feeding advise

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by HattFamilyFarm, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. HattFamilyFarm

    HattFamilyFarm New Member

    20
    Feb 21, 2011
    Hanies City, FL
    Hi guys,
    i have a question. I have a couple people telling me how to feed my goats. I have 4 goats. A doe nubian/boer and her 2 doelings, they are 6 weeks old and then a buckling who is 3 months old. I have one person saying I should have my hay free choice, with grain given in the morning and then at night at about 3 pounds each time. Then I have another person telling me that the grain should be fed one time a day and then some hay given at night. Could someone give me advise?
    Thanks
    Laura
     
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I raise Nigerians and Nigerian/Pygmy crosses...my moms that are feeding kids get 2 cups of grain twice a day as well as a full hayracks of alfalfa, clover mixed grass hay 2-3 times a day for 9 mini goats, this eqauls 1 square bale a day. Kids get a creep feed of grain mix at around 4 weeks old...the pan is placed in an area that only they can access and I continue feeding kids 1 cup 2x a day til they are a year old as they do the most growing during that time. They always have fresh water as well as loose minerals free choice.

    Grain feeding is done on my schedule as I do milk my does twice a day when kids leave so each mom gets 2 cups of my grain mix (18% goat feed, Calf Manna and BOSS) at 4:30 am and again at 4:30 pm...I have 2 bucks and 1 wether that I'm also giving grain to due to needing to put weight on after a stressful rut..the bucks get 1 1/2 cups of the mix each and the wether grabs what he can.
    Every goat owner has their own way of feeding, do what works for you
     

  3. naturalgoats

    naturalgoats New Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    I give hay both morning and night.. basically free choice but not quite because I want to limit wastage. I feed grain morning and evening. My thinking is that it is generally a good idea not to overload the digestive system......
     
  4. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Our Boers get alfalfa 24/7. Moms start getting grain twice a day about 2 weeks before kidding & on through lactation.
    Kids get grain until around 9 mos, bucks a little longer.
    Due to having 2 big bucks & turning a younger one in there at about 4mos he didnt get his fair share & didnt grow like he should have.
     
  5. HattFamilyFarm

    HattFamilyFarm New Member

    20
    Feb 21, 2011
    Hanies City, FL
    Cool...thank you guys for all the advise.....I will keep feeding as I am right now....I do have another question....what is your opinion on coastal hay?


    Thanks
    Laura
     
  6. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    Do you know how to check a goat for trim?
     
  7. HattFamilyFarm

    HattFamilyFarm New Member

    20
    Feb 21, 2011
    Hanies City, FL
    Trim? Right now I am thinking no.....lol.....could you tell me more?

    Thanks
    Laura :ponder:
     
  8. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    if you feel the "shark's teeth" on the spine in the area between the tail and the body you should feel the rib ends(shark's teeth) fairly clearly with a small bit of padding for good trim. If you have trouble distinguishing them the goat needs to eat less or do more :) if you feel them like rubbin a skeleton feed a bit more. It is an experiance thing. It also helps for findind ligs later in pregnancy if you are familiar with that area.
     
  9. HattFamilyFarm

    HattFamilyFarm New Member

    20
    Feb 21, 2011
    Hanies City, FL
    Oh ok I see what you are talking about...cool...I have heard of that before but it was called something else.

    Thank you so much.
    Laura
     
  10. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    At least for us if the critter looks bit starved it is in good trim if it looks to be well fed it is a bit fat for a goat.
     
  11. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    3lbs of feed per goat seems awfully high of a feed amount.

    My grain is very limited even for those pregnant but when nursing they get more. As to hay its sort of free choice but I do limit it because of waste. They get fed 2times a day
     
  12. citylights

    citylights Member

    824
    Jul 3, 2009
    Southern California
    hi Laura -- feeding goats is....well if you ask three people, you'll get four opinions! I think the most important thing is to feed a balanced diet and that will depend on where you're from. In southern California, I try to feed to balance my calcium and phosphorous ratio by rotating my feedings of hay: One feeding will be alfalfa (heavy calcium) and the next feeding will be a grass or oat hay, which is lower calcium and higher phos. In goats it should be 2 calcium to 1 phosphorous.
    If by coastal hay you mean bermuda hay (that's what we call it) and our goats will eat it, it's a fine combo with alfalfa. My goats are spoiled, so they will only beat orchard grass or timothy hay or oat hay plus their alfalfa. I think you may also be able to get peanut hay in Fla, which I believe is high in protein and calcium. You'll just have to do a little research and find out what the feeds in your area contain so you know what to feed1
    Good luck
     
  13. HattFamilyFarm

    HattFamilyFarm New Member

    20
    Feb 21, 2011
    Hanies City, FL
    Yea I know what you mean about opinions....1 person says this and another person says that......I am going to keep feeding them 2 a day and feeding like I am for now....When we start breeding then I will add more grain.

    Thanks for all the advise everyone!

    Laura
     
  14. naturalgoats

    naturalgoats New Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    echoing what citylights said... especially if you have males the Ca:p ratio is important... otherwise you can get problems with stones blocking up their 'plumbing' :)

    And Thanatos.. The trim check is like the knuckle test right? (I'm always rather unsure of how much I should be feeding... I'll be fine then i'll start questioning myself and frantically e-mailing all the goat groups I'm part of :)