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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope y'all aren't frustrated with all my noob questions :p

My babies get their 4 bottles a day, hay at all times (which they only nibble at), fresh water, and minerals.

During the day they also browse off and on. I am worried because I see so many posts about overeating and bloat. Can the babies overeat on browse? Sometimes I'll go to give their bottles to them and their bellies are FAT. They are browsing almost exclusively on blackberry leaves, grape leaves, and a ground cover that's all over my yard which I believe is chickweed, but I'm not positive. They actually graze on the ground cover.

I figure it must be ok, because if I were to let them out to "pasture" while, lets say, I go to work (which I don't...I'm blessed to be a stay at home mom), then I would have no control over how much they eat. But since I'm a brand spankin' new goat owner...babies at that...I just don't know!!

Also, if it is raining outside (which it did all day yesterday), I keep them in their "goat shed", which is a completely enclosed building with windows. On days like that, should I go cut some browse and put it in their for them?

I appreciate any answers...I'm so paranoid I'm gonna do something wrong and I'll lose them.

FYI: They are extremely underweight...7 weeks old, Boer crosses (crossed with Nubian I think, cuz the tips of their ears are starting to curl up and forward), and one weighs 10 1/2 pounds (Butterscotch) and the other weighs almost 9 pounds (Caramel).
 

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Goatless goat momma
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they'll be fine on the browse, as long as they're nibbling and you don't see them wolfing down stuff. my buckling is dam raised, and he's out there munching on things all day with the big girls (he's just over 10 weeks old) - even stripping bark!

just make sure you have the baking soda out, and they'll eat some when they need it.

I give my goats browse when it's pouring out...mostly b/c they wont' eat hay (stinkers....). i just break off branches of stuff and put it in their shed. they step on most of it and waste a lot, but they can't tell me I don't try to feed them when it's raining!

don't worry, you're doing great! given what condition these girls were in when you first got them, I think you're doing an amazing job with them. i wouldn't worry about the weight so much as long as your girls are healthy, happy and thriving. they'll eventually put on the weight. :)
 

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You are doing great. I was a total newbie last year, we've all been there.

Browsing is good. Let them. I would make sure baking soda is out for them, they will know when they need it. I couldn't believe they actually will eat the stuff LOL.. Mine go right after blackberries leaves, vines even... etc, totally goat:) I will throw them hay, grass trimming or something if its raining really hard, fall and winter months here in WA they practically live in the barn, so hay is a must to have here.

How old are they again? I'm thinking too soon to start on grain, but when you start on grain you might want to get a small bag of calf manna. I bought a bag to give to my week old lambs, not that I thought they would eat it, but these guys were small, so I wanted something more nutritious for them, so they would grow. Um, grow they did, I also had a doe in milk that needed weight put on her, and yep that did the trick:) I just mixed a little with the grain.

As long as they are playing and being goat like, alert, happy, they are fine. Also, because they had a very rough beginning that has a lot to do with it too. You are doing great:)
 

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Goatless goat momma
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yes, they're old enough to get a good browse in. my 10 week old buckling was munching when he was 4-5 weeks old. he just eats with the adults now...even gets his own morning and night meals like a big boy!

if you see them wolfing down food, then make sure they get a belly full of hay before they go out so they don't eat too much and bloat. but hard for goats to bloat on browse. many people on the island just leave their goats out all day without baking soda or anything, and they're fine. I've seen mine eat so much as youngsters their bellies were so wide I thought they were going to float up, and this was before I knew about baking soda. they were fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
if you see them wolfing down food, then make sure they get a belly full of hay before they go out so they don't eat too much and bloat.
They have access to hay at all times, and I rarely see them eat it.

but hard for goats to bloat on browse. many people on the island just leave their goats out all day without baking soda or anything, and they're fine. I've seen mine eat so much as youngsters their bellies were so wide I thought they were going to float up, and this was before I knew about baking soda. they were fine.
This makes me feel so much better! When I let them browse, it's like they are bottomless pits! They just eat and eat...until I get nervous about them eating themselves to death and put them back in their pen. I swear if I let them out all day they would never stop eating! I have put out a little pan of baking soda for them. I haven't seen them nibble, but after a bottle I'll dip my finger in it and rub it in their mouths.
 

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Goatless goat momma
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it's ok....let them eat. they also need to learn to regulate themselves. I read somewhere that adult goats eat between 5-7 lbs of roughage a day. your growing girls probably need to eat a lot b/c they're growing.

it's ok they don't eat the hay. mine rarely eats hay. I have 3 goats (2 full grown 1 buckling), and we got 2 square bales two months ago, and I have 3/4 of one still left. I use it for bedding as well.

my buckling also has been chewing off bark for weeks now.

don't worry...your girls will be fine! just make sure they have their baking soda out (even if they're not having any).

anymore recent pictures of them????
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I forgot to upload the pics yesterday, oops :p
 

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Goatless goat momma
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omg they're SOOOO CUTE!!!!!!!!! :love:

you're doing an amazing job with them. they are just so cute. i'd snuggle with them ALL DAY LONG!

I love the 3rd picture with her smiling and those EARS!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
They are "supposed" to be Boer crosses...but who knows? The people I got them from said the owner of the farm died, and the mama goat rejected the twins...and the mama was a Boer. When I asked him what they were crossed with, he said "Billy" LOL. My friend says they look like they are crossed with Nubian cuz their ears are starting to curl out and up.
 
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