I am a new goat owner and boy do I love my babies!! They are a little over 3 months old and are in a pen with our 4 chickens...well, we have found that they looooooove chicken scratch...the poor chickens can't get their treat because the goats take over..lol...The Chicken scratch is mostle cracked corn and other seeds...Thanks for your help ;D
Post by Rose's Goats on Sept 23, 2010 9:47:48 GMT -5
Corn is not good for goats in large amounts because it changes the pH of their stomach's and that's not good at all. I would not feed scratch or any other chicken feed where your goats can get at it. Since the goats are eating all the scratch, I would either stop feeding it or give it to the chickens where the goats can get it. Small amounts (less than a handful per day) probably won't hurt them but I wouldn't make a practice out of feeding it to the goats.
Also be sure the chickens can't poop in the goat's water. The goats will not drink enough water if it is not clean and fresh.
Glad I asked...we have been giving it to them like a treat, and they always come running for it...what is a good treat that will make them come to us when we need them too...I am a new goat owner like I said and I have been feeding them pellets (lamb finishser Pels) and hay..cut from a local farm...I put out fresh wather every morning and just learned yesterday to put out baking soda (in pie plate?) and bought and horse salt lick with copper in it..(is that ok) my local agway doesn't have much for animals other than horses...one of my goats seems to be under the weather today...could be the chicken scratch? Is there anything I can do for her..
Post by callen022471 on Sept 23, 2010 13:03:29 GMT -5
Try raisins (small quantities only!), carrots or apple slices as alternative treats. My goats will come running for just about anything that rattles in a bucket! It's usually just goat feed - but I have been known to trick them into following me by rattling a collar or something in an empty bucket when I needed to... As Rose and others here will tell you, loose minerals are best for goats if you can get them - your feed store may be able to order some for you if they don't carry them regularly and/or a decent dairy cattle mineral may work if they don't have goat minerals. Just avoid sheep minerals that won't contain enough copper. Happy goating!
Post by Rose's Goats on Sept 23, 2010 13:44:43 GMT -5
As Callen said, loose minerals are better than blocks. Goat minerals are better than sheep or "all stock". Goat's mouths are small so a block is too tough for a goat to get enough minerals from. Sheep can't have copper so it's important to get a loose mineral that is made for goats so it will have enough copper (especially if you are feeding lamb pellets which will contain very little to no copper at all).
I recommend Sweetlix Meatmaker 16:8. It's a good loose mineral made for all types of goats (not just meat ones). Most feed stores can special order it for you. It's about $20 per 25 lbs but that amount will last a long time with only 3 goats. It comes in two varieties. One that is medicated with Rumensin and one that isn't. The medicated kind is for the control of coccidia (an internal parasite that isn't a worm). If you are having issues with loose stools, poor health, or general unthriftiness, I recommend the medicated minerals (providing that your grain isn't medicated with a coccidiostat already). The medicated type has to be mixed with grain to feed it. I mix it with a molasses based grain so the mineral will stick to the grain.
The non-medicated Sweetlix can be fed free choice in a pan (like a pie plate). It needs to be refilled every day or so because goats don't like stale minerals. I only put about 1/4 cup out per goat each day so there isn't much waste if the soil the pan or don't eat the minerals right away. I use the non-medicated Sweetlix when I have a goat that I am milking for my consumption. During the winter and when I am not milking, I use the medicated stuff.
As for treats, my goats like crackers and cookies (oatmeal are their favorites!). They also like any fruits.
How is your goat acting under the weather? Is it pooping and peeing normally? What are the symptoms?
I did read about the sweetlix...I emailed the company and will ask my agway to order it... I bought the lamb starter because that was what a guy was feeding his goats at my local agway..do you think I should change to something else? another question, will goats only eat hay and grain when they are hungry, or will they just keep eating...how much should I be feeding them in the morning? Thanks for the treat ideas...that was why I liked the chicken feed, they always come running for the sound of container when I shake it.. So, now... Little Molly is just being kinda lazy...she is going to the bathroom, and eating, she just is being slow...she had a little snotty nose yesterday, but not today.
As the others have said, corn is not good for goats. Chicken feed is fatal to goats if they get into it too often or eat too much of it. My chickens have feeders inside the coop with just a small "chicken door" for access that the goats cannot fit through. The kids sometimes can get in there when they are very young, but an adult goat cannot fit through the door. Too much corn can also cause founder.
laminitis...it is a crippling illness that can cause a lot of pain and abnormal hoof growth. If you google laminitis, you will find a lot of information on it. Grain overload of any kind can cause it, but corn is particularly harmful.
Post by garysfarmer on Sept 24, 2010 6:01:37 GMT -5
Hey plus, welcoome to goatwisdom! ask as many questions as you would like.
You said one of your babies wasn't feeling well or acting kind of lazy. This behavior may be the early signs of illness. Have you checked the lower inner eyelids for color? Red is good, healthy pink is okay, light pink to white is a sign of worm overload. Be careful when administering anything orally. If you get in into their lungs it may cause pnuemonia.
You will need to have some stuff on hand for your goat. I love the "Fortified" Vit B Complex. It's has many positive properties that is needful for a goat. One thing is it will also increase their appetite. Them being so young I would also recommend Di-Methox injectable - 40%. This will be needed if they develop coccidious - which is deadly an not uncommon among very young goats. Power punch or goat nutri-drench are also very helpful in helping a goat get back on the path to recovery. Probably everything that's been mentioned can be bought online at www.jefferslivestock.com or www.jeffers.com. Their phone number is 1-800-Jeffers. There are other places but I'm very satisfied with this international family owned, very well stocked, and one and only store. I think the magic number is $40. If your order is over that the shipping is free.
Homework: Read about Cocci, tape worm, barber pole worm, parasites, listerious, goat polio, anthrax, and probably every post in the weak babies thread.
Post by Rose's Goats on Sept 24, 2010 8:17:28 GMT -5
To answer your earlier question about how much grain and hay: What type of goats do you have? I have full-sized dairy goats so I will tell you what I feed them (it will be different amounts for miniature goats). I give my goats a sweet feed made for goats called "Caprine Challenger" by Blue Seal. The reason I feed this is because they like it a lot and it's easy to get for me. I recommend any sort of molasses based sweet grain that is 10% - 18% protein. Or any type of commercial goat grain that your goats will eat (mine will not eat a plain goat pellet -- they like the molasses better -- SPOILED GOATS!).
For any type of grain, no matter what it is, feed it as a supplement. Grain in massive amounts (whether it is corn based, oat based, wheat based, etc) is bad for any goat. Grain is like donuts. They put weight on fast, but they aren't good as a sole nutrition source and they aren't good in large quantities. I use grain only as a conditioning supplement to keep my goats in top shape. I feed the thin goats more grain, I feed the fat goats little to no grain. Goats that aren't pregnant and aren't lactating, don't need any grain at all unless they are severely underweight. Male goats (unless in rut and currently being used for breeding multiple does) do not need any grain at all at any time. Grain can be fatal to male goats because it increases the formation of kidney stones which are super dangerous to male goats. Neutered males (wethers) are super susceptible to kidney stone (or urinary calculi, as it is sometimes called) because their urethas don't mature as an unneutered adult buck's would.
Thus, I would feed very small amounts of any grain to your goats as a general rule. I do give my goats some grain all year round but it is only 1/4 cup per goat per day. I give the grain so the goats have an incentive to come in the barn and be handled by me. I use it mainly as a training treat when the does aren't pregnant and aren't being milked. When they are pregnant and are lactating, I feed them a little more grain and also feed alfalfa pellets (for their high calcium content).
Hay! Hay is the most important feed that you want to give your goats. Most goats do perfectly well on a good grassy hay that is not moldy. They don't need a super fancy hay as long as the hay is not moldy. Mold is bad for goats. If your goats are out on pasture that has lots of grass and browse to eat, then the goats need a little less hay in the summer. During winter, goats need hay every day, 2X a day. Hay in the winter acts as fuel to their internal furnaces to keep them warm. A goat can freeze to death in winter on a diet of all grain and no hay. Hay is good all year round to keep their stomachs moving and stay healthy. The fiber in hay is great for goats.
The amount of hay I feed my goats depends on the time of year and their appetites. A goat will rarely get fat on too much hay. A goat will never get sick on too much hay. But a goat will waste a lot of hay if you feed them more than they want to eat. Once hay is soiled or on the ground, a goat won't eat it. So I adjust my hay amounts everyday depending on the goats. In the summer when they have lots of pasture to eat, I don't give any hay in the mornings and give a little hay at night. If I come in the morning to do chores and see extra hay in the manger that wasn't eaten, then I don't give them as much hay the next time so they don't waste it. In the winter I give hay 2X a day to keep their furnaces going and since we have snow, there's no pasture to eat at all. I am always trying to find the right balance between enough hay to keep the goats satisfied and not too much hay so I am not wasting it.
As you can see from what I have just said about hay and grain, this is why minerals are so important. Hay doesn't have a lot of minerals in it. It is mostly good fiber. Grain has some minerals but it isn't fed in amounts that help the goats out. So this is where loose minerals step in and fill the gaps.
My feeding program is : lots of hay or pasture, little to no grain, LOTS of loose minerals, lots of fresh water.
Thanks Rose!! They do waste some hay, the stinkers..lol.. and I only put out about a handful at a time... Oh ya, and they are Nigerian Dwarf goats...the one goat that was being kind of slow, seems to be better today...
As for the treats I bought oyster crackers, pretzal, raisins, and animal crackers...they didn't care for any of it...the chickens on the other hand ate all that the goats did not want...haha..I run a home day care so during the day when we are having outside time and I can watch them, I let them roam free. I felt a little guilty shaking the treat bucket, without the chicken scratch.. they were not impressed with the raisins.. lol.
Sorry Garysfarmer, I must have missed your post and just went back over the thread...thanks for all the info...I did look up jeffers.com from another thread and saw the vitamin b was a good thing to have...I am a little unsure of giving the goats injectons though...is it easy..I would probably have to have my hubby do it...lol
That kind of brings up another question...do you all give your goats their shots? Tetnus? And there is one more that is in their paper work that I need to do...When we bought them, the guy said I needed to find a vet for the shots, and after being on Jeffers website (or one of the others) I noticed you can buy tetnus shots online...Oh, and I already bought Zimecterin and have to give them that in a few weeks....
Last Edit: Sept 24, 2010 16:47:10 GMT -5 by plus521
Post by garysfarmer on Sept 25, 2010 6:16:54 GMT -5
You can give them the Vit orally or sq (under the skin). I must emphasis again if given a choice get the "fortified" Vit B Complex rather than just the Vit B Complex. Most goats will give you a fit when they get a shot. I do all my shots sq, which is under the skin between the skin and muscle. Injecting it in the muscle causes a goat great pain.
I usually give them a shot right behind their front legs. Just grab the loose skin and make a tent. Then inject in that area. Becareful not to stick the needle all the way thru. Good luck!