Safe to feed baking soda to wethers? : LUSENET : Dairygoats : One Thread

I'm confused. I have always been told to offer baking soda free choice along with minerals. Now I've just read not to give baking soda to wethers because it contributes to bladder stones. What are your thoughts on this. I've lost two wethers to stones so I want to do all I can to stop it from happening again. I don't give the wethers grain, only grass hay and a little alfalfa, plus free choice minerals (for goats), and of course water. Should I leave out the soda and add more salt, there is some in the minerals.

-- Kristine Taylor (, June 22, 2002


Feed him ammonium chloride in his grain. But no alfalfa if you can help it. High protein, high calcium feeds are what contribute to bladderstones- this follows through even for men- and alfalfa is high in both calcium and protein. The ammonium chloride should really help- people actually use it to help dissolve the stones when the wether already has them. Also, if you can hold off on castrating until they get a couple months old, that is supposed to make a real difference.

-- Rebekah (, June 24, 2002.

Thanks Rebekah. Since I don't feed the wether grain (he's 4 months old, castrated at 3 months)how much grain should he get and how much ammonium chloride? I haven't found a feed around here that has it already mixed in, so I'll have to top dress with the AC. Is it OK if he has free choice baking soda too?

-- Kristine Taylor (, June 24, 2002.

Ummm..I will have to ask Vicki. I don't ever have wethers, so I've never fed ammonium chloride. But I do know that it prevents urinary calculi. I know that it should be available at the feed store, maybe the label on the bag will have recommendations? They feed it to wethered sheep also.

I think the baking soda is fine- they make it in their rumen anyway and only eat what they need.

-- Rebekah (, June 25, 2002.

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