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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We took in two boer does, aged 6 & 4 years, from friends today. They, the previous owners, hadn't been able to control the goats feeding and diet due to a bad situation at the boarding facility. As a result, both are quite overweight, I'd guess thirty to forty pounds each. They look five months pregnant but we know its extra weight, gained slowly from wrong food, extra food and little exercise.
My plan is to give them good alfalfa free feed, plenty of fresh water, and a two thousand sq foot run available 24/7 for exercise. No grains, kitchen or garden scraps. I'm basing this on reading not experience and wanted to ask for input. Is there anything else I should be doing? Temps here are 110+ most days so forcing them to exercise seems cruel. My reading led me to think if the alfalfa is always there, they will begin to regulate their intake on their own?

Thanks!
 

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I wouldnt make too sudden of changes...slowly decrease their grain ration until they are down to where you want them or off feed...alfalfa is good, but I would also add coastal type hay..and of course fresh water...you also need to add loose minerals
 

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If they need to loose weight I would give them a horse quality first cut hay,Timothy or orchard grass ,and not alfalfa,and very little or no grain,good free choice mineral and water,also they may or may not have browse in there pen
 

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I'm in the same boat with one of my does.. She is FAT! She get like no grain (only a few pieces while I feed the jr does) and they get hay twice a day... But she lays around a lot so that doesn't help any lol!

She has lost some weight after I cut out her grain.. She gets excited and runs around with the jr does when I walk down with grain so that helps a little.. We take her for walks when possible.. It takes a while and is work but you can get them to where they need to be :)

And If you can get enough weight off to breed them, nursing kids will take some weight off too :)
 

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As a result, both are quite overweight, I'd guess thirty to forty pounds each.
What are you basing your determination that they are overweight on? No, a goat that has free-choice alfalfa will not regulate their eating. They will pick and choose the best parts, pig out and become fat, and waste a lot of hay in the process. If you're looking to slim down your girls, the last thing you want to feed is alfalfa - the protein content is too high. You would be much farther ahead to feed a high quality grass hay of some type.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They were eating alfalfa at the boarding facility, so they have both available, horse grade alfalfa along with Timothy hay. I was wondering about the protein being too high, I wouldn't give a rabbit alfalfa in summer unless I wanted fat, lazy bunnies.
I'll wean them off the alf, they can't get to grains, those are secured near my dairy herd.
I recalled someone asking how I decided they are fat. Where they used to live there were no bucks. Plus, it was a small place in an urban area so I doubt a local buck could have visited. I asked about bloating, perhaps worms. Both does slowly put on weight after weaning their last kids. While the one looks pudgy, the other looks like she has saddlebags. But I do plan to watch carefully for any signs that an errant buck is involved, or if healthy changes don't make even small losses.

Thanks for the input :)

In peace,

Annette
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone who posted!

We've had them nine days now and got some more info on their old home. Each was given two full flakes of alfalfa daily and lived in ten x ten enclosures, so no exercise.

We have them on all the fresh grass they want, along with limited alfalfa - which they've all but stopped eating, preferring grass. Their pen is about 1400 square feet with mounds, rocks and logs for playing.

When they arrived, both looked like they were five months pregnant, that's the level of "fat" they had. I'd guess each has lost several pounds already, they no longer look pregnant and today, they trotted to me! These girls could barely walk comfortably, now they can move with some fluidity :) made me so happy to see them having fun!

Again, thanks for all the advice. The Goat Spot rocks!

In peace,

Annye
 

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Awe...sounds like they will be much happier...and healthier..keep up the great work with them...
 
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