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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Seeking advice for underweight LaMancha/Alpine doe in milk.

Two weeks ago we purchased a registered LaMancha/Alpine cross doe, FF as of June (twins). She has excellent milking genes, her Sire is Rockin-CB F Xchange (LaMancha side), her Dam is Cobb's-Hill PF Filosophy (Alpine breed), and then Sire's Dam is SGCH Rockin-CB LSP Vinca. She was milking just over 3 quarts, being milked in the mornings only by her previous owner. She had her kids on her the rest of the day.

We emailed back and forth about her for over a week, I saw the pics, they looked fantastic, and we drove a 5 hour round trip to pick her up and bring her home. I knew already from our correspondence, that she had only been given herbal wormer, zero grain, a mineral block, and only 2 cups of alfalfa pellets on the stand once a day, with BOSS, and a bit of Kelp. She was on pasture and basic hay. The young husband and wife were "naturalists", and I can respect that.

However, when we arrived, our family was not prepared to meet a walking skeleton. I looked/felt her over, and already knowing her pedigree, still decided that we wanted to take her on. I really do not want to dry her up, if possible, as she is a 2 year old first freshener. We milked her in the morning and evening for 3 days, getting a total of a gallon and a half each day. On the fourth day, a large, hard lump appeared just behind where her left teat and udder meet. Her milk supply went down to 1 1/2 qts in the morning and 1 qt at night. We did a mastitis test and it was negative, so we treated it as a congested udder. My 16 year old daughter massaged her udder for 20 min, with very warm compresses, every 2-3 hours. And milked her out each time. The lump has finally broken up and has gotten much smaller, softer, and we are back to milking her twice a day. She is giving 1 1/4 gallons a day total. Creamy, sweet milk with always has a surprising layer of cream on the top, after just 12 hours. (We're a homeschooling family with 7 children, ages 16 to 18 months. 5 girls and two boys, who LOVE goats milk and go through at least a gallon a day!)

When we brought her home, we slowly began adding grain, Nutrena 17% Goat Sweet Feed, 1/2 cup every 3-4 days, with 1 cup alfalfa pellets, BOSS, and also began slowly adding Nutrena Milk Plus (cheaper version of Calf Manna), along with top dressing with Sweetlix Meatmaker loose minerals, Vitamin C, and Calcium. Our Nigerian and Mini Nubian doeling, have minerals set out free choice, also. But I do add it as a top dress to their specific feed buckets, since we live in a copper deficient area of WA State . Today I began adding a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil to Bela's feed mixture. I'm going to be buying Beet Pulp pellets this coming weekend, and think I'll phase out her alfalfa pellets and add in the Beet Pulp for when she is on the milk stand, twice a day.

We also give her alfalfa pellets during the day, anyways. Along with free choice Alfalfa (3rd cutting), Timothy Hay/Clover/Orchard mix hay, also browsing on blackberry bushes and evergreen branches. She is the most affectionate, loving, snuggly goat, and we absolutely adore her! Perfect, calm, and patient on the milk stand, and when cleaning her hooves. Bela will lean up against us and nuzzle, just like our white Boxer does. =)

I really could use some wisdom and advice from seasoned goat owners. I'm thinking I need to deworm her using either Ivermectin or ? Should I start with Safeguard first, since she hasn't had the "big guns" pulled out yet? Her eyelids are a light pink. Bela did have her CD/T shots when she was a kid, but should I give her a booster now as well as vaccinate for CL? (She did test negative for CAE and CL.)

A couple last things to mention is she has horrible dandruff. We've been dusting her with food grade Diatomaceous Earth (for the flies too), and regular, daily brushing which she loves. The top of her tail is reddish in color, so she is obviously needing Copper Bolus, but it feels so rough and scratchy, like hair that has been burnt. Is that normal?

I don't want to overwhelm her system all at once, but what else do you all recommend for her? I'm going to place an order with Valley Vet tomorrow.

Blessings,

Erin
 

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I would start with Safeguard for deworming. I would get the liquid and dose at 1cc per 10 lbs for 3 days in a row.

I would also give the goat feed daily instead of the every 3 days. The half cup is a good start but I would slowly increase to at least 1 cup per milking. My full size girl got 5.5 cups of my feed mixture per milking for a total of 11 cups per day. She was in good condition and this put milk in the bucket and kept her in good condition.

I would do the copper bolus and I would do a shot of BoSe if you live in a selenium deficient area.

Wheat Germ Oil is great for dry skin. I have also been seeing great results with giving Replamin Plus once every other week for a few times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you, Karen! We started out slowly, so not to cause her to bloat, founder, or have any other issues eating too much too soon. But as of today, this is what she is getting in the morning on the stand, and in the evening.

2 c. Nutrena 17% Textured Goat Feed (sweet)
1 c. Alfalfa Pellets
1 c. Milk Plus
1 c. BOSS
Vitamin C powder, Calcium, and 3 TBSP. Sweetlix Meatmaker Minerals with vegetable oil drizzled on the top. She eats it all!

Should I add in 1 cup of Beet Pulp pellets, instead of the Alfalfa Pellets?

I really appreciate your quick response and advice.

~ Erin
 

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It would probably be fine with the beet pulp pellets since you have alfalfa hay and give the pellets at other times of the day. You could probably give in addition to if you feel she could use more at milking time.

What are your breeding plans? I would not consider breeding her until she is proper condition. That may involve drying her up early. But it sounds like she puts it all in the bucket so it is very important that she isn't thin going into pregnancy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
NYGoatMom, where do I buy python dust and about how much does it cost? And we're right there with you on being so shocked, that she is producing an incredible amount on basically breathing air! I'm excited for her second freshening already! She was just recently nursing (2 1/2 weeks ago), so I do expect her production to go down a bit. But maybe not once she gets all the nutrition she needs, on a regular basis? I was SO angry when I first saw her, because of how malnourished she was. The young couple has two other LaMancha/Nubian does that looked the same. They just feel that this is normal, unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Absolutely NO breeding plans, anytime soon! She just kidded 2 1/2 months ago. Even if she was in excellent shape, I would never breed so soon anyway. Our plans were to milk her through the winter, and see how she does at the end of Spring/early Summer. We have a large family, so we plan to get another LaMancha, and stagger their breeding for year round milk. So with Bela, I don't know, maybe even next fall? Depending on how well she gains weight over the next 9 months or so.
 
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