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We’re getting our NDG wethers at 12 weeks old in the spring. They will be strictly pets for us. We finally have the 2:1 cal to phos ratio figured out, but at some point, we’d like to stop, or at least greatly reduce, the amount of grain we plan to feed simply because they won’t really be growing any more. The only problem is I have no idea when that actually is. When does a goat stop growing?

Follow up question: How do I know how much to feed them while they’re growing? Is it just a matter of constantly looking at them? Or is there a good recommended starter amount that I can go off of and see where we land?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good for you for figuring this stuff out now, instead of when you have some kind of a crisis! That is great!
Have you asked the person you're buying from what they recommend?
I have! They made some suggestions, but they also stated they don’t keep wethers— just a few bucks and lots of does, so the requirements are a bit different. They suggested I do some additional research just to be certain.
 

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Ok! I would start with the brand and amount of feed they're already used to when you buy them, then increase or decrease as needed. I like to offer feed during the first 6-10 months, through their first winter, but some goats don't really need it. I have two bucklings right now that just turn their noses up at feed, so I just offer it every once in a while, in case they change their minds. They have good hay, and I figure, if they need the extra, they will change their minds about the feed. :)
I don't have experience with NDs, specifically. The most feed I've ever given to a growing buckling/ wether was about 1/2 pound, which is roughly a cup and a half, and often not that much. Beyond that first winter, I just keep an eye on their condition to see if they need anything beyond their hay and mineral.
 

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Do you know if they will already be started on grain when you pick them up?

With my first goats (doeling and wether), I didn't feed any grain at all, just good quality hay, browse, and free choice loose minerals. The people I bought them from said they ONLY feed grain to their does in milk and recommended that we didn't feed grain to the kids we were purchasing from them. I don't think that our goats were ever too thin. So if your end goal is not to feed grain once your boys are older, you might be able to get away with just feeding a good quality hay from the start.

I don't keep wethers either, but while their are still here and nursing off of mom, they get 1/4 cup of grain twice a day. If I did keep my wethers, I would continue the 1/4 cup (twice a day) as long as they stay in good condition for about year at the most. If they need more weight though, I will up their grain amount to 1/2 cup (twice a day). Or if I feel they no longer need grain I'll stop. So really, there is no "one size fits all" amount, you just have go off of their body condition. You don't want a fat or thin goat. Some goats require more grain, while others can do just fine on 100% hay. You really just have to "play around" until you find the perfect amount for your boys.

I will say, once you start feeding grain, it's really hard to stop! Goats LOVE grain and it will take some time (and a lot of patience with their screaming on your part) for them to adjust from going to grain to no grain. 😉😊

Goats make awesome pets, can't wait to see your boys!! Good job researching everything beforehand, I'm sure you'll make an amazing goat mom! 😁
 

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Keep checking their body condition score (1 is low, 6 is high). If they are under a 3, you can slowly add grain. If they start reaching a 4, you can start pulling back. There are charts and helpful descriptions on Google and YouTube. You can check them at feeding time to get a idea once or twice a week.

Majority of growing is usually over by 12 months (if not sooner). They are completely done filling out at around 3 years old.

Sounds like you’ll be a great goat mom! Keep up the good work.
 

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We’re getting our NDG wethers at 12 weeks old in the spring. They will be strictly pets for us. We finally have the 2:1 cal to phos ratio figured out, but at some point, we’d like to stop, or at least greatly reduce, the amount of grain we plan to feed simply because they won’t really be growing any more. The only problem is I have no idea when that actually is. When does a goat stop growing?

Follow up question: How do I know how much to feed them while they’re growing? Is it just a matter of constantly looking at them? Or is there a good recommended starter amount that I can go off of and see where we land?
Good for you that you were able to figure out the right grain to hay ratio.. and that your goats are going to be pets❣‼ Mine are all rescues except for the accidental babies that we thought were an insulated conception! We had no idea my does were pregnant long story but mine too are my pets😁 I couldn't love them more.. when you get your goats, please show us pictures. I have been keeping goats for 8 years now, we are getting ready to put the new barn..ill attach a picture.. have you built a barn? And how did you figure out the ratio??? 8 can't! I only give my older girl, sweet Stella grain to keep weight on her, she has to be one of the sweetest does EVER! She's so lovable ❣❣❣ this is before we finished everything 🥰
 

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I have! They made some suggestions, but they also stated they don’t keep wethers— just a few bucks and lots of does, so the requirements are a bit different. They suggested I do some additional research just to be certain.
I just saw that you were talking about keeping weather's..I have 7 wethers and I adore each one, we had a Billy because we rescue unwanted goats and one was a year old but still had one testicle, had him fixed under anesthesia because he was too big for any other way. I love my boys and girls 😍 this is my little guy Rowdie 🐐😁
 

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