Oak Hill goat videos


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thoughts on economizing on feeds & supplements...

These are interesting times financially.  The prices of many items are going up, including feeds, hay & supplements.  I hear and observe people saving money by cutting back on grains and/or supplements, switching to bargain brands, feeding less than the recommended amounts, etc.

I would offer the thought that this may be penny wise and pound foolish, as the old saying goes.  

The folks producing those supplements, grain and hay are likely thinking those same thoughts about economizing, and switching to less expensive fertilizers (or none), using least-cost formulas with lower-quality grains, using less expensive and less absorbable forms of the minerals & vitamins in the supplements.   So, as we cut back on our goat's nutrition to save money, are we creating longer-term issues with mineral deficiencies, lowered immune systems, slower growth, lower conception and kidding rates?  Will we end up having to deworm more often because the goats are unable to fight the parasites off by themselves?  Will we end up with vet bills or lost animals due to various health issues that a solid immune system could have prevented?

I personally feed a very high-quality supplement program.  I do it to have the healthiest goats possible that can fight off what nature throws at them without medical intervention.  I also do this so the parents are passing on this higher vitality and mineral reserves to their offspring.

Here are some possible ways to save money while still maintaining optimum health for the herd:

Ø I skip one day a week on the supplements.  This allows the body to flush any extra and saves me about 13%.

Ø I use the free choice vitamin/mineral mix year round, and add the high-potency supplements prior to the start of breeding and during pregnancy.

Ø If I had to really cut back, I would just give Dynamite Excel daily, either milled into their feed or hand-fed, and Dynamite DynaPro.  Both are fantastic digestion support. 

Ø I look for opportunities to buy wholesale.  Both of the supplement lines I use offer wholesale options.  I signed up and have saved at least 35% over retail.

A side note from Judy Sinner (senior Dynamite director and years of experience with animal feeds) "Another interesting note is that barley is now not only VERY expensive, but nearly impossible to find. So, as Jos (note - company VP) pointed out on a recent call with the Silver and Gold Directors, many companies who do "least cost" formulations are simply cutting out the barley, or cutting it to nearly undetectable levels but still showing it on the label, and using more oats and corn. So COB becomes CO. Problem is, oats are rather heating and stimulating, where barley is cooling and calming..."   With all the heat we have been experiencing, feeding a grain mix that heats/stimulates is probably not the healthiest for our animals.
You can find the Dynamite supplement line at www.dynamitemarketing.com/carrieeastman 

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Oak Hill Feeding Program...

Welcome to the Oak Hill Fainting Goat blog!  Until now, I've blogged about the goats on the critter blog http://carrieeastman.blogspot.com/  As I get more and more questions about the goats, I decided to branch out and do an exculsive blog. 
For this first post, I figured the basic feeding program is a great place to start.  Our goats get unlimited grass or grass/clover hay. Our hay is raised locally without chemicals or preservatives.
Our goats also get Dynamite Complete Pelleted Grain Ration and some black oil sunflower seeds.
We offer several free-choice supplements: Dynamite 1-1 and 2-1 calcium/phosphorus, Dynamite Izmine, Dynamite NTM salt, and finally baking soda.
Our goats also get Dynamite Excel in their feed every day for gut health.
We use Dynamite Herbal Tonic once or twice annually to cleanse the liver (not during pregnancy).  Note:  some ingredients of Herbal Tonic are historically known to repel or kill parasites.  
Also, our goats get Waiora Natural Cellular Defense to remove heavy metals a couple time a year during their Herbal Tonic cleanse. 
During breeding, pregnancy and lactation, I use a pinch of Regular Formula Dynamite (found in the Horse products) 6 days/week.  That is for goats of 40# to 80#.
During the resting season and for the whethers, I offer Dynamite V/M Mix For Browsers & Grazers.
You can also feed Dynamite Exotics Plus daily during resting season and to whethers. 
You can find all the Dynamite products at www.dynamitemarketing.com/carrieeastman  You can find Natural Cellular Defense at www.mywaiora.com/992799

I personally buy organic products when possible. However, the process of becoming certified organic can be expensive and time-consuming. Some producers of excellent chemical-free products choose to forgo certification.

For example, many Waiora and Dynamite products are not certified organic, yet are excellent products with healthy ingredients.

Additonally, there have been manufacturers abusing the organic label. Thankfully, this is uncommon. Still, the possibility is there.

Organic producers are also at the mercy of the environment. Rain and air both contain chemicals, and many soils contain contaminants. So a grain or hay certified organic may still have chemicals from passing airplanes, heavy metals or other contaminants.

Another reason for chemical-free is that there are times when extreme circumstances call for extreme measures. I would reach for a chemical, if it was the best chance of saving my animal's life. When I deworm an animal that muscle-tested positive for parasites, if the only item that clears the parasite point is a chemical dewormer, I would use the dewormer, then follow it with Dynamite Miracle Clay or Excel, Waiora Natural Cellular Defense and Dynamite DynaPro for several days.

The bottom line for me is know your producers, buy locally when possible, and learn to muscle test. Organic is usually your safer choice, and other excellent choices also exist.  I will post in the future about muscle testing.

Carrie  Eastman