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I found some goat feed recipes online, and my friend gave me hers, and was just wondering which would be the best one to use for my dairy goats.
I am looking to see about mixing my own feed instead of buying Purina feed.

-Here's a recipe from the Sweet Desert Farm goat website (it's like a blog):

4 parts whole oats
2 parts whole barley
1 part cracked corn
1 part BOSS

Feed 1-1.5 lbs of grain per milking (depending on production).

-Another recipe from Land of Havilah goat website. I have to give a link to their website, can't copy anything. Just scroll down to Land Of Havilah Feed Mix #2 Alternative and Land Of Havilah Feed Mix #3. I didn't understandthe whole "sprout" thing.
Link: http://www.landofhavilahfarm.com/loh-feed-regimen.htm

-My friend's recipe

50lb. oats
50lb. barley
12.5lb. chopped corn
12.5lb. BOSS

I'm just wondering which recipe would be the best for me.

Also, I'm wondering how much of each grain I need to pour into my goat's feed bucket straight from the 50lb bags. I don't want to be mixing the bags together, I would rather just pour the x number of ingredients to make a pound of grain to feed a goat. And then if I want to feed my goat 2 pounds, I just double the numbers.
Am I making sense? :chin:
 

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When we mixed grain for the school horses, we had a seperate bin for each typ of grain. When putting up feed we had a one pound coffe can. So, if a horse was to get 2 parts of oats and 1 part of barley...it would be 2 cans and 1 can. In order to do this properly you would have to weight the grain individually in the can for the weight. Oats and barley do not weigh the same! Your first recipe is not done by weight, whereas your 3rd recipe is. Find a container that you like and weight each grain in that container to get the weight of the grain. Fill container with grain, then substrat the weight of the container.

Oats are fiber and energy. We used barley more for weight gain or maintanence. Corn is a starch . I like the first recipe myself!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok.
I was also wondering, since oats has about 12% protein, BOSS has about 13% protein, corn has about 8% protein, and barley about 10% protein. Can't I just take out the barley and/or corn from the recipe? And maybe change the ratios for the oats and BOSS.

I've read that dairy goat feed should be about 12%-16% protein. Wouldn't oats and BOSS be enough protein combined for my grain?
Along with the grain, I would be feeding alfalfa for the pregnant/lactating goats and buck during rut.
And then I would be feeding grass hay for the dry does and the buck out of rut.

The reason I'm asking is because grain prices are going up around here in Texas, and I'm trying to find the cheapest and best grain for my goats (for when they are lactating etc.).
A bag of Purina is $13.99 at TSC. The prices are about the same in other feed stores. Sure, sheep and goat feeds are cheaper, but that isn't an option for me because there isn't any copper in that feed.

I've heard people giving like just a handful of oats and BOSS in the milk stand along with their alfalfa that day.
I'm wondering why we have to mix barley, corn, and maybe even wheat bran in the grain, if oats and BOSS are sufficient enough.
Are they?
 

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Ii tyend to stay away from corn...don't really have a reason other than it is hard to digest. Foe us humans too, altho I love corn!

I plan on using oats and barley with my hay and browse. This is what is available from a local farmer. Your alfalfa hay is high in protein and and calcium, so you would want to suppliment with somethign a bit lower in calcium. Like a grass hay. I have never used BOSS so I cannot help you there. I am hoping to have a feed of oats/barley/beet pulp along with my grass/alf mix hay. I did not have a lot of grain when my doe was pregnant last year and she had two awesome healthy kids.
 

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We mix our own grain to save money. We use 2 parts barley, 1 part wheat and 1 part oats with the sunflower ration changing with the seasons.
I have read that barley has the most b vitamins and oats the lowest nutrition of the grains. I have also read papers saying that oats shouldn't be more than 1/4 of the grain ration.
We soak the barley in water and apple cider vinegar overnight. the next morning I just add the wheat, oats and sunflower seeds to the bucket to mix and dish it out, reusing the bucket to soak the barley for the next day...........takes about 5 mins.
The goats all do very well on it
 

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Apparently the apple cider vinegar is very good for the goats (people too) as it is known to aid in digestion and is supposed to be very good for uterus health as well as many other things. But the main reason I do it is for one of the goats who had a tooth problem last year and still has a problem chewing sometimes as the tooth was removed and left a great big hole in her mouth.
I also prefer the soaked barley option for growing bucklings as apple cider vinegar can help prevent urinary calculi.
 

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Soaked grains (and nuts and seeds) will expand overnight as they take up water and begin the process of sprouting. Nutritionally it's supposed to be much better because soaking 'wakes up' the enzymes in the grain. The best is if you can actually sprout the grain for a day or two so the animal is getting a live food instead of a stored grain.

I think it was on this site somewhere that I read that virtually all corn produced in the states is now GMO. Corn is also extremely high in fungal content -- it's way up there with peanuts :roll:
 

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It sounds really interesting. How much of vinegar do you use per pound of barley? Do you use it straight or diluted? And where do you buy it?
 

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How much vinegar in the water/vinegar mix? I would think too much would make them not want to eat it. I might give that a try :wink:
 

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I mix just under a cup (about 7/8 of a cup) in the grain for the 16 goats I am feeding. a 5 gallon bucket of organic raw apple cider vinegar last me about 3 months and costs $30. You could get it cheaper if it is not organic but most of what I have read says raw is more beneficial than pasteurized.
I put the barley in a bucket and add the apple cider vinegar and then add enough water to cover half of the barley then put the lid on and twirl the bucket a few times to moisten all the barley. the next day it is ready
If you put plain apple cider vinegar out in a bowl they will drink it plain (at least mine will) so it shouldn't put them off the grain. or you can add a little to their water bucket (which I do for the bucks in spring when there is grain in their pasture grass to help prevent urinary calculi)
I get it at a gardening/feed store. I have also seen it for sale at apple orchards in the past.
 

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Growing up, my family always bought whole grains and ground our own flour because of the amazing nutritional benefits, especially of wheat. Of course I have continued this in my own home, and was thinking about using whole grains with my goats when I found this thread. :) If case anyone is still interested, this is the place where I have always gotten my whole grains (they are local here in north Georgia). This link goes to the article page, which has many informative articles on different whole grains and how and why they are beneficial.

http://info.breadbeckers.com/articles/

There is also a GREAT book called "Grains of Truth" by Donna Spann that has a chapter on just about every grain you can think of--their nutritional content, uses, etc. I remember reading in there once about how corn is probably the least-nutritional of all grains--pretty much empty bulk.

Anywho, I enjoyed reading the suggestions on this thread. I think I am going to experiment with this. I know goats and humans are different, but if whole grains are so beneficial to me I'm sure they would be good for my goats too. ;)
 

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For me, I like a low protein feed mix. Since switching from 16%+ protein pellets I haven't had the rampant, long lasting edema when freshening like I did before.... I just bought a lovely doe, genectics I've been drooling over, who I'm having to fix thanks to being foundered by a high protein diet... Joy, joy. (not!)

Anywho, I like Purina Strategy Healthy Edge horse feed in the yellow bag. It is 12.5% protein, higher forage & fat content. I mix 1 part Healthy Edge, 2 1/2 parts whole oats, 1/2 part beet pulp shreds, and for more fat I top dress with rice bran pellets (used to use BOSS until the price sky rocketed). I mix mine about once a month in a big bin. I have tried so many feeds & mixes, but this mix is my most loved. The girls shine, I noticed butterfat went up quite a bit, and oddly, my girls eat less, but maintain better condition than they did on pelleted goat feed.

Now keep in mind this is only the grain portion if their diet. The bulk of their diet is 17% Standlee alfalfa pellets (free choice), the best hay I can find & minimal grains just to keep their weight good while milking... I personally believe a diet made primarily of forages, with a bit of grain for body condition/calories is healthier for a ruminant, so that is how I feed...

My area is horse folks, so I can either buy dairy parlor goat feed thats been on the shelves for who knows how long, medicated feed, or the insanely sticky sweet feed that causes acidosis & has all that iron (from the molasses) that inhibits copper absorption in my already deficient area.....

Or I can buy the horse feeds that get sold out & restocked at least every 2 weeks and I've never had a quality issue with it like I did the goat feed.... Add in the $5 coupons I get for horse feed, and it's more eccomical for me. Eventually I'm going to have a custom mix done for me at the mill & buy by the ton, but until we finish building new barns, this will be our feed.... Going on this mix for 9+ months now and couldn't be happier...
 

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I feed Right Now Onyx loose minerals, free choice in a feeder in the barn to keep it out of the weather. So that covers their mineral needs as they eat it well.... I also copper bolus as needed (typically 3x's per year).
 
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