What to feed goat with Calculi stones???

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by bobb, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. bobb

    bobb New Member

    Sep 20, 2010
    Hi Guys,

    Like I said in my Calculi stones post, I need help with feeding my calculi stricken Boer goat. The operation was a success but I'm scared to death to feed him anything other than orchard grass hay for fear of recurrance. I'd like to be able to stop ramming the AC/water mixture down his throat every morning, as I don't feel great doing it and I know he doesn't like it.....but don't see any way to be able to stop and be sure the stones won't recur. Before he developed the calculi stones he ate mostly orchard grass and I'd give him a handful or less of Purina Goat Chow a few times a week. He'd also get whatever fruit I had around, which he enjoyed, and I'd also give him whatever branches or brush I trimmed from around the place, but not much else.

    Now that he's had the operation I'd like him to gain back the weight he lost during the ordeal, but he's a rather fussy eater. So right now he gets a banana in the morning along with ochard grass hay in the morning and at night. Lately I've tried peanut butter, melon, pumpkin, nectarines, and he's not interested. I just read about a grain called Purina Show Goat that has the AC in it and my vet said I could give him a cup or less each day......but I'm a little hesitant to give him any grain, even though I'm sure he'd love it based on how much he liked the Purina Goat Chow I gave him before the surgery. I also tried giving him the powdered minerals (Manna I believe) I read about on this forum.....but he didn't eat it. I can't topcoat the hay, so I'm not sure how to give him his minerals. If he likes the Show Goat I'm thinking I can try to mix it with that. But right now it's just a banana in the morning and a few flakes of hay during the day.....but he's not really gaining any weight.

    So the million dollar question is what should I feed my goat knowing he has calculi stones? Any advice would be truly appreciated.

  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    a feed with AC in it is what I feed my buck who had UC. He has been great since :)

  3. cmjust0

    cmjust0 New Member

    Oct 8, 2009
    The type of stone you're usually dealing with in goat urinary calculi is called "struvite" or "MAP" stones -- magnesium ammonium phosphate. They form in neutral to basic liquid and are easily dissolved with acid.. Grain products are generally pretty high in phosphorus. When blood calcium levels are low, the goat's intestines will absorb a lot of phosphorus, and so the goat's blood phosphate levels will be high. Phosphates are filtered out by the kidneys and go straight into the bladder. That's where the phosphate part of struvite comes from.

    Blood calcium/phosphates are inversely related.. That is to say, if blood calcium levels are *high*, the intestines won't accept so much phosphorus. That's why you see goat-labeled feeds mixed to have twice the calcium as they have phosphorus -- the "2:1 ratio" everyone talks about. Most also have ammonium chloride, which is an acidifier..

    What I'd suggest, personally, is to make sure blood calcium levels stay up. That means adding a source of supplemental calcium to the diet. For my post-UC "dribbler" buck, what I did was feed alfalfa pellets, because alfalfa's Ca:p ratio usually runs about 6:1. The pellets I was using were gauranteed 17% protein -- but I suspect they were likely higher than that.

    Since then, we've added other young bucks to the pen and are now feeding a 16% 'developer' type feed labeled for goats (it's mixed 2:1 Ca:p and has added AC -- but it's also the same feed that my UC guy seized up on) and we mix that 50/50 with alfalfa pellets. It's working for us. The cool thing about adding alfalfa pellets is that it's easy to do, and you don't generally have to worry that it's going to bring down the overall protein level of your feed.

    Granted, most people will tell you to stay away from alfalfa when it comes to bucks, because people know that alfalfa is high in calcium and they worry about calculi...because the words sound similar. Once you understand the chemistry of the whole thing, though, what you find is that adequate calcium saves lives.

  4. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    simple break down: if feeding grass hay dont feed grain. If feeding alfalfa hay feed some grain (having one with AC in it is an added bonus and encouraged for buck owners).
  5. naturalgoats

    naturalgoats New Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    cmjust0: I thought that the goats could get calcium calculi as well..? I'm pretty sure that that is what my vet said when I talked to him......please correct me if I'm wrong...