Goats/goat horns

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Question
I have 3 goats that are now 15 weeks old.  They were orphans born on the slaughterhouse floor.

The 2 that look to be mostly boer have rough, scally horns.  The other does not.  These bottle babies are just being weaned and are being offered grain and hay.  They don't like either.  They will forage the fields and yard when allowed.

What can we do to encourage them to eat the provided food?  I have read that protien is a big thing in horn development.  Why would the 2 and not the other have poor horn growth?

Answer
Regular goat grain can be hard for kid goats to digest and also not be attractive in smell or taste to the kid goats.  I start my bottle kids on Calf Manna which has high protein, fats, minerals and vitamins and most kid goats love to eat that - starting each kid on about one or two tablespoons once or twice a day will provide the needed protein and also allows the kid goat's rumen to develop correctly.  A good grass hay or orchard grass usually is acceptable to most kid goats.  You are correct about the fact that horns need protein to grow well and correctly/smooth instead of rough/scaly. The other question re why would two kid goats have the issue and the other not, protein needs can be individual and/or breed specific.  Hope that 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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