Question Kids have four Boer wethers for 4-H projects. We are 5 weeks from the fair and would like to get more muscle added. Have been feeding ADM Moormans Show Tec Elite Goat 17% protein 3.5% fat 15% fiber. This is from memory. They like it and are eating about 1.5#'s/head/day. They look ok just not blooming. We are not feeding any hay. We do have some nice 100% alfalfa and nice 100% grass hay if you think that will help us. Kids want to try feed additives and I wou like your thoughts first. Thanks
Answer How much do the goats currently weigh? A good formula for getting muscle/weight on a goat is to go with 6% of their body weight for total feed a day - of this 1/3 can be in grain but the other 2/3 needs to be in hay - hay gives a scratch factor so that the rumen gets more surface area and is then able to use the other feed/grain more efficiently. So, if a goat weighs 100 pounds then it needs 6 pounds a day in feed to grow, and of this 2 pounds in grain and 4 pounds in hay. To get more muscle the protein needs to be 16% but no more than 18% for meat goats/wethers. Also, alfalfa can cause bloat if the goat is not used to eating this, so would start out with the grass hay and then you could go to a grass hay/alfalfa mix in 5 to 7 days. To help with "bloom" adding a cooking oil (corn, etc.) to their grain gives extra sheen to their coat and also adds extra fat (not enough to be overwhelming, but enough to smooth out the muscling along the back and sides especially of a meat goat. Some goats love the oil and some do not so I advise starting out with only a small amount mixed in their grain, such as one tablespoon per 3 to 4 cups of grain, and then if they do like it could move to 1/4 cup per 3 to 4 cups of grain (once a day) by end of first week of trial of the oil. Also, getting the goat out for walks will help with muscle development as well as get the goat ready to show more easily in the ring. Hope this helps - Donna
All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.
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