What to feed goats through the winter?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by milkmaid, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. milkmaid

    milkmaid I'm not addicted - I'm in love!

    What is absolutely necessary and what extras will help?
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Absolutely neccessary is a good quality hay. Fresh water as often as in the summer and minerals.

    What helps is making that water warm and giving a bit of a high protein grain. Mine are spoiled....They get a breakfast of warm oatmeal with molasses and I also wet my bucks feed with hot water.

  3. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    I feed alfalfa and sweetlix minerals. Sometimes a protein block now and then. They need a lot of water during winter so keep it clean and fresh. If you can give them warm water at least a few times a week will help keep them warm and healthy, I usually try to put a little molasses in there too. Some goats may benefit from grain as well.
  4. milkmaid

    milkmaid I'm not addicted - I'm in love!

    OK, thanks. So does that apply to pregnant and/or lactating does as well? Through the summer mine were eating mostly brush. I supplied free-choice loose minerals, water, and a little grain. But now they've eaten all the brush. I've started offering low-quality mixed hay in its place, and am wondering if that is enough. It's what I fed last winter and they were OK, but didn't seem quite as healthy as they could have been.
  5. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    If all you have available to you is the lower quality hay, you can supplement with alfalfa pellets, preggy and lactating does benefit from the added protein and calcium.
  6. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    Pregnant and/or lactating does really should get alfalfa to keep them in top condition. Alfalfa pellets are better than none at all, but baled alfalfa is way more beneficial. Low-mid quality isn't very good for winter months. I always go with the best of the best during winter or for pregnant or lactating does.
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    I give warm water twice a day especially on the days that are below freezing.

    my goats get alfalfa or alfalfa mix. If I dont have that then they get hay and alfalfa pellets.

    grain is based on each individual goat's needs but I have a small herd so I can dot this easily. I have a trough I feed everyone in but I pull out goats or need less or need more depending.
  8. comingsummers

    comingsummers New Member

    May 6, 2010
    Northern New Mexico
    Well this is our first winter so don't take my opinion for much... But I am currantly feeding a mix of high quality grass mix and oat hay pretty much free choice. Plus each of my does gets a couple of scoops of alfalfa pellets and grain mixed in the morning. They also get water and loose mineral free choice at all times. So far they all look good to me and seem to be really healthy. Hopefully the trend continues throught the winter.
  9. peggy

    peggy Senior Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    B.C. Canada
    Same here. This is my first winter since getting back into goats. I'm feeding a good quality alfalfa mix hay free choice and give grain accordiing to condition, etc. I offer free choice loose minerals and baking soda. They also have a small salt and mineral block available. They get a handful of BOSS once a day. I offer warm water twice a day but they always have water available. So far they seem happy and healthy sp we'll see how they are by spring.....
  10. milkmaid

    milkmaid I'm not addicted - I'm in love!

  11. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Dumb question, but I was wondering about the alfalfa pellets...any guess on a price? And is it for goats and other animals or what kind? I've never looked into this, but we opted to get good quality grass hay instead of alfalfa. We do grain our goats, free choice minerals and they have access to all the hay they desire.