. It makes my kids happy to have a few less leaves to rake. At the end of some days they look like little buddhas. The next day the barn is a mess to clean up. I think fall is their favorite season.
     
  15. Pam B

    Pam B New Member

    175
    Oct 15, 2007
    Southern Michigan
    I think the rule is no more than 20% of their feed ration as corn. The occasional ear to share is OK.