Feeding does in late gestation
Energy requirements increase dramatically in late pregnancy. Using the Langston Interactive Nutrient Calculator (LINC), calculate the nutrient requirements for a 130-pound, mature Boer doe, 140 days pregnant (10 days from kidding), gaining no weight, other than that due to pregnancy, and carrying twins. Under question 3, after clicking the box for greater than 95 days pregnant, a form drops down for pregnancy number (twins), breed (predicts birth weight, can enter yours if known), and days of pregnancy (140). The requirements are 2.45 pounds total digestible nutrients (TDN), 0.45 pounds crude protein (CP), 3.97 pounds intake, 6.03 grams calcium, and 4.22 grams phosphorus.
A ration can be balanced using Bermuda grass hay and 20 percent range cubes to meet the requirements by feeding 1.5 pounds of range cubes and 3.0 pounds of Bermuda grass hay. This illustrates the high level of nutrition that is needed, especially in the last three weeks of pregnancy. High quality hay as well as supplementation is usually required. The range cubes contain a mineral, so no additional mineral mixture is needed.
Doelings require more supplementation than mature does as the doelings are still growing. The nutrient requirements for a 95-pound growing Boer doeling with a predicted intake of 3.37 pounds, gaining 1 pound per month in addition to pregnancy weight gain, and 140 days pregnant with a single kid, are 1.77 pounds TDN, 0.36 pounds CP, 5.23 grams calcium, and 3.66 grams of phosphorus. If the same ingredients are used as those for the mature doe, how much of each will be required? The doeling could be fed 3.8 pounds of Bermuda grass hay alone to meet the nutrient requirements for pregnancy with a single kid. However, if the doeling is carrying twins and is 140 days pregnant, her requirements are 2.27 pounds TDN and 0.47 pounds CP. This doeling will require 1.0 pounds of range cubes and consume 3.3 pounds of hay. If an abundance of high quality pasture is not available, the doeling will need some type of supplementation. If the forage, or hay, of adequate quality is available, only 1 percent to 1.5 percent of body weight of whole shelled corn may be needed as an energy supplement. This is important in that feed intake may be reduced in the last four to six weeks of gestation by the growing kids that reduce available abdominal space.
Reference: Hart, S. 2008. Meat Goat Nutrition. Pages 58-83 in Proc. 23rd Ann. Goat Field Day, Langston University, Langston, OK.