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What do you feed your goats daily?

2580 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  HoosierShadow
As most of you know, I’m really new to goats and I’m struggling to find out what they need to eat or have on a daily basis. So I have to ask what to do you feed your goats daily? If you need to give each goat a specific amount of food, how do you do that without the other goats trying to “steal” their food? What type of hay do you feed them?, pellets?, grain? Do the bucks have the same needs as well? I’m not sure if my brother feeds the bucks hay but I’m almost sure he does...
My brother feeds the goats pellets once a day in a feed pan and they have hay. Also, my brother has cut down on the amount of pellets they eat as he believes if he does then they can be a substitute for a lawnmower. Personally, I don’t think that’s a good idea because goats are more of browsers not grazers, right?

That’s what they get once a day
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So I have to ask what to do you feed your goats daily?
I have a hay feeder for my goats that gets filled twice in the afternoon. The amount of hay you should give depends on the goat and the type of hay. I feed timothy from TSC. Throughout the day, the hay runs out and the next day around noon I refill it. I try to keep hay in their feeder on rainy days when they cannot forage. I should feed my goats more hay than I do probably, but hay gets expensive. During the morning hours when they are without hay, they browse around their pasture. My goats also get Dumor grain in the evening, around 1 1/2 for two goats I think. The grain is the last thing I give them for the day usually. I am trying to get them off of grain. I have just purchased minerals for my goats I will be adding to their diet soon. Definitely do your own research, however. I'm just a beginner as well and am always changing my goat's diet.

Also, my brother has cut down on the amount of pellets they eat as he believes if he does then they can be a substitute for a lawnmower. Personally, I don’t think that’s a good idea because goats are more of browsers not grazers, right?
You are correct that goats are foragers, unlike sheep. If you cut down on the amount of grain, they should get an increase of hay, not grass. When eating plants that are near to the ground, like grass, the chances of your goats getting worms increases. During dry spells, grass can become concentrated with toxins that are bad for your goats, and during really wet spells, grass might not have the nutrients necessary for the goats.

Again, I'm just a beginner trying to help a beginner. Feel free to fact-check me, anyone! Hope this helps!
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Here is a list of what my goats eat daily.

Grain- Tasty 10. Alfalfa pellets. Non-GMO all stock pellets.

Hay- a mix of different kinds of hay.

Minerals- Just the Manna-Pro goat minerals.

Bananas. Apples. (Watermelons Sometimes) Home made cookies if you want i can give you the recipe!

Salt block- Billy block is available at all times.

-Also baking soda time to time.
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Your going to find that feed really isn’t a one size fits all, so be open to play around until you figure out what fits for you. I think that is why feeding is about the hardest part to figure out.
Hay they get alfalfa. I want the protein and calcium in the alfalfa, and I have a hard time paying more for grass hay when I have grass. They get free choice hay when they do not have pasture (I don’t stay green all year long) and by free choice I mean just enough hay that they eat it all by the time I feed again. When they have pasture they get cut back on the hay so they will graze. Right now I’m actually trying to dry them up so they are getting very little hay. No goats are not sheep and do not prefer to graze but they will. They are not stupid and will not starve to death. If these are goats that are not used to grazing they will throw a fit but they will graze. Here is a picture for proof lol
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Grain I actually don’t give grain except to kids but instead give protein tubs. I am absolutely sold on those. No fighting them to give them grain, no standing for hours before feeding time screaming, no bullies getting the majority of it and all the oh so much fun parts of feeding grain. I roll the tubs out and walk away and they pick and choose when and how much to eat.
They also get free choice minerals and loose selenium salt.
But as for feeding one without the others eating it. I pull the animal away from the herd. Depending on what is going on on if I keep them locked away or just pull to feed. If it’s one that is recovering from worms or being sick, one that really needs some extras they get their own pen. If it a situation like my two push over new girls that will run the other way when someone looks at them I just pull and make sure they get their fair share and back out with the herd when they are done.
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Orchard grass hay, twice (or slightly more) as much from late October/early November until mid April. Browse and orchard grass hay April through Octoberish. Suncured Non-GMO chopped alfalfa forage pellets year round each morning for their breakfast.

Free choice loose minerals (cattle), selenium block, Redmond rock, cobalt block and Trophy Buck rock. Any additional supplements on an as needed basis of the individual goat.

I feed the goats inside of their stalls with their measured amounts (1/2 or 1/3 cup, depending on size) of forage pellets so they are not in a position to fight over the feed. The goats are 3 year old dairy breed wethers.
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We raise Boer goats, so we feed a lot differently. I will say this, if you can find ways to get hanging grain feeders vs. feeding on the ground that would be a great idea to prevent worms, cocci and bacterial issues.
There is more than just feeding your goats. They need a good loose mineral for goats, and a lot of times supplementing selenium and copper is needed because even with those being in feed and minerals it still may not be enough.

We feed our does a clover/timothy/grass mix hay, nothing special, but they love it. Our does get some alfalfa hay from a farmer when they are pregnant and nursing (unless like right now the round bales are just too stemmy and not enough leaves). We are currently in between 2 feeds debating on switching our does from a decent $11 bag goat pellet to a good, all natural sweet feed that is $16. They get both right now as we have 4 that are nursing, 1 needs weight after a rough pregnancy, and another trying to keep weight on her as she is raising 3 boys and for a little doe these guys are big. So with that said, the 2 does that need more actually are getting fed 3-4 times a day, The one raising triplets I pull out most of the time and she eats separately - I let her have as much as she wants. The thinner doe I do feed with the other 2, but I make sure she gets her share.

Besides feed check fecals if possible because a healthy goat that is not nursing, growing or being shown shouldn't require a lot of feed IMO.
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