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Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by countryboy, Oct 5, 2009.
Can goats be supported on pasture?
Do you mean just pasture? well it depends on what the goats are for. Like my pastures are drying up and not worth a lot right now, so I am getting ready to start feeding hay.
We have 80 + Boer & Boer X does and two bucks. We rely on a forage based feeeding system with pasture rotation and forage planting beign the keys. The goats have access to forage & free choice minerals during the day and mineral and crystalyx goat tubs in the evening. We feed the lactating nannies and the pregnannies for the last two weeks of thier pregnancy, more to keep an eye on them. We creep feed the kids until 4 1/2 months, weaning them at 3 months. The billies get fed twice a day when not breeding, once a day when we can pull them away from their girlfriends! We have 116 acres that we have split up into 6 different sections which we rotate two different herds into about every 30 days. During the summer we rely on Sericea lespedeza, bahia grass, and bermuda grass and weeds and forbs and browse to sustain the goats and this month I will be planting austrian winter peas, purple topped turnips, and vetch for winter forage. There is rye, clover, and vetch already established in all of the patures. Plant various ryes and clovers that are early growing and later to cover all of the early spring. DO NOT MOW OR SPRAY UNTIL THE CLOVERS AND SUCH HAVE HAD A CHANCE TO SEED OUT! We use 2-4D instead of grazon or other long lasting weed sprays because they kill off the clovers and ryes and vetch. We have goat weed (wooly croton) and nightshade that we spray for and let the goats take care of the rest like blackberry and green briar. I hope this helps!
I raised my milking does on a pasture one summer. I couldnt get any hay and we had tons od pasture. They ate all day. But i supplimented with a grain ration i made myself.
Justa note, becarful on those dry brown pastures. A lot of people believe there is no nutritional value, thats a pretty far cry from the truth. Brown grass is also higher in sugar. Its easy for a horse or goat to founder on a brown "dead" pasture.
Beth, Did it affect the quality or taste of the milk? What sort of grass are you writing about?
I noticed one thing is that taking the goat off of feed is the change in the meat. It became even leaner and had a different taste, not bad, just different. Still tasted good!
The goats body condition and musculature will also change. They will become leaner and lighter in their muscle mass. Not a bad thing, just different. One good thing is the lessening of respiratory ailments such as allergies!
The kids do better with the milk provided, big and strong. I think the milk may be richer. The nannies get pretty bony so we feed them during lactating.