I am confused about how much to feed my Nubian in milk

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by Gertie, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Gertie

    Gertie Member

    379
    Sep 2, 2012
    My Nubian kidded 3 weeks ago tomorrow. I feed her sweetfeed 18% protein. She looks like she has a beautiful udder but it's congested. I had been massaging with hot compresses and peppermint oil adding vitamin C 1000 to her grain and milking her out. It seemed to get better so I stopped. It is back congested. She gets 2lbs of the sweetfeed in the morning and 2lbs of it at night. I add a vitamin C crushed up and 1 pill of tums. I have read confusing information on too much protein. Some say it's too much and causes the congested udder and some say they need the protein. She also gets free choice Manna Pro minerals. She has been tested for CAE, CL and Johnes and all are negative. Shouldn't she be over the congested udder by now? I did start back up with the massages etc. I have been afraid the babies, (2), wasn't getting enough because I see Mamma not letting them nurse when she is eating, but when I feel their little bellies they are full. They are very active and seem healthy. Any advice is welcome.
     
  2. ptgoats45

    ptgoats45 Goat Girl

    Nov 28, 2011
    NE Oklahoma
    Molasses and too much protein is known for causing congestion in udders, usually it only occurs when they freshen then goes away but I suppose it could linger or come back if the sugar and protein aren't lowered.

    Milking does should be recieving the bulk of their protein from their hay (alfalfa) or alfalfa pellets, not their grain. Grain is more like a supplement to help keep their weight on and to boost production a little. Plus it makes a good treat on the milkstand.

    Cut the molasses and lower the protein and it should go away.
     

  3. crocee

    crocee New Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Northeast Arkansas
    She needs a whole lot more calcium than that single tums is giving her. The sweet feed is not good for goats and is probably what's causing a lot of the issues. IF she were mine I would changer her over to either alfalfa hay or pellets.
     
  4. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    I ran into the same issue in the past when I was feeding a high protein grain. 18% protein is too much for some goats and, yes, it can lead to udder congestion. 16% is plenty if she is on grass hay...if she's getting alfalfa, 12% is fine.

    I am feeding 12% grain mix to my Lamancha milkers along with very nice quality alfalfa hay. The amount of grain depends on the doe and her production...most of mine get 5-8 cups/day...sometimes more during their peak production time. I try to feed as little grain as I can to keep the girls in good condition while focusing on providing the best hay available...it seems to minimize the congestion problem.
     
  5. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Oh, and as long as the kids are gaining weight and feel full, keep them on her. They will nurse frequently which will help her production and also help clear out the swelling quicker.
     
  6. Gertie

    Gertie Member

    379
    Sep 2, 2012
    Thank you for your replies. I forgot to mention she gets unlimited grass hay too. As for the calcium, there is some in the grain. I feed Dumor pellets to one of my LaMancha's, maybe I should switch my Nubian to that or does anyone have any suggestions on what I should get? I do want a "bagged" grain and not have to mix it. I kind of thought it was too much protein. Crocee, should the Dumor pellets have enough calcium in that? Funny though she seemed to loose some weight. My DH says she would after kidding plus she looks to him like a "dairy" goat. Maybe I'm just not use to the dairy look. I like my animals with a little meat on them. Thanks everyone. ;)
     
  7. crocee

    crocee New Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Northeast Arkansas
    The bagged mixed feeds don't normally have enough calcium in them. Dairy goats sometimes look like their weight is sorta hanging after kidding. Some tend to look like this all the time and some not so much. A lot depends on how much muscle mass they have. Even with the Dumor pellets she really needs the alfalfa. I looked at the feed analysis and it only contains somewhere between .75 and 1.25 percent calcium, clearly not enough. You can weigh her milk to get an idea of how much feed she should be getting. You can also mix the feed and the alfalfa pellets together in the bowl.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  8. ptgoats45

    ptgoats45 Goat Girl

    Nov 28, 2011
    NE Oklahoma
    The best calcium for a goat is the calcium they get from alfalfa. The calcium that is put into feeds is not as readily absorbed as the calcium found in legume plants like alfalfa.
     
  9. Devin

    Devin New Member

    Feb 6, 2011
    You can add calcium by adding a couple tbs of kelp a day as well. I gave my doe 2 cups grain and a cup of alfalfa pellets with a tbs of kelp 2xs a day, I would give more alfalfa but she doesn't really like it (WEIRDO!)
     
  10. Gertie

    Gertie Member

    379
    Sep 2, 2012
    Thank you all. Boy, I certainly have a lot to learn!! I am going to go to TSC today and pick up some alfalfa pellets, where do you get the kelp? Devin what do you have for goats? Are they full size like Nubian's and LaMancha's? I will look in TSC to see if they sell kelp and if so I will pick some up. So, would a week switching her over to the Dumor pellets, alfalfa pellets and kelp be long enough or should I take a longer period to get her switched over? Crocee, I can't thank you enough for bringing to my attention the calcium. Wow, I feel bad now, my poor girl isn't getting what she needs. What about the vitamin C. Is that a good thing to give her? Thanks
     
  11. Marty1876

    Marty1876 New Member

    65
    Jan 11, 2013
    I buy my kelp online. Its cheaper. Any pure kelp, even if labeled for gardens, if its only kelp is OK. I use it as a top dressing on the milk stand.

    If your adding alfalfa pellets, that will help out for calcium for sure. I feed alfalfa hay/prarie hay to mine, but there is also some alfalfa pellets in her prepared food.

    When switiching animals foods, its best to first give them 75% old, 25% new for a 3 days, then move it to 50/50, and later to 75/25, and finally to 100% new. When I switched, I just gradually used up the old food while introducing the new.
     
  12. Devin

    Devin New Member

    Feb 6, 2011
    I have nubians :)

    Kelp can be expensives, but remember each one only gets a couple tbs a day, and I personally only give it to the milker. The breeder I bought several of my goats from gives it free choice, but I didn't want them to waste it so I top dress their food.

    I bought a smaller bag for Hoeggers goat supply online. It was cheaper and I only have a few goats (3 doe). To buy a 50# bag was just overkill for me. It has lasted me well.

    You probably know this, but just in case, make sure you buy alfalfa pellets, NOT cubes, the cubes are too big and are for cattle. I feed pellets over alfalfa hay because they waste so much of the hay and there is no waste with pellets.

    Not only does it give calcium, but it is said that alfalfa makes the milk sweater and tastes better than not feeding it. I have always fed it, so I have nothing to compare too, but that is what they tell me! And my milk was awesome! Can't wait until she kids again lol!

    My goats also get grass hay as well.
     
  13. Gertie

    Gertie Member

    379
    Sep 2, 2012
    Devin, you didn't say what kind of goats you have so I'm wondering if 2cups grain, 1 cup alfalfa pellets adn 1 TBS kelp will be enough for my Nubian and LaMancha does? I just got back from TSC with the Dumore pellets, alfalfa pellets and will have to order the kelp online. Can't wait to start switching over to the new feed. Like suggested I will do it 3 days at a time. Pretty much all we have around here is grass hay so the alfalfa pellets will be good. I hope this works to stop the congested udders!! I did notice that the Dumor grain is 16% as well as the alfalfa pellets. I hope the 2% makes that much difference. Plus NO molassas!
     
  14. Devin

    Devin New Member

    Feb 6, 2011
    Nubian :) Full size. It will depend on your does. Mine stayes chubby easily. She was a FF and giving 1/2 gal a day (pretty decent for a FF, many people have told me that FFs sometimes don't give much at all!) so I didn't feel the need to give her more.

    I feel the grain is a treat and milk production booster, but the main source of feed should be hay, browse and alfalfa. I WOULD have given her more alfalfa (2 cups a milking) but she would pick around it if given more than a cup. Given that a doe is usually only 120 to 160 pounds, 4 cups of grain and 4 cups of alfalfa a day is quite a bit IMO. Their tummies are made for browsing and eating throughout the day, and made to eat a lot of roughage, not for huge quantities of grains all at once. But each person has different methods for feeding, this is just mine :)

    She stayed chubby, and produced well and that is what the goal was. Your does may motabolize food differently, some does have a hard time keeping weight on. So you will have to experiement and see what works for your girls.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  15. Gertie

    Gertie Member

    379
    Sep 2, 2012
    Thanks Devin. I did look back and you had said you had Nubians, sorry. Well, I am on my way to cut back on the grain she is getting now,(sweetfeed) and increase the Dumor pellets and alfalfa pellets. I will have to order the kelp so that will have to wait to be added. I sure hope her udder straightens out. You know I should have known she was getting too much grain cause sometimes I would see big poop all stuck together. :eek: She is a sweet girls that's for sure. She is the loudest in the barn but I love her so much! Gosh, I love all of them! ;)
     
  16. Devin

    Devin New Member

    Feb 6, 2011
    No problem, you just didn't see it . . . I noticed that at the fair the milkers that were getting tons of grain had clumpy and somewhat messy poo as well. My doe never had that.

    The kelp won't have to be added slowely, just when you get it start giving it to her. unless she doesn't like it, then you might have to add slowely, but I didn't have a problem with it, and my girl is REALLY PICKY lol!
     
  17. Gertie

    Gertie Member

    379
    Sep 2, 2012
    Ya, can you imagine how her belly felt when she poops those big clumpy ones? Poor thing. She has enough going on without me adding to her stress. We are going to keep her doeling and buckling. The doeling is the brown one in my avatar and the black one is the buckling. We will breed the black buckling to the LaMancha does and the LaMancha to my Nubian girl and doeling to get LaMancha/Nubian crosses. Hope for high butterfat with high production. ;) Is there a name for that cross?
     
  18. Gertie

    Gertie Member

    379
    Sep 2, 2012
    Devin, we are in Maine, where are you?
     
  19. Devin

    Devin New Member

    Feb 6, 2011
    I kept both of my babies from last year, though my buckling will be for sale later this year. (So SAD! wish I could keep him, he is SO SWEET!) https://www.facebook.com/LifeSongNubians?ref=hl

    I'm in KS :) The weather right now is so up and down its driving the goats nuts! in the teens one day with blowing wind, and in the 60's another day ROFL!
     
  20. Devin

    Devin New Member

    Feb 6, 2011
    I have never heard of a name for a nubian/lamancha cross, but I've seen some really cute babies that others have posted here. we could call them Numanchas lol!