The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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Have you recently started taking care of goats on your property? Whether you’re keeping goats as farm animals or as pets, they can certainly be a lot of fun.
You have to do your best to stay on top of certain things so that goats can stay in good health, though. For instance, you need to keep an eye on things to ensure that they’re drinking enough water.
It’s also important for goats to get enough grain to eat. Grain is a significant part of a goat’s diet, and it isn’t going to be a good thing if a goat stops eating grain.
If you’ve noticed that one or more of your goats have stopped eating grain, then it’s good to be concerned. This isn’t something that you want to have happen, and you might need to try to figure out why the goat stopped eating normally.
Keep reading to get information about what to do about a goat not eating grain. This should help you to identify certain problems and you’ll have a better idea of what can be done to remedy the situation.
The Goat Could Be in Heat
There have been situations where goats have stopped eating grain when they were in heat. This specifically applies to female goats, but many goat owners have stated that this sometimes occurs.
When a female goat is in heat, it might wind up losing interest in grain for a period of time. Typically, this is only going to last for a few days, though.
If your female goat doesn’t eat grain as normal for one or two days, then there’s a chance that it’s related to her being in heat. A female goat that goes for much longer periods of time without eating grain might be experiencing some other type of issue.
Hopefully, this is all that is wrong with your goat and you won’t have to worry. This is a normal occurrence and it isn’t anything that you really need to be concerned about.
Everything should go back to normal on its own if you just let the goat be. However, it’s still going to be wise to keep an eye on the goat to see if anything else is amiss.
You wouldn’t want to miss some type of health problem due to assuming that the goat is just in heat. Being a proactive and attentive goat owner is always for the best.
Goat is Filling up on Hay
Another potential reason why the goat isn’t eating grain could be that it’s simply filling up on hay. Most goat owners give their goats access to as much hay as they could possibly want.
There could be a situation where a goat just eats lots of hay because it happens to really like hay. In this circumstance, the goat might not want to eat the grain simply because it is too full.
If this is the case, then the goat shouldn’t turn down grain too many days in a row. It wouldn’t be typical for goats to avoid eating grain very often.
In fact, some goat owners say that it’d be weird for a goat to not eat grain no matter what. There are those who swear that a goat will always eat grain unless it is sick or something.
The best thing that you can do is keep observing the goat to see if it goes back to normal habits. If the goat seems off in any way, then you might need to get it checked out.
If things return to normal or if the goat seems to be eating a lot of hay, then you might not need to worry. Regardless, you do need to try to get the goat to eat grain so that it can meet its dietary needs.
The Goat Is Sick
Of course, a goat might stop eating grain when it is experiencing some type of sickness. Goats can catch diseases and they can also simply act funny when they are injured.
There could be something going on with your goat that is making it not want to eat. Perhaps it has some type of infection or maybe it hurt itself in some way.
If you pay close attention to your goats, then it should be a lot easier to recognize when something unusual is happening. You’ll be able to take action faster to get the help that you need to make your goat healthy again.
When you see that your goat is acting sluggish and not eating, it’s usually going to be best to call a veterinarian. Some goat owners might hesitate due to being worried about veterinary costs, but it’s truly the best thing for your goats.
A veterinarian is going to be able to come out to check on your goat and see what’s up. After a thorough examination, you should be able to definitively know if the goat is sick or injured.
You can also ask for advice from the veterinarian about what you should be doing differently. After explaining the situation about the goat not eating grain, the veterinarian might have some suggestions that will make a difference.
Never hesitate to call a veterinarian when you’re concerned about one of your goats. It could wind up meaning the difference between life and death for the goat if something is seriously wrong.
It isn’t always easy to tell what’s wrong with a goat even when you’re experienced. You can take care of goats for years and still not have a complete understanding of goat diseases and problems.
Veterinarians train to be able to care for animals in this fashion. It’s the best way to solve the issue of your goat not eating grain because you’ll know for sure if the goat is unhealthy or if it needs some type of treatment.
What Are the Signs of Illness in Goats?
Perhaps you’re not ready to call the veterinarian for whatever reason. Maybe you want to feel as though you know that your goat is definitely sick before you make the call.
This might not be the best idea since you should try to get your goat help as early as possible. Even so, it is possible to look out for signs of illness by paying attention to your goat.
Going off of the feed is a big sign of illness. Your goat not eating is an indication that something is likely wrong, but there are other signs to be aware of.
Grinding teeth can be an indication that a goat is sick or injured. You’ll likely be able to hear a goat grinding its teeth and you should know that it generally won’t do this when it’s in good health.
Lethargy is another sign that you need to be on the lookout for. If the goat seems sluggish and out of it, then it’s probably ill.
Sick goats will sometimes isolate themselves as well. If the goat in question is staying away from the other goats, then this is a sign that you need to call the veterinarian soon.
You might also notice sick goats shivering. They’ll sometimes have unusual posture if something is wrong, too.
Ill goats might have dull goats and they also might have pale gums. There are many different physical signs that you can look out for that will tell you that the goat is sick.
Even if you only see one or two of these signs, it’s going to be best to get the goat checked out by a professional. A sick goat won’t be able to get better if you don’t enlist the help of a veterinarian who understands how to treat various conditions that goats have to deal with.
Try to Get the Goat to Eat Sweet Feed
Have you thought about trying to get the goat to eat sweet feed? If you’ve never done this before, then you should know that it might help to get the goat to eat the grain that you’re offering it.
Essentially, sweet feed is going to be a mixture of grain, pelleted food, and molasses. The molasses should make the grain very appealing to the goat and it’ll likely want to eat it up quickly.
Sometimes this is the trick to get a goat that is being finicky to eat grain. It doesn’t take long to make sweet feed, and you shouldn’t have to do this all the time.
People will often do things such as this to get goats to drink or eat more. It isn’t unusual for farmers to sweeten the water when goats aren’t drinking enough.
Hopefully, this option will make a difference and help your goat to eat normally. If the goat turns its nose up at the sweet feed, then it’s very likely that something is wrong.
Most goats are going to be incredibly pleased with the sweet feed and will always come running when you’re offering it to them. A goat turning down such a feast might be the sign that you need to finally call the veterinarian.
After reading the above information, you know everything about why goats might stop eating grain. It’s a serious problem that you must pay attention to if you want your goat to be okay.