Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hello, everyone..

We have eleven Nigerian ones. Due to some difficulties--lack of time mostly--we've gotten into a problem raising our caprines. These guys are overweight ! They have been on Timothy Grass mostly, salt and some minerals ocassionally..and of course, water renewal on a daily basis. Although, I have to say that when available(every now and then) we switch to Orchard Grass.

Every other day they go on the back of our barn into a 4-acre field for browsing purposes. We DO need to sell them ! Problem is that we have to manage ourselves to make them lose a pretty good amount of pounds. Their ages range from 2 years and a half to 5 years old. I know that some of you might be asking " How much grain do you give them? " -- That's a question whose answer I wouldn't be able to give with precise details...Again I say it : Lack of time to provide these guys with proper care has been the main issue. It's not that they're basically abandoned. No,..no. They've been only on the basics..

We need the most straightforward instructions you may come up with..leading us to " rescue" them by getting them back to their normal, acceptable weight. 

Any help on this matter, any feedback you may think of.. we will by all means appreciate it. In advance, thanks a lot !

Ruben.

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Hi Ruben,

They do not look too overweight in this picture. Their winter fluff is deceiving. Do you know how to body score?

I am hoping I understood your post correctly and do not offend.

I see that you are in Asheville. There should be plenty of reputable breeders in your area. I would go to the usual social media and associations for your area and look for some buyers. In my opinion it would be better to get them off the farm a bit chunky that to try to get their weight down if you do not have time to look after them. The lack of time could lead into other problems not as easy to correct as weight. Seeing it appears you have already decided to sell them I would just go ahead and do so.

Your Goats look clean, happy and healthy. It is too bad you have to move them off your farm. Two things that will help sell them quickly is to get them tested for Biosecurity ahead of time and set a very reasonable price. Please, Please be picky about where they go, they look like they are a great bunch and deserve a loving home. If we were closer I'd be hooking up the trailer unfortunately Wisconsin is just a bit too far. Good Luck.

Hi, Bob Thomas..

Perhaps I should've been more precise than I thought I was when conveying my point. Pictures are in most cases a little tricky to come up with a more reliable assessment. In giving credits to your point, I think I can stick with the fact that we have 4-5 goats that are overweight [ see "Careleche" one of the 5-year old female goat  in the inserted nighttime-taken picture]. Concerning my knowledge of how to do the goat-body-scoring thing, my answer to your question is nope [to my shame]...however, I believe we don't have any need for it based on a recent visit performed by our Mobile Vet Service person here in town [urine calculi in one of our ueders]. From the 1st. minute he took at 3 of our goats he said " Ooops..! looks like you people got overweight goats..". So, the Vet just confirmed our worries.

We're planning on moving out of NC. It may be just a matter of a few months, hence the reason why we want to sell most of our current farm...chickens included.  I'm now going to take advantage of your feedback by asking : To what extent does the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association documents [ we have them, but we have to deeply rummage through a whole bunch of papers ] influence goat-pricing talk between a buyer and a seller ? This factor, along with the appearance of our caprine guys

is what we're concerned about once the selling-process thing kicks off. Also, Would it be possible to get a rough idea of how long it would take for the overweight ones to get back to normal weight ?

Thanks a lot for your swift response to our inquiries. We do appreciate it just like other feedbacks that from this thread may

be looming ahead.

Ruben.

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Good Afternoon Ruben,

I am not a professional or a  Vet but have been through most of the trials and tribulations associated with goats so I will try my best here. Remember 10 of us will have 7 different opinions.

Hopefully someone else can jump in and help here  as well but I still don't see the weight as being a big issue.  There is a  You Tube from ADGA on body scoring. It is easy to do and only take a few seconds. I suggest viewing that. Basically you are putting your hands on the goat over the backbone and judging their body fat based on how must spread there is at your hand. Easy to do. I don't presume to question a Vets abilities but I would look into it and revisit the issue with more knowledge.

Registration documents are needed if you want to sell them at a good price as registered goats vs. pets. So that is your decision. as an ADGA member you can go to the ADGA Association and print their registration document for reference. It won't be the original fancy registration but it will have the registration info and the transfer can be done online if both parties are ADGA members. In my area (S. Wisconsin) I would say the average price for a quality registered doe is $300-$350.00 and the price of a pet quality doe is $100.00.-$150.00.

No telling how long it will take to get their weight where you want it to be. I would NOT suggest putting them on diet per say. You will run the possibility of other issues if you disrupt their digestion and rumen such as Thiamine deficiency AKA Goat Polio.  Best course is to feed them per grain label instructions and they will eventually adjust. There is no "Jenny Craig" for goats. Your grain label should have instructions on how much to feed them. Using a quality feed like Noble Goat would be better than a generic sweet feed with lots of carbohydrates. Many times goats will get fat on fillers and carb rather than getting the nutrition they need because the feed is loaded with fillers and carbs. Again it is better for the animal to be on a good nutrition plan and they will begin to adjust without suffering ill effects. Again I can't stress enough they need to eat regularly and can not fast (skip a meal).

I would offer this; find a breeder nearby and ask them to help. Even if they don't want to buy them perhaps they would be willing to visit and guide you through next steps. Eyes on will be a much more efficient approach. Good Luck.

In terms of registration, you will be better off price wise to sell them with their papers. Unregistered goats go for much lower prices and there is not as high of a demand.

As for weight loss, I would personally stop feeding grain, if you are feeding any. Healthy adult goats really don't need grain under most circumstances except during lactation. I also wouldn't feed any richer hays like alfalfa and stick to just grass hay. That will help with the weight issue. However, I would personally go ahead and sell them without waiting for them to lose all their weight. Just talk to their prospective buyers and explain the situation. I don't think them being a bit over conditioned will affect the sale much.

If these goats have not kidded within the last year and you are not milking them, that's a perfect recipe for getting overweight. Does really need to be bred every year, or weight becomes a challenge -- even when they are being milked. That's the only thing I don't like about extended milking (more than a year). Every doe that I've ever milked for more than a year without breeding has become overweight. 

Dry does, wethers, and bucks do not need grain. You can wean them off it over the course of a week. Just give them a little less every day. Also, dry does, wethers, and bucks do not need alfalfa, so a good green grass hay would work fine.

I agree with the others that there's no need to wait to sell them. Just explain proper feeding to the new buyers so that they don't feed them incorrectly. 

Hi, everyone,..

To every person who's sent a response to my inquiry about our goats being overweight, please receive my sincere and solid thanks [ Bob, Rachel, and lately Deborah...]. I will definitely take into account your viewpoints before we put our goats for sale.

A good green grass hay as a goat-feeding method seems fine to me. Little problem is that we're in the middle of a frigid winter when we're obviously facing scarcity for that kind of food. We depend on farm stores, hence we've been buying Timothy Grass [a product distributed and sold by a company whose name I'd rather skip now to not advertise for free ] every 10 days as an average. As for does without being bred for more than a year... Yes !  That's the truth and you people nailed it ! Because we'd simultaneously undertaken on 2 different projects as a family around 2 years ago, probably our plan backfired as we thought we would be able to handle both projects ( obviously raising goats was one of them, and by the time we took on the 2nd project our goats were already here ), but we just couldn't. The last TWO times we got does giving birth were : February 17, 2015  |   August 17, 2015. Since then, we haven't bred our female goats. 

Again, thanks a lot. Your feedback is much appreciated. It's very likely that we'll proceed according to some of the views you people have kindly expressed on this page.

Ruben.

You're welcome! Good luck!

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