Help w/Diet

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by DebMc, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. DebMc

    DebMc Member

    845
    Dec 10, 2009
    Hi,

    I have 3 Angora does. Two are at least 5 years old; the third is less than a year. All refuse to eat grass hay of any kind. I was told by 3 different friends that alfalfa hay alone contains too much protein so a few weeks ago, at the recommendation of 2 others, including my kid doe's breeder, I switched them over to pellets, which also eliminates the tangled mohair problems caused by laying in the stubble. Well, the girls won't eat the pellets either. I've tried alf blended w/tim and alf/bermuda, and they won't eat either. I am feeding them about 8 cups of pellets mixed w/2-3 cups of Purina goat chow twice a day. The bulk of the pellets are spilled onto the ground waiting for me to shovel up and discard at the next feeding. They are picking out the goat chow (16% protein and 9% crude fiber), however, and eating that.

    I'm worried my finnicky eaters are not getting enough fiber, nor the nutrition they need. Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am new to goats and could use some sound advice.


    TIA,

    Deb Mc
    Desert Hills, AZ
     
  2. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    I would stop feeding the grain and only offer the pellets for a few days. If they are hungry enough they will eventually eat them and figure out that they are not so bad after all. As long as they know they are going to get the goat chow 2 times a day they will ignore the hay pellets.
     

  3. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I agree...being new to goats you will soon learn just how well they train you.
    We worry they aren't getting enough of what they need so we add little yummy things to make sure they are happy, but when those yummy things disappear they protest by not eating at all, so we give in and go back to the previous.

    Put out the hay pellets and no grain, and put out just half the amount of pellets you are trying to get them to eat, they will eat them once they realize you won't give in to their goat trickery. :wink:
     
  4. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I would just stick with alfalfa hay -- thats all mine get and they are happy and healthy. :thumb:
     
  5. DebMc

    DebMc Member

    845
    Dec 10, 2009
    Thanks, guys! I needed to hear that. I'd been thinking about eliminating the chow to see if that might change the perceived palatability of the hay pellets and your suggestions finally nudged me into action. As of this morning, I also cut back on the amount of pellets. In response, the girls decided to eat the turkeys' gamebird crumbles. Guess I'll have to start feeding the turks in their coop before letting them out to free range. They and the goats share a yard and the toms actually guard the does, will attack my choredog if they think she's overstepped her authority. Feathers, fur and fleece - what a mix!

    Deb Mc