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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, looking for some advise on what to feed my boys. I think I've overwhelmed myself and overthinking it but there is so much information and I'm so confused!
First, I live in coastal northern CA, I have two 1 year old ND wethers and one lamancha and something else cross that I am fostering, maybe forever. He is a wether as well and about 2 years old.
What I am feeding now:
They have access to free choice minerals (I think it's Manapro right now) as well as baking soda and kelp meal.
I am feeding them orchard grass pellets mixed with beet pulp and 2 scoops of Noble Goat when I can get it. They do have some browse when I cut branches and give it to them which is almost everyday, and they get free choice flake hay which is orchard grass as well right now because my foster goat lost his brother to UC and I got freaked out, which is how I got here.
Prior to my foster goat, I was feeding my boys alfalfa hay 1 flake a day and a treat of molasses oats from the feed store, about a handful a day and browse.
Is this enough? Too much or too little? I'm in a death spiral with it right now lol.
I will say that they do not like the flake orchard grass and don't eat it much if at all.
Any advise or help would be appreciated! Thank YOU!
 

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Other more cleverer people will be along shortly but from what I understand, wethers don’t need any grain and that’s what throws off the phosphorus calcium balance. I would cut the grain out. Hay and forage along with the right minerals should be good.
 

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Oh ok. They don’t need the baking soda, keep it on hand for upset tummies or bloat but not free choice.
I would get them a salt block. Probably one with ammonium chloride to help ward off UC. And then take a breath and see how they are looking. I had trouble with my girls just looking punky even though fecals were good, so on good advice from here I started giving them replamin and they both look shiny and sleek now. I have manna pro minerals too but I think they are pretty low quality.
 

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I agree with the grain my wethers don’t get any either. But I do free baking soda through my vets advice and research. They only nibble on it a little here and there. It’s an individual goat parent choice though, some people agree with it some don’t. Good luck! I hope it all comes together for you!
 

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Fair-Haven
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It's not the grain which causes a problem, it's the imbalance between calcium 2 to 1 part phosphorous, previous diet points to a need of more calcium
 

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So its ok to feed wethers some grain as long as the ratio is correct? Everyone I talk to in our area and the pygora breeders I bought my boys from tells me to give free choice baking soda so I don’t have sick goats and no grain for wethers. Even my vet recommended it so I get confused on what’s the right answer. And i didn’t know it canceled out the ammonium chloride so that’s good to know.
 

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Fair-Haven
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Yes it is ok to feed a little grain to wether but they really don't need much since they aren't breeding or producing kids/Milk. It's the total balance of the diet that matters. The old way of thought was to give the baking soda free choice however it's proven that it is much better to only use it IF you have bloat problems. Unfortunately many vets are not versed or up to date on goat specific health care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So no baking soda. I am most curious about the alfalfa vs orchard grass hay. My boys do not like the orchard grass and stopped eating it. The do eat the pellets tho. Is it ok if I go back to the alfalfa hay and continue with the pellets? And how do I gauge the calcium to phosphorus ratio?
 
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