Do I need Commercial Goat feed?

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by MellonFriend, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    Alright, I'm still confused about goat feed. It looks like I will be getting two weaned doelings (around thanksgiving maybe). Will they need packaged goat feed or is that more of a specifically meat goat thing? Also if I feed them commercial food will they still need mineral supplements or will they get that from the food? They will of course have hay and brush when it's not winter. And obviously fresh water.
    capracreek likes this.
  2. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    Just to clarify I mean: They will have hay all the time, and brush when it's not winter.
    mariarose and capracreek like this.

  3. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    They need loose minerals no matter what you feed them. I do like feeding a goat feed while they are growing.
    capracreek likes this.
  4. capracreek

    capracreek Well-Known Member

    Apr 5, 2016
    I believe that goat food provides valuable vitamins and minerals that they don't always get from just hay and browsing.
  5. TDG-Farms

    TDG-Farms Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State

    Jul 12, 2013
    A loose mineral is still a must. But if you focus your time and money on finding a good quality tested alfalfa, you will be much better off. Grains are a treat and shouldnt be a mainstay of their diet.
  6. Clairepaws

    Clairepaws Member

    Feb 2, 2016
    I think it's important for kids to have goat feed. It helps them to grow well and has balanced nutrients specifically for goats. However you will still need to give minerals as it doesn't have enough.
    My kids have free choice alfalfa pellets and mineral throughout the day, then get their share of grain in the evening. It's worked really well for them, especially my little one who was weaned to early at her previous home and grows slow.
    I feed alfalfa pellets instead of hay because we've got low quality hay here and my spoiled babes won't touch it.
    goatblessings and MellonFriend like this.
  7. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    So when the goats are not growing anymore will they still need feed?
  8. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Yes, feed means everything you give them to eat. I'm certain you know you still have to give them something to eat...

    Do you want to rephrase your question? Like, will they still need pelletized feed, or will they need a pre-prepared goat feed, or will they need bagged feed....

    To answer your original question, YES they will still need feed. Of some sort. Unless you have the pasture/wild forage situation that can only make me yearn and drool and covet...

    (wiping my chin of drool)
  9. goatblessings

    goatblessings Fair-Haven Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2015
    Southwest Ohio
    If you don't plan on breeding or milking your does, once they are adults, they won't need much grain - mainstay of a good alfalfa hay/browse should be fine for dry, non productive does.
  10. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    Yes of course I meant bagged/pelleted food :eek:. I will have pasture/forage/brush for them when it is available.
    mariarose likes this.
  11. lottsagoats1

    lottsagoats1 Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Middle Maine
    I feed my goats (all ages and sexes) commercial feed from 1 week of age up til they die. The hay in my area is not great, just plain old field grass and weeds. First cut is not usually baled until late July. This year my hay guy couldn't get it baled until mid August. Our growing time will not allow for alfalfa to be baled, if they do grow it, it gets used as balage or grass silage.

    I mix whole native oats in with their pellets. In the winter I add soaked beet pulp for extra roughage and moisture. After they are bred, starting at 3 months along, I add alfalfa pellets to their ration for the calcium. Once they are being dried off, I stop the alfalfa. They get loose minerals and kelp meal free choice.

    My farm consists of 1 acre, so there is no browsing. If a tree falls or I need to trim limbs, they get those. I cut burdock and other weeds for them during the growing season and I do have comfrey growing that I give them once in a while.
    mariarose likes this.
  12. Idahogoats

    Idahogoats Active Member

    Sep 5, 2016
    So I have 3 wethers. You have to careful not to feed too much Alfalfa because they may have urinary problems. Right? I have heard both ways.
  13. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    It's the other way around, at least in my personal experience. My bucks and wethers get free choice alfalfa hay and no grain, and I've never had a problem with UC.
    TDG-Farms and mariarose like this.
  14. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    I 100% agree with this! Grain is like extras. But as you can see your gonna get a bunch of different answers and really none are wrong it's just different managements.
    This is me: no grain. I will give kids grain till roughly 4 months old (ok I buy grain by the pallet and when it runs out my keeper does are cut off so it could be 3 months it could be 10 months but usually 4 months is about it. I will give grain to ones in need but for the most part they get hay and weeds/brush. Growing doelings get strictly good alfalfa till about a year old. I don't breed them till about a year and a half so there is really no need to push the feed to them. They grow to be good sized girls by then. Most people are anti skinny goats, I am too, but I also am way more anti fat goats. I've seen the inside of a fat goat and there is no way that is healthy.
    Your probably going to have to play around till you figure out what works for you. There is nothing wrong with that and I'm sure we all have done it. Heck I still to a point play with feed. My suggestion is keep a eye on body condition and make changes slowly. But I still agree that no matter what brows (hay, grass, whatever) is more important then anything thing else. Always think of grain as a extra not their main dish
  15. TDG-Farms

    TDG-Farms Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State

    Jul 12, 2013
    Actually the university of Purdue did a study that showed Alfalfa actually helps to reduce the chance of UC.
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