My goats have flaky skin, what do I do?
Most common causes of flaky skin are: lice, zinc deficiency and mange. The third is much more common that producers think, so if you have treated for lice and zinc and still have the problem, a lime spray might be in order for mange. If your goats don't have lice though the best bet is zinc, which can be supplemented by adding zinc methionine to the ration if you have a custom mix prepared for you. If you feed a pellet - about all you can do is provide a sheep/goat mineral block with zinc in it.
How should my feeding program change throughout the year?
At all times, angoras should have access to good free choice hay or pasture. Hay should be free of mold. If you only have a few head, you will probably feed some type of premixed or bag feed from your local farm supply store or feed mill. Look for a mixture formulated for sheep. If you feed a premixed bag feed, your actual ration won't change throughout the year, you will only feed more or less depending on stage of pregnancy, lactation or growth. When your kids begin eating grain however, you will want to find a lamb pellet that has a coccistat in it to prevent coccidia. This type of pellet is usually mixed with whole or cracked grain to make a complete ration.
If you have a larger number of goats, you will want to investigate getting a ration custom mixed at your local feed mill. Depending on the mill, you can get batches mixed as small as 500-1,000 pounds. A basic ration includes corn, oats and molasses. Vitamins, minerals and other ingredients are added to provide what the goat needs, and this is the part of the ration that will change from time to time. In our flock, we add an antibiotic from 90-150 days of gestation to prevent abortion. In the spring, we add a coccistat to our ration to prevent coccidia in our kids. At this stage, the nannies usually get the basic ration and the coccistat ration is only fed to the youngstock.
Good to know...
- Goats raised on range conditions will have lighter body mass and lower shearing weights, due to the incredible amount of energy that is required to produce hair.
- Nutrition also effects fiber diameter, meaning that higher plane of nutrition the goat is on, the coarser its fleece and vice versa.
- Angora goats grow slowly, most do not reach their full body size until two years of age. For this reason, most does are bred for the first time as yearlings.