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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 5 goats are PIGS! When I give them the Purina Goat Grain they all fight and gobble like they are starving. I don't know if I am giving them enough but they go through about a bag a week and it is too expensive. Any ideas what else I could feed them to save a little money?
 

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How much are you feeding them per day? Are they in milk or pregnant or anything? What kind of hay do you feed? You can certainly add things like shredded beet pulp or alfalfa pellets.
 

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Hmmm... going off of what Karen said... what kind of goats are they? How old/big? What's their body condition - are they thin, just right, or chunky?
How much space do they have for grazing/browsing? Hay?
If they look good, then I wouldn't worry, I'd do what Karen suggested and add some beet pulp to help fill them up, or make sure they are going out to graze.
 

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Also, do they have good, free choice hay out? If not, they are going to go through a lot more grain. I have 19, 8 of which are heavily bred. They are all boers or boer crosses. I go through about 50 lbs of pelleted grain every 10 days. They are all in good body condition but have out free choice goat mineral from co op, about 4 acres of grass and browse, and I keep a round roll of hay out. The majority of the grain I'm feeding goes to my weanlings kids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
They are two nigerians and three almost full sized nubians.
Two are in milk and one is pregnant. They have about an acre of woods to browse in and they are clearing that out pretty quickly. I have hay out but they wont touch it unless I put new in....so they really dont eat much hay. Maybe that is the problem.
Can I put out beet pulp and alfalfa pellets free choice or mix with the regular feed?
 

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You can try feeding them free choice regular alfalfa instead of hay, or you can maybe try mixing it with the hay? Although, knowing goats, they will just pick it out...They might just really like the grain lol. They seem to have enough to eat :)
 

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Do you feed them as a group or separate? Feeding goats in a group will make them pigs, as they each try to eat the most first.

The milkers should get more than the others because they are producing milk. Nubians would get fed more than Nigerians.

Do you have different types of feed available other than Purina? Purina is one of the more expensive feeds, very over priced. I can buy a similar feed for 5.00 a bag cheaper than the Purina around here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
AH it went so much better when I fed them one at a time. So approximately how much grain should each one get? I have basically been feeding them all they want.... If ogfabby feeds one bag to 19 goats in 10 days that means mine are eating 4 times as much!!!
 

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Hahaha! Yep. I would say the little Nigis should get about 1-2 cups each and the Nubians should get 2-4 cups each.

My adult boers only get about a handful a day. Just enough for them to remember that the bright orange bucket means come to me. :) I have lots of browse. The kids get the majority of the feed. :)
 

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There are a lot of dependencies with how much to feed. My milkers get more than anyone. My Nigerians get 1 measuring cup per day if they are not in milk. They get about 2-3 cups per milking when in milk. My Alpine/Nubian gets 5.5 cups of grain per milking. She is usually in milk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So is that total grain per day in one feeding or two feelings of that amount? So would the Nigerians get 1 to 2 cups total for the day in two feeding a or that same amount twice a day?
 

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In they r inline probably 1-2 cups 2 x day,if they are not in milk smaller amounts,also depends on body condition
 

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Any ideas what else I could feed them to save a little money?
Do you know what your goats nutritional needs are when open, short-bred, heavy-bred, and lactating? If not, you might try that first. Next, you might consider asking your hay provider if he/she tests the hay (I like a Relative Food Value of around 150-158 and I prefer grass/alfalfa hay for heavy breds and lactating does) and ask for a copy of the results. That way you know what your hay is bringing to the table and what you need to do to ensure your goats are getting adequate nutrition for each stage of production. If your hay provider does not test, take samples and get it tested yourself. Then separate your does according to production stage so you can feed them properly. If your hay is good quality, open and short-bred does should not need any grain. I'm not a big believer in feeding grain just because someone said I should - it is extra work, adds to expense, can be a serious waste of money, does not bring anything to the table if not needed, and usually ends up on the ground as urine. If your does are at a stage that they need 16% protein and your feed is providing 18% protein, the excess 2% is going on the ground. Just my .02.
 
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