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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Y'all have probably seen a lot of my posts asking about alternatives ways to feed my future dairy animals, it's mostly been because I read grass fed milk and meat is healthier than grain feed animals, but to what degree?

If my dairy animals are raised 100% on pasture, grass, fruits and veggies but she gets a bit if grain during milking, will her milk be just as healthy as a doe who is raised on everything but grain?

For example, if I have two does and both of them are raised on a 100% grass fed diet during the day, but one gets alfalfa and the other gets grain during milking, will anyone's milk be healthier than the other?
 

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Y'all have probably seen a lot of my posts asking about alternatives ways to feed my future dairy animals, it's mostly been because I read grass fed milk and meat is healthier than grain feed animals, but to what degree?

If my dairy animals are raised 100% on pasture, grass, fruits and veggies but she gets a bit if grain during milking, will her milk be just as healthy as a doe who is raised on everything but grain?

For example, if I have two does and both of them are raised on a 100% grass fed diet during the day, but one gets alfalfa and the other gets grain during milking, will anyone's milk be healthier than the other?
I don't have any answers on the which is healthier, but I just want to point out that you need to make sure you get dairy goats that have been bred to align with your goals or be ready to cull to get what you want. I know my girls could not sustain their milk production and body condition with just a grass diet. Just something I thought I'd point out. I think it's extremely admirable that you are trying to work toward little input milkers. (y)
 

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Healthier in what way?
Are you asking about GMO grain and chemical residues in feed products?
Roughage should make up the greatest portion of a goat's diet, be that hay, grass, or browse. You can probably find or breed for goats who require less grain to sustain lactation. I'm pretty sure my girls would drop production and get awfully skinny if I tried to go grain free. I don't feed anything fancy, just what I can get from my local feed mill. But my milk is still healthier than milk I could buy at a store because the milk is much fresher, it hasn't had all the good stuff cooked out of it during pasteurization, I handle it carefully, and I know that my girls are healthy and happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Healthier in what way?
Are you asking about GMO grain and chemical residues in feed products?
Roughage should make up the greatest portion of a goat's diet, be that hay, grass, or browse. You can probably find or breed for goats who require less grain to sustain lactation. I'm pretty sure my girls would drop production and get awfully skinny if I tried to go grain free. I don't feed anything fancy, just what I can get from my local feed mill. But my milk is still healthier than milk I could buy at a store because the milk is much fresher, it hasn't had all the good stuff cooked out of it during pasteurization, I handle it carefully, and I know that my girls are healthy and happy.
I'll definitely be breeding for animals who can keep up with my program, but for this particular issue, I'm more worried about quality than production.

I'm actually rethinking going grain free (only for my animals in milk) and I'm not completely against the idea but the articles I've read say that grass fed dairy is higher in healthy fats and vitamins than grain fed milk. But my question to that is, will a predominantly grass fed doe who is only given grain during milking have milk of notably lesser quality (in terms if healthier vitamins, fats and whatnot) than a doe raised completely on grass and non grain feed

I'm not worried about residues or gmo because I'll be growing the feed myself or getting it from a certified company.
 

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Whether grass or grain, what they are eating is only as nutritious as the soil. There would be more nutrition in organic grain than regular grain. But you would need to test your soil to see what minerals and vitamins are in your soil for grazing. You will just have to try both ways of feeding to see how each individual doe does. All goats are different and you will just have to see how each goat does. We really can't predict which way they will do better on. Loose minerals and other supplements will still be critical no matter how you feed.
 

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Now I’m not knocking no grain, I don’t feed my does grain but I think the whole grass fed thing is kinda being over played. Sorry if I make anyone upset. But it all first started with the grass fed beef is healthier because the animal wouldn’t be so fat as one being grained because it’s the fat that is killing us, although I love my marbling on my meat 🤤 but like right now, for me and where I live, the grass is so green and rich the cows are fat and sassy and we haven’t even pulled the butcher steer in yet because we would have to pour the grain to him keep him fattened up like he is right now. In another month the grass will be crap and he will need to be grained to keep gaining weight and stay fat. So IMO no I don’t think one or the other is “healthier”, there is way too many things to consider then that. If the grass is crap your probably not going to get as much milk or as good of milk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
healthy for who? you or your goat?
to keep your goat healthy you must keep weight on her. with a good milker there is no way to keep her weight at a healthy level with out feeding grain.
Feed in milk out.
For the both of us.

I was gonna feed them BOSS, alfalfa, turnips, buckwheat and every thing but grain but it's hard finding an easy alternative. I'll likely stick to grain until I can find non grain alternatives that don't take a toll on her and her milk qualities.

Now I’m not knocking no grain, I don’t feed my does grain but I think the whole grass fed thing is kinda being over played.
I'm starting to feel that way, I'm struggling trying to find a way to avoid grain for my milking stock and I'll probably have to settle with it until I find an equally nutritious alternative.
 
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