questions about feed

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by ohiogoatgirl, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl New Member

    Jan 31, 2010
    i'm very much a back-to-the-land type of person. i'm trying to become self-sufficient. and i've been thinking about feed...
    does anyone mix or grow there own feed for any livestock?
    i'm growing tons of indian corn this year and if i can find somewhere to buy then also soy beans. and we do our own hay. and i'd like to grow oats or barley. what is best for hand harvesting? the animals always get extras like garden weeds and kitchen scraps. since i must start small- becuase i'm doing everything myself- i was thinking i could buy my regular feed and slowly dilute it to my own mix...
    since i already have the goats i'll start with them. i was thinking sunflower seeds, indian corn, soybeans, oats, barley -to start mixing with the regular feed. and of course hay, garden weeds, corn stalks, etc.
    right now i have dairy goats and i'm going to buy some angora goats this week.
    and later i'd like to add meat rabbits, coturnix quail, pigs, cows, chickens, and a horse or two.
    any suggestions are welcome!
  2. jay13

    jay13 New Member

    Apr 12, 2009
    Central NC
    There is a really good book out there, Storeys guide to raising Dairy Goats. (also has a guide for meat goats) It goes over ratios and such if you wanted to mix your own feed. The biggest problem I can think of you having would be getting your micro-nutrients right. This is especially true with bucks as your calcium to phosphorus ratio has to be correct to prevent stones. Personally, I choose to buy feed from a local feed mill that mixes up feed for different protein ratios and if you need/want a lot of it, will even do a custom mix for you with exactly what you want in it. The feed I get is a 16% all "identifiable" sweet grain mix. For me, the labor of hand harvesting (we don't have the equipment either) far outweighs the cost of the feed. Plus, the space we do have is limited and grains do tend to take up a lot of land to grow. The bonus is I am supporting local business and not a huge commercial operation. Self sufficiency is an awesome goal, but there are some things that we just cannot feasibly make for ourselves (fuel, lightbulbs, computers) I just count grain in that category and move on. Just my .02 :)