How to fill up the 'hungry hollow'?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by keren, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    By hungry hollow I mean the area in front of their hips that sinks in when a goat doesnt have a nice full belly.

    My girls have their grain/chaff mix morning and night, a very generous amount. They have free choice hay and 5 acres of grazing and browsing.

    Most of the time they look nice and full. Occasionally my saanen doe violet is very hollow in the belly. She's not skinny, but she looks it when her belly is empty like that. Its not a nice look.

    Any tricks for keeping them filled up? I dont have any problems with the nubians, just miss violet.
  2. Breezy-Trail

    Breezy-Trail Senior Member

    Sep 16, 2011
    Sprakers, New York
    I have the same problem with my saanen doe (more so when in milk).

    I learned to not fret over it as it doesn't seem to stay away.
    Its just a couple morning hours then she gets hay, browse and a nibble of grain.
    Then it seems to go away.

    I am noticing that if I make sure theres hay at all times (usually stock 1-2 times a day) that I don't see as much.
    Also now that she is dry and pregnant she is putting some weight back on.

  3. bradboy

    bradboy New Member

    Apr 23, 2013
    SW Missouri
    does this spot have a name? I have one that looks like this, and it was causing me some worry until I read this post. I'm hoping to start learning the goat-speak lingo!
  4. mjs500doo

    mjs500doo Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Boyd, Wisconsin
    Usually just referred to the me this is a screaming indicator of dairy character. An indication of rumen space, which melts down to production. Body capacity equals production. Do you have a pic?? You want a happy medium. Not empty and taut, but not so full that the barrel is bulging.
  5. russellp

    russellp RussellP

    Apr 10, 2013
    Riceville, Tennessee
    I have a Saanen buck and he eats constantly, 20 acres of brush and browse, available hay and sweet feed. I think some breeds are just naturally lean.

    Attached Files:

  6. gardenbhean

    gardenbhean New Member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Mt. Shasta Valley
    I was a little concerned about this on my own Saanen buck, good to know it's normal.
  7. bradboy

    bradboy New Member

    Apr 23, 2013
    SW Missouri
    Just for my understanding, if the barrel looks a bit on the thin side like the guy in the pic, it's probably a dairy breed? (assuming the animal isn't starved)
  8. mjs500doo

    mjs500doo Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Boyd, Wisconsin
    Dairy breeds are TYPICALLY leaner. Bred for production, not meat (muscle and fat). A chubby or over muscled doe is not appealing to me here, unless she's dry. Once she comes in milk though, I expect her to milk off her dry fat, and lose weight.

    When you look at a goat from above, she shouldn't (or he) look as flat as a board. For example, her shoulder width and hip width are normally about the same, but the barrel and ribs should be broad and wide. Not fat, which you can manually grab with your hands. Condition is key. I guess when it boils down, most of the time the thinner goats are dairy or dairy cross. Not all the time, so don't use just that to look into. Boers get the empty barrel look too, just depends on their fill for that particular moment.