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Old 26th December 2007, 09:09 PM   #1
clowder
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feeding goats wheat...?

I always thought it was a no-no....now I've been informed I should be feeding my girls wheat?
help, please, to sort the confusion.
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Old 26th December 2007, 09:12 PM   #2
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crack it first or it goes straight through. crushed, rolled or flaked is fine, whole is wasted out the rear.
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Old 27th December 2007, 06:16 AM   #3
Andrea
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I wouldn't say SHOULD be feeding goats wheat. Of the feed grains readily available, it's the most acid-forming upon ingestion, which can really throw off a ruminant's gut flora, and too much can lead to acidosis. I don't feed my goats wheat, preferring barley, rolled, which is much more digestible.

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Old 27th December 2007, 07:24 AM   #4
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Must have been an old wives tale that my Mother told me "that wheat would swell in the gut and cause death to animals other than poultry" Have googled and can't find any reference to this. ??????
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Old 27th December 2007, 12:09 PM   #5
clowder
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witheze, thats what I thought too. interesting.
andrea, my girls get cracked barley as the base of all the hard feed and love it!
think I'll stick to what I have been feeding as have had not problems.
now, thanks andrea, I have some information to argue with
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Old 27th December 2007, 03:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Andrea

I wouldn't say SHOULD be feeding goats wheat. Of the feed grains readily available, it's the most acid-forming upon ingestion, which can really throw off a ruminant's gut flora, and too much can lead to acidosis. I don't feed my goats wheat, preferring barley, rolled, which is much more digestible.
Somewhat correct but not entirely. Wheat has a higher starch level and lower fibre level than barley, meaning that it is more easily digested (due to lower fibre) and will release more energy (in the form of starch) causing acid levels in the gut to become more concentrated. You can feed wheat instead of barley, but you dont need as much to do the same job. If you want a safe grain, feed oats.
Agree entirely with rolling/cracking any grain as otherwise it will just pass through the gut and back out the other end doing very little other than making you a bit poorer!!
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Old 27th December 2007, 03:50 PM   #7
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Cool, thanks for the detailed explanation. Why oats over barley?

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Old 28th December 2007, 09:32 AM   #8
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Hi Andrea,

Oats are the next step down again, ie lower in starch and higher in fibre. Thus will digest more slowly and not have as much of an acid producing effect when they are digested. Not so good for high production animals (ie commercial milking goats) but ideal for a situation where you are not strictly controlling everything they do.

As an aside, the rumen is interesting in that you are not so much feeding the animal (whether it is a goat, cow or sheep), but feeding the microbes that populate the rumen. With the right mix of feed, they reproduce and spill over into the remaining stomachs which act far more similarly to our own stomach. There the microbes are digested to provide all the energy and protein the animal needs - with acidosis the bugs are generally fed too much starch and sugars as an energy source out of balance with fibre and protein. This leads the microbes to produce excess lactic acid and voila, acidosis.

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Old 28th December 2007, 09:41 AM   #9
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Be careful with all grain or bread etc.As too much will kill them; cows,goats or sheep.
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