Nutrition is one of the three legs upon which any successful livestock breeding operation is based. The remaining two legs being genetics and animal health.
We need to distinguish between nutritional supplementation and the feeding of full rations. Livestock requires specific supplementation at strategic times of the production cycle in order to perform efficiently. While the very expensive practice of stall feeding of animals has become commonplace in more recent times, this practice does the hardiness and adaptability of the Boer Goat an injustice. They have not been bred for these conditions.
Selective breeding practices have specifically selected for the attributes whereby Boer Goats are able to forage over long distances, effectively convert low quality vegetation into meat under extensive conditions, and kid in the veld with minimum inputs.
Below are guidelines regarding feeding for various classes of animals.
Supplementing pregnant does
Six weeks prior to kidding, a through flow protein concentrate (Voermol Maxiwol or similar), should be fed as a supplement at a rate of around 350g per animal per day. Good feed trough management and hygiene is important to ensure minimal kidding problems.
Voermol Maxiwol Premix, Maxiwol Production pellets or Maxiblok are all ready to use concentrates which provide good through flow protein levels for Boer Goats. Maxiwol Concentrate should be mixed with salt and crushed or broken maize and fed at a rate of 350g to 500g per doe per day.
The following benefits have been recorded:
- Improves kidding.
- Improves udder development and increases milk production.
- Kid is stronger and heavier at birth which reduces the risk of infections and diseases.
- Doe is on her feet faster after kidding, thus allowing the kid to suckle earlier.
- The kid’s survival rate is improved by between 15% and 50%.
- Reduces the chance of retained afterbirth.
- Improves mothering.
- Has led to increased weights in suckling kids.
Signs that doe may have a through flow protein deficiency: