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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! New to goats here.

I have 2 Boer/Alpine cross doelings that are weaned and just shy of 4 months old. I feed them free-choice grass hay, free-choice loose minerals and they have timed access to pasture and woods (they love eating young Sumac trees!). I was feeding them Nature's Best Organic Goat Pellets, but noticed that their poo was clumping. I checked them for worms and parasites, that came back negative, so I let their grain run out and after 3 days grain-free their poo is back to nice loose pellets.

My question is, what is a good non-grain/pellet diet for growing goats? Is what I'm already feeding them good enough or do they need something more, like Alfalfa? If it matters, they are mostly used as companions for my QH mare, but I would like to breed them in the future.
 

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Many people here do alfalfa pellets free choice. They gradually increase it until they are able to stop eating when they are full. They don't just give them gobs all at once, and that is an important step when you don't offer free choice from the beginning.

Instead of free choice alfalfa pellets, may I suggest a protein tub or a protein block instead? I can offer a few options in that if you'd be at all interested.

You can still offer alfalfa pellets as well, because of the calcium
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Many people here do alfalfa pellets free choice. They gradually increase it until they are able to stop eating when they are full. They don't just give them gobs all at once, and that is an important step when you don't offer free choice from the beginning.

Instead of free choice alfalfa pellets, may I suggest a protein tub or a protein block instead? I can offer a few options in that if you'd be at all interested.
I'm very interested. I'd like to learn about as many options as possible and see which works best for my girls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The crumble blocks and Prairie pail interest me most. These are offered free-choice? They won't overeat it?
 

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I offer free choice. I do not restrict access.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's not a pellet or a sweet feed. It's licks here and there, and they know it isn't a treat, it is a supplement that they take as much as they need of.
So, I've been giving them the Protein Pail and I don't think it's working for them. The larger of the two eats at it constantly and both are now suffering from diarrhea. I've been limiting their access to the pail to 1 hour every day to see if they were simply over-eating, but still they get diarrhea.
 

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So, I've been giving them the Protein Pail and I don't think it's working for them. The larger of the two eats at it constantly and both are now suffering from diarrhea. I've been limiting their access to the pail to 1 hour every day to see if they were simply over-eating, but still they get diarrhea.
Have you gotten a fecal test done?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
When did you introduce the protein tub, when did the diarrhea start, and when did you take it away and is it still going on?
I bought the tub about 2 weeks ago and gave it to them that evening, leaving it in overnight. By morning, the pen was covered in loose stool. I immediately removed the tub and began offering it an hour at a time, but that didn't seem to help so I've now been offering it every other day for a few hours. Doesn't seem to be helpings, so I may have to remove it completely. I'm just at a loss of how to feed them since pellet feed made their poo clump and the pail is giving them diarrhea.
 

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I bought the tub about 2 weeks ago and gave it to them that evening, leaving it in overnight. By morning, the pen was covered in loose stool. I immediately removed the tub and began offering it an hour at a time, but that didn't seem to help so I've now been offering it every other day for a few hours. Doesn't seem to be helpings, so I may have to remove it completely. I'm just at a loss of how to feed them since pellet feed made their poo clump and the pail is giving them diarrhea.
Well I would stop it completely and see what happens.

That's quite odd that all protein/grains are making them have digestive troubles. Maybe there is a common ingredient they don't do well with?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well I would stop it completely and see what happens.

That's quite odd that all protein/grains are making them have digestive troubles. Maybe there is a common ingredient they don't do well with?
I'll definitely look into that possibility! Luckily I still have the bags/labels for the feeds I've used with them up to now. I suppose just free-feed grass hay, loose minerals and browsing is going to have to be good enough until I can figure this out.
 
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