Brewery mash as goat feed?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Ariel301, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Guest

    101
    Oct 12, 2009
    I just sold one of my does to a lady who gets leftover mash from a local brewery to feed to her livestock. She can get 50 gallon barrels for $15 apiece and said she could get it for me too if I want it. She gave me one to try out and see if I like it. My goats are eating it pretty well, it took them a couple of days before they liked it though. I'm just wondering how good of a feed it is for dairy goats? I asked how she feeds it, and she said she pours a bunch into a big trough in the pen and lets them eat as much as they like. The thought of allowing them all the grain they like makes me nervous, because my girls can EAT! I don't want them to get sick off of it. And as the stuff spoils within a couple of weeks in the Arizona heat, with only five goats, I would have to feed large quantities to get throug 50 gallons before it goes bad.

    Does anyone else have any experience with this stuff? Is it a good feed? I think it could be a cheap way to extend our hay supply, as it costs less than hay per pound, but I want to be sure they are getting the right nutrients in the right proportions. Right now my goats get alfalfa hay twice a day--pretty much all they can eat of it--and about a pound each of cracked corn while they are being milked. The lady buying my doe also said I should give them sweet feed instead of the corn (I just go with the corn because it's cheaper than the sweet feed here; right now I cannot afford to pay nearly $20 a bag for sweet feed!) and I should put a huge bucket of it on my milk stand and let them have all of it they can eat during milking time. That seems like too much grain to me; I know my girls can eat a very large amount of grain in the ten minutes or so they get on the stand.

    The lady I was talking to has raised all of the full sized dairy breeds as well as Boers, and she seems knowledgeable. I just question giving the goats a diet that is almost entirely grain.
     
  2. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Guest

    101
    Oct 12, 2009
    Nobody has any experience with this stuff as feed?
     

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    what is it made out of? whats the crude contents?


    as to the corn -- corn is not good for goats in large amounts, I would suggest you do switch over to a sweet feed, you will find that you will get more milk.

    Corn is a filler and has no nutritional value.

    when I had standard dairy goats I fed them each 1lb of grain twice a day when at peek milk production.

    Feeding a well balanced nutritional feed will help your girls to be healthy over all. You can then choose a loose mineral that also aids in the over all health of your does.

    You did say that your one doeling wasn't growing right -- you might want to look into your feeding program, just corn isnt going to provide them their dietary needs.
     
  4. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
  5. CrossCreekTX

    CrossCreekTX New Member

    356
    Aug 10, 2009
    Central East Texas
    If you spread it out in the sun it should dry fairly fast and keep longer. You'll need to stir and turn it to make sure it dried thoroughly. Sounds like it may be too wet coming directly from the brewery. I'd love to get spent grains at that price for my poultry.
     
  6. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    Get a list as to whats in it. There are a lot of grains out there that are difficult for goats to digest. and others that are just plain not good for them.
    beth
     
  7. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Guest

    101
    Oct 12, 2009
    I wish I could switch to sweet feed right now, but it's out of my budget. It sells here for around $20 for 40 pound bags, while the corn is only $8. My husband and I have both been unemployed for several months and have run through all our savings. We're down to selling anything valuable we have in order to buy feed and pay our bills. We just sold our best doe to buy hay for the winter.

    I majored in animal science in college, and studied livestock nutrition. Corn is not nutritionally useless in livestock. It does not contain much protein or vitamins, but it is one of the highest fat grains available. I use it because of that mainly; to help keep weight on our does. Our hay contains more protein than our goats even need anyway. The goats all have access to a mineral supplement made for goats as well, and can have as much as they like of that. Any grain is bad for ruminant animals in large amounts; that is why I am wary of how much these people say I should feed. Their goats are basically allowed to eat as much grain as they want to. (Knowing my girls, they would eat nothing but grain, given the choice!) My does are each getting a cup of corn a day. It's the cracked corn, not whole, so it's easier to chew and digest.

    I don't know what's in the mash other than barley, it was the only grain I could recognize in it. The people who I could get it from don't know for sure either. I don't think we'll be using it though, because we realistically cannot use 50 gallons of it before it goes bad. Drying it in the sun won't be an option; we do not have a safe place to put it away from the rabbits and quail that are already stealing our hay in large quantities, despite the fences and tarps we put around it. They would eat the mash in a matter of hours; there are generally 25-ish rabbits and 50 or more quail helping themselves to the hay any time I go out there! We used to have a lawn, and they killed it in a matter of days! That's what we get for living in the desert...

    As for Bonnie, she does not even get grain. She won't eat it. All she likes is hay; she won't even eat vegetable scraps or treats. She's picky, I guess. I let her have all the alfalfa hay she likes. I did a fecal check for worms on her, and it looked ok. I dewormed her anyway just to be sure. I am thinking her slow growth was from the heat; we had several months of nonstop 100+ temperatures; now that it has cooled down she is growing again. I think she put on an inch this week.
     
  8. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    I personally would not feed ANY grain before I fed only corn. It is not good in that amount at all for the goats. They can not digest it before it would ferments.

    As for the Mash, I have been told different things about it. Some say that all the nutrients are soaked and gone out for the beer, and you have to be really careful about it spoiling.
     
  9. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Guest

    101
    Oct 12, 2009
    The mash does seem to spoil fast; we had a sample bucket of it and it began to mold in just a couple of days...that's really why I don't think it would work for us, after giving it a test run. It does seem to be mostly the hulls of the grains, also, when I look at it; and I know there's no real nutrition in those.

    As to the corn, 1 cup a day is not so much for 100-130 pound goats, I think. It is fed in much higher proportions to ruminant animals being prepared for butchering, without too many adverse effects--not that I would stuff my goats on corn like they do beef cattle! The sweet feed available at our feed store is about half corn anyway. I'm not seeing any digestive problems in my goats, and it appears to be getting digested as I never see anything recognizable as corn in their droppings.

    There are lots of different opinions on feed, and it's great to see what other people think even if we don't agree. Thanks for the input everyone!
     
  10. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    True, but fat makes fat goats, and when a goat becomes fat, its hard for them to lose it. Do you have any access to oats in your area?
     
  11. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    I dont real;ly care for sweet feeds as they tend to mod somewhat quickly and the molasses has a bunch of sugar in it. Do you have acess to rolled oats and barely in your area for a decent price?
    beth
     
  12. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Guest

    101
    Oct 12, 2009
    No barley, unfortunately. In Colorado I could buy it off the Amish for cheap; I fed the horse whole barley, but no one in Arizona is carrying it. The only oats available are whole oats, and they are going for $18 a bag! Feed prices are ridiculous here...Until we found a good distributor, we were paying $13 a bale for hay at our feed store.Even straw is overpriced here--$8 a bale and it's moldy! There is literally no grass or crops growing in this area except where it is irrigated, because there is so little rain. Not many people even have lawns because no one can afford the water to keep grass alive. Hay has to be brought in from out of state, as well as grains, which drives the prices up. We can barely afford to buy groceries for ourselves at the moment, much less spend so much on goat feed, as much as I would like to.

    I'm also not a fan of all the sugar in sweet feed; I used to give it to my horses and when they ate it they got so hyper I could not even ride them. When I switched to just plain corn or barley they were more manageable. So I would actually prefer to mix my own 'sweet feed' type feed without all the molasses in it. But my choices here are somewhat limited; we can get whole oats, corn, beet pulp, and that's about it other than sweet feed and name brand horse feeds that are way too pricey. There is not any goat feed available at all, or even sheep feed or cattle feed mixes.

    Even with a small amount of corn, my goats aren't getting fat. I'm using the grain simply to keep weight on them, and monitoring the amount of weight they have; if they start getting fat, they will get cut back on feed. I have one doe who is chronically underweight (not worms or any health issue, it's just how she always has been) so I am trying to fatten her up some. The other doe is in good condition, but I have not seen any weight increase with the small amount of corn she eats. The buck just gets hay, and my doeling doesn't like grain at all. The wether, I am just giving hay and not spending a lot of money on feed for him because we are going to eat him soon.
     
  13. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    Hmm thats frustrating. Can you get hay pellets there? Whole oats are ok for goats. I know someone who lives in AZ that has alpines. I can email her and see what she feeds her goats. and where she gets it from.
    beth
     
  14. CrossCreekTX

    CrossCreekTX New Member

    356
    Aug 10, 2009
    Central East Texas
    I don't know what your set up is, but if you can get tree and/or hedge trimmings, those can be used to supplement your feed. Of course you need to get trimmings that haven't been sprayed.
     
  15. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Guest

    101
    Oct 12, 2009
    We do use our own garden/tree trimmings as goat feed, as well as any vegetable scraps from the kitchen (a lot since we are practically vegetarian) and they get about an hour to browse every afternoon when I take the whole group on a walk.

    Hay pellets aren't really an economical feed here; it's much cheaper to buy just hay. I've got a good hay dealer who sells me alfalfa at $90 a ton. It's just expensive to buy grain here! The mash might not have been a bad deal if we could use it up, but with only three goats that would eat it, it just won't work. Oh well. Our goats are doing well so far with the feed they are getting, so I think we will just leave well enough alone.
     
  16. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    Can you get Black oil sunflower seeds there?
    beth