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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my Panda is 11 yrs old and maybe older does are just skinnier... But she seems to be having a harder time bouncing back from having her last batch of babies. I'm trying to get the owner to give her back to me...I gave her away when I had to move in 2015 but moved back and live on same property that she does so I get to see her every day and keep an eye on her. The person I gave her to bred her every year and she got really worn out esp with the drought and no grass growing the last 2 summers. this time she got super skinny...her hair got very rough/bristley and discolored and she was very weak and slow. So I put her in my attached small pasture and just took over because I didn't think she would make it long with out help.

I wormed her, got her on Replemen plus, keep her feeder stocked with timothy hay, feed her about a cup and 1/2 of alfalfa pellets for breakfast and the same for dinner, around lunchtime I go out and clip an armful of fresh greens from our yard (includes any or all of these: Olive bush, glycine, hibiscus, and a big weed grass we call sticky grass) and once a day she usually gets a little tupperware full of my cuttings from my smoothie and salad that I make from fruits and veggies.

She looks MUCH better...hair is shiny and smooth...black and white coloring is more vibrant...she acts like she has more energy. She does have a belly now..it was flat before...but I can see her ribs when the light hits her a certain way and her back bone and hip bones stick out like crazy. Her sides sink in sooo far. Vet said she looks really skinny. I can't pick her up to weigh her but according to her measurements a couple of months ago she was 84.50 pounds. she's not a tall goat..medium sized.

So now I"m worried she's getting skinnier because she's so spoiled and picky and we had a hay situation. The feed stores were out of Timothy hay so I had to get alfalfa hay. Of course she loves that but now doesn't want anything else. When I got it I was always mixing it with the timothy hay I had left...and when more timothy hay came in I kept mixing it thinking maybe she needed it because she's so skinny. I'm sure she always just fished around and ate the alflafa hay and not the timothy hay.

Now I'm getting low on the alfalfa hay...so I started only giving her a little by itself at night to replace the dinner alfalfa pellet feeding. But she cries and cries for food all day now and will barely eat her timothy hay. Since she's having a weight gain problem and is older I don't know if I should buy more alfalfa hay or let her get hungry enough to start eating her Timothy hay again.

Since she's so old should she be eating more alfalfa hay? I know Timothy hay is the least nutritious of what we have available here. I also now own her 7 mo old daughter Rio...so she's eating whatever mom eats.
 

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You could add some BOSS in with her feed. Cpl Tbs a day. Or some people add dyne to feed, or flax seed oil for added fat.
I think when animals get older, their bodies just don’t digest the nutrients out of food as easily 🥹
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Awesome...thank you for all the suggestions!

So beet pulp ...I"m guessing it's the one for the horses? For some reason all the beet pulp for horses on Amazon is no longer available. I see it for dogs? Beet pulp shreds at Jeffers Pet is also not available. I'll call my feed store and ask if they have it.

I read somewhere that goats can digest the whole flax seeds? over the past 3 years I have been using whole flas seeds to get rid of my lupus. I grind them myself in my smoothies..if you buy them preground they oxidize super quick and don't have much of the good omega 3 left in them. If I were to use the oil I was told by my doc I would need cold pressed. Flax seeds have been kind of pricey for me.... so for a goat....is there a cheaper brand of whole flax seed for animals? or would this oil work for goats?

for b-12 can I give panda my own B-12 pill? I have chewables.

Thank you!!!!!
 

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second senior horse feed. my older doe loved it. I used purina senior and triple crown senior. I feed my mare triple crown right now but for a goat purina senior is cheaper. Yes 50 pound bag. Its a complete feed for seniors usually caused by teeth issues from age so it has all the fiber needed.
 

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Awesome...thank you for all the suggestions!

So beet pulp ...I"m guessing it's the one for the horses? For some reason all the beet pulp for horses on Amazon is no longer available. I see it for dogs? Beet pulp shreds at Jeffers Pet is also not available. I'll call my feed store and ask if they have it.

I read somewhere that goats can digest the whole flax seeds? over the past 3 years I have been using whole flas seeds to get rid of my lupus. I grind them myself in my smoothies..if you buy them preground they oxidize super quick and don't have much of the good omega 3 left in them. If I were to use the oil I was told by my doc I would need cold pressed. Flax seeds have been kind of pricey for me.... so for a goat....is there a cheaper brand of whole flax seed for animals? or would this oil work for goats?

for b-12 can I give panda my own B-12 pill? I have chewables.

Thank you!!!!!
Yeah the beet pulp is with the horse feed but can be used for goats
 

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What Daisymay said. The senior horse feed comes in a 50 lb bag. I usually get the Nutrena low molasses version because that's easily available at Tractor Supply and the regular senior feeds have way more molasses than I'd like. The beet pulp also comes from the feed store in maybe a 40 lb bag? If I can get them to eat it soaked, I soak it because the extra hydration is good for them. The Calf Manna is a supplement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Spent the weekend down from my back acting up...awesome to come back here with so much clarification..thank you so much! I'm going to my feed store on Wed....hoping and praying they have the senior feed. I was noticing her today...seems she is even skinnier :( her sides sink in so far..it looks like I could use her back bone sides as a handle to lift her up 😳
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
do you notice how she is eating hay? does it look like she is having problems? if you could find some brush for her i bet it will help. you can just give her free choice alfalfa pellets
It seems to me like she eats it just fine...and the harder stuff too like olive bush she devours that. She was on an eating strike for a couple few days since she got addicted to alfalfa hay and I took it away. I don't know if that is okay for me to only feed her alfalfa hay and alfalfa pellets..like is that too much alfalfa for her and her daughter Rio?

at lunch I always cut fresh forage from our property for her and Rio (olive bush, hibiscus, glycine and a sticky grass weed) but I am always trying to balance with her that she's not getting too much rich greens at once because she would always get soft poop if I fed just a little too much. She seems to be doing better though lately. (I offer her baking soda often and give her probiotics off and on) Maybe I should cut more forage...but give it spaced a couple hours apart.

I'm so afraid she would eat so much alfafa pellets if left out free choice and get diarrhea. would she really manage it herself? Would free choice be okay for her daughter too? They are in the same area.

another thing that may be effecting some recent weight loss... my husband just built a hay feeder for them a couple weeks ago...her daughter eats from it all the time, but Panda only eats from it a little so I just figured yesterday I need to keep putting more hay down in troughs and buckets arround the yard. She knows how to use it...she ate from it a lot when there was alfalfa hay in it. It's attached the wall of their little shed...maybe the way she has to put her neck to pull hay out of it is hurting her now that she's older. When I owned her years ago...we had the same set up and she ate from it all the time...but back then I only fed her alfalfa hay.

She's crying right now..like she's hungry...it's almost 11:00 am...I usually go out and get clippings from the property at 12:30pm .I know she's quiet when shes full and doens't usually start crying for food until around 12 - 12:30 so something is up. She just split 3 cups of alfalfa pellets with her daughter and a flake of timothy hay split into two diff feed buckets at about 8:45 am..at 10:45 I brought out a little tub of cut fruits and veggies w/ banana peel, zuchini, celery, carrots, limes, apples...but that was more like a snack...it always makes her happy to wait that last hour or so.
 

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if you are worried about that you can always get timothy pellets or orchard pellets. i know some herds just feed alfalfa, im on the coast and alfalfa is hard to come by and the alfalfa hay molds fast.
im thinking pellets would be better for her since she is older and likely missing teeth
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
oh I didn't know there was such a thing as timothy and orchard pellets. I'll have to check my poorly stocked feed stores. She hates orchard hay..so hopefully they have timothy pellets. I agree that might be a good idea to leave that out free choice incase her teeth are having a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If feeding alfalfa pellets and sr feed, doesn’t she still need some longer stemmed roughage for rumen health? Just don’t want to overlook that…

I would still put hay out...just offer the pellets free choice just in case she is having a problem. I will still be cutting fresh grown forage for her too. Her daughter is only 7 months..so I've got her to think about as well.
 
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