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- Liver Flukes
Urinary CalculiUrinary calculi is a metabolic disorder of male goats and is caused by feeding excessive amounts of phosphorus rich grains or by-product feeds, or calcium rich legumes without balancing for phosphorus. It occurs only rarely in female goats as their urinary system is anatomically different and the stones generally flush through and out.
Excess calcium leads to calcium carbonate or calcium oxalate stones, while excess phosphorous leads to struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) stones. High magnesium in the diet is also believed to contribute to urinary stones. Other dietary problems include eating forages high in oxalates or silicate (although much less frequent), which lead to oxalate or silicate stone formation. Inadequate water intake also contributes to stone formation.
The total ration (this includes all forage sources, feeds and minerals and supplements) should be balanced and should not exceed a calcium phosphorus ratio of 2:1 or 2.5:1 – in either direction.
Prevention of urinary calculi:
- Avoid too much grain or commercial feed. These feedstuffs are useful for maximizing production and maintaining healthy animals; however they need to be used under correct management. Grains and some commercial feeds have high levels of phosphorus relative to calcium, thus upsetting the optimum calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1.
- Avoid too much alfalfa hay. Alfalfa hay is high in calcium and magnesium, which can upset the balance in the other direction. Best seems to be a level of no more than 25% alfalfa in hay being fed.
- Those who choose to feed alfalfa, grains or commercial feeds to goats should balance the ration to determine the levels of nutrients the goats are receiving so adjustments can be made to avoid complications such as urinary stones, rumen acidosis, overeating disease, etc.
- A mineral imbalance not only causes urinary stones, but also can interfere with the absorption and utilization of other minerals and vitamins and cause functional deficiencies in the goat, therefore reducing overall health and productivity. It is important to feed a well balanced goat mineral to all goats.
- Diets should contain adequate amounts of vitamins A and C.
- Adequate roughage intake is important, whether it be grass or legume as it increases salivation and rumination resulting in greater amounts phosphorus excreted in the urine.
- Adequate Water intake is necessary to prevent urinary calculi as inadequate water intake causes the urine to be more concentrated.
- Add ammonium chloride to feeds being fed to wethers or bucks.
Calcium Sources: The addition of calcium is well tolerated Calcium carbonate (not dicalcium phosphate) Legume hays: alfalfa, clover, lespedeza Soybean hulls as a fiber and energy source (2:1, calcium/phosphorus ratio)
Novice goat owners who have not had their ration “balanced” should limit the amount of grain, commercial feed and alfalfa hay fed to avoid problems. As a rough rule of thumb, a 100-lb. goat should receive a maximum of 1 to 1.5 lbs of grain or commercial feed per day. Please note that feed should be actually weighed at least once to get a good estimate on proper portions (don’t rely on fluid ounce readings on measuring cups since solids have different densities than liquids. Also, don’t rely on the listed weight on a coffee can since feeds and coffee have different densities).
Additionally, try to utilize grass hay or grass-mix hay for males rather than alfalfa hay or other legume hays. Feed grains or commercial feeds twice a day (about 0.5 to 0.75 lb. of feed per head per feeding) and allow grazing in between feedings.
Also, it is key to always provide plenty of clean, fresh water.
- Green Grass
- Too much milk
- Got into the Grain