EasyKeeper Extension

Bottle feeding and hand-rearing goat kids

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Jun 7, 2017 4:31:21 PM

There are a number of reasons to feed your kids by hand, seperate from their mothers. This article explores why a producer might want to hand-rear kids and discusses the pros and cons of some of the different options.

Topics: Nutrition, Management, Dairy goat

Understanding nutritional requirements for winter feeding of gestating and lactating meat goats

Posted by Guest Author on Jun 2, 2017 4:00:18 PM

Most producers do not have winter forages for grazing and so they depend mostly on legume, grass, or mixed grass/legume hays. Such hays are typically cheaper in terms of protein (CP) and energy (TDN) content than commonly available grains, grain byproducts, and oilseed meals. Females of breeding age can ‘make it’ on all-forage diets, either pastures or hays, provided the protein and energy contents of the hay is adequate for individual goat needs (maintenance, gestation, lactation, and, as necessary, growth).

Topics: Meat goat, Nutrition

Calculating rations for winter feeding of gestating and lactating meat goats

Posted by Guest Author on Jun 2, 2017 3:58:48 PM

For most owners, hays are the basic feedstuff used during the winter months when pastures are not adequate to support the nutrient needs of their goats. In non-grazing situations, the daily feed intake (DFI) of gestating or lactating does can be composed of one or more hays or some combination of hay and concentrate to provide the required dietary levels of protein (CP) and energy (TDN). If the available hay(s) contain sufficient percentage of CP (%CP) and percentage of TDN (%TDN) and are fed ad lib, there will be no need to offer supplements (other than perhaps a mineral mix) to these classes of does. Contrarily, if the available forages are inadequate in CP and/or TDN, it usually is cost-beneficial to provide supplements to achieve desired DFI .

Topics: Meat goat, Nutrition

Troubleshooting off-flavors in goat milk

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Mar 28, 2017 3:18:34 PM

Good quality milk should have a pleasantly sweet and clean flavor with no distinct aftertaste. If you raise dairy goats for milk consumption, it’s inevitable that you will have, or have had an off-flavored batch. Sometimes the flavor will pass, but other times it will persist, and drive you crazy trying to figure out what could have caused the problem. There are a many reasons why you might get an off-flavor in your milk, so the best thing to do is to troubleshoot.

Topics: Performance & evaluation, Dairy goat

Get the best from your bucks this breeding season

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Mar 9, 2017 5:31:14 PM

The stress on a buck during breeding season can lead to health issues and the reduction of reproductive performance.

The key to your buck’s successful breeding season is good health management, starting with a pre-season breeding readiness assessment to identify and respond to any issues early enough that he’ll be ready for his job during breeding season. Then, to ensure he remains in top condition, performing ongoing monitoring and maintenance throughout the the breeding season.

Topics: Management, Reproduction

Ensure safe travels with your goats

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Mar 9, 2017 4:26:08 PM

Transporting your goats can be stressful–for you and your animals. There is a lot to think about when you're moving animals from one place to another. That's why we put together this infographic with tips and advice ranging from preparation to care on the road. 

Topics: Management

How the miniature dairy goat breeds are being developed

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Jan 3, 2017 5:00:52 PM

Breeding for specific qualities is a long process that takes a high level of dedication. Breeders the world over spend years trying to breed stronger, better producing animals and often the judge of a good producer is the strength of their animals' genetics.

Topics: Industry

Pearson's Square rations balancer

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Dec 5, 2016 5:06:43 PM

Pearson's Square (also called the Pearson Square, the box method, the rectangle method) is a great tool to help you determine the proper mixture of two different feedstuffs to reach a particular nutritional percentage.

Normally you would have to do the math manually. We wanted to give you an easier way to get your mixed ration calculations done quickly, so we built a Pearson's Square calculator for you to use.

Topics: Herd management tools, Nutrition

A guide for evaluating, measuring and cutting meat goat carcasses

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Dec 5, 2016 3:25:00 PM

This manual has been developed as a guide to the meat goat industry in evaluating live meat goats, measuring important carcass traits and standardizing cutting procedures for goat carcasses. The terminology in this manual has been adapted from USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications (IMPS) selection criteria for live goats and goat carcasses in Series 11 Fresh Goat.

 

Topics: Performance & evaluation, Meat goat

Fundamentals of goat nutrition

Posted by Guest Author on Nov 18, 2016 5:01:04 PM

We thought a practical explanation of the basics of goat nutrition could be useful for producers to make informed decisions about economical feeding practices and make more astute feedstuff purchases. This information should enable you to reduce—perhaps even avoid—costly errors in feeding and management of your goats.  

Topics: Nutrition