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Discussion Starter #1
I’m not seeing much info on the internet about using root vegetables as fodder for goats, especially over winter. Would you use mangel beets, carrots, turnips, potatoes, pumpkins, etc as replacements for grain/concentrates or as replacements for hay when forage is dormant? Do any of you know any old books or historical resources talking about our ancestors feeding roots as winter forage? Or even better, anyone with experience?
 

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I'm not seeing much info on the internet about using root vegetables as fodder for goats, especially over winter. Would you use mangel beets, carrots, turnips, potatoes, pumpkins, etc as replacements for grain/concentrates or as replacements for hay when forage is dormant? Do any of you know any old books or historical resources talking about our ancestors feeding roots as winter forage? Or even better, anyone with experience?
I plan on raising root-crops mainly because (from what I've read) they're extremely high yielding and are good sources of protein and energy! I plan to use some of the crops you listed for ingredients in my grain-free goat feed!
 

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There is very little I fo for sure. I would not feed potatoes. My thinking is to offer variety of roots and greens that are safe..try not to feed too much of one thing. Mangel are a popular choice of beet. Goathiker mentioned in the 2016 post about feeding based on season. What's happening..kidding, breeding ect and what natural to grow..natural fall crop verses a spring crop. In the link melonfriend posted is a link to the 2016 post as well
 

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White potatoes like russet are fairly low on nutrients, high on starches, Not to mention if there is any green can be toxic. Now a sweet potato which is higher in fiber...has loads of vit A..and has lots of nutrients to offer.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Is there a root crop high in protein? All I’ve seen so far are good for energy (carbs) not for protein.
 

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Is there a root crop high in protein? All I've seen so far are good for energy (carbs) not for protein.
I don't think there are any root crops that are extremely high in protein like sunflower seeds or soybeans, must root crops are in the 10-14% range from what I've read, but I'm still on the lookout as well.
 

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Mulberry trees and or Princess trees substitute 1 to 1 for alfalfa.
Others such as willow, poplar, tulip trees, etc. substitute for hay.
Tree hay is actually really easy to do and much better for your goats.
I have 200 willow tree starts rooting as we speak. The mulberry trees should be here this fall. The Aspen trees will get their initial pollarding next week.
Stinging nettle going in as soon as the chickens are done with the bed.
Dakion, swedes, beets, turnips, going in.
Artichoke next month along with asparagus.
Squash varieties in a couple weeks.

Goats need long stemmed hay for rumen funtion.
This is a common misconception but, an apple skin contains more long chain fiber than grass hay. Goats need a certain amount of nondigestable fibers. This need is easily met with the small twigs and bark of the tree hay branches and other rough winter food easily available in a brushy area.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
@goathiker are mulberry and princess trees high in calcium, too? Or just high in protein? Do you know he scientific name of princess trees so I can look it up?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks!
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Any guess on how much root vegetable per working animal per day?

Any guess on how many trees it takes to produce tree hay per standard goat? -per dwarf goat?
 
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