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Goats/Proper Feeding Portions

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Question
I have 3 Nigerian Dwarfs, all males, about 4 months old. I adopted them.
I was told when they were babies they had bad case of worms and were very thin. They were treated for worms.
As for daily feeding I am giving one table spoon of pellets that contains Ammonium Chloride (for UC) to each goat. For hay/grass, I was told to let them free feed. All three of them eat like there is no tomorrow, thus thier tummies are like a little bowling ball.
I am questioning the free feeding, how much is hay/grass is appropriate for thier age?

Answer
Hello:  Are these wethers, that is, castrated? Are you not feeding any grain at all?  Re the ammonium chloride that is not needed on a daily basis unless they are on the incorrect feed, that is feed that does not have the correct 2:1 or better 3:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio for bucks and wethers to keep urinary calculi away.  The hay they are getting is straight grass hay?, no alfalfa, or timothy, etc.? Nigerian Dwarfs to tend to have large barrels, as is seen also in Pygmy goats.  Is their poop pelleted now?  What wormer did you use?

As an example of a good feed regimen for growing kid goats: 1/2 flake of grass hay or compressed timothy for each kid goat 4 to 6 months of age twice a day/a.m. and p.m. - you can also switch between these two hays every other day; along with this they should be getting a pelleted general livestock grain once or twice a day - this should have between 14 and 16% protein along with vitamins and minerals - we use something called Farm Blend from Del's/Tractor Supply feed company here in Washington State - each goat would get 1 to 1 1/2 cups of this a day.  They also need to have free choice minerals - either loose or brick form - we like the horse type as these usually contain copper, selenium and other minerals, which goats need, and are very economical compared to "goat" minerals.  If the goats are housed with sheep then you cannot use salts with copper added as sheep cannot have copper.  

Hope this helps - let me know about the answers to the questions so I have all the information for giving you a good feeding formula.  Thanks - Donna

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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres

Expertise

All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.

Experience

27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

Organizations
NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Publications
Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

Education/Credentials
4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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