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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband, who loves to pinch pennies, and I have been having a difference of opinions on feeding. Some friends of ours know people who raise goats and say they raise their goats on just grazing alone. Now he's got it in his head we should stop giving the goats grain and alfalfa. I was like, I've done research and kids and pregnant does don't do well on just grass (not to mention it's dead grass due to the cold). He argues that people who've raised goats for years know what they are doing. True enough, but he's getting second hand info from people who know nothing about goats. So, my question is, can you raise goats healthily on just grazing?

Right now I give our 2 goats, one pregnant and one growing, a cup of grain and as much alfalfa/grass as they want a day. Plus they graze.
 

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Grazing is great if you have the pasture to do it year round. goats at in the pastures fr years before we started feeding them BUT they did not have the healthy babies and good milk like they do now.

Yes the pregnant does need more protein for the babies to develop well and if you are going to milk them. I do understand what he is saying but you are doing the right thing and you are not feeding a lot so I say keep it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Our grass is a mix of weeds, clover, and crabgrass, if that makes a difference. I have no idea what good pasture would consist of.
 

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You DO still need to supplement during the winter months. If the grazing in your pasture is dormant right now...there won't be a lot of nutrients out there. Yep, they survived for years in the wild on graze alone...our goats today are NOT wild and 1/2 would likely starve to death before figuring out how to survive again.
 

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There are people who say they are feeding graze alone but the truth is that they do offer hay in the winter time. They are calling it graze because it came off of a field. So you really need to find out more details.

Plus it would depend on what those goats are used for. Many people have "brush goats" that they throw out in a pasture and don't care what happens to them as long as that area is being cleared out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't plan on changing how I feed them unless they aren't doing well. I figured our friends weren't hearing the whole story and you all are showing me what's missing. My husband was fine and happy with how I was feeding them before other people tried to convince him we could do it for free. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh yes I do, Nancy. :)

I told my husband what you all said. He's starting to understand that in the winter they need more hay, but he still doesn't like it. Lol. They're my goats though, so ultimately it's up to me.
 

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most of the goats on the island are more or less bush goats, and let me tell you. they do NOT look very healthy compared to mine. keep up the great work. your hubby will thank you when your doe has healthy babies and yummy milk.
 

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Yes, goats do fine on graze alone, IF their bodies are used to that and IF they are not "in production."

So the short answer is that they don't need a lot if you let them have enough space to feed themselves as they prefer, but once you ask them to make you babies and milk and once winter has set in and they are asked to stay inside a fence, they need a little extra from us. Though if it's truly balanced, they usually don't need nearly as much as we sometimes think they do, :). I only need to offer more than mineral during breeding season and winter (mostly because that's when everybody's kidding).
 
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