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I was just wondering how other producers feed their doelings that they are keeping to breed. Pretty much how you guys feed from 3 months to 18 months. The bulk of my goats diet is pasture/browse in summer with Bermuda hay and alfalfa hay/pellets in winter. I have a lot of options when it comes to bagged feed. So I’m hunting for the best grain mix at the best price point in my area. What protein & fat % do you guys prefer & why? I’m not going to show my girls I just want them to grow to their potential for maximum production and longevity. Thanks in advance.
 

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After they finish their pallet of grain from feeding all the kids I honestly just feed alfalfa hay and protein tubs. They do have pasture in the later winter early spring so the hay is cut down some during that time. For mine, they grow pretty well and I just see no point in pushing the feed to them so hard because they usually end up extremely fat when it’s time to breed. But that’s what works for me may not work for everyone
 

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Mine are on pasture with full access to minerals. The "keeper girls" have access to alfalfa pellets via creep feed until they are about 8 months old. After that nothing unless I pen them for some reason. In the pen it's alicia hay, with alfalfa pellets + 14% livestock pellets with a small handful of calf manna 2X day. The goal is to get them back out in the pasture. I want them out foraging, not whining at the gate, looking for feed handouts. I watch their condition and use protein pails and hay in the winter.
 

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Another interesting question to ask is when does everybody breed their doelings, and does different feed correlate to earlier/later breeding ages?
That is a good question! I breed mine at 18-19 months, which is why I don't feel I really need to push the feed. When I was breeding them younger (yes shame on me) I was pushing them on the feed to get them larger to safely breed them. But then I stepped back and thought about it and the only reason why I wanted to breed earlier was for a return sooner but that return almost went down the drain because of a feed bill so I just wait now.
 

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For my keeper Boer girls..They are given Corrid @ 3 months..then I feed mine Goat Grower by purina in a creep feeder. This doesnt stop till they are 8 to 9.months old. After this age they are.put on maintenece show breeder by Shawnee They get free range pastures, and minerals until October. Then I set out large round bales of prarie hay for pasture replacement. They continue with free access on minerals. At 6 months..if my girls arent 80 lbs or bigger I cull them. They usually hit 50lbs at 3 months. I breed mine the first August after they are a year old. So some are 18 months..some are 14 months. But their body score is a 3.5 to 4..before they are to be bred. I want them in their best possible health before breeding.
 

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My keeper doe kids usually stay on pelleted goat feed until they are bred. Certain times of the year they get quite a bit of pasture/browse and always get some to a lot of good hay depending on how well the pasture is doing at the time. This is mostly because if I liked them enough keep them, I probably am going to show them as well and they have to be pretty plump and growthy to compete. I quit feeding the feed for the first four months of pregnancy hoping the will get more fit and less fat going into kidding. I pick them back up on feed the last month of gestation. What age I decide to bred a doe usually depends more on when she was born than what her calendar age is. If I know the family, I will breed a November - December born doe at 11-12 months. February to May born does will likely not be bred until they are 17-20 months old. Again, if I kept them, they are likely to be in the show string too, so that might also delay their first breeding a little so I can keep them plump.
 

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Since your not showing, there are lots of ways you could do it, but if you want the best growth in your girls I'd think creep feeding at a young age would be ideal. We start creep feeding ours at about 5 weeks when they really start picking at feed. In the past we've used one of these:
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Purple label is the one we preferred (this yellow label is what our older kids pushing a year & adults were getting)
Purple Font Material property Parallel Screenshot


Unfortunately, we don't use this feed mill anymore as we were having issues with dusty feed, and you may see in different weather situations that the 18% pellets break down easier, so it can be frustrating, but if you can find a good pellet, stick with it because you won't be disappointed in the results. BTW, the reason I prefer the purple label? The first label I mentioned has animal protein products in it....

If we don't end up putting our next batch of kids on a show type feed, then this may be what we start them on:
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I've not used that one before, but at least gives you an idea of %'s to look for in a decent creep feed.

We do show, but we don't have big, fancy goats or go to a lot of big shows - county fairs are our main goal, but we do try to go to a couple of ABGA shows near us.
We keep feed in the creep feeder 24/7, and weigh to check their gains. We feed them well after weaning, and then about 5 months old we just base their feed off of their weight and their gain. If they are getting chunky, we back them off, if they are maintaining well, good weight, good gain, then we just leave whatever we are doing alone and go with it.
 
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