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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay- I have 5 goats (nubians) 2 does...one is still milking decently and has not been bred and the other is barley milking and has been bred (not kidding until mid march) and another doeling who is 8 months old and has not been bred yet. What type of hay should I be feeding each of these does and how much? I am finding contradictory information on EVERYTHING. Especially what to feed throughout the gestation period. Now, my 2 bucks...one is 8 months and the other is 4 months. Should they NOT be getting ANY alfalfa and only some type of hay (maybe 3-way) and what about grain?
Last question is about grains. I have access to organic local barley, wheat and a tridicale. My farmer makes a mix of all three that I give my chickens and i am wondering if I can also give this to my goats-up until now I just gave straight barley but since they don't have pasture I am thinking maybe the tridicale (hybrid of wheat and rye) might be good because it offers more variety..?
 

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Grain sounds like a good plan...as for hay we feed alfalfa year round. Better crop with higher RFV during the winter.
 

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You do not want to feed whole wheat. It is hard to chew up, it will swell in the gut, and it can cause acidosis. If you want to use wheat, either crack it or steam roll it first. Barley is fine.

As for hay, the average adult, standard sized goat will eat roughly a ton of forage, hay, grass, browse, or some combination of that each year. I like to give lactating does straight, good quality alfalfa. Open does do not need straight alfalfa, nor do non-breeding adult bucks. They will do just fine an good quality straight grass. Given the combination of animals that you have, I think I would go with grass/alfalfa mix and then supplement the lactating does and growing kids with a little grain or pelleted feed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Okay, I have a barn full of straight alfalfa and like i said I have been feeding the milking does barley. So keep with the barley obviously. I have been feeding the alfalfa to them until now and everything has been fine but of course I don't' want to be creating a problem for later...so save the alfalfa for milking only and get some grass hay for everyone else? Or CAN I still feed them the alfalfa since I have it (and to be honest there isn't room for anything else)...but not the boys cause of UI. Oh also-my 8 month buck has bred the pregnant doe and the younger one will bred my other two
 

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If you already have a barn full of alfalfa....feed it. If you have to buy it, it's cheaper to buy grass so...... I tend to hoard my little stash of alfalfa. LOL I've never heard it to cause problems with the bucks, so I don't know about that. I'd probably just go ahead and feed alfalfa if it were me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
And grain? My pregnant doe who has been prego for about 2 weeks is just about done milking but she is getting about a cup of barley in the stand currently until she dries up. I am reading things that break down the amount of grain given through 3 periods of gestation and i am reading not to give grain at all between drying up and 6 weeks from delivery. And do the bucks, or doeling currently need any grain?
 

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Everyone will have a different opinion and reasons for doing what they think is the right thing to do. This is what we do and we've never had a problem with it.

Milking does daily intake:
8 cups organic grain mix, (oats, barley, a bit of corn and vegetable oil)
2 cups of sweet feed
1 cup of black oil sunflower seeds at night
Organic Alfalfa hay available at all times
Pasture if it's not raining out
Lose minerals and baking soda always available

Milking does who are also feeding kids during the day, (separated at night from the kids):
Same as above but 9 cups of the organic grain mix

Kids, young does:
1 cup of grains as above,
1 cup of sweet feed
1/2 cup of black sunflower seeds
Pasture if it's not raining out
Organic Alfalfa or grass hay and lose minerals and baking soda always available

Buck
1 cup of sweet feed
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
Organic Alfalfa and/or grass hay
Lose minerals and baking soda always available
Pasture

They all get morning treats like cut up apples, pears, carrots, cherry tomatoes, herb leaves, and things like that. The milking does get the most while they are being milked. (I put the treats on their grains and they eat the veggies/fruit/herbs first, then their grains and the rest.)
 

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Everyone will have a different opinion and reasons for doing what they think is the right thing to do. This is what we do and we've never had a problem with it.

Milking does daily intake:
8 cups organic grain mix, (oats, barley, a bit of corn and vegetable oil)
2 cups of sweet feed
1 cup of black oil sunflower seeds at night
Organic Alfalfa hay available at all times
Pasture if it's not raining out
Lose minerals and baking soda always available

Milking does who are also feeding kids during the day, (separated at night from the kids):
Same as above but 9 cups of the organic grain mix

Kids, young does:
1 cup of grains as above,
1 cup of sweet feed
1/2 cup of black sunflower seeds
Pasture if it's not raining out
Organic Alfalfa or grass hay and lose minerals and baking soda always available

Buck
1 cup of sweet feed
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
Organic Alfalfa and/or grass hay
Lose minerals and baking soda always available
Pasture

They all get morning treats like cut up apples, pears, carrots, cherry tomatoes, herb leaves, and things like that. The milking does get the most while they are being milked. (I put the treats on their grains and they eat the veggies/fruit/herbs first, then their grains and the rest.)
Question, the amount for the "Milking Does". Is that per doe split between two feeding a day or ? Trying to figure out the intake for my two when the time comes. Thanks :)
 

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If you have the alfalfa hay, feed it. Around here I can't seem to find a decent hay at all... what I have is a mixed grass/clover and at times I throw away more than anything because of the way it was cut/baled.
If you give bucks alfalfa, you should be feeding some type of grain to keep the calcium/phosphorous ratio at a 2:1 to keep their urinary system healthy. Adding ammonium chloride to their loose minerals helps with this as well.
I have ND's and only those in milk and kids get grain, I feed an 18% goat feed by Blue Seal, from August to February my bucks get 1 cup of this plus 1/2 cup alfalfa pellets and 1/4 cup dry beet pulp shreds because they tend to lose condition during rut.
Pregnant dry does get 1 cup grain and 1/2 cup alfalfa pellets on the stand from 60 days bred to 120 days, then the amount is cut by half until they deliver.... I gradually increase the total amount they get according to how many kids they are producing for and get this fed 2x a day. I have one ND doe here who produces 5 cups at peak with morning milkings, she was feeding triplets too so I give 1/2 cup feed for every cup of milk produced. I can adjust amounts according to how well their condition is too.
Dry does who are pets and wether here get no grain, just minerals and hay with pasture and occasionally a handful of alfalfa pellets.
 
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