Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

This was posted elsewhere. As I recall, it is counter to what I have usually read, but perhaps I am misunderstanding some things.

"actually alfalfa is great for boys - they need the calcium. The best ratio of calcium to phosphorous is 2:1 (more calcium then phosphorous) to keep the chance of stones developing to minimum."

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I had an issue with zinc deficiency in a doe last year and gave her BOSS and pumpkin seeds (without the hull) morning and night for five days (didn't record how much I gave her though, probably a few tablespoons of each).

She was losing hair and had a lot of dandruff, so I also rubbed sunflower oil into her coat.

I started to see improvement so stopped giving her so much extra and began adding BOSS to the daily ration.  I had stopped adding it a month before her coat got crappy.

But adding more zinc to the diet might not do a ton of good if it's an absorption issue due to excess calcium.

Maybe feed the zinc rich supplements a few hours before feeding grain/alfalfa?

My opinion which has worked for all my bucks...I do not ever feed alfalfa.  I did in the beginning and I noticed that they became very aggressive.  So for 8 years I do not feed alfalfa.  I feed, oat hay, sudan, tricale, higare, bermuda, beardless wheat. Bucks don't need the extra calcium.  My does do not get alfalfa except the ones that are pregnant and lactating nursing their kids.  I free range the does and do not feed grain at all.  Mine has been healthy with no issues of any kind.

I hear so many varied views on alfalfa and the bucks.  Back years ago when I had Nubians I feed alfalfa to all my goats.   Usually some grass hay top dressed with alfalfa.  Never had a problem.

I do the same now - my bucks and one wether with an older buck - get grass hay or orchard grass and some alfalfa am and pm.  I have been lucky - never had a problem with the boys.    But I have very acid spring water and I always give them two buckets of water,   a fresh and one with ACV in it. 

I went to a talk a lady gave about goat care - she had 50 years experience.   Said she fed her bucks alfalfa   as that was all that was available for her.   She said she never had a problem and always salted their feed a little to make them drink more water.  Just a shake of table salt.   Maybe the amount of water they drink is a key thing??   I also am taking beards off the boys for the rut season.   Urine from the beard into water bucket would make less drinking - I didn't  really think of this until the linear appraiser said he never let a buck have a beard for that reason.  My Nubian buck didn't have a beard but these little guys can get pretty long.   

Thanks Bev, I love that kind of wisdom from people who have been doing this for a long time. Such a logical thing to do, but it never occurred to me! 

Winding River Farm (Bev) said:

I hear so many varied views on alfalfa and the bucks.  Back years ago when I had Nubians I feed alfalfa to all my goats.   Usually some grass hay top dressed with alfalfa.  Never had a problem.

I do the same now - my bucks and one wether with an older buck - get grass hay or orchard grass and some alfalfa am and pm.  I have been lucky - never had a problem with the boys.    But I have very acid spring water and I always give them two buckets of water,   a fresh and one with ACV in it. 

I went to a talk a lady gave about goat care - she had 50 years experience.   Said she fed her bucks alfalfa   as that was all that was available for her.   She said she never had a problem and always salted their feed a little to make them drink more water.  Just a shake of table salt.   Maybe the amount of water they drink is a key thing??   I also am taking beards off the boys for the rut season.   Urine from the beard into water bucket would make less drinking - I didn't  really think of this until the linear appraiser said he never let a buck have a beard for that reason.  My Nubian buck didn't have a beard but these little guys can get pretty long.   

That's really pretty funny about the beards and water since the bucks pee on their beards and directly into their mouths! Mine drink the water fine and all day long. I don't think they mind a little of their pee in the water at all!

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