The Goat Spot Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
We are new to goats and have 3 Nigerian does that will be arriving in about a week. One is in milk. I am struggling to come up with the best feeding routine for them.

They are in a large pen, but there isn't much grass out there this time of year. Lot of fallen leaves and some brush. I plan on offering free choice grass hay and free choice minerals. What is the best to include in addition to this though? I have read SO much information about whether to do grain, chaffhaye, pellets, etc. that I am overwhelmed with trying to come up with the best feeding routine.

The goat in milk has been getting a high quality grain once daily with the previous owners. I plan to offer the same. How much grain does one typically offer to a NG doe in milk? Should the others get grain?

Should I offer alfalfa pellets, or chaffhaye in addition to the free choice grass hay/minerals? If so, how much does one offer for these? I feel like there are so many options!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,271 Posts
So I have minis, and a Nigerian Dwarf.

He eats leaves off the ground but preferably off the trees he can reach. However he loves bermuda grass, oats, and medicated pellets.
Plenty of fresh water, free minerals (wind, snow, and rain).
In your yard be sure you check for plants or trees poisonous to Go-tees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,070 Posts
Congratulations on your new goats!
My ND doe in milk diet is free choice alfalfa hay and pellets, 2 6oz yogurt cups full of Purina Goat Chow twice daily a yogurt cup of calf manna and free choice purina wind, rain and storm minerals. She is feeding triplets and is doing pretty well holding her condition with this diet. I also give a handful of beet pulp at "lunch" with the calf manna usually but ran out until payday. :(

All my others ( dry does and wethers) get the same diet except no calf manna and only one yogurt cup of goat chow twice a day.

Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Congratulations on your new goats!
My ND doe in milk diet is free choice alfalfa hay and pellets, 2 6oz yogurt cups full of Purina Goat Chow twice daily a yogurt cup of calf manna and free choice purina wind, rain and storm minerals. She is feeding triplets and is doing pretty well holding her condition with this diet. I also give a handful of beet pulp at "lunch" with the calf manna usually but ran out until payday. :(

All my others ( dry does and wethers) get the same diet except no calf manna and only one yogurt cup of goat chow twice a day.

Hope this helps.
Did you have to build up to free choice pellets? I was considering doing free choice grass hay with free choice alfalfa pellets but was worried if they aren't used to this they may over eat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,990 Posts
Welcome to the forum!
Please try to feed same as previous owner and slowly change to what you decide.
Free choice grass hay and free choice alfalfa pellets is fine for them. They like the alfalfa pellets a lot and you have to build up the amount. They will at first eat it allin a hurry if they aren't used to it. So increase amount slowly. Let it take a couple of weeks adding to amount, when they stop eating after about ten minutes, stop increasing. They will get used to it being there and quit gorging.
Make sure no azaleas, mountain laurel or rhododendrons in pasture. Almost everything else is ok.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are the goats currently on alfalfa hay or grass hay?
Currently on grass hay and feeding "some" alfalfa pellets. Hay is hard to come by here, so was considering chaffhaye, which i actually have easy access to. Could i feed chaffhaye instead of hay?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,070 Posts
Did you have to build up to free choice pellets? I was considering doing free choice grass hay with free choice alfalfa pellets but was worried if they aren't used to this they may over eat.
I always had free choice hay then I built up to free choice alfalfa pellets by putting out a 16oz sour cream container of pellets for breakfast lunch and dinner for 4 goats. Then I added in a mid morning for a week or so then a mid afternoon till there was always some in the feeders. It took a few weeks but worth the effort.
 

·
Member
Joined
·
8,197 Posts
They need hay for the roughage. I don't think chaffhaye would be long stem enough, but others may know more. You need to watch with chaffhaye. It will mold. And that mold can kill your goats. They just don't eat enough of the chaffhaye to keep it from molding.

I tried feeding it to my dairy does about 5 years ago. It went moldy and even though I closed the bag really well each time, the air was in there and the moistness allowed the mold to get started. I lost a doe and almost lost 3 others. (At the time I did not have the large herd I do now. ).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They need hay for the roughage. I don't think chaffhaye would be long stem enough, but others may know more. You need to watch with chaffhaye. It will mold. And that mold can kill your goats. They just don't eat enough of the chaffhaye to keep it from molding.

I tried feeding it to my dairy does about 5 years ago. It went moldy and even though I closed the bag really well each time, the air was in there and the moistness allowed the mold to get started. I lost a doe and almost lost 3 others. (At the time I did not have the large herd I do now. ).
I thought about this and read where people would portion it out and freeze. Not really sure i want to have to do that for each bag though. Sounds like a pain. Luckily, I scored 20 bales of really nice looking grass hay today. I'm thinking I'll free feed the grass hay, supplement some chaffhaye (i like the probiotic aspect), and grain for the doe in milk. We'll see how it goes.... have a feeling the goat learning curve will be lots of trial and error.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top