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Thinning Nubian Wether

2707 Views 16 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  MsScamp
Hey Ya'll. New to this, so please bear with me & teach me the ropes :) I have a two twin 7 month old Nubian wethers. It's a long story, so I am sorry, but at age 4 months I was called by the boarding facility (I can't have "livestock" where I live) an they said Marco was acting funny, falling down & had the "Sammy Davis" look. I picked him up & directly went to the ER. He was alert, normal vitals and no diarrhea, but was still weak & seemed blind. We couldn't figure it out. . . . We did SQ fluids that day & a course of Via B inj for a week. We chalked it up to possible goat polio. He slowly recovered, kinda. He can see now, eats, poops, pees, runs around all normal, but has been slowly loosing weight. His twin brother is 100%. Marco weighs 50 lbs & his brother is around 75. They are boarded with 2 MONSTROUS jerk Nubians, a boer, & a Nigerian, all normal. They are fully vaccinated, came from show lines, an impeccable facility, dewormed, I have had two fecals done, normal & a CL & Johnnes test, normal. He is fed alphalfa hay twice a day & I do my best to supplement 5-6 times a week with a cup of "goat chow" and a cup of alphalfa pellets. For the last two months I have been footing the bill for all of them to get free choice goat minerals (I have to hide Marco's & Polo's in Fig Nutins cuz they won't eat it free choice-spoiled!) & gave them copper pills approx a month ago because they have fish tails. Polo looks great, but Marco is still loosing weight & I am sooo sad cuz he is my baby (like, seriously, luv this little guy beyond life :( ). I originally bought these boys for hiking/packing & am even more sad cuz I can't enjoy them like I wanted to. I live in Phoenix, AZ & would really appreciate ANY advise. Below are pics of Marco *Phew* I'm sorry, a lot. . . . Thank You!


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How much alfalfa are they getting? Is Marco timid? If so, how timid? Given the history you've outlined, the only thing I can think of is complications due to the possible polio, or he is being pushed away from the feeder and can't eat.
Are you sure that Marco is getting enough to eat? You said the other goats aren't nice. I would suspect them of beating up on him and keeping him from the feeder.
I agree with Goatcrazy. It sometimes takes a while for them to recover, and in a pen with bigger goats, it can take longer due to bullying. He does look sort of unthrifty.
They are fed together, I believe three flakes twice a day, that's why I supplement as much as I can :( he is definitely the subordinate, even with the 2 month old Nigey & 4 month old Boer. My uneducated guess was that they are bulling him off feed. The other goats are mean, & almost 250 pounds. Once it gets cooler (OMG can't wait) I am going to purpose building a pen for just my boys. . . Is know in horses there are feeds you can get that are "weight gainers'" is there something like that for goats?

*Side note* my fav pic of Polo, hiking in the White Tanks-can't tell if it went through :(

Goat Bedrock Goat-antelope Mountain Fawn


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It's been 3-4 months & the weight loss has been progressive. I almost put him down a month ago because he was darn near emaciated. I have been going out there every day now & call me crazy goat mom, but when I am away for more than 2-3 days, he looks like he gets skinnier. . . Like I said, I am pushing for their own pen, in the mean time any suggestions on feed? I can buy my own bale of hay. What kind? Grass? Alphalfa? Bermuda? Should I just give it another 6 months with what I am doing now?
Just being able to eat will help. You really need to do that pen sooner than later. If you wait 6 more months before doing anything, there is a good chance he won't make it.

The stress of being bullied is just as bad as being pushed out of the food.

Anything you add for feed must be done slowly. The alfalfa pellets are good. Calf Manna and shredded beet pulp are a couple others.
Or maybe probios to help the rumen?

One other thing, they were bottle fed, by me, no mom, no goat milk, all cows milk. . . .
Thank you guys!! I love my boys & would be devastated if something were to happen to him. I get people always asking how he is doing, he is the nicest goat EVER! Leash trained, does tricks, knows his name, I can walk him into any circumstance (except water, hee, hee) and he follows.

Again, thank you, thank you & God bless you & all your goatie friends :)
I agree with Karen..he needs more groceries and a quiet place to eat...polio take a lot to recover from...The stress of being in with a 250 # bully is more than he can bare. He needs His own pen ASAP ...I would give him B complex daily, Probios wont hurt..I would go out daily and stand guard while he eats..they need hay 24/7, good grain choices until he gains weight is like Karen said, Alfalfa pellets, Calf manna, shredded beet pult and BOSS..all add fat and protien. Make him his own mix and slowly add it to his diet...start with 1/2 cup ...if after 3-4 days his poop is still berries,,add another 1/2 cup...If his poop every turns clumpy, just back of a bit..You want to keep his Calcium/ phosphorus at 2:1 ratio to prevent Urinary Calculi...Wethers do great on just hay and alfalfa with no grain..but he needs to gain weight first..Best wishes
They are fed together, I believe three flakes twice a day, that's why I supplement as much as I can :(
If he were mine, I would 1) get him in his own pen or out of there asap! I know you're trying and I'm not suggesting in any way that you're not. Unfortunately, **** happens. :( 2) get a bale of good quality hay (at this point - probably grass. Given his condition, I'm afraid his system couldn't handle the alfalfa and he would start scouring.) divvy up 2, maybe 3 flakes into large grocery bags, feed bags, tubs, whatever I had and take it with me when I went out to give them their grain and pellets. I would also take a large stick - I've found a 3/4" solid wooden dowel about 4 to 5' long is pretty effective in most cases, a firm tap across the chest or across the butt should get the point across very nicely - and make sure that Marco got however much he wanted. If you can take him out of his current pen to feed him, that's even better! Let him eat a good amount of the hay, then give him the other stuff and offer more hay. Just go kinda slow at first so his system doesn't get overwhelmed and cause more problems than you're already dealing with. This whole situation has got to be so frustrating for you. I'm sorry, and I hope this helps.
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Thanks again & many times over to all the pros. . . I will try the beet pulp, supplement with the extra hay & try to get the Via B, along with supervise dinner. Should I just get alphalfa? Or grass hay? I go out as much as I can (gotta work to pay for those boys). I currently let them out & graze on the weeds 5-6 times a week for about an hour or two. I will continue to push to get them their own pen. It's hard to find a place that does goat boarding around here. Most places are closed, personal use, small meat or dairy herds :( especially in the west valley where I'm located.

On a positive note, Polo (his brother), my pit mix, and I just did a 3 mile hike, no problem.

I LOVE GOATS!! & proud of it ;)
I know of a food that works wonders for bringing thin goats back. I would feed a grass/alfalfa mix and try him on a bag of Purina Miniature horse and Pony. It is high in fat, balanced CA/PH, has a good mineral pack and contains beet pulp, rice bran, etc. already. I've fed it to several skinny wethers for a boost and have always been pleased with the results.
Should I just get alphalfa? Or grass hay?
I would stick with the grass until he gets some weight on him, then transition to alfalfa if you want to. It's much easier to avoid health problems than it is to treat them - especially where you are not able to easily treat him should the alfalfa cause diarrhea.
UPDATE: Marco is doing very well. He gaining weight everyday!! The place where I board him moved the two mondo sized mean goats in with their calf :) Now when it's feeding time the boys get their share & there is no more trouble (except in the cow pen now :) Oddly enough the jerk goats seem to be more friendly in with the cow, which they are almost the same size of :X I started teaching tricks to the boys since I haven't been able to go on hikes. They can jump on the cooler & jump off on command, eat the facilities landscaping flowers :( and find all the expensive horse supplements in 5 minutes. Maybe we should do search & rescue instead of hiking :rollieyes
Glad he is doing better and the big boys are gone. Hopefully he will be completely better soon for you. :thumbup:
Oh good! I'm so happy to hear that he is better and the situation has been resolved.
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