Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

I learned so much in our last discussion regarding pregnant does, I would love to have a discussion about buck feeding. I have 3 young bucks-- 2 who are about 1 year and 1 little guy who is 5 months. They were all extremely small when I got them and I have managed to fatten the boys up nicely and put meat on their bones by feeding them grain morning and night-- just a little. They each get 1/4 cup (1/2 cup per day) and free choice hay (mediocre quality). I got some ammonium chloride and tried adding a pinch to each of their servings but I'm afraid of not knowing how much of it would be too much. Also have read that alfalfa is GOOD for bucks who get grain as it balances the calcium to phosphorous ratio but others say (even some vets) NO alfalfa for bucks. Please give me your take on this. It's another one of those questions that I can't get my head wrapped around. 

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I feed my boys Hay pellets in the morning and evening so they still think they are getting grain (Timothy/Grass mix pellets) and they get free-choice cosal hay (mediocre quality as well). My buck is in really good condition and my wether is a little chubby. I stopped giving them alfalfa because my buck seemed to be having trouble peeing and I was worried it was from the high calcium in the alfalfa (they were getting no grain at the time). I added some apple cider vinegar to their water and stopped the alfalfa and he hasn't had any problems since. I have noticed that my boys need COWP more often than my girls do(they have free-choice loose mineral too), probably because they aren't getting it in the grain like the girls are. 

Oh yes I forgot to mention my boys get timothy hay pellets too. They eat those a lot more than they do the hay. My concern is if I give the boys grain at all, do I have to balance it with alfalfa? My little guy is only 19 pounds and he's 5 months old. The big boys have been on this small amount of grain since they arrived here and were severely undernourished and tiny. They are nice sized and healthy now.

I don't know what is right - but my two bucks get a handful of grain am and pm, probably less than a 1/4 of a cup a day because it is the only way I can get easily into their area.   They will run to their dish when I tell them to -for the taste of the grain.  I also give them a handful of alfalfa am with their grass hay and evening they get a little chaffehaye.  Not much.   They look good - no troubles with them.   My older one is 3 1/2 the little one is 10 months.  I put a pinch of ammonia chloride on the grain a few times a week.  Our water is very acid and I think that probably helps.  They also get ASV in their water a few times a week.    I was thinking of trying the hay pellets also.   Maybe they would like that and could skip the grain.     

Years ago when I had nubians I never heard of UC - feed my big buck some alfalfa and some grain.   Small amounts just to keep him looking really good.  Never had trouble, nor did anyone else I knew then.  Things seemed to have gotten more complicated somehow.  Or what's that saying "Ignorance is bliss?"   We seemed to have learned so much now that I am always questioning myself.  

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