Oak Hill goat videos

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Preparations for fall breeding season

Here at Oak Hill breeding starts at the end of October/early November for early spring kids. I start preparing the herd for breeding season in late August/early September roughly 2 months prior to the first planned breeding. First, I stop all the regular supplements other than the free choice minerals, salt and baking soda.  You can see this earlier blog post for the complete Oak Hill feeding program.  While the goats are off the supplements, they get Dynamite Herbal Tonic (listed under Horse products) for 10 days following the label directions for small animals (1/4 tsp per 10 lbs bodyweight twice). Herbal Tonic contains a variety of herbs, such as Wheat Grass Extract, Blessed Thistle, Ginkgo, Red Elcampagne Root, Garlic Powder, Black Walnut Hulls, Cayenne Pepper, Peach Bark, Chamomile, White Oak Bark, Valerian Root, Slippery Elm, Sage, Papaya Leaves, Juniper Berries, Cascara Sagrada Root, Equisetum Arvense, Yellowdock and Catnip, as well as minerals, pre/probiotics and other ingredients to support healthy digestion. (Some of these herbs have historically been used to repel or remove parasites and cleanse the liver.)
After 10 days on Herbal Tonic I wait a couple days and then I deworm any goats that show signs of heavy parasite loads. At most, I may have 1 or 2 goats in the herd that might need a chemical dewormer once each year. Your vet can check for parasites if you have any concerns. Be aware that lungworms do not show up on the most common fecal tests. Here is a good reference article on chemical dewormers http://www.goat-idgr.com/Default.aspx?tabid=93 If I use a chemical dewormer on a goat, I supplement with montmorillonite clay for 3 days(I use Dynamite Miracle Clay or Excel) starting 24 hours after the last dose of
chemical dewormer.

After the goats are done with their Herbal Tonic, dewormed if necessary, and given their clay if needed, I start increasing their nutrition prior to the actual breeding. This is called "flushing". I like my goats to be pasture fit, not too thin and not too fat. I start adding in just a handful or two of Dynamite Pelleted Grain Ration (corn, oats, barley, soy and other ingredients) twice a day and also start regular formula Dynamite vitamin/mineral supplement. While this is currently labeled for horses, I find it does an excellent job for my goats. The minerals are amino acid chelated, making them very absorbable and also easy for the body to flush any extra (especially important for copper). My goats get just a pinch of Dynamite once daily, 6 days/week.   Both the Pelleted Grain Ration and Dynamite supplement can be found at www.dynamitemarketing.com/carrieeastman under Horse Products.

I also add in a handful of black oil sunflower seeds even closer to the planned breeding date.  Make sure the sunflower seeds are not treated with a sprouting inhibitor.

Sometime during the 2 month prep period I also put all the breeding stock on a few drops of zeolite mineral daily for 30 days. Zeolite absorbs toxins, especially heavy metals. I use the Waiora brand Natural Cellular Defense zeolite.

Finally, during this period I start tracking heat cycles and plan the buck x doe crosses.  I use the spreadsheet available for download at http://www.fiascofarm.com/ 


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