for people who love the littlest dairy goats
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 !
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.
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.
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.
You're welcome! Good luck!