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Posted by timj on November 21, 2001 at 06:47:18:
In Reply to: Re: Weight Gain Just stops posted by GoatWorld on November 21, 2001 at 04:20:43:
For now I am shying away from thinking this is a disease problem because these shrimp goats seem to thrive ok. In other words they dont seem to be diseased because they run, play, eat and act like a healthy goat. They are just "freakily" small. The small horn thingy is the same "symptom" I see. The horn growth just stops and never seems to develop like genitically smaller breed (ie pygmy, nigerian dwarf) might. As far as genetics are concerned, I have a herd of 100 boer crosses bred to fullblooded bucks and not just from once source. Over 60% of the kids I have from does brought to my farm are really sub par and no single animal has ever gained weight like is reported here.
The feed program around here is kind of catch as catch can. We have had the herd for one year ( 2 breedings) and we do leave a red mineral block out. We feed them good alfalfa hay and then when they get a little fat we cut over to grass hay. The grain is intermittent as we observe the flock to guide our feeding. If the does "act" hungry we kick up the grain to about a 1/2 pound per doe per day.
The kids are given free access to grain in the creep and have access about 75% of the time.
My next question as I work this out in here is what portion of the kids growth is related to mothers milk and what portion has to come from browse/grain/hay. The growth rates of the kids are fine up to the 3 to 4 week point. So I would expect that that prenatal care would also affect the growth rate in first 3 weeks as well as after that?
As I write this I imagine I have to try harder to be more consistent with top notch care. But I am dissapointed that my efforts have to be so vigilant as compared with the pygmy and nigerian drawf goats that seem to thrive on basic care without the intensive management that I have to go through for these darned boer goats. I would like to pin down the problem to something like "oh yeah, you need to add xxx mineral or start marketing your offspring as miniature Boer goats...the latest rage". Maybe that's the answer, Can I interest you in the rare and exciting world of the Miniature Boer Goat. It's a pet quality animal that when you get tired of looking at it, you can chop up and throw on the grill :)
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