How much to feed.... the most confusing thing I've ever wondered! help!

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by arunek, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. arunek

    arunek New Member

    8
    Mar 29, 2017
    Ok I've had my two goats for almost a month and I'm still completely confused about how much to feed them, changing it constantly, almost daily as I keep reading different things... please can you lead me in right direction.

    I have mini nubians, one is a mom in milk (1st freshening... making a quart a day - I only milk her once a day) and second is a doeling, 10 weeks old. I give them unlimited alfalfa hay (which they don't eat too much of). I also have alfalfa pellets (unlimited in a bowl), they don't seem to love those either... organic dairy pellets and organic barley grain which they will GULF down, and I know doeling isn't probably meant to eat that so I give it mainly to mom and doeling tries to grab a few bites... but the mom EATS this like mad... so I give her around 1 pound grain per day and 1 pound pellets... I also give them some green bush and tree branches, just a few from around the property that they love.

    Should I be giving the mom much more grain and pellet??? How much? And is the doeling supposed to be getting anything extra? She seems fine but the mom acts like a maniac that hasn't eaten in months when I bring the grain out and eats it like mad, so I'm wondering if I should give more but the main thing I've read about that scares me is bloat so I want to make sure to not give too much...

    Also I can't weigh her as she is big, too big for me to pick her up... maybe around a 110 pounds??? not sure.

    HELP!!!
     
  2. IHEARTGOATS

    IHEARTGOATS Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2016
    Zebulon, NC
    There is not a problem with the kid eating feed
    If you are giving free choice alfalfa then they should be fine

    What do they look like?
    Are they well conditioned ?
     

  3. I give my does in milk as much as they want on the stand while I'm milking them, twice daily. That is all the grain they get. New mamas get some grain in the kidding stall after kidding, at the same time as I milk the rest. Twice a day. I give free choice alfalfa, and my goats look good. I also have free choice Sweetlix loose mineral available to them.
     
  4. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    US
    I give my 3 milkers about 6 lbs a day altogether. 2 of them are standard Alpines and one is a ND.
     
  5. arunek

    arunek New Member

    8
    Mar 29, 2017
    Ok thanks everyone. They look okay, I am a beginner so don't have much comparison. Just seems like the moma wants SO much more grain and I'm so worried about bloat. I will try give her more I guess while I'm milking her, cause she eat the portion I give her in about 3 minutes and then kicks around while I finish milking...
     
  6. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    US
    No matter how much you give them, they will always want more. If you aren't sure about their condition you can post some photos of them and we can help you out.
     
  7. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    I agree mostly go off if condition. Think of them as kids with candy when it comes to grain. They will eat themselves sick if you let them.
    I don't raise dairy so I can't say I know how it should be done but I have a alpine I am milking that lost her kids and I do as crazydoglady does. I just get a big bowel of grain and stick in front of her and milk away. When I'm done I grab the bowel and she's done. But she's also not giving me this crazy amount of milk either so I'm done in maybe 6 minutes (guessing here)
     
  8. JK_Farms

    JK_Farms Well-Known Member

    Nov 11, 2016
    Tennessee
    I give my does a cup of sweet feed. Plus free choice hay and if they are nursing I give calf manna to some if they are skinny due to kidding.
     
  9. Dayna

    Dayna Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Pahoa Hawaii
    I give my standards about 6 pounds of goat grain/sweet cob on the stand per milking (build up to that slowly).

    I give my minis about half that, so 3 pounds roughly.

    For both it pretty much equals as much as they will eat. They seem to be full after 3/6 pounds. They also get alfalfa pellets, alfalfa/grass mix hay, and forage. Plus fresh water, loose minerals and kelp meal.
     
  10. JK_Farms

    JK_Farms Well-Known Member

    Nov 11, 2016
    Tennessee
    You guys are giving alot of feed! Mine never get that much of coarse they can graze all day with lots of grass, free choice hay sometimes, loose minerals, mineral block, and of coarse water
     
  11. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California

    Are you milking yours? When they are producing enough for their kids plus what someone is taking they need extra to meet the demand. Yes for just nursing mamas I find this a lot, but it's not the same.
     
  12. JK_Farms

    JK_Farms Well-Known Member

    Nov 11, 2016
    Tennessee
    I milk mine also. I get plenty of milk with just giving them a cup of feed
     
  13. goathiker

    goathiker I'm watching you Staff Member Supporting Member

    Part of it depends on the type and water content of your browse too. Here on the Oregon coast the plants are saturated with water, grow too fast for nutrient upload, and have little nutritional value except in August and September. .
     
  14. Dayna

    Dayna Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Pahoa Hawaii
    If I don't feed as much as I feed to my milkers and nursing mothers my girls get emaciated.
     
  15. Sounds like a lot of grain. I mix cob with a little calf manna and sunflower seeds. My goats all come into the milk room for their grain. They get 1 cup a day - milkers get a cup twice a day. One of my girls who is kind of thin gets a little more. They get chaffhaye twice a day and that mixed with grain can slow down the grain eating while I milk. They waste a lot of alfalfa so have switched to chaffhaye instead, after their feed of that I fill the feeders with orchard grass. They are in great condition and shiny so it works for me. They also get a lot of browse and right now they are eating a lot of fresh grass. Everyone does different. Mine are Nigerians. When I had Nubians I used more grain.
     
  16. Idahogoats

    Idahogoats Active Member

    192
    Sep 5, 2016
    Lenore
    It seems if we give them too much alfalfa, my Pygmy Nigerian and my Lamanchia get clumpy poop. As I understand alfalfa can be too rich for them. I have 3 wethers so I have to watch how much protein I give them, right? I am new to having goats.