Feeding Multiple Goats

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by dixiegirl3179, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. dixiegirl3179

    dixiegirl3179 Done lost her mind...

    291
    Jan 20, 2010
    Middleburg, FL
    Hey all

    I currently have 9 goats..7 minis and 1 nubian doeling and one boar/nubian buckling.

    Feeding time is a real mess. The older goats butt the younger goats away from the food, they all pile up over the dishes so I can't even pour the food in...just a mess. We were feeding them out of 2 larger feeders, but then I bought a couple goat troughs from tractor supply. This helped a little bit with the butting, but it's still a big pile o goats when I go to put the food in the feeder. Does anyone have any tips for feeding multiple goats at once and making sure that everyone gets their share? I thought about individual buckets, but wouldn't the older goats still butt the younger ones away? It would eliminate the mess as I could fill the buckets outside of the pen and then sit them inside. I know others have had this problem and I'm curious as to how you dealt with it.

    Thanks!
     
  2. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    Hmmm. Seems like the feeder troughs (provided they are long enough) would solve a good chunk of the problem. Do you have a way of separating the bossy ones for feeding? Maybe even putting the big bullies on a lead so they can only eat from a certain dish?

    We only have a few does now but several 3 foot long feed troughs worked great before when we had more.
     

  3. dixiegirl3179

    dixiegirl3179 Done lost her mind...

    291
    Jan 20, 2010
    Middleburg, FL
    The feed troughs are the 3 foot long ones from Tractor Supply. They are helping somewhat it's just that everyone climbs over one another to get to the food. The food ends up getting spilled everywhere when I try to pour it in. They will try and use the same hole and the food doesn't get spread evenly because all their heads are in the trough. I'm going to be doing some work on the pen at the end of the month when my tax money comes in. I'll be splitting it up so I have a buck pen...maybe I should put up a fenced "feeding area" in the doe pen so that I can at least fill the feeders in peace and then let them in to eat. I don't know. I just know that it's so stressful to feed with 9 goats climbing all over the fence and feeders trying to be piggies and get the most food. Then I worry that the younger ones aren't getting enough. I thought about tying everyone up at individual buckets, but that could be time consuming. And just giving individual buckets isn't going to stop the faster eaters from stealing from the slower eaters. I guess I can start by tying up the 2 that are the biggest bullies.
     
  4. GotmygoatMTJ

    GotmygoatMTJ New Member

    We have found that a feeding pen is the best option for making feeding time easier. You don't have to worry about the goats piling in the dishes. But it does cause a pile up at the gate!

    Love those troughs by the way :love: Have three and plan to get more. :hi5:
     
  5. dixiegirl3179

    dixiegirl3179 Done lost her mind...

    291
    Jan 20, 2010
    Middleburg, FL
    I think that the feeding pen is probably the best option. We are going to be splitting up the pen at the end of the month anyway to make a buck pen. We'll just have to buy extra t posts and a gate and make a pen area. That way we can get all the food ready in peace and then open the gate and let them eat. Now just to figure out where to put it and how big to make it lol.
     
  6. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Can you make a creep feeder for the younger crew...so the adults(bullies)... can't get to it..... but the youngsters can?
     
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I use two troughs and I keep the metal separator on each of them so the goats heads have to go into the individual sections and this keeps them from hogging the whole trough.

    With 9 goats you need two troughs and then you can tie the two bullies to the fence or even use clips to the trough so they can only stay in that one spot and each once they get there.
     
  8. GotmygoatMTJ

    GotmygoatMTJ New Member

    And I recommend making the gate swing inside so you don't have to worry about hitting any goats! We have the problem that where we have to put our feed pen has a 12 foot gate that drags the ground, that faces out towards the pasture. UGH!
     
  9. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    I have the same problem, hehe... And I also have one of those feeding troughs too, love them, going to get another one soon. I am with the idea of having a seperate place to feed the goats. I will be doing this eventually. We have 6 goats who are eating together, eventually 3 will go into stalls for kidding and will eat seperately.
    But eventually they will be eating together...again.

    We feed in the barn addition. Once I get more pallets, I plan to block the door off when I go in to feed, either by mounting a pallet that I can open and close, or find some other way so they aren't knocking it down.
    I watch who is eating what, and one by one I drag them out...it's torture...for me LOL
    Right now when I do this one of my kids help to make sure they don't come back in.

    I take out the whether, and the 'pigs' who gobble up the grain...I also only put down so much feed. And once the more aggressive eaters are out, I usually have 2 does in - youngest and slowest, and I give them a little more... It works great for me. The only one I have trouble with butting though is my herd queen, the others just push and shove but aren't bad about butting.

    IMO if there are a few pushing goats, I'd seperate them from the others and feed them, or do as someone else suggested and tie them up.

    Good Luck :)
     
  10. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Those troughs from TSC are great! I have one for my 3 boys and it has worked very well.

    Easy way to fix the mob and spilled feed would be to feed from outside the pen....have a panel with squares cut big enough for heads to go through, attach the trough under them and you'll be able to pour in the feed with no waste and they'll have limited access to the feed around them too.

    I do individual graining with my does, only 3 of the six get a grain ration daily so it makes for a quick feeding. Each takes a turn coming into the kidding/milking area, on the stand, fed, back out and the next is waiting....takes me longer to fill hay racks than it does to feed grain.
     
  11. dixiegirl3179

    dixiegirl3179 Done lost her mind...

    291
    Jan 20, 2010
    Middleburg, FL

    Liz! This is perfect! I was dreading having to buy fencing and posts and a gate just to build a feeding pen! Our fencing is field fence and all the goats can already fit their heads through (nobody has horns except the nubian doeling and nubian/boar buckling and they're only a few months old). My brother is trying to come up with a design to hold the troughs on the outside since we have t posts and nothing to attach them to. We can fill them and then hang them up. I can't believe I didn't think of it myself! It make it harder for them to push and butt each other away and then won't be able to climb into the dishes/troughs and get in the way. Awesome! We have plenty of scrap wood and will get this designed/built tomorrow!
     
  12. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    We have field fencing too and if you have t posts, just make sure when you build the feeder you support the fence around it so they don't tear the fence up. We have boer and boer/mix goats and they have one section of fence they've pushed against to eat leaves and it wears it down after a while. Just thought I'd mention this :)

    BTW....I am probably the pallet queen...I build everything from pallets <hehe>, so I thought I'd mention that in case you can come up with any ideas using pallets --- they are free! I have my feeder mounted on a pallet attached to the barn wall.