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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it healthy to JUST feed hay? I haven't done this, but I have noticed that some breeders have moved away from grains and only feed hay. A blend of alfalfa and timothy or orchard grass. Is that healthy? I feed grain and they are free ranged and I just ran out of hay. Am I feeding them too well and spoiling them? They have nice shiny coats as a result.
 

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4-H Secretary for Life ^.^
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We are doing it the same way you are, and it isn't overfeeding or spoiling them.

Edit:
I meant to also say that you could and it helps cut down costs, but we feed grain, hay, and free range browse
 

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I'm not addicted - I'm in love!
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My goats do great on browse/pasture during the summer, and hay during the winter. I wouldn't feed only one or two kinds of hay for an extended period, simply because a varied diet is more likely to be balanced.

Grain is OK, but my thought is that it's not ideal for their digestive systems, and the extra fat on their bodies isn't necessary. Besides, hay goes a lot farther for less money.
Pregnant does do need some grain near the end of the pregnancy, or you put them at a high risk for toxemia.
 
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Is it healthy to JUST feed hay?
Absolutely! My adult does never get grain unless we run short of hay, then I use alfalfa pellets as part of their hay ration. I feed grass/alfalfa with the grass being a mixture of timothy, orchard, 3 types of wheatgrass, 2 types of brome, and another kind that I can't remember.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
My doe was pregnant and now she's feeding kids. I have always given gran and 2 leafs of hay a day and free range bushes and grass. I feed them herbal wormer every week and they get probios here and there. I give the kids 2 cups of grain a day. (between the 2 of them) I give momma 6 cups of grain. I read that she needs to have a certain percentage of her body weight now I forget what it was. I split up the 6 cups throughout the day too, breakfast lunch dinner lol.

OH I found it says 10% of weight and they should get 2-3 lbs of grains a day if in milk. Says I should give the kids 3 cups a day each. (They would be so fat). My goats look healthy, they have nice coats on them and they are happy. Fat and happy lol. They are not fat actually. Momma gets a little hollow at the hips sometimes which I read is normal for a goat in milk.

OH I just read the post below this I do the minerals too.
My goat kids are 2.5 months old. I am really proud of them they are my first babies and I am keeping them lol. MINEZ alllll MINEZ.
 

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I currently have a Pygerian wether and 2 Pygerian does who get nothing but pasture/browse...a flake of clover mix hay split between them 2x a day and loose minerals, all 3 are thick and pudgy.

Winter I do give a minimal mix of 18% with crushed timothy/alfalfa cubes once a day along with 2x a day hay
 

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We only give mine hay or the pasture right now, alone with fresh water. I only feed grain to pregnant or lactating does of breeding bucks. If it is good hay that is all they need. (For me that is)
 

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Do you all feed kids grain for a certain period of time?
When I bought my doelings the breeder suggested grain for 6 months or more.....thoughts?
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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This is a typical "pet" owner feeding style. Goats dont need nearly half of what most owners feed them. A milking dairy goat (one of the hardest working goats) can not only survive on but maintain its weight on nothing more then a single flake of dairy quality alfalfa per day. They would also be getting 1-2 lbs of grain per milking. Granted there are some milkers that just dont maintain weight and put everything they have into their milk production. So for these does you would of course feed as needed so they maintain weight as best as possible.

A non working goat on free choice pasture should maybe be given a flake of hay ever other day. Depending mostly on quality of pasture feed.

So with this being said, YES most back yard goat farmers do way over feed their goats. A great way to see if you are over feeding is how long it takes them to finish what you put in their feeder. If you feed once or twice a day it doesnt matter. There should be little to nothing left in the feeder at the next feeding time. If there is, then you are feeding to much.
 

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Do you all feed kids grain for a certain period of time?
When I bought my doelings the breeder suggested grain for 6 months or more.....thoughts?
My replacement doelings get 1 lb of a 14% goat grower pellet for 45 days post weaning. My bucklings/wethers get 1-2 lbs of a 14% goat grower pellet until they go to the sale barn - usually about 3 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So I'm doing alright then? Should I scale back on the grain? All are maintaining weight, but the lactating momma she has kept it on with the grain. They always eat what I give them, nothing is left over BUT the chickens could be assisting now that I think about it. Momma is always calling to me for food. (I think that or she LOVES me sooo much) Yesterday I put a big round bale of hay in their pasture and they haven't called to me at all. I am thinking hallelujah peace and quite! lol
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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LOL goats are eating machines and if given the chance, have been know to eat themselves to death. Not unheard of are goats getting into where the grain is stored and doing. So as long as they are not fat and you are happen with the way you feed. Have at it.
 
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