What Can Nigerian Dwarf Goats Not Eat?
Are goats selective of what to eat? They contradict our belief that goats can eat anything and won’t fall ill.
Coming specifically, the Nigerian Dwarf Goats there are certain foods they must not eat to stay healthy and alive.
What Can Nigerian Dwarf Goats Not Eat?
As stated earlier, goats love pasture. They are not picky when it comes to it. But we should ensure they don’t eat certain plants as it can cause harm to them.
Examples of poisonous plants to goats are; china berries, eastern Baccharis, Virginia creeper, crotalaria, black cherry, pigweed, nightshade, dog fennel, curly dock, sumac, and bracken fern.
When Nigerian dwarf goats consume what they are not supposed to eat, it can result in death or nutritional disorders. Now we will look at the prevalent nutritional conditions that Nigerian dwarf goat face.
What Can Nigerian Dwarf Goats Eat?
When it comes to Nigerian dwarf goats, forage or hay is their primary interest. Quality forage and hay are considered the basic food of a Nigerian dwarf goat.
They love an excellent pasture where they can nibble on weeds and grasses. Unlike when it comes to water, goats are not picky when it comes to foraging.
Talking about giving your goat a balanced diet, you should note that Nigerian dwarf goats only require a low amount of protein with a specific ratio of calcium to phosphorous.
Can Nigerian Dwarf Goats Eat Fruits?
Nigerian dwarf goats enjoy munching on healthy fruits such as apples, watermelons, bananas, grapes, squash, carrots, lettuce, celery, and spinach. These fruits are a source of vitamins for the goats. The nutrients in them help goats fight diseases.
Additionally, they enjoy corn chips, raisins, and a few slices of bread. But before you feed them either fruits or snacks, make sure that all pieces are small enough for easy chewing to prevent choking.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Minerals
They should also have access to goats’ minerals with balanced calcium and phosphorous ratio. The calcium-to-phosphorous ratio in the goats should be at least two to one, with some recommending ratios as high as four to one.
To meet your dwarf goats’ calcium needs, a fine meal product has been designed. It is called the “Manna Pro Goat Mineral,” which has 16% calcium and 8 % phosphorous. You can get it at any online animal meal store.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats Need Fresh Water
From the above information, we know what to feed and not to feed our goats. To add up, your goats must be provided with clean water. Drinking plenty of water can help to flush excess minerals from their systems. It also helps to discourage the formation of stones that could cause a blockage.
The water should be clean and fresh. Goats don’t take dirty water. They are prickly in terms of water. So feed them with fresh, clean water.
Nutritional Disorders of Nigerian Dwarf Goats
1. Thiamine Deficiency
Thiamine deficiency is caused by a high level of grains in the goats’ diet and stress.
Let me explain something now. Goats, like humans, have healthy bacteria in their stomachs that aid digestion. Normal bacteria make thiamine (vitamin B1) in the rumens. Excess of a particular nutrient can disrupt the balance of such bacteria, causing harm to them.
Too much carbohydrate in goats, especially in kids and does (female goats), can upset the normal rumen flora. The change in the rumen flora can cause either a deficiency of thiamine or the production of enzymes that prevent thiamine activity.
- The animal appears drunk
- Inability to stand
- Becomes blind and which leads to a slow death.
- Feed the goats with quality forage that contains high nutritional needs instead of a high grain.
Acidosis in Nigerian dwarf goats results from feeding with a high level of grains, often coupled with a lack of adequate fiber in the diet.
When there is a high level of starch in the rumen, it could produce lactic acid, which results in Acidosis.
- Reduced cud-chewing
- Reduced feed intake
- Kicking at the belly, or other signs of discomfort
- Provision of a balanced diet in an adequate forage. An average goat eats roughly 3 – 4% of its body weight daily. Therefore, 100 pounds goats will eat about 3 to 4 pounds of food, including forage, daily. In a rough shell, 100 pounds goats should receive a maximum of 1 to 1.5 pounds of grains or commercial feed daily to help avoid digestive problems.
3. Urinary Calculi
Bucks and wethers are most prone to urinary tract blockage due to urinary calculi (stones). It results from a high-grain diet, decreased water intake, and increased urine concentration. Rocks and sand may block the urethral process making it difficult for the animal to excrete. It mainly occurs during the winter and dry seasons (for those in tropical regions).
- Difficult in excreting urine
- Feed the goats with plenty of fresh and palatable fruits
- Sufficient water should be available for the goats
- Diets high in potassium should be avoided
- Green pasture and forage that provides Vitamin A
Goats are susceptible animals, and you are responsible for taking good care of them. With the above knowledge, your goats shouldn’t always fall ill. So, try and put everything into practice. Always note what grasses your goats eat. It will go a long way in keeping them safe.