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I was wondering if silage is okay for goats to eat? I live on a dairy farm and I know izzy likes to pick some up off the ground.. Would it be okay to feed her some?
 

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I see these comments all the time about not changing a goats diet. But let's think about goats in the wild and if they came across a corn field. I am pretty sure the goats would feast on the green leaves of the corn stalk. I think it may depend on your breed of goat and where they originated from. This is just my opinion. I just try to think about what animals would do if they were wild. I would not feed the corn to the goats, but I would feed the stalk.
 

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I agree with Toth here. Goats are not born and raised in the wild. They have adapted to men caring for them . In the wild they have a variety of browse . As a kept animal they are fed. It is up to their care takers to provide balance for them.
 

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I was wondering if silage is okay for goats to eat?
I wouldn't feed it. It is too easy to make a mistake or for something to happen while putting it up, and silage that is not put up correctly is a source of listeriosis. To me, it is just not worth the risk.
 

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I agree with Toth here. Goats are not born and raised in the wild. They have adapted to men caring for them . In the wild they have a variety of browse . As a kept animal they are fed. It is up to their care takers to provide balance for them.
It depends on how you are running your goat operation. Are you raising pasture goats or backyard goats? I would suggest reading a book by Greg Christiansen, Raising Meat Goats In A Commercial Operation. Greg really takes a hands off approach.

Regarding wild goats, there are a number of hunting outfits out west where they hunt Catalina and Ibex goats. They claim these to be wild goats. I need to research more on this.
 

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The point is that silage can be risky to feed. When we have so many other choices there is no need to risk it...
 

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On the changing diet question, that ones easy once you see the answer. In the wild, yes, goats browse different things over a large area BUT, different things grow at different times and they start out as a few leaves, a small shoot, a few blades of green grass, etc. During the time that the plants grow, the goat has plenty of time to add it to his diet in small and then ever increasing amounts. They never suddenly change their diet because a 6 foot bush doesn't just appear one day, it must grow. Same thing in the fall when the food gets very rich for the wild animals. The fruit, leaves, and seeds drop one two at a time and then more and more so the animal gets used to eating them. Nature does naturally what we must copy to keep from upsetting their systems.
Wild animals don't wander as far as you might think either. Most of them are born, live, and die within the same 10 square miles of area.
 

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On the changing diet question, that ones easy once you see the answer. In the wild, yes, goats browse different things over a large area BUT, different things grow at different times and they start out as a few leaves, a small shoot, a few blades of green grass, etc. During the time that the plants grow, the goat has plenty of time to add it to his diet in small and then ever increasing amounts. They never suddenly change their diet because a 6 foot bush doesn't just appear one day, it must grow. Same thing in the fall when the food gets very rich for the wild animals. The fruit, leaves, and seeds drop one two at a time and then more and more so the animal gets used to eating them. Nature does naturally what we must copy to keep from upsetting their systems.
Wild animals don't wander as far as you might think either. Most of them are born, live, and die within the same 10 square miles of area.
This makes PERFECT SENSE!! Thanks for breaking it down..(so us men could understand).. lolol..:)
 

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We fed haylage/silage combo for a couple years because we had it anyway. We always test silage and the cows eat it so quickly we never have chance for spoilage once opened. We clean out mangers every two days, and every night when over 90 degrees.

I personally didn't like the results from the mix. Milk wasn't as sweet, still required the grain, they didn't eat it as heavily as I would have liked, you don't see the production increase as you would a cow. Overall I just prefer to stick with the simple things for the goats. Hay as a base, pasture when in season, and a chosen assortment of grains, minerals, supplements, etc. It's always a good idea to contact a nutritionist in your area and work with them if you're serious about your production records.
 

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I fed mine corn silage and haylage when we had we the dairy farm. They loved it after the inital "what poison are you trying to feed me?" stage. We put our silage up in the big Harvestor silos and had no mold at all. They did very well on it, milked like crazy and stayed well fleshed even when pumping out the milk. Never had a problem with sickness, but I made sure the feed was not moldy, I wouldn't feed moldy feed to the cows either. My horses got the silage also.

As with any food, you have to be careful. Moldy hay or grain is just as apt to cause listeria, bloat or polio as silage.

Chaffhaye is alfalfa silage, put up and fermented in bags instead of bins or silos.
 

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Silage can have all sorts of unhealthy things in it for goats. Goats in the wild are not going to eat compost over good strong cleaner hay. I know some people even give their lawn grass clippings to their goats.. sounds like it should be ok.. It isnt ok at our place and this is why; Sometimes that mower picks up the dog poop off the lawn that I havent gotten a chance to clean up. The mower blends it all up spreading it and mulching it all mixed in with the grass.. then when the goats eat that... they can get very sick. I would be careful of lawn clippings for that reason.
Silage is like mulch .. even if it is cleaner silage.. Goats are browsers and shouldnt be eating that type of food anyway as it harbors bacteria.
 
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