Wierd eating habit in one of the goats

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One of my does is having some wierd eating habbits this past week. She quit eating the alfalfa and started eating the bedding. I gave her some of the year before lasts (yr. 2000) grass mix and she gobbled it up. She will pick at the dairy alfalfa but is leaving the good stuff and eating the stems. I now have 4 kinds of hay in her feeder and she still want's something else. She is starting to look not quite right to me but everyone else says she looks just fine. She is kept in her own 6x12 stall at night.

All my goat get free fed grass hay and alfalfa. They are on dairy grain and have free choice minerals at all times. They can browse the field in the day and are just plain spoiled. Worming and all shots are very current. Vet will call me back after her Saturday mornings cat fixing.

Does anyone have any ideas. I have had goats for a long time and never had one do this. p.s. She is due to kid at the end of the month.

-- shari (smillers@snowcrest.net), January 05, 2002


If she wants to eat bedding, you might as well give her some clean straw to eat, that way she won't be eating the soiled bedding. It sounds to me as though she wants roughage. I would also offer her some baking soda and see how she reacts, whether she licks it all from your hand or refuses it. There could also be problems with ketosis or milk fever starting up, so I hope Vicki will come on and lend her advice.

If it were my goat, I would do the following

Rebekah, I allways have soda etc. available. She is only in the stall at night. She gobbled up the rose bush I offered and the lemmon balm. I have experienced lots thru goats and this one stumps me. Vet is going to stop by in about 15 minutes, shes a friend with lots of goats so said that if I make her a cup of coffee she will drop by to check her and BS a bit on her lunch time.

-- shari (smillers@snowcrest.net), January 05, 2002.

Hi Shari, she may just have a lot of kids in there, quads or something, and be experiencing odd cravings. I would say that if she gobbled up the rose bush she would probably appreciate more of the same- brushy plants and trees that are safe for her. The bark has minerals and willow will help with pain as it has salicylates, where we get aspirin from. I have noticed that my does will often munch on the clean straw when I put it down for bedding, but they've never turned the alfalfa leaf down.

-- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), January 05, 2002.

Are you very sure that the leaves of the alfafa do not have some mold on them? With her eating the stems and the rose bush, I wouldn't really be worried about Ketosis or hypocalcemia yet but read the article just in case http://hometown.aol.com/goatlist/hypocal.htm I would be putting the baking soda over her grain for awhile, if her rumen is upset than she would pick the woody parts of the hay. Perhaps the change in your grain for winter, sacked grains move from one oil to another to make it pour evenly, has upset her rumen. I would give her some B vitamins just to make sure, a normal rumen provids all the B a doe needs, but if it is upset than she could have a problem. I would be giving her some probios until she acts more normal, we also put Diamond V Yeast our this time of year with heavy pregnant goats and less time out in the woods because of the wet weather. You said "dairy grain" when you get a chance after she is better could you expound on what that is? Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), January 05, 2002.

Well the vet said not to worry too much.... The doe was a bit dehydrated and the cud is a bit dry also. She drank 2 gallons of hot water (over 100 degrees) with 1 cup molasses and electrolytes added. I think she looked better after an hour! I'm also to add a suppliment to her feed that is - 8% calcium,.02% copper, .07% iron, .08% magananese, .22% zinc,96000mg Niacin and it also has high vit A,D3,E and Choline. The vet feels that as long as she is eating enough and getting the right feeds into her she should be fine.

She didn't have too many ideas on the refusing of the alfalfa leafs but said that the goats usually know what is good for them and if she wants to eat mostly high fiber right now then I should just let her eat away. I can give her apple branches also to help the rumen. So guess that I need to prune that part of the orchard next. Glad that we only go organic so I can use it.

Afterwards I offered the same mixture to all the other goats, just in case, and my Alpine drank over a gallon of the stuff also! It never really gets too cold here, only down in the lower 40's at night so I have never worried about thier water intake in the winter. Maybe they would like a water heater in the big tank. I can just see the goats pulling it out to get a better look-see...

-- shari (smillers@snowcrest.net), January 05, 2002.

shoot it, shoot it right now. soon enough it will eat every thing,trust me i know.

-- mike oxbig (goatfukr @yahoo.com), February 28, 2003.

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