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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, we're on day three of being a 'herd', and I have two important questions, so please take time and answer both of them, haha. I have two nannies--one first freshener and one dry--I was told to get them both on the milk stand since the dry one would eventually be milked (she's already been in one milking). They're both in an enclosed area; my partner is building a large grazing area tomorrow, but for now they're in an area where I have to supply the forage and hay. They're getting tree branches, leaves, and I put them on a lead in the early evening and let them walk around the field and munch on whatever they like.

1) The first question I have is: Who gets on the milk stand first? I know goats have a hierarchy, but so far I've been the one making the decision on who gets out of the enclosure first. So far I've always gotten the FF out so I can go ahead and get her milked. When I'm done she goes back into the enclosure, and I get the other one out so she can go on the milk stand and get a "treat". The problem is when I get the FF out first, the other girl throws a FIT! She starts pacing the enclosure, standing on the fence, sitting on the ground (more like getting on the ground and throwing a fit), and bleats nonstop. Am I breaking goat code, here? Should i try to get her out first and let her piddle around on the milk stand before I get the FF out?

2) Food - Being new at this (and having a Southern mentality that food should always be available), I'm not sure when to put down their grain. The first day I left a constant supply for them so they could get used to their new environment. Yesterday my partner told me to only feed them 1-2 pounds of grain each, and the best time to do that was on the milk stand. So the only time they got any grain was in the morning and afternoon when they were on the milk stand. The FF finished hers, but the other one hardly touched it. This morning I started with the grain at the milk stand, but I put what was left over in their enclosure (along with the usual morning roughage). How do I need to do the grain thing? When/where should they be given it? Does it affect what or how much they get in their treat bucket at the milk stand?

Thanks so much for everything! I look forward to having a bigger area for them this weekend so they can openly graze and not feel so confined. On a side note--if anyone knows of some persuasion tips I can use to make my partner buy more fencing for a larger grazing area, please let me know ;)
 

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1 If the dry doe is having a rough time being last, try doing her first.
2 You should only feed 1-2 pounds of grain each. Overfeeding can cause some major health issues. It is good to feed them at the stand to get them into a routine. What do you use for grain? Some goats like different things. It all depends on what kind of grain you are using, how much of it you are giving, what the grain ingredients are, and what supplements you are providing.
 

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In answer to one...the dry doe is probably pitching a fit because she knows it's food time...mine bawl and pace when it's food time too. She could also be upset that she's alone, I have a wether that absolutely HATES being separated from his buck buddy, he flips out, runs all over the place and cries like a baby until he can find him. (the buck usually has wandered over to the feed stand, haha) Try and decide if she's crying because of separation or anticipation of food.

In answer to your second question, grain is not left out full time because goats will gorge themselves sick on it and won't graze or eat hay, sort of like giving a kid ice cream and cake with their veggies...which do you think they'll eat first? Haha.
Dairy does are fed twice a day when they are milked because that's the most convenient way to go about it, it helps keep them occupied while milking, and that way they can split the grain and keep them from being so full that they get sick or won't eat hay/browse. If the dry doe isn't eating hers, then she's most likely getting enough to eat from her hay and browse. Dry does, even while pregnant, don't usually need any grain if they have horse quality hay free choice and are able to browse.

Not all people feed while milking, but most do because it's much quicker, especially when you've got more than 2 or 3 milkers at once.

How are your does condition wise? I would think that with so much grain the dry doe would be fat. And of course, as Moka Farms asked, what grain and minerals do you use?
 

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I decided on the order my goats get milked in. Then I stuck to it and they are used to the order. Your girl just knows there is food and/or she doesn't like being alone. I would continue doing her second and let them understand the order you are doing.

Read the label on the bag. What does it say to feed a goat? Also there are very many variables that you may feed more or less. Your dry girl doesn't need as much feed as your girl in milk. Some girls in milk need more to help keep condition. Grain is a supplement, not their main diet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm using a Purina Goat Feed, Sweet Feed, and some oats. I usually get 1 scoop of oats (my scoop is a tupperware container), two scoops of feed, and one or two scoops of sweet feed. I put in their minerals, mix it up, and divide it between the two. As soon as I get Stella (my milk maid) out of the pen, I put Blanche's (my dry but determined gal) food inside so she doesn't get so upset. They both get that twice a day along with some grazing in their enclosure. We've extended their living quarters significantly, but they're not big fans of the grass in there. There are spots of other grass that they like, but they're so sporatic there's no way to put their enclosure over one given area. We cut down tree branches for foraging, give them hay (the $8 bail from Tractor supply...nothing special), and let them roam about in the evening while my partner is tending to the chickens and ducks. Are we doing too much? Too little?
 
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