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Legacy Lane
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel really confused, I have been told never to feed goats corn. Since they are a ruminate like cattle, I thought you could feed corn to fatten them for butcher. I said something about it on here and was told never to feed corn... Now I am seeing all this talk about COB so whats up ?
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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A little bit of corn, like what you find in cob or other all stock/dairy ration grains, dosent/wont hurt them. Its not that you arent suppose to, its just that its not that great to. Whole corn especially.
 

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Junior Member
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In reality corn doesn't offer much nutritional benefits. Just empty fat. There are tons of different grains that I would give over corn. Feeding a lot of corn/grains can cause rumen to slowly shut down so its important to give them a balanced diet grasses/hay or other roughage and a little grain.

Feedlots feed cows the way they do because their animals are going to ultimately die anyways and they do so in an unhealthy state. Not to mention all the antibiotics and hormones they are giving just to keep them going till they have achieved the desired weight.
 

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Legacy Lane
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In reality corn doesn't offer much nutritional benefits. Just empty fat. There are tons of different grains that I would give over corn. Feeding a lot of corn/grains can cause rumen to slowly shut down so its important to give them a balanced diet grasses/hay or other roughage and a little grain.

Feedlots feed cows the way they do because their animals are going to ultimately die anyways and they do so in an unhealthy state. Not to mention all the antibiotics and hormones they are giving just to keep them going till they have achieved the desired weight.
I understand it wouldn't be a good feed for does or bucks, but what about freezer camp wethers ? I have read people don't even give them hay, because you don't need to get their rumen going good because they won't live much past 6-8 months.

I know you aren't talking about people who grow their own beef but I would like to explain why I have the way of thinking I have. We raise our own beef, and beef for our dairy bar in the summer. We have 5-10 steers at all stages of life at all times. We feed them full (ground) corn for at least 1 year normally 2 years. No hormones antibiotics ect, our corn is grown on our property all it has is fertilizer and pesticides.
With that being said, I am going to raise 1-2 wethers this coming year for meat (boer crosses). We (as goat raisers) feed goats cattle products all the time, even give them cattle medicine. They both have rumen. So if you can fatten a steer on corn ( and make it some of the best tasting meat ever) why wouldn't it work for a goat ? I may be 100% wrong but it just seems that way to me.
 

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Junior Member
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I completely understand what you mean and yes you can feed corn to fatten them up but not just corn alone like you do with your steers. That will certainly kill a goat. A goat needs a properly functioning rumen to be able to digest and absorb what it consumes.
Just something to keep in mind. Do some research and let us know what you think.
 

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Ohhh...this is a pet peeve of mine! Corn has a 16% protein! It is a HIGH PROTEIN feed...it is NOT "just empty fat". Cattle in feedlots are NOT fed a corn only diet...they are fed a mix of corn, hay, silage, etc. Cattle in feedlots are NOT pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. They get antibiotics when they need it, but since there are strict regulations regarding how much time has to lapse before an animal can be butchered for human consumption after receiving ANY meds, they are not continuously "pumped full" of any kind of meds. I can almost guarantee that from reading posts on here, a heck of a lot of the people here pump their animals full of more meds than a feedlot does!

Cows not intended for butcher are quite often fed corn thru winter months because it does give them a high protein, high energy food that helps them thrive. Corn, technically, is a "SEED"...from a grass! No different from oats, wheat, barley, etc that are all seeds from grasses! I don't know any farmer, feedlot, etc that feeds straight corn.

If you are feeding goats for butcher, there is absolutely no reason not to feed corn. It is a cost effective feed that fattens animals (if it weren't, it wouldn't be in such high demand!) As with any feed, it should not be the ONLY thing you feed, but that should just be common sense.
 

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Very well put about the feed lot kccjer. And I agree that some corn is not bad as long as your feeding it with other things. I have fed cob as the only grain for years with nothing going bad and the cob I get has a lot of corn in it. I only switched because I can get a higher protein grain for less money. I think with your butcher kids.....if they were mine and I was in your shoes I would feed corn that's ground up but for sure not go too crazy on feeding it. And as someone who has both cattle and goats, goats stomach is more sensitive then a cows.
 

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Very well put about the feed lot kccjer. And I agree that some corn is not bad as long as your feeding it with other things. I have fed cob as the only grain for years with nothing going bad and the cob I get has a lot of corn in it. I only switched because I can get a higher protein grain for less money. I think with your butcher kids.....if they were mine and I was in your shoes I would feed corn that's ground up but for sure not go too crazy on feeding it. And as someone who has both cattle and goats, goats stomach is more sensitive then a cows.
Around here, where we raise a LOT of corn, it's the cheapest stuff we can get. Oats are extremely difficult to find, unless you buy them at the feed store and then they are more expensive than corn. Barley is more expensive, etc. No feed of any kind (hay, grain, etc) is meant to be fed alone. Even with hay, you are getting some seed in there and a variety is much better than a single type. Animals tend to eat what they need (I know, it's not always true and they eat things bad for them too) and in the winter months they will go for the high energy feeds because they need it.

And it IS funny how goats seem way more sensitive than other animals and have the reputation of being able to eat anything and everything!
 

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This is the problem on a forum like this (or any forum). You say to go ahead and feed corn. Well, you may spell out how much corn they should be fed or what type like a terminal goat feed corn. But all a new person reads is that I can feed corn. Next thing you know, they are feeding only corn and their goat gets acidosis and dies. It is much easier to say don't feed corn. Then as you learn nutrition and are more understanding of goats, then you learn that some corn is fine.

But I will always say don't feed corn because I know how new people are and I won't be blamed for the death of someone's goat because they read on here that "corn is fine to feed."

It honestly doesn't matter how good your explanation is either. All a new person in goats reads is "corn is fine."
 

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Junior Member
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Okay not to upset you more than you already are but the % you gave for corn is exaggerated most corn has anywhere from 2-10% and 10 would be high.
Secondly I did not say feedlots only feed corn if you take the time to read my comment you'll see I only mentioned that they feed animals a certain way not that they strictly feed corn.

Just wanted to clear that up

I'm sorry if I offended your high praise of corn or feedlots I didn't realize factory farming suddenly became a good thing.
 

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It is my understanding that we have different presentations of corn; that is to say, whole corn, crimped corn ground corn. Hot corn cold corn bring along a demijon. & that this is where rumen upsets come into play especially if it is not balanced with oats & barley.

As for meds, anytime Ive ever been to auction those animals are clearly marked & Ive only seen a few.
 

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You can do all kinds of research and even the "sources" all have different info regarding nutritional rates of all the feeds out there. Nutritional content is affected greatly by different factors....in ALL kinds of feed. For instance...cornstalks were in abundance here a couple years ago. Would I have fed them to my ruminants??? NO...we were in a drought and the nitrogen level was often at a toxic level. Why take the chance? I could have gotten them for pretty cheap too from my dad and chose to spend money for a lower quality grass hay because there was less likelihood of my animals getting nitrogen poisoning. Didn't even get the cornstalks for the horses cause there's always a chance the goats will get into it.

We can always find a web site that "proves" our opinions regardless of what it's about. I just know that from my experience living in an area that has "factory" farms that animals are not treated as badly as many claim. If corn didn't work as a feed, it would not be used. The idea is to produce "food" for a LOT of people in as affordable a manner as possible. Without these horrible factory farms, our farmers could not produce the amount of food they do. Would it be ideal if we could all just produce our own food? Well, of course it would. But that isn't going to happen.
 

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Legacy Lane
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I completely understand what you mean and yes you can feed corn to fatten them up but not just corn alone like you do with your steers. That will certainly kill a goat. A goat needs a properly functioning rumen to be able to digest and absorb what it consumes.
Just something to keep in mind. Do some research and let us know what you think.
Let me clarify we don't only feed corn. We feed hay, and they are on pasture until (Around) the last 6 months.

I would also feed my wethers corn and they would have pasture.

I am defiantly going to be doing a lot of research :)
 

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Junior Member
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Let me clarify we don't only feed corn. We feed hay, and they are on pasture until (Around) the last 6 months.

I would also feed my wethers corn and they would have pasture.

I am defiantly going to be doing a lot of research :)
Thanks for clarifying that I was concerned when I first read it I thought you meant you would feed nothing but corn lol.
A good place to start is reading up on how the goats digestion system works and how it processes what is eaten.
 

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"COB" is Corn, Oats, and Barley. It isn't just corn. COB can be bad, if fed too much, now Corn fed alone can be worse for goats, and remember, there are different types, cracked, whole, rolled ect, in which some, are very bad for goats rumen and their teeth.

Which COB, is a good combination for goats, which is rolled, not whole, and if fed in moderation, won't hurt them.
 

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Junior Member
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"COB" is Corn, Oats, and Barley. It isn't just corn. COB can be bad, if fed too much, now Corn fed alone can be worse for goats, and remember, there are different types, cracked, whole, rolled ect, in which some, are very bad for goats rumen and their teeth.

Which COB, is a good combination for goats, which is rolled, not whole, and if fed in moderation, won't hurt them.
Out of curiosity which types are bad for their teeth?
 

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For sure whole corn is sooooo hard. I don't see cracked being much better for their teeth. With the rolled corn you can break it apart with your fingers. If you do end up feeding the corn and grind it keep in mind that they process it faster as well so if fed that way I would start out slow. I started to grind one of my does grain and I can tell a big difference in gaining weight because she processes it faster and doesn't put as much energy into it.
 

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I'm watching you
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Whole corn and whole barley in particular, wear their teeth much faster. Just like a horse or cow, when the teeth are gone, the goat is at the end of her productive life.

I do feed some rolled corn in the winter. It helps keep their weight on. I have never fed it by itself however so, can't comment on that.

I used to work for Neiman's no stress beef. The steers weren't cared for that badly, in terms of feedlots. They didn't have shelter other than a sunshade however. We would lose one to bloat about every 2 weeks. I think in their case the whey mixed in the feed was causing more problems then the corn.
 

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Legacy Lane
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We grind our corn, so that wouldn't be hard on their teeth ? I have two does I need to put weight on ... could I add some of it to their daily feed. They get 1 pound of alfalfa pellets and 1 pound of 18% grower each.
 
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