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Hey guys. :] I'm new to this forum. I'm not an owner of any goats, nor will I be for several years, but I've recently been really captivated by the idea of having a few acres when I'm older and being able to produce quite a bit of my own food on my land. I've looked into goats for their milk, and I have been calculating about how much a month it would be to feed them.

I went by this website's guidelines of what they feed their does,

http://fiascofarm.com/goats/feeding.htm

and got in touch with an organic feed producer who gave me a quote for their dairy goat feed. They charge $19 for a 50 lb bag. Does that seem about right? I calculated the yearly cost of feeding two does who are pregnant for 5 months and then milked for the remaining 7 months of the year as $1530. This includes 7 bales of hay per month at around $7-8 for a bale(that's about the price for the area I'm looking at owning a property in in the future), adding a few bales for waste. All of this came out to around $130 a month to feed the goats. Does this sound about right to you? For two does?

Thanks so much! I'm pretty weird and really like researching these kind of things, and I'm doing so for every animal that I'd like to keep on my homestead in the future.
 

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Welcome!!

I guess it would totally depend on the breed of dairy goat as well as what is readily available for food, I have Nigerian Dwarf and ND/Pygmy crosses, throughout the growing season they have access to browse and pasture with hay given in the morning, does in milk get 2-3 cups of 18% goat feed twice a day. The feed I use runs around $12 per 50# and I'm lucky enough to have a neighbor that makes awesome alfalfa hay and charges me $1.50 per square bale. With 9 mini goats, from mid to late April through mid October, I use 3 bales a month, due to the amount of forage they have and they only get it in the morning or more when it's raining. Dry does, bucks get either no grain or a minimal amount, they all have access to freechoice goat minerals.
 

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I have 3 pygmies and 12 French Alpines. I mix my own feed (it's not organic) and we spend approx $250 a month on grain - which they get twice a day. They pygmies do not eat much though. I feed all of the alpines in their feeders, then as I milk them (currently only milking 3) the ones on the stand eat about 2-3 1lb coffee cans each - however much they can eat until i milk them out.

We buy large round bales and fill the hay feeders up daily, so usually only have to by a bale of hay every couple of months. Hay runs about $80 a bale.
 

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My 2 pregnant mini-manchas are eating 1 bale of hay every 4-5 days, and I got my bales for 3.50. No grain until they are milking, except a couple tablespoons for treats now and then. So I'm estimating our feed costs to be very reasonable, under $300 for a year.
 

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I have two dairy does on a small home dairy (i.e. - I don't sell the milk, we just have enough for personal use). I only ever have one in milk and due to my location and the amount of land we have, I cannot grow any of my own food for them.

Where we are, organic feed is much more expensive than you quoted! It is nearly $35 for 40 lbs. With my two does I go through about 100 lbs of feed a month, and then about 1 bale of alfalfa a week.

For conventional feed this works out to about $40/mo + 4 bales at about $8/bale.

Total cost is $72/mo. If I were to buy the organic feed it would be about 100/mo. I could do it, but I'd rather not.
 

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It should also be noted, however, that I do occaisionally sell milk for about $10/gal. Which basically means that it would only take me 10 days of milking (my girl gives about a gallon a day) to break even if I sold all the milk.
 
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