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Goats/Pregnant Goat feed

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Question
Hello, how are you? I have a question to ask you. I have about 10 nanny goats ( 6 boer, 3 fainter and crossbred) going to kid out in march and i was wondering if there is any special feed or minerals i need to be giving them? Also my aunt uses Oreo crumbs from the feed store that she mixes with her sheep feed during pregnancy could that be fed to goats during their pregnancy? Thank you

Answer
Hello - re the Oreo crumbs - if those are the chocolate cookie you're talking about, goats should not have chocolate as they can react to it like dogs/toxic to them.  I suspect the reason your aunt feeds these to the sheep is that she wants them to get sugar into their system so they do not come down with ketosis. But since sheep are ruminants too I am surprised she has not had issues with feeding the crumbs.  So, to your question of what a pregnant doe needs.  A good 14% protein feed - I feed all of our goats a general livestock pelleted feed - it works well for all production of goats including wethers and bucks (who need a 2:1 or 3:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio in their grain to keep from getting urinary calculi).   For a pregnant doe a good feeding calculation is 4 to 5% of their body weight in total feed a day with 1/4 to 1/3 of that in grain and the other 3/4 to 2/3 in hay/roughage.  The last four weeks of pregnancy I drop the grain to the 1/4 amount so the kids do not get too big for delivery - kids grow very fast in the last 4 weeks of gestation.  A regular grass hay or timothy or orchard is best for pregnant does as alfalfa contains too high of calcium and when the doe kids/comes into milk she can come down with hypocalcemia that can be fatal to kids and the doe.  During the last 2 months of gestation I give the does molasses water daily - usually use 1/4 cup of molasses per one gallon of warm water - this keeps their sugars up and ketosis away.  They should be on a good mineral mix - I use horse bricks with selenium, cobalt, copper and other minerals in them - I find these less expensive than the "goat" minerals and have everything the goat needs.  Of course, if you have your goats in with sheep then a different salt is needed without copper.  Four weeks prior to the kidding date a CDT toxoid booster is advised so the kids get passive immunity.  Also, four weeks prior to the kidding date, giving the doe a selenium/vitamin E and D supplement is advised - I use the human tablets and capsules - for adult goats it is ten of the 200 mcg selenium tablets crushed and dissolved in a little hot water and added to that all the oil from a 1000 IU capsule of vitamin E and all the oil from an 800 IU capsule of vitamin D, mix, cool and give as an oral drench.  Selenium helps with uterine muscle strength and keeps the kids' muscles strong and away from white muscle disease.  Hope this helps - 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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