Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

I have 3 or 4 kids I purchased that have the round bellies like a watermelon. Fecals are clean. I don't want them to be smaller than normal. What can I do to correct this?

The buckling is 6 months old and the doelings are 4-6 months. Im in Texas so its HOT here and afraid of giving too much grain to the buckling. Ive been feeding my mix, Alfalfa pellets, rolled oats, blackeye peas and BOSS. Ive started giving the buckling a bagged feed that contains ammonium chloride. 

They have sudan hay available also.

Thanks!!

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Looks like this is the same question you asked on my website. In case you didn't see my answer, here it is:

It’s probably either worms or coccidia. A fecal can only confirm parasites. It cannot rule them out. Goat are not always shedding a consistent number of worm eggs or coccidia in every poop. Plus you can easily have an error in a fecal. If it is not done soon enough, the eggs can hatch, and then you won’t see anything in the fecal, which is looking for eggs. When it’s hot out, eggs can hatch in a few hours. If you were told there is nothing in the fecal, that is actually a red flag that something was done incorrectly. They should see something because all goats have parasites — but it should be in low enough numbers that it doesn’t make the goat sick.

As a vet professor explained to me years ago, a big belly is a sign of a kid that’s starving to death and is trying to eat as much as possible, but the parasites are either sucking their blood (barber pole worm) or consuming the nutrients in the food or feces in their digestive tract (other roundworms). Coccidia can also cause a big belly.

Check the eyelids. They should be dark pink to red. If they are light pink or white, the kids are anemic, which are symptoms of barber pole worm or coccidiosis when paired with poor body condition.

The grains you are feeding them are not nutritious. They are mostly carbs, except sunflower seeds, which are normally fed to milkers to increase butterfat. If you are going to feed a grain to kids, it should be a high-quality goat feed, such as Purina Goat Chow or Dumor Sweet Goat feed, both of which have about 35-40 ppm copper and other minerals. Other goat feeds have half as much copper. Those two goat feeds are also about 16% protein. The grains you are feeding are less than half that much, which does not help with real growth.

In addition, I'd suggest uploading photos of the kids so we can see what they look like.

First photo is 4 months old, 

Next photo, black buckling is 6 months old. 

From this angle, they kind of look like they are overweight with a body condition of 4, especially the chamoisee (the first one). Can you upload photos of them from the side and also from the front or back?

What color are the eyelids?

How much do they weigh? 

Eyelids are light pink, weighs 18.5  on July 5. Photos following.

Wow! The 4-month-old spotted kid is 18.5 pounds? That's tiny. I won't sell my kids until they're 20#, which usually happens around 8 to 10 weeks. I wish I could get my hands on them because I'm not seeing any bones sticking out. That doesn't look like hay bellies. However, I'd like to see more pictures of the one that's mostly black. The body condition on this one looks good in all the photos, but it's just not big enough for its age.

If the other kids are also such low weights, they need lots of protein and calcium. All of those added grains are not helping them. They need an excellent goat feed like Purina Goat Chow or Dumor Sweet Goat feed, both of which has around 40 ppm copper and 16% protein. Other goat feeds (including other Purina and Dumor goat feeds) have about half that much copper. Start with about 1/2 cup a day (1/4 cup morning and afternoon) and gradually increase to 1 cup a day, but only feed that much until they are about 30 pounds, then cut back to the smaller amount. And of course, cut back if anyone gets diarrhea. 

For calcium, you can feed them alfalfa hay and/or alfalfa pellets. They can eat as much alfalfa as they want -- either hay or pellets, as long as they have access to some long-stem forage like pasture or browse. If they have no pasture or browse, then you will need to feed some actual alfalfa hay to keep their rumen functioning properly. Here's a podcast where I interviewed a ruminant nutritionist about forage, hay, hay pellets, etc. 

https://thriftyhomesteader.com/forage-and-feeding-goats/

If any of these kids had a bad case of coccidiosis when they were younger, they could have damaged intestines, which would prevent them from ever absorbing nutrients properly. Hopefully that is not the case. 

What do the others weigh?

They both had coccidiosis when little. The black buckling is 31 lbs. now. Here is the side view. 

It's been 100 outside here so will the bucklings be okay as long as they have mineral with ammonium chloride in it? 

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

Wow! The 4-month-old spotted kid is 18.5 pounds? That's tiny. I won't sell my kids until they're 20#, which usually happens around 8 to 10 weeks. I wish I could get my hands on them because I'm not seeing any bones sticking out. That doesn't look like hay bellies. However, I'd like to see more pictures of the one that's mostly black. The body condition on this one looks good in all the photos, but it's just not big enough for its age.

If the other kids are also such low weights, they need lots of protein and calcium. All of those added grains are not helping them. They need an excellent goat feed like Purina Goat Chow or Dumor Sweet Goat feed, both of which has around 40 ppm copper and 16% protein. Other goat feeds (including other Purina and Dumor goat feeds) have about half that much copper. Start with about 1/2 cup a day (1/4 cup morning and afternoon) and gradually increase to 1 cup a day, but only feed that much until they are about 30 pounds, then cut back to the smaller amount. And of course, cut back if anyone gets diarrhea. 

For calcium, you can feed them alfalfa hay and/or alfalfa pellets. They can eat as much alfalfa as they want -- either hay or pellets, as long as they have access to some long-stem forage like pasture or browse. If they have no pasture or browse, then you will need to feed some actual alfalfa hay to keep their rumen functioning properly. Here's a podcast where I interviewed a ruminant nutritionist about forage, hay, hay pellets, etc. 

https://thriftyhomesteader.com/forage-and-feeding-goats/

If any of these kids had a bad case of coccidiosis when they were younger, they could have damaged intestines, which would prevent them from ever absorbing nutrients properly. Hopefully that is not the case. 

What do the others weigh?

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