What do you feed your bucklings?

Discussion in 'Bucks' started by Gooseberry Creek, Nov 28, 2020.

  1. Gooseberry Creek

    Gooseberry Creek Active Member

    102
    Jun 3, 2020
    Florida
    I have 2 intact bucklings. One is 10 mos and the other 3 mos. I am currently feeding them 1/2 cup alfalfa pellets and 1/2 c of Purina Medicated DQ Goat Grower twice every day.
    Plus coastal hay free choice. Sometimes they get a few handfuls of peanut hay or alfalfa hay. They are both little chunks and seem healthy.
    Should I keep them on this long term or change it to something else?
    I guess I am worried because everyone keeps talking about males and urinary calculi.

    Is it only the wethers that get it or also intact bucks?

    We have hard well water. I dont know how hard exactly but hard enough to put deposits on our pipes. We also have a lot of sulfur in the water in this part of Florida. I don't know how to figure this into my bucks feed and the whole acid balance thing.
    Tractor Supply here carries Producers Pride Medicated Sheep and Goat with an acidifier in it.

    These are my first bucklings and I want to make sure they stay healthy.
     
    Moers kiko boars likes this.
  2. Moers kiko boars

    Moers kiko boars Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2018
    Oklahoma
    Hi..what breed are your bucklings? Mine are Boer bucklings. They are 7 & 8.months old 150 lbs. I feed both boys in the same feeder. They get twice a day 2 cups of shawnee goat maintenance feed, 4 cups of purina goat grower, and a handful of black sunflower seeds. Free choice deraferm mineral. All access to pasture and hay bales. They are.both big healthy boys. I give them Ammonium chloride 1 small scoop about once a week. To prevent stones.
     
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  3. Gooseberry Creek

    Gooseberry Creek Active Member

    102
    Jun 3, 2020
    Florida
    Hi, mine are Nigerian Dwarfs. Sorry, I totally forgot to say that.
    Where do you get the Ammonium Chloride? Do you just dump it on their feed and they eat it?

    I feed mine in the same feeder as they are housed together and get along well. They have grass in their little pasture area. We are working on fencing them off a bigger pasture behind their pen.
    Theres a bunch of grape vines behind their pens and they do get some grape leaves, sweet gum, and bamboo leaves a few times a week.
     
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  4. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    That diet sounds ok.

    Alfalfa pellets to balance grain phosphorus.

    Coastal hay has the perfect balance for boys.

    Hard water is going to up your calcium so what you should worry about is calcium stones not phosphorus stones.

    There's two kinds - do note that ammonium chloride only protects against the phosphorus/grain caused type, and will do nothing for calcium stones which for your goats, is the thing you should focus on.

    With the diet you have now, I would try and find a high magnesium mineral such as Sweetlix Magnum Milk. If you give this along with coastal hay, a little grain, a little alfalfa pellets, I see a safe diet.

    Now, once goats are above 6 months I usually recommend stopping all grain, and for a hard water situation my recommendation is to feed just coastal hay (no alfalfa, no grain). Since you have one 10 mo and one 3 mo, wait a few more months then transition both off alfalfa and grain.

    If anyone drops weight during rut you can go back to your regular feeding program.

    Everything sounds good to me.

    More info you can read up on here:

    https://thegivinggoat.home.blog/2020/08/18/diets-for-male-goats-how-to-prevent-urinary-calculi/

    This link will help explain the two different kinds of UC, which is hands-down the most important thing to know, because the fixation on PH and ammonium chloride absolutely causes issues for goats at risk for calcium oxalate stones.
    https://thegivinggoathome.files.wordpress.com/2020/08/urinary-calculi-in-goats.pdf
     
  5. Gooseberry Creek

    Gooseberry Creek Active Member

    102
    Jun 3, 2020
    Florida
    Thank you for those two links! Very interesting. I am trying to find a source for the Sweetlix Magnum Milk minerals. I dont think our feedstores or Tractor Supply carry the Magnum milk. I've never seen it. I currently just have them on Manna Pro goat mineral because thats all I found at our TSC.

    I found a chart on water hardness by zip code. North FL apparently has some of the hardest water in FL due to the limestone layer the water gets filtered through. We also have high sulfur and iron levels.

    Our water hardness is reportedly 282 parts per million and 16 grains per gallon and rated Very Hard.
    I'm kinda freaking out now that I found out just how hard it is lol. Maybe I should just feed the bucks Bottled water like we drink (rofl)
    We do not drink the water. It is supposed to be safe but I think its gross due to the sulfur smell. Most people around here drink it and it doesnt bother them.
    I also found info saying our local water is from the Limestone Floidan Aquifier so the water pH is 7.5 to 8.5.
    The city website suggests using vinegar in appliances like washing machines and dihwashers to prevent hard mineral deposits.

    We would improve the water by adding softener, filteration system etc but we are planning to move to a bigger property, hopefully soon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
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  6. Moers kiko boars

    Moers kiko boars Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2018
    Oklahoma
    I get my Ammonium chloride from my feed store, or atwoods. You can also order it online. I just dump it on their feed once a week. I use the small end of the scoop thats in the conainer.
     
  7. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    You can add raw apple cider vinegar to water buckets to help soften it a bit. Try to collect rainwater and offset it if you can.
     
  8. Gooseberry Creek

    Gooseberry Creek Active Member

    102
    Jun 3, 2020
    Florida
    Thanks you both!! I am loving my little bucklings so much lol. I guess I thought the bucks would be horrible, crazy and stinky..maybe they just arent old enough yet Ha! The older one is kinda stinky and has bred our oldest LaMancha. He's still not that bad.
    Maybe I'm nuts but I love my roosters too, just as much as the hens. They have so much personality!

    How much Apple Cider do you add per gallon of water?
     
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  9. Moers kiko boars

    Moers kiko boars Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2018
    Oklahoma
    Yes Im crazy about my Bucks & bucklings. I have 3...and then I have 19does & doelings...until the kidding starts. Then who knows! Enjoy them each & every day. One thing Ive learned..the more time you spend with your bucklings..the easier they are to handle when they get that terrible 4 yr old. Or when they are in rut... be safe and enjoy your boys!
     
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  10. AndersonRanch

    AndersonRanch Well-Known Member

    296
    Oct 17, 2020
    California
    Personally I would go with the AC in the grain. Goats are like little kids and candy when it comes to their grain they won’t even realize it’s in there. I tried the whole ACV in the water before and I noticed they did NOT like it so drink less. Drinking less is not good for boys.
     
  11. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    It totally depends on the goats - 90% of the goats I see love ACV in their water and drink substantially more. You must observe and see, and don’t use it if they dislike it ;)
     
  12. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    Just because I gave advice on balancing the diet to prevent UC, and noted that your main concern is on calcium-caused UC, adding AC to grain is an extra precaution which is totally a good idea!!
     
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  13. Moers kiko boars

    Moers kiko boars Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2018
    Oklahoma
    Yes I agree [email protected] Ranch. I put electrolytes in my water about once a month. But its a waste of the ACV. My boys wont touch it. But I get the flavored electrolytes and put that in my hard well water. And they drink it...yay!