Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hi there, I have 3 old ND goats that have just been pet goats and weed eaters for 12 years. I just moved to Wyoming and am getting two doelings when they are weaned. I want to start milking and will have a ton of questions. How old should doelings be before getting bred for the first time?
Any suggestions on feed and nutrients for the doelings? My old goats are on pasture now. I don’t know what nutrients may be lacking here, can anyone recommend a mineral supplement I should be using?
Thanks!

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Barbara, I will let others chime in on your questions as I am still a complete newbie myself, still waiting to get my goats next month, but I did want to say welcome to the group.

Hi Barbara,

I don't have experience with raising goats in Wyoming, but goats love to browse on pasture.  I suppose it depends on what is in the pasture, but there are so many things that benefit goats in most pastures.  They welcome many weeds, and get a lot of nutrition from many of them.  My girls love to eat raspberry leaves, red osier dogwood when it's young, thistle, rape, dandelion, birdsfoot trefoil, purple and white clover, grasses, alfalfa, willow, tag elder, popple, birch, balsam fir, pine...I'm sure there are plenty more that I can't think of now.

Many people give grain to growing does until they're about 6 months old.  I used to do that (used Purina Goat Chow), but more recently I just give my growing kids hay and fresh water along with any grazing the herd gets to do.  They also get access to a loose mineral made for goats  (I use ManaPro and MRX from Restora-Life), kelp, and baking soda when they're getting grazing time.  The baking soda helps keep them from getting acidosis and bloating from changes in diet like grazing different plants or too much fresh grass.

I would continue caring for them the same way they're currently being cared for, and then slowly make any changes you decide are necessary.  This will help to reduce stress and rumen upset from too many changes.

I hope this is somewhat helpful to you.  Have fun with your new girls! :)

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