Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hi everyone. It has been quite a while since I posted with a question. My 4 wethers are now about 11 months old, more or less. I may have made a mistake a while back when they outgrew their earlier grain ration and I introduced timothy pellets instead. I know I didn't need to, but they seemed to enjoy the grain pellets so much that I went ahead and did. I give them pellets first thing in the morning and then again in the later afternoon. They have free choice hay and minerals all the time as well.

But in the last couple of months they have gained a considerable amount of weight, to look at them anyway. I'm adding pictures to show their condition. I have tried cutting back on the pellets but they are quite vocal about not having them later in the day, which wouldn't be so terrible except for the neighbors maybe wondering if I am neglecting them.  I am not sure what to do or how much to begin cutting back the pellets, if that is what I should be doing. They have been receiving two quarts of pellets between the 4 of them twice a day. They seem rather frantic to get them and begin eating when I put the pellets in their feeders, as if they are starving, but I know they can't because

Tammy, I remember you saying you fed grass pellets when you couldn't get good hay. How do you know how much to give them?

I can only add one picture at a time and stay under the 5mb limit so I'll add one here and the other two separately as if in additional posts.  At the time I took the pictures, it was early morning and they had just started eating their pellets so I don't think their rumen should have expanded very much yet.

Thanks everyone.

  Ann

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Hi Ann!
I’m not seeing the pictures pop up :( Remind me where you live again? I can’t see the pics, but I’m wondering if it is not thick cashmere coming in that is making them look tubby? My goats all start looking like little marshmallows as the weather begins to get chilly.
The Timothy pellets are just compressed hay, so they should not be adding a significant amount of weight, but the amount you are feeding is what I feed 8. I feed Timothy pellets year round because I use it as a carrier for Bioworma that my goats get daily.
Tammy

Thanks, Tammy.  I don't see the pictures either but do you see a JPG underlined link in green under where it says "attachments"?  I added one to my original post and then one each in two replies.  I am in central Pennsylvania.  Maybe I'll cut back by nearly half and see what happens and then if they are too grouchy, can up it a little. Or work the other way, decreasing by the littles. Thank you for answering!



Tammy Gallagher said:

Hi Ann!
I’m not seeing the pictures pop up :( Remind me where you live again? I can’t see the pics, but I’m wondering if it is not thick cashmere coming in that is making them look tubby? My goats all start looking like little marshmallows as the weather begins to get chilly.
The Timothy pellets are just compressed hay, so they should not be adding a significant amount of weight, but the amount you are feeding is what I feed 8. I feed Timothy pellets year round because I use it as a carrier for Bioworma that my goats get daily.
Tammy
Your welcome! I only see ‘picture added’ with no way to access it. I’ll try on my computer tomorrow and see if that is the issue. I’ve been out of the house most the day today. :) Yeah- I would cut back on the pellets. If you wet just one of those, you will see how much it expands. It is a pretty large volume packed into 1 pellet.

Thanks, Tammy.

Hey there Ann. I was able to get the photos downloaded today =) It really does look like the 'fluff' of their poofy winter coat coming in to me. Definitely keep an eye on them. Pictures can be hard to 'guess' from, but you are there with them everyday and know your boys. They all look perky and alert in the photos. And they are all cute as can be!!!!

I do still think they are getting too much of the pellets at each feeding though. You really do want them to be mainly eating forage and hay, as long as it is good quality. The long stems/fibers stimulate much more chewing than what is required to gobble down pellets, and that is healthier for their rumen because they produce more saliva and bicarbonate when they chew. Since you have plenty of good hay available, I would treat the pellets as more of a treat than a nutritional resource for them =)

Thanks again, Tammy.  I will indeed cut down on the pellets. It is so helpful to know the amounts you are feeding, as I couldn't information about how much to be feeding at all when it came to pellets.  This has been bothering me for a while and I forgot that I could come to the forum and ask. I feel a lot better having a plan now! 

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