Putting weight on nursing does

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by HoosierShadow, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    I was curious what would be a good way to get some weight on my does, one in particular out of the pair who have kids on them. I know nursing takes a lot out of them, but she is just so bony...I am getting a bit concerned. Her kids are 9 weeks tomorrow -twins- and we don't think they are ready to be weaned just yet, but I am thinking about starting to seperate them during the day.
    They have grass/browse and grass hay, and I feed the girls 2 cups of grain a day each.
    Just not sure what else I should try that would be good for them? I remember when I took care of a horse who was prone to weightloss, I believe it was rice bran oil we mixed with her feed. Could I give something like this to my girls?
    What about beet pulp as well? I also plan on buying much better hay since fall is here <alfalfa and mix with the grass hay>.

    BTW, they are UTD on worming, and it's just the two nursing does who are looking rough. I was warned that nursing does can tend to look rough at some point during nursing since the kids take so much out of them...

    Thanks for any help BTW, I am going to start giving them an additional cup of grain in the mornings, right now they are fed 1x a day - the kids are fed 2x a day.
     
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    With your girls being of the larger end of goat breeds...IMO 2 cups of grain once a day is not enough, my nigi girls get that amount 2x a day and keep condition well through lactation...I also add Calf Manna to the ration as a top dress if they seem to lose condition while nursing.

    Instead of adding a bunch of extra's like the beet pulp, try increasing the amount they get in gradual increments, feed 1 1/2 cups in the am and pm over the next few days until they are each getting 2 full cups 2x a day.....if you don't see results increase again til they are at 3 cups 2x a day.
     

  3. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Thanks Liz I will try this! I've noticed in the last week that their condition is getting....'bleh' And I want my girls happy and healthy. I'll check into the Calf Manna as well, I think they have it at the local feed store. Any idea how much I should start with?

    I could give the Calf Manna to the goat kids as well right? Especially since I want to wean them soon. What would be a good ration to start them out at? The twins to the skinnier doe are a little over 20 lbs each <9 weeks tomorrow>, they take more after her than a big built boer, like our single buckling <9 1/2 weeks>, and he is about 35 lbs. now.
    What would be good to start them out at?
     
  4. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    my boer doe rochelle got 3 pounds a day of show grain and 2flakes of hay.. and she only had a single
     
  5. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Thanks :) I was told to give her 2 cups a day, but I've seen changes in the last week, and I told my husband after today I had to do something to get her back in shape. We buy a good grain that just about everyone around here uses, it's 16% and I believe it's mixed there at the feed store.
    I have some good alfalfa hay that I'll mix with the grass hay for the girls when I bring them in for grain. I do seperate my nursing girls from the others. We'll start our other goats on alfalfa mixed with grass hay next month.
     
  6. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    If you can get the Calf Manna, add 1/4 cup to the grain and mix it....when it comes to my babies, since I feed the moms individually in their stalls, the babies start picking at moms feed at around 3 weeks, its around 4-5 weeks that I separate kids and give them their own handful...I separate during grain feeding so the moms still get what they need and I can moniter kids while they eat as I have had young kids choke , by the time they are ready to leave at 8-9 weeks they are already separated from mom at night and eating 1/2 cup grain 2x a day....and either my scale is off or I just raise extremely dense kids but my singles are normally around 20-25 pounds at 8 weeks, multiples are between 15 and 20 pounds. However you decide to start the kids on grain, do it in small amounts at first and watch them as they eat.
     
  7. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Thanks so much Liz I do appreciate the help! I take the kids out in the morning and give them about a half cup of grain each. I used to seperate the kids from their moms at feeding time <evenings> but for the past 2 weeks I've been feeding them all together - 4 buckets, and around 6 cups of grain. I have to feed the others, so I can't keep an eye on them, but the kids have learned how to get their share.
    I'll start feeding the does seperate from the kids - need to come up with a plan for weaning as well, and start progressing in that direction. Just seems like yesterday that they were born ::sigh::.
     
  8. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    a consistant amount of grain twice a day for the kids will help them put on weight. After about 8 weeks I notice that the milk just isnt enough for them to gain weight on. Their rumen changes so they need more roughage and more grains because they dont utilize the milk as they did when younger.

    So your 9 week olds are really not babies anymore but teenagers and they need hay/grain more then mom's milk.

    yes up the does feed slowly to 2cups twice a day and if they dont show improvement then up it again. I feed my nursing minis 2 cups twice a day. And one doe gets 3 cups twice a day because she gets so skinny. They all share 3-4 laps of hay (you all like to call it flakes :p) twice a day.

    never used calf manna so i cant help you there. But I have used shredded beat pulp with molasses - that worked pretty good for my doe who needed to put on weight.
     
  9. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Thanks Stacey. Thankfully the kids weight is great :) I make sure they get grain 2x a day - the does were only getting fed in the evening when I feed the others.
    I started feeding the does with the kids this morning, making sure they all got what they need.
    The feed store has calf manna, so I'll go get some of that in just a few minutes. The woman at the feed store said it's very popular here, and a lot of people use it for young livestock, nursing livestock, and show animals as well.