How to feed everyone during the summer.

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by WalnutGroveFarm, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. WalnutGroveFarm

    WalnutGroveFarm Senior Member

    Sep 27, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Hey I just have a few quick questions. I have been thinking alot about how to feed my goats during the summer. If they have grass to eat do they still need hay. Once a day or twice a day. Should they still get grain every day. Once a day or twice a day. Im afraid Im overing feeding them because they all look way to fat. This is how I have been feeding them. Grain once in the morning, once in the evening. Hay once in the morning and evening. I have goats of all ages so does this make a difference on how they should be feed. Just really confused right now. My goats are on pasture, but my neighbor seems to think its not big enough and I will have to feed hay all summer. But I didnt think you had to do that unless they where on a dry lot. O well any advice will help thanks.
  2. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    When I start getting a good pasture that will work for the goats, I do not feed hay anymore. That is what is so nice about the summer. I just have to hope I still have a decent pasture when all the snow melts.

  3. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    In the summer, when the pasture is really nice, we only offer hay once a day, in the evenings. For about 10-12 goats, we go through maybe a bale a week because the pasture feeds them. I don't like not leaving out any hay at all for them, just in case, but we go through very little.

    Our goats get grain year-round but only in the mornings (unless they are lactating, then twice a day). Dry/young does and bucks get 1/2 - 1 cup and lactating and girls in late pregnancy get 2-4 cups.

    Maybe leave some hay out and see what they do with it. If it is gone by evening then they will need hay along with pasture, if it's still there, then you're probably doing pretty good! :) As to grain, if they look fat, then I'd lower grain a little.
  4. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    I only put hay out once a day in the spring/summer when the goats have browse/pasture available. If we have a rainy spell, I'll give hay to them twice a day because they will not go out in the rain to browse.

    Goats that are non-producers (not at the end of pregnancy, lactating, or breeding) probably don't NEED any grain at all. It is really a matter of preference whether or not you want to give it to them. It's definitely the first thing to cut out if you've got chunky goats, though. If you feel guilty totally taking away grain (goats are very good at making us feel that way) you can always offer a small amount 3-4 times a week.

    I usually just watch their condition and tailor my feeding regimen accordingly. It's easy to mistake a huge rumen for a fat goat so I always check the ribs. If you have to press hard to feel ribs (or can't feel them at all), the goats are probably on the chunky side.
  5. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Here is what I do (no pasture though)

    If they get to browse all day: small lap/flake of hay in the evening (or they wont shut up!)

    If they are nursing kids or I am milking them they get fed grain twice a day

    If they are growing kids they get a little bit of grain if I feel they need it

    If all I have are goats that are not producing anything and are open - they get only hay/browse.
  6. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    there was one summer that we didnt throw any hay at all. The goats kept their weight on the browse and grain. I was living i the gorge then. Here at my parents place we have very little pasture. So i take them for walks when i can but most of the time they get a good amount of hay. I do suppliment with grain and a little beet pulp.
  7. WalnutGroveFarm

    WalnutGroveFarm Senior Member

    Sep 27, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Thanks so much for all the replies. I think im going to cut the hay out for now and just feed grain. Then if they still look way to fat, then maybe cut the grain out to. See how they do with that. Just whatch and make sure they dont start losing weight. But when all your goats look pregnant even when they are not, then you know you are over feeding them. lol.