Pellet feed?

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by SJC, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    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.
     
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Unless you have alfalfa in your pasture, you will want to add alfalfa pellets. They need some calcium in that diet.
     
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  3. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    I
    Is there a specific ratio it should be fed as, or free-choice like the hay?
     
  4. healthyishappy

    healthyishappy Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    Utah
    I would not do it free choice.
    Not sure on the ratio though.
     
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  5. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    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
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  6. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    I'm very interested. I'd like to learn about as many options as possible and see which works best for my girls.
     
  7. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    The crumble blocks and Prairie pail interest me most. These are offered free-choice? They won't overeat it?
     
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  8. healthyishappy

    healthyishappy Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    Utah
    Yes.
    But you should slowly introduce it first.
     
  9. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    I offer free choice. I do not restrict access.
     
    SJC likes this.
  10. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    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.
     
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  11. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    Thanks so much for all the help! I'm heading to TSC now. I hope my girls will be happy, they've been upset since I took the pellets away lol
     
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  12. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    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.
     
  13. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    Have you gotten a fecal test done?
     
  14. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    Yes. Both are negative for any parasites.
     
  15. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    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?
     
  16. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    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.
     
  17. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    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?
     
  18. SJC

    SJC Member

    34
    May 12, 2019
    Adirondacks, NY
    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.