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I was using Kalmbach goat grain, and always happy with it. But it is a textured feed and I've read a lot about pelleted feeds being better and lower sugar. (We always push pelleted feeds for the horses, so it made sense to me once I thought about it)
About a year ago I switched to the Natures Best Organic Pellets at Tractor Supply. We mix alfalfa pellets and a little black oil sunflower seeds in.
I saw that they carry Kent feed now and wondered about switching, mostly for cost reasons, but its a "grower" feed - is that OK for the dairy goat? Our only other option is Purina, or switching back to the Kalmbach textured feed, as far as I've found in our area.

Thoughts on comparing these two?
Does it make a big difference to you, pellets vrs textured? (Keeping in mind these are heavy producing milkers who will be getting a fair amount of grain while in milk) Thanks.
 

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Since the protein level is the same, I wouldn't have too many qualms about switching. I like that the Kent feed has alfalfa in the ingredient list which bumps up the calcium level a bit for lactation. Some folks feel strongly about using whole grains (your organic feed) versus by-products (Kent), so that may be a point against the Kent feed, however, some folks also feel strongly that corn should not be a primary facet of the goat diet - so there's a point against your organic feed. Not trying to say bad things about the feeds - just giving you things to consider because everybody has different values!

Personally I don't like sweet or textured feeds only because the molasses coating tends to attract more flies to the feeders in the spring time and because it is difficult to scoop the feed in very cold weather. I imagine they really don't need all that surplus sugar in their diets but I haven't seen any publications indicating a harm. I do offer molasses-based protein tubs to my gals so they are getting their sugar high elsewhere.
 

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I know the frustration on deciding on a feed, we're at that point right now. Our goats do okay on the feed we use, but it's not a great goat feed, just okay. The feed I want to switch to I can't get delivered locally, at least not to the feed store I use for pickup (I love getting our feed from them). We need a better show feed for sure. Decisions, decisions. I hope you are able to decide. I will say I prefer pellets because of the reasons stated about molasses, but also they don't pick through the pellets, although some pelleted feed can break down or get dusty and some goats - especially bucks - can be picky about that. Our does will lick it up, but the boys won't. Well at least most that we've ever had.
 

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You could always try it and see? If you don't like the result, I imagine you could transition back...
 

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Look at the ingredients on the textured and see if it really does have less molasses in it. The textured I have been buying has WAY less molasses then the pellet I usually feed.
But that’s really the only thing I can add because I do as Mariarose suggested when I want to try something new, I buy it and see how it does, but I’m really not anti anything in the feed like molasses or corn.
 

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I'm on record as being anti-corn, except in specific circumstances.

On the milkstand, I use a combination of sprouted whole grains and alfalfa pellets. I sprout them myself in buckets with small holes drilled in the bottom. NOT very scoopable, a bit of labour every day, but just terrific results in production and health.

But not everyone comes onto the milk stand. Everyone else is having to make do with hay cubes, minerals, salt licks, and protein tubs from TSC. Those tubs do have Molasses in them.

Do you creep feed your babies, @Maureen?

Oh, and my goats act like any dust whatsoever is powdered anthrax. I CANNOT convince them it is the same thing as whatever it was dustified from...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is the feed that I mentioned I USED to feed, before switching to Natures Best pelleted. I'm not sure how to find out which has more sugar, but this is also a main ingredient corn feed.

My does would like textured, if they had the choice, but they eat up the pellets powders and all well.

On the milk stand I do add in a great deal of alfalfa pellets and a few big carrots to slow down the grain consumption.

Of these three available, what would you all choose? What are some good options, too, maybe I can check other stores a little farther away?

I do not creep feed babies. They're always far too fat and with milk goiters as it is, so they just get a handful of grain. We have fairly nice pasture (in the summer, which is when babies are here and growing) and free choice hay, minerals, kelp, blocks etc too.

What type of sprouts do you use @mariarose? I bought a big back of wheatgrass seeds for the chickens but they do not seem to like them. Is this something the goats could have? How much sprouts do you feed, and how long do you wait to feed them (rinsed one day, four days?)
 

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I would not feed straight wheat seeds, although I think that sprouted they are a lot less problematic. I feed a mix of whole oats, whole (not pearled) barley, and wheat, all sprouted together in the same bucket. I have 4 buckets, so 1 day of soaking and then 3 days of rinsing and sprouting. This mixture gets mixed half and half with Alfalfa pellets and a small handful of BOSS, which I'm considering just adding to the sprouting process, but haven't yet.

Unsprouted wheat has a lot of starch and not a lot of fiber, and that isn't great. But the sprouting is a bit different, I do recommend you add the whole oats, however.
 
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Interesting!
About how much do you feed them? A cup, a quart?
The answer to that is a very vague, "It depends" The very bottom line is how much it takes to get them milked out. Then it goes up from there according to demands on their bodies, and what shape they are in. Someone feeding triplets and giving me very little will probably be allowed to stand there for several minutes eating. Someone giving me a gallon who has already been eating for several minutes as I get her emptied will get pulled off as soon as I'm finished.

I'm not very precise for you, am I?
 

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From my understanding the ingredients are listed as what they have the most of down to the smallest amount. Anyone is welcome to correct me if I am wrong. So if that is true then yes the feed you were feeding before has the most molasses in it. That’s just molasses not sugars from other grains. So with that and you not being a fan of corn, or a lot of corn then the second feed you listed would be more ideal for what your wanting.......on those points anyways.
Now my two cents? The grower is cheaper, which to me that’s a huge pro lol also why i change this year. So I’m trying it and if it doesn’t work out I’m planning on changing back to what I have been using over the years. Over the years I have bought what others swear would be wonderful and I did not like how my kids did on it (I know your after for your does but same idea) and changed. I go with the whole you never know till you fry idea
 

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Ingredients are by weight though. Corn is heavy, so are soy beans. There may be way more light fillers than you think. Organic is NOT gmo free either. Almost all corn, all soy beans, most wheat, and all beet pulp is GMO.
I don't feed goat food, way too picky for that. If I don't feel like mixing grains for awhile I feed LMF mare and foal.
 

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Our farmers coop has a dairy feed in pellet form of 16% protein. That is the feed we are using and have been feeding for the past 3 years. Also we give the does alfalfa pellets. At first they didn't care for the alfalfa but this year they have a big interest in the alfalfa pellet. We also add black oil sunflower seed to their feed once a day. All the does are milking now so they get 20 oz of pellets and then I feed the alfalfa and sunflower seeds once a day. Now I am not saying that this is the perfect feed, no I don't think so, however it is hard to figure what is the best feed and what is best for your back pocket wallet. So until we can do better we will keep feed as described. We tried beet pulp and whole oats triple cleaned but they don't care for the pulp and some like the oats and some don't.
 

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This is just my take on this
I am someone who avoids soybeans and corn. I feed my goats organic chicken scratch, along with alfalfa pellets, boss and some get additional 12% horse feed. I have fed beet pulp which they all seem to like.

I am going to look into feeding the goats rabbit feed as someone her on the island feeds there goats rabbit feed.
 

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I'm on record as being anti-corn, except in specific circumstances.

I use a combination of sprouted whole grains and alfalfa pellets. I sprout them myself in buckets with small holes drilled in the bottom. NOT very scoopable, a bit of labour every day, but just terrific results in production and health.
We do this for the chickens.
I am curious to know what quality of grain you use, and also where you get it from?(grocery store,online, feed store, garden store, local mill).
Does it all sprout?

I do something similar with 1.5kg yogourt containers which i built a stand for to put them on top of so the water from one drains into the next and requires less water and you rinse them all with the same water.
They however sprout once in a while. I am using the organic chicken scratch which i do not think is the most newest food. I am certain it is really old... as its for chickens
 

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I am curious to know what quality of grain you use, and also where you get it from?(grocery store,online, feed store, garden store, local mill).
Does it all sprout?
It is untreated cleaned seed, for the most part. i have 2 stores in town I use, from one I buy the barley, from the other I buy the oats and wheat. They are what is generally known around this area as farm co-ops. Yes, most of it does sprout. The wheat is clean enough for me to make bread out of. The other is more dirty, but still fine enough for me to sprout and feed to the goats.

The buckets do rest on each other. The soaking water has vinegar in it, and in really hot weather, it also has bleach in it. Also in really hot weather, each bucket gets rinsed separately, because of mold issues. Otherwise, they are all rinsed with the same water.

The buckets are kept in my bathtub, and it is very cold in the winter, so it hardly sprouts beyond the end of the seed before I feed it. In the summer, it sprouts and grows to a couple of inches and turns into a mat.

Yes, it pretty much does all sprout.
 
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There's a difference here between grains that are to be used as seeds, and grains that are to be used as feeds. It doesn't matter if the feed grain is viable and alive, because it isn't meant to grow. The seed grains have to grow. Farmers should be upset if they plant and nothing grows.

But when buying seed grain for sprouting, you must avoid the treated seeds, and untreated seeds can be difficult to find for some people. And some people don't know to even avoid the treated seeds.

It started out so simple. Seed, plant, harvest, eat or feed, save some for seed. Repeat.

We sure have made it a lot more complicated.
 

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I'm curious to know what an organic chicken feed contains if not corn? I don't have chickens anymore but I just assumed all chicken feeds have corn has a major ingredient!
Wheat, Oats, Barley, Split Peas, Flax oil. Most of which is whole grain. this is 12.5% protein. This is not a feed per say it is what is called as hen scratch. you toss it out, chickens scratch around for it ...
 
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