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In Reply to: Re: Weight Gain Just stops posted by timj on November 20, 2001 at 17:03:29:
From my understanding, it is right around that 3 -4 week stage where the rumen is becoming fully developed. So yes, there is a dramatic change in the rumen at that time. This is about the time as well where the young kids begin toying with solid food - up to that point their diet has been liquids in the form of milk from the nanny. And it is also a time when the immunities from passive transfer from the nanny (colostrum) begin to weaken. So yes, there is a chance that their immune system is involved but it still seems more likely to be something awry nutrition wise. I would look at the does diet during gestation. Quite often the lack of essential vitamins and minerals will produce these kind of results. Right off hand, I'm not sure which ones but I seem to remember that copper plays an important role as well as phosphorus and zinc.
Disease could be possible but with it being a hit and miss at 60%, I'm not sure I would suspect something like that. If the numbers were higher or extremely lower, I'd be inclined to think disease or something. It could very well be having too many goats in one area feeding and "thinking" that they are all getting the same (and proper) amount of essential nutrients but they aren't.
But just as a reference for purposes of comparision, we have a set of Boer cross twins - doe is a very large Nubian, buck is a very large registered Boer (not crossed, not a percentage). The twins arrived as a doe and a buck. During the first few months, the young buck sprang up like a weed. The little doe stayed very small. And the funny thing is the horns on both of them. The bucks horns grew very fast.
They are closing in on a year old now and the little buck is not so little anymore but his sister has stayed very, very small - just a wee bit bigger than a pygmy goat. And her horns, well, they sprouted out about two inches and have just stopped growing.
I was told by several people that this could be the result of three things - and possibly all three combined: 1) fraternal twins often produce one sibling smaller than the other, 2) the GS6 gene that occurs quite often in dairy goats/Boer crosses, (see the GoatWorld Articles section for more on this, 3) a nutrition factor, usually during pregnancy. I also would not rule out worms and internal parasites altogether either.
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