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Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by NigerianDwarfOwner707, Aug 13, 2020.
My grass hay is timothy/bluegrass.
I read that timothy has a favourable ratio of 2:1.
Depends on how hard the water is, but I would prefer some kelp in there as an extra boost of calcium.
Most grass hays are between 1:1 and 2.5:1
I've found that goats on strictly grass hay, even without hard water, do just fine. Though, to comfort myself I prefer to have a little higher calcium so well water and even a little bit of kelp seems to be a happy sweet spot.
What a fantastic thread! I look forward to reading the many links provided. It looks like you did a LOT of research!
The one thing I'm not so sure about is whether phosphorus stones are actually more prevalent than calcium stones. I think outside the meat goat industry, calcium stones may be more common. In fact, all the old literature dealt with calcium stones until meat goats came to the fore about 20 years ago and with it the unprecedented practice of feeding grain to wethers. Then suddenly all we heard about were phosphorus stones. All the money is currently in meat goats so that is what universities are studying, but I think calcium stones may be the more prevalent type in packgoats which are commonly fed alfalfa but rarely fed grain.
And then there's the controversy over free-choice baking soda. I know some packgoat people who feed free choice baking soda, but I think it's a bad idea. If your goats are prone to bloating and acidosis, there's something wrong with their diet and in my opinion you're better off correcting the cause than possibly masking a chronic problem by offering free choice baking soda. From what I understand, baking soda has an alkalizing effect on the urine which means it should not be a regular part of the diet for wethers.
Once again, GREAT thread and I look forward to perusing those links when I get a chance.
Oh absolutely. When I say more common, I don't mean that it happens faster or easier, just that I feel many of the cases of urinary calculi are brought about due to people tossing their pet wethers a bunch of grain for fun. Because I do think it's more unlikely for people to feed their pet goats alfalfa instead of grain.
Totally not in the pack goat world, though, so thanks for mentioning!!
I totally forgot to include a note on baking soda. I am putting that in right now!
CHANCA PIEDRA: STONE BREAKER HERB
Chance Piedra is an herb known to treat stones. I have had inquiry on whether or not this would work for goats. I have come to the conclusion that this may be beneficial in cases of CALCIUM OXALATE stones, but not magnesium ammonium phosphate stones.
Chanca Piedra is commonly used for uric acid stones in humans. These stones are actually caused by overly-acidic urine. Chanca Piedra actually causes urine to be more acidic. DO NOT use this in cases of "phosphorus-caused" stones.
Because calcium oxalate stones will survive in acidic or alkaline environments, Chanca Piedra poses no immediate dangers in the treatment of these stones. Chanca Piedra does not dissolve calcium oxalate stones. However, the herb is an inflammatory agent, which may help stones pass easier. So, in cases of calcium oxalate stones, Chanca Piedra may aid in the passing of stones through the urethra, however, it does not seem to have many other benefits - and it may not be the first choice for resolving stones.
I have experience with a wether that had stones. He was always fed the "textbook" diet: no grain and a 2:1 calcium phosphorus ratio. He battled stones on and off for a few months last winter and then we had to put him down. Everytime I saw him with dribbling pee, I would drench him with AC in molasses water. Within a few hours, he would have a full stream of urine. One day, the AC didn't work. As a last resort, we cut off the ureteral process, but that didn't help. We had to take him to the vet to be humanely put down.
The vet said he saw this a lot and concluded that stones were more of a genetic problem and made worse when goats don't drink enough water to constantly flush the stones out. It made sense to me because he only got the problem when it was cold and he didn't want to drink a lot. The vet gave me a really good tip:
Spray the goats' hay with salt water when you feed them.
That had to be the best tip ever! Not only does it make them drink more, but if they are picky about their hay, it turns it into goat crack! When I have the spray bottle out, they run around hitting each other trying to get to the hay that I just sprayed and will even eat alfalfa sticks!
It's a lifechanger. I'm no longer worried that I'll get a load of hay that they end up not liking and they waste it. All I have to do is spray it!
He said this works for horses too.
I’m curious - may I ask what type of hay you fed and what your water source was?
Half orchard grass, half alfalfa. Both hays were tested by the supplier because the hay farm also does analysis. The grass hay was about 1:1 and the alfalfa was 4.5:1.
I'm on city water. The water out here in this part of California comes from the Sierra Nevada mountains and is very low in minerals because it's snow melt water. I'm spoiled when it comes to water lol!
What age was the goat castrated?
He was banded at 4 months old. He had a twin brother too banded the same time. They lived together. Now I just have the other one and he has no problems whatsoever. I would say the only difference between the two was that the surviving one was the more "manly" of the two before they were banded. Maybe that means his eurethra was more developed? Who knows, and it's only speculation.
Do you remember what the texture/appearance of the stones was?
.....The vet gave me a really good tip:
Spray the goats' hay with salt water when you feed them.
...It's a lifechanger. I'm no longer worried that I'll get a load of hay that they end up not liking and they waste it. All I have to do is spray it!...................[/QUOTE]
THAT'S very interesting and Thanks for posting this!! I haven't heard of spraying the hay with Salt Water before but, if it encourages them not to WASTE HAY...I'm definitely going to be trying this out!!!! Our girls are so picky and waste a lot of hay ($$$)...I really hope this works for them.
This information is great!! I did not know there were 2 types of stones nor did I know that giving AC on a regular basis/daily wasn't the best way to prevent stones. Since we don't have any male goats, I don't have anything to ADD to the conversation except more questions...
When we sell the babies (Nigerian Dwarfs), they are dam-raised until they are 10 weeks old. If there are any boys that are being sold as wethers, I wait until a few days before they are scheduled to be picked up so...wethered at 10 weeks old. Is that too young of an age..? I have heard a few opinions on the matter (some say anytime after 4 weeks of age...some say never before 4 months or older) but, the one that makes the most sense (to me) is waiting until they are a bit older so their urethra, etc. has a chance to develop more. What age would that be (ideally)..?
Would wethering at a later age help protect them from developing stones or is that wholly dependent on diet and it doesn't matter what age they're wethered..?
Also...just because I've heard it more than once and don't really understand...does snipping the pizzle (ouch) have any effect on their ability to breed (if a buck)..?
10 weeks is better than some, however I like to aim for 12. That's best for weaning as well, in all honesty.
It's a mix both, but it certainly helps if they are wethered later - but no matter the age, even an intact buck can get UC from an improper diet.
Yes it does, they cannot be bred afterwards.
Research into humans stones has shown promise for 2 drugs that relax the ureters and allow the stones to pass with minimal pain and resistance.: Nifedipine (a high BP med) and a Rho Kinase inhibitor (used to treat Gaucoma). Might show promise for goats in the future. Right now they are using these in animal testing, don't know what type of animal. Maybe they should try goats!
Thanks!! I will plan on 12 weeks instead of 10. I have to ask tho'...so far, most of our boys come out of the womb 'humping' and acting very much like a BOY. By the time they're weaned at 10 weeks, they're a real nuisance to their dams, sisters and each other. I have to think this is normal behavior for boys but...at what point are you concerned with them either breeding their dam or possibly (?) injuring their sister..? Not sure if they can but, I've wondered because they sure aren't gentle about it and all the girls run and try to get away.
Are they just humping or you actually seeing them extend and ... well, pop out?
At the beginning it's just humping but...I've see 'the red thing' as early as 6-7 weeks. Then it REALLY gets obnoxious! LOL