How I transition a goat from a typical commercial diet to the chemical-free lifestyle

Transitioning Goats To a Chemical-Free Lifestyle
by Carrie Eastman

During the first 4 months:
Our gets get black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS) and some combination of plain oats and/or barley (the barley must be crimped/rolled). Not corn.  Or they get my favorite pelleted grain ration*.

I slowly blend the Oak Hill feed into the typical commercial feed, transition the mix over a few weeks until the goats were getting same amount by weight.  Use a food or feed scale for this.

During that transition, I give a prebiotic* with every grain meal.  I add extra doses during the day if the goat is struggling with the change.

After the goat is fully transitioned, I adjust the feed up or down as needed to maintain weight. Remember:  fats are for weight gain and grains are carbs and for energy.  So thin goats often need more fat (black oil sunflower seeds and/or cold extruded soybean pellets*).  To increase protein, I’ll add a bit of alfalfa hay or Standlee brand alfalfa hay pellets.

Meanwhile, I start the goat on my favorite browser/grazer vitamin mineral mix*, fed free choice. I make that change as soon as I start changing the grain.

I also offer Redmond loose salt or my favorite pink salt* salt free choice.
Finally, I offer a buffet of calcium and phosphorus in 1:1 and 2:1 ratios plus naturally-chelated trace minerals with fulvic acid*.
A couple weeks after the full transition, if the goat is handling it well, I add a clay/diatomaceous earth/prebiotic* to the grain once daily for a month.
Generally, the older, the more debilitated the goat, the more chemical residue I suspect, the slower I go with the changes.
I don’t worry about specialty supplements, homeopathics, vaccinosis, or deworming until I have done all this. I stop giving any chemical wormers,  and postpone vaccines for 6 months minimum during the transition period.
After month 4:
I add a pinch of my regular horse chelated vitamin mineral pellets for breeding does and bucks (just before and during rut only)

I also do an herbal detoxifier* if the goat is showing signs of parasites or has a positive fecal, unless the doe is pregnant.  If pregnant, I look at things like pumpkin, garlic, diatomaceous earth, Molly’s Herbals for pregnant does, etc.  I time the deworming to coincide with the full moon.
After month 5:
If I suspect vaccine reactions, I will often give a dose of homeopathic thuja occidentalis 30C potency. (Please work with a trained homeopathic vet on this one)

Month 6 and beyond:
At this point, the goat is on the same program as the rest of my herd typically.  At this point, I do not vaccinate again in the goat’s lifetime.  That is my personal choice, and one you, the reader, will have to make for yourself.

The body typically needs a full 2 years to reach optimum health.  Many issues will resolve faster though.

*www.dynamitemarketing.com/carrieastman for the Dynamite products
www.redmondnatural.com for salt, diatomaceous earth, and montmorrillonite clay
Jeffers sells handy little wall-mounted mineral containers.

Copyright ©2016 Carrie Eastman.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or American Veterinary Medical Association, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your veterinarian about any changes to your animal’s health program.

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