© 2017 Amber Waves All Rights Reserved

Feeding Pygmy Goats

Feeding   pygmy   goats   may   not   differ   a   lot   from   feeding   ordinary   goats.   They   can   be   fed   with   grass,   hay and   grains.   Before   going   into   detail   on   what   to   feed   your   pygmy   goat,   it   is   important   to   first   know   a   little about their digestive system. Goats are Ruminant One   thing   to   remember   about   your   pygmy   goat   is   that   they   are   ruminant   kind   of   animals.   This   means that   they   have   different   compartments   in   their   digestive   system   that   allow   them   to   regurgitate   food   long after   being   swallowed.   The   stomachs   of   a   pygmy   goat   have   four   special   compartments   namely   rumen, reticulum,   omasum   and   abomasum.   These   stomach   compartments   are   not   present   in   humans   and   other non-ruminant   animals.   When   they   eat   hay   or   grass,   they   will   store   it   in   the   rumen   after   chewing.   The rumen   contains   an   abundance   of   microorganism   that   causes   the   chewed   food   to   ferment.   A   new   born   kid will   take   8   to   10   weeks   before   their   rumen   becomes   fully   developed   and   functional.   Until   then,   all   food goes to abomasums, which is the equivalent of stomach to humans. Must-Have Foods Pygmy   goats   are   very   active   creatures.   They   like   to   run   around   and   even   hop   on   tables   and   small   cars. With   that   said,   they   need   a   lot   of   energy-boosting   food   source.   These   include   carbohydrates,   sugars,   fats and   starches.   The   higher   the   calorie,   the   higher   the   stored   energy.   Grains   have   high   carbohydrate   contain and also contain less fat. Ideally,   they   should   be   kept   in   an   open   but   secured   area   so   they   can   graze.   Aside   from   hay,   they   like   to eat   forages   which   can   be   grasses,   browse   or   forbs.   Forbs   can   be   wild   lettuce   and   dandelions.   Browse includes   blackberry,   oak,   vines   and   bushes.   Unlike   cattle,   a   pygmy   goat   actually   likes   browse   and   forbs more than grasses. Young Goats and Pregnant Does A   male   goat   is   called   a   buck   and   its   female   counterpart   is   called   a   doe.   The   nutritional   needs   of   pregnant does   and   young   goats   may   differ   from   an   ordinary   adult   goat.   Young   goats   and   pregnant   pygmy   does   will need   more   food   in   addition   to   their   staple   meals.   They   will   need   foods   that   are   not   usually   found   in   an ordinary   pasture.   Food   sources   such   as   barley,   oats,   corn   and   milo   are   excellent   energy   sources.   When choosing   grains,   opt   for   rolled   grains   rather   than   ground   grains   because   they   find   rolled   grains   more   tasty and   palatable,   regardless   of   their   age   or   gender.   Rolled   grains   are   also   easier   for   a   young   goat.   If   you give   a   young   goat   rolled   grains,   it   will   learn   to   consume   grains   much   faster   in   contrast   to   giving   it   whole grains. As an owner, you do not need to grind grains and seeds because goats  are fond of chewing. Young   goats   are   still   growing.   Therefore,   it   is   crucial   to   provide   them   and   their   mother   adequate   protein sources.   Their   mother’s   milk   is   the   kid’s   first   source   of   nutrients.   Feed   the   mother   with   high-protein sources   like   alfalfa,   soybean   or   soy-based   feeds,   and   clover   hay.   If   you   are   worried   about   the   daily   amino acid   intake   of   the   pygmy   kids,   remember   that   the   rumen   is   crowded   with   god   microorganisms   that   can make    convert    non-protein    sources    into    amino    acids.    Aside    from    protein,    carbohydrates    are    a    key component. This is sourced primarily from rolled and whole grains. Essential Vitamins and Minerals Among   all   the   essential   vitamins   provided   by   the   usual   pasture   food   sources,   vitamin   A   and   D   stand   out when   it   comes   to   importance.   Vitamin   A   is   crucial   for   the   repair   and   maintenance   of   the   inner   lining   of   the organs.   With   that   said,   Vitamin   A   is   needed   by   growing   kids.   Any   natural   source   containing   yellow pigments   are   high   in   carotene   which   is   then   converted   by   the   goat’s   body   to   vitamin   A.   Yellow   corn   is   an excellent source of carotene. Vitamin   D   assists   in   the   incorporation   of   calcium   and   phosphorous   into   bones.   Just   like   in   humans, vitamin   D   is   naturally   produced   when   they   are   exposed   to   the   sun.   According   to   the   National   Pygmy   Goat Association,   vitamin   D   should   be   supplemented   to   bucks   and   does   that   receive   very   little   sun   exposure. Some hays are sun cured. These are also good sources of vitamin D. As   for   the   minerals,   calcium   and   phosphorous   are   the   basics.   Make   sure   that   your   goat   is   getting   enough calcium   and   phosphorous   by   feeding   it   grains   and   alfalfa.   These   two   food   sources   are   surefire   ways   to provide   your   goat   with   enough   calcium   and   phosphorous.   Pregnant   and   lactating   does   should   be   provided with   higher   calcium   and   phosphorous   intake.   They   need   to   consume   and   expend   so   fast   that   inadequate amounts   of   calcium   can   cause   lactating   does   to   suffer   from   hypocalcemia   and   die   easily   in   just   1   or   two days.   So   in   order   to   prevent   this,   you   need   to   provide   them   with   an   additional   source   of   calcium   and phosphorous   other   than   grains   and   alfalfa   hay.   You   can   feed   your   pygmy   goat   a   mixture   composed   of iodized salt, finely ground (but not powdered) limestone and steamed bones. Take   note,   however,   that   you   can’t   just   haphazardly   provide   calcium   and   vitamin   D.   They   must   be   in proportion   to   one   another.   Avoid   thinking   that   you   can   compensate   with   the   low   calcium   intake   by providing   your   goat   with   lots   of   phosphorous   and   vitamin   D.   Abnormally   and   unproportionally   high amounts   of   calcium,   vitamin   D   and   phosphorous   will   upset   the   natural   balance   of   these   minerals   in   the goat’s system. Iodine   and   selenium   are   also   important.   Iodine   is   provided   by   iodized   salt   in   the   aforementioned   ground limestone   mix.   Selenium   prevents   a   serious   condition   called   white   muscle   disease   where   the   skeletal muscles   and   the   heart   calcify.   If   you   have   a   pygmy   goat   suffering   from   white   muscle   disease,   selenium shots   are   the   best   option.   The   dosage   will   vary   on   the   age   and   size   of   the   goat.   Selenium   is   highly   toxic so follow the exact amount when attempting to give your goat selenium shots. Hydration Pygmy   goats   are   very   choosy   when   it   comes   to   water.   It   has   to   be   clean   and   fresh   otherwise   they   will   not drink   from   it.   Replace   their   water   source   at   least   once   a   day   and   once   it   becomes   murky   and   dirty.   Water is important to keep them hydrated and to transport the nutrients faster in their bodies.

Feeding Pygmy Goats

© 2016 Amber Waves All Rights Reserved

Feeding Pygmy Goats

Feeding   pygmy   goats   may   not   differ   a   lot   from   feeding ordinary   goats.   They   can   be   fed   with   grass,   hay   and grains.   Before   going   into   detail   on   what   to   feed   your pygmy   goat,   it   is   important   to   first   know   a   little   about their digestive system. Goats are Ruminant One   thing   to   remember   about   your   pygmy   goat   is   that they   are   ruminant   kind   of   animals.   This   means   that   they have   different   compartments   in   their   digestive   system that   allow   them   to   regurgitate   food   long   after   being swallowed.   The   stomachs   of   a   pygmy   goat   have   four special      compartments      namely      rumen,      reticulum, omasum   and   abomasum.   These   stomach   compartments are    not    present    in    humans    and    other    non-ruminant animals.   When   they   eat   hay   or   grass,   they   will   store   it   in the    rumen    after    chewing.    The    rumen    contains    an abundance   of   micro-organism   that   causes   the   chewed food   to   ferment.   A   new   born   kid   will   take   8   to   10   weeks before     their     rumen     becomes     fully     developed     and functional.    Until    then,    all    food    goes    to    abomasums, which is the equivalent of stomach to humans. Must-Have Foods Pygmy   goats   are   very   active   creatures.   They   like   to   run around   and   even   hop   on   tables   and   small   cars.   With   that said,   they   need   a   lot   of   energy-boosting   food   source. These   include   carbohydrates,   sugars,   fats   and   starches. The   higher   the   calorie,   the   higher   the   stored   energy. Grains   have   high   carbohydrate   contain   and   also   contain less fat. Ideally,   they   should   be   kept   in   an   open   but   secured   area so   they   can   graze.   Aside   from   hay,   they   like   to   eat forages   which   can   be   grasses,   browse   or   forbs.   Forbs can    be    wild    lettuce    and    dandelions.    Browse    includes blackberry,    oak,    vines    and    bushes.    Unlike    cattle,    a pygmy   goat   actually   likes   browse   and   forbs   more   than grasses. Young Goats and Pregnant Does A   male   goat   is   called   a   buck   and   its   female   counterpart is   called   a   doe.   The   nutritional   needs   of   pregnant   does and   young   goats   may   differ   from   an   ordinary   adult   goat. Young   goats   and   pregnant   pygmy   does   will   need   more food   in   addition   to   their   staple   meals.   They   will   need foods   that   are   not   usually   found   in   an   ordinary   pasture. Food   sources   such   as   barley,   oats,   corn   and   milo   are excellent   energy   sources.   When   choosing   grains,   opt   for rolled   grains   rather   than   ground   grains   because   they   find rolled   grains   more   tasty   and   palatable,   regardless   of their   age   or   gender.   Rolled   grains   are   also   easier   for   a young   goat.   If   you   give   a   young   goat   rolled   grains,   it   will learn    to    consume    grains    much    faster    in    contrast    to giving   it   whole   grains.   As   an   owner,   you   do   not   need   to grind    grains    and    seeds    because    goats     are    fond    of chewing. Young   goats   are   still   growing.   Therefore,   it   is   crucial   to provide     them     and     their     mother     adequate     protein sources.   Their   mother’s   milk   is   the   kid’s   first   source   of nutrients.   Feed   the   mother   with   high-protein   sources   like alfalfa,   soybean   or   soy-based   feeds,   and   clover   hay.   If you   are   worried   about   the   daily   amino   acid   intake   of   the pygmy   kids,   remember   that   the   rumen   is   crowded   with god   microorganisms   that   can   make   convert   non-protein sources     into     amino     acids.     Aside     from     protein, carbohydrates    are    a    key    component.    This    is    sourced primarily from rolled and whole grains. Essential Vitamins and Minerals Among   all   the   essential   vitamins   provided   by   the   usual pasture   food   sources,   vitamin   A   and   D   stand   out   when   it comes   to   importance.   Vitamin   A   is   crucial   for   the   repair and   maintenance   of   the   inner   lining   of   the   organs.   With that   said,   Vitamin   A   is   needed   by   growing   kids.   Any natural   source   containing   yellow   pigments   are   high   in carotene   which   is   then   converted   by   the   goat’s   body   to vitamin A. Yellow corn is an excellent source of carotene. Vitamin   D   assists   in   the   incorporation   of   calcium   and phosphorous   into   bones.   Just   like   in   humans,   vitamin   D is   naturally   produced   when   they   are   exposed   to   the   sun. According    to    the    National    Pygmy    Goat    Association, vitamin   D   should   be   supplemented   to   bucks   and   does that   receive   very   little   sun   exposure.   Some   hays   are   sun cured. These are also good sources of vitamin D. As   for   the   minerals,   calcium   and   phosphorous   are   the basics.    Make    sure    that    your    goat    is    getting    enough calcium    and    phosphorous    by    feeding    it    grains    and alfalfa.   These   two   food   sources   are   surefire   ways   to provide      your      goat      with      enough      calcium      and phosphorous.    Pregnant    and    lactating    does    should    be provided   with   higher   calcium   and   phosphorous   intake. They    need    to    consume    and    expend    so    fast    that inadequate   amounts   of   calcium   can   cause   lactating   does to   suffer   from   hypocalcemia   and   die   easily   in   just   1   or two    days.    So    in    order    to    prevent    this,    you    need    to provide   them   with   an   additional   source   of   calcium   and phosphorous   other   than   grains   and   alfalfa   hay.   You   can feed   your   pygmy   goat   a   mixture   composed   of   iodized salt,   finely   ground   (but   not   powdered)   limestone   and steamed bones. Take    note,    however,    that    you    can’t    just    haphazardly provide    calcium    and    vitamin    D.    They    must    be    in proportion   to   one   another.   Avoid   thinking   that   you   can compensate   with   the   low   calcium   intake   by   providing your    goat    with    lots    of    phosphorous    and    vitamin    D. Abnormally     and     unproportionally     high     amounts     of calcium,    vitamin    D    and    phosphorous    will    upset    the natural balance of these minerals in the goat’s system. Iodine    and    selenium    are    also    important.    Iodine    is provided   by   iodized   salt   in   the   aforementioned   ground limestone   mix.   Selenium   prevents   a   serious   condition called   white   muscle   disease   where   the   skeletal   muscles and   the   heart   calcify.   If   you   have   a   pygmy   goat   suffering from   white   muscle   disease,   selenium   shots   are   the   best option.   The   dosage   will   vary   on   the   age   and   size   of   the goat.    Selenium    is    highly    toxic    so    follow    the    exact amount   when   attempting   to   give   your   goat   selenium shots. Hydration Pygmy   goats   are   very   choosy   when   it   comes   to   water.   It has   to   be   clean   and   fresh   otherwise   they   will   not   drink from   it.   Replace   their   water   source   at   least   once   a   day and    once    it    becomes    murky    and    dirty.    Water    is important   to   keep   them   hydrated   and   to   transport   the nutrients faster in their bodies.