Questions on feed transition and pasture usage..

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by Kittikity, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. Kittikity

    Kittikity Guest

    86
    Jun 12, 2008
    I'll be getting my goats in about a month here and I want to transition them from a grain diet to probably an alfalfa pellet based diet.. (Yes, I know pasture/browse and hay are supposed to be the bases of their diets.. I just didn't know any other way to say it..) How long should I take to transition them over and how much of a ratio should I give at a time?

    Also, my pastures (if you want to call them that) will be three squares that lay in a sort of L shape.. On end of the shorter part of the L will be the buck pen.. The main goat shed will be on the inside turn of the L and will have access to all three pastures.. The does and kids will be rotated from pasture to pasture every couple of days or so.. My question is, when the does are in one of the other pastures, can I let the bucks in the pasture closest to their pen? Or will that effect the taste of the does milk when the does are rotated back to that pasture?
     
  2. susanne

    susanne Guest

    257
    Nov 12, 2007

  3. Kittikity

    Kittikity Guest

    86
    Jun 12, 2008
    The farm they are at (I worked there for about 3 months) has all their goats are dry lotted.. I don't want them to bloat on the pasture so at first I'm only going to fence in a cement pad (I think its 10'X20') and have browsing outings and trimmed branches in their pen.. I guess I'll get them used to the browse before I transition their feed.. I had planned on worming so that'll get taken care of..

    One is 50% nubian/25% alpine/25% nigerian dwarf.. The other two are american nubian to start a kinder herd with..All does.. They will also come bred if they go into heat before I pick them up.. After that I won't be able to bring them back for breeding..
     
  4. enjoytheride

    enjoytheride New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Humboldt Co Ca
    I don't understand the rotating of pastures every couple of days. Do you have grass that grows fast enough for that to make a difference?
    How big and lush is the area you are using for pasture?
    Whenever I add something or change hay for my girls, I usually do it over 7 days or more, adding a little bit more of the new and less of the old each day. If I was making the radical change you are, I would do it a little more slowly than that- usually by letting them out to browse for an hour or so before calling them in for their evening meal. If your field was really big, I would cut it down with a portable fence for awhile.
     
  5. Kittikity

    Kittikity Guest

    86
    Jun 12, 2008
    Each pasture is about a quarter of an acre each.. The purpose of rotating them is 1) trying to help keep the parasite load low and 2) so they don't over graze.. I plan my maximum load being 6-9 does and kids, with maybe 2 bucks.. My yard isn't fenced in at all yet so they will be spreading out into the yard by leaps and bounds as I get the wire and posts.. I can't afford to fence it in all at once so I'm going to have to do it in stages.. The pasture rotation will come more into play when I have larger sections fenced in.. It won't be a problem to rotate them that much since the does goats shed will be at the juncture of all three pastures and I will simply have to open the door to whichever pasture for that day..

    Most of this will be a couple of years away.. I mainly wanted to know if the bucks being in a pasture will effect the milk if they share a pasture on this rotating schedule..
     
  6. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I don't think it would, my bucks share a common fence line with my does out in the yards and they have their shed next to the girls, separated by a plywood wall...I've never had issue with "bucky milk" in the 7 years I've been milking. I do believe the off flavor bucky milk is more from the presence of a buck in the milking area as once the milk is outside the udder it can and will absorb flavors from the area around it.
     
  7. susanne

    susanne Guest

    257
    Nov 12, 2007