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I know this site is more about the male side of goats, but I was hoping someone could help me with an overweight doe problem.

Emma is 17 months old and an Oberhasli. She is in a pen with 3 other girls (same age, one other Ober and 2 Alpines). Emma is overweight. All the other girls are trim and nice looking and Emma is just plain 'ol fat. The girls share 2 flakes of hay in the morning, 2 flakes of hay in the afternoon, grain in the pm and then can browse in the pasture about every other day.

What are some ideas for cutting her weight down? She likes to eat. You'll look outside and see the other goats all laying down chewing their cuds and Emma is eating. She is always eating. Does she need to be in a pen by herself? I talked to someone and they just laughed that she was an 'easy keeper'. I've heard that she might have a harder time getting pregnant this fall too. She is up to date on shots and worming.

We have 5 acres, would walking her in the morning help? I can go out in the pasture and she'll follow but like all the other goats, they follow and eat and follow and eat. What if I put her on a lead and walked her without letting her lead.

Any ideas would be appreciated!

Tonia
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Are the in milk? If not, and you are not trying to train them for something id eliminate the grain. OR if you enjoy the grain part, over the next few feedings cut back to 3 flakes a day and keep an eye on the other 3 does. Other then our milkers who always eat fast, we feed the other animals so that they have finished their previous feeding 2-6 hours before the next feeding. Its like this fresh hay we got, I noticed there was hay still in the feeders when I went to feed the next feeding. So I cut from 5 flakes to 4. 3 flakes to 2 and so on. Now in your case, you will have a bit more trouble finding that sweet spot. But I would first try the cutting back of the hay if you like to feed the grain. Less for the fat one to eat and it should make the others a little more interested in staying at the feeder a bit longer if they are a little more hungry by the next feeding. Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, they are not in milk - never kidded. I was hoping to breed this fall. I'll try your suggestions, cutting back. Do you think it is better to make her go out and eat pasture or leave her in the pen with the 'smaller' amount of hay? If she goes out in the pasture she is getting more exercise, but more access to pasture - lush pasture right now too.

Thanks for the ideas,

Tonia
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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The cutting back is about as far as my suggestion can go. But if you are going to breed em, once they start feeding babies, the need to cut back will vanish :) Granted you dont want a fat doe to kid as that can sometimes cause problems but if she is just in REALLY good condition, Id say just play around and see if you cant find a method that works.

For years we used to feed just once a day. But as hay has doubled in price the last two years here, we have had a need to adjust to make their feed stretch. With a once a day feeding it was a feeding frenzy that left alot of hay on the ground, under hoof. Then when we went to twice a day, they animals were much less hungry. Even though they were getting the same amount, much less was being wasted. In fact, were we used to have to clean infront of feeders twice a year, now we can go even 2 years before a mucking is needed.

So its just something you will have to figure out. Kinda like feeders. Its a never ending battle to build a better, less wasteful feeder :)
 

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Hi Tonia,
We had the same problem with a doe of a similar age. We had only a few goats (less than ten) at the time, and several were in milk. Since we hadn't had goats for very long (well, over a year but that's not long) we didn't have any paddocks or anything, just the large yard which we had originally put our first two goats in. all of the goats had free access to as much hay they wanted, with half lucerne and half grass - the does, in milk, were in very good condition on it, and the unkidded doelings, were, obviously enough, getting fat. Both of our unkidded yearlings were fat, but one of them we had gotten around 8 months later than her cousin, though the same age, and she was small and slightly underweight when we got her, rather than her comfortably over-fed cousin. The bigger one got so fat that she could barely walk, and was just waddling around like a whale, although we had trained her tricks and she could still (just) rear up for a treat and jump on the milking stand every day - she was maiden milking over half a litre a day.
Anyway, what we eventually did, was tie both of the yearlings up when we brought in the lucerne hay each day. After a few hours, when it was almost all gone and there was just grass hay left, we'd let them off. This worked for the less fat girl, but the fatter one was still really fat. What we then did was put her on a strict diet - we'd tie her up while the others ate, and then take away almost all of the hay, leaving a tiny bit, and let her off. She was on this diet of nearly-nothing for around a month before she started to get down to an acceptable size. :shock:
I would suggest tying or locking her away fromt he others and letting her off only when most of the hay is finished, cutting back her grain ration if possible, and if she doesn't show signs of slimming down in a week, then locking her away from the hay completely until she gets to a better weight. :)
Here's a photo of the fatter doeling, before she got really fat
[attachment=0:27okw8ce]Bella-25%+crop-101_3200.jpg[/attachment:27okw8ce]
Cheers,
Cazz
 

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Maybe you should get her a treadmill. :p

But seriously, taking her for a walk every day would probably be really good for her and could even help speed up her metabolism and make muscle, which burns more calories than fat.
 
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