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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I have my goats on a grain and hay diet, with pasture that is just starting to come back to life. Anyway, I want to get them off grain and get them started on loose minerals I bought. How should I go about getting them off grain, without stressing them? I still have some I have to use up though. Also, the minerals I got my goats love! How can I offer it free choice without them eating all of it?

Thanks!
 

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How old are your goats? I am only aware of the 2 kids being mentioned in previous posts. The kids will need to receive feed for several months or more in order to achieve maximum growth and not be stunted. (Grained my kids until they were approximately a year old.)

Over time you will notice the goats consume more loose minerals some days and other days may not even want any at all. Since minerals are just now being introduced, they may be consuming extra amounts to replenish what may have been lacking. When I notice my goats have licked up all of the minerals sat out for them, they get an even larger amount offered the next several days until the consumption slacks off again.

Anyway, I want to get them off grain and get them started on loose minerals I bought.
Don't fully understand what you are trying to ask or say in the sentence above. Would you please explain further?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How old are your goats? I am only aware of the 2 kids being mentioned in previous posts. The kids will need to receive feed for several months or more in order to achieve maximum growth and not be stunted. (Grained my kids until they were approximately a year old.)
I only have two adult goats, about 2 years old.

Don't fully understand what you are trying to ask or say in the sentence above. Would you please explain further?
I want to stop feeding my goats grain, and raise them on pasture/hay with free choice loose minerals for ammonium chloride and such.
 

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I only have two adult goats, about 2 years old.
I apologize for thinking you had kids and not adult goats. Since you mentioned ammonium chloride and their ages, I now know you have adult males. As ksalvagno stated above, gradually decrease the amount of grain being given over a period of time.

With males, providing a diet that consists of a 2.1 - 2.5 calcium to phosphorus ratio is important. Depending on the type of hay you feed and how balanced the cal to pho ratio is of that type of hay, along with accounting for the amount of browse being consumed, and whether or not the drinking water is calcium rich; it may be necessary to add a calcium rich food source or supplement to maintain that balance. Kelp and alfalfa pellets are 2 good sources for upping the calcium content if needed.

Also important for male goats is making sure they drink an abundant amount of water to keep their urinary tract flushed out. (at the least a gallon per day) Research has shown UC to be more common during the winter months due to the water freezing and the goats plain not drinking as much as they do in warmer weather. The salt content of loose minerals, rock and/or block licks encourages more water consumption. I personally provide electrolyte water on and off during the winter months if my wethers aren't drinking enough. My boys will suck down electrolyte water in a heartbeat, they love the taste of it.
 

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There is information available about urinary calculi and the causes, the signs and symptoms of a blockage, ways to treat the condition if and when it occurs, and nutritional content of various food sources which contains the amounts of calcium and phosphorus so the ratios can be calculated. The key to handling UC in males is in fine tuning their diet in such a way the calcium to phosphorus levels are within the 2.1 - 2.5 ratios and insuring they are consuming enough water. There are many contributing factors towards determining those ratios and how to balance their diets. It is a very individualized determination and trust me, there is no one size fits all. Just because "X" feeds this type of diet, it may not fit the circumstances for your wethers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My one goat has been pooping out clumping. It is like a bunched of pellets stuck together. I have been letting them out of their pen to walk in the woods and eat some green. Could this be why?
 

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Ummm, I think you have me confused with someone else. I never posted anything about green goopy eyes.
That could be the case, and I'm sorry. This new format doesn't allow for the threads to be marked as watched any longer and is proving to be difficult to reply to the correct threads when doing a follow up. Edited the goof post to provide more information for you about UC.
 

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My one goat has been pooping out clumping. It is like a bunched of pellets stuck together. I have been letting them out of their pen to walk in the woods and eat some green. Could this be why?
More than likely. I read where another member called it the "spring poops". Mine were turned out for the first time yesterday and I offered a small dish of baking soda for them yesterday evening. I will provide small amounts of baking soda for the next couple of days only and they probably won't need any more until net spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
More than likely. I read where another member called it the "spring poops". Mine were turned out for the first time yesterday and I offered a small dish of baking soda for them yesterday evening. I will provide small amounts of baking soda for the next couple of days only and they probably won't need any more until net spring.
Thanks for all your help!
 
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