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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for some feed advice. I have 5 cashmere goats; three wethers and two does. They are pets. I got them to clear my woods and they've done a great job. This Spring I'm ordering some portable electric fencing as my neighbors are lining up to have their woods cleared. Anyway, it is winter and their browse is pretty much gone. I've always provided 2 string Timothy hay free choice as my breeder recommended. As winter came I've slowly introduced more sweet feed (Purina goat chow 16 %) to supplement their diet. Last winter I only had two little wethers. This year with two bigger wethers, a growing wether, and two growing does I'm realizing at $20 a 50lb bag this may get expensive. First, is what I'm doing okay? Second, if so, how much feed should I supplement?; Should they be getting the full 4% of their body weight each day even though they still have free choice hay. I've found some feed at SS that appears comparable for only $13 per 50 lbs.; I'll switch over gradually mixing etc. Should I go with something else?

You guys are the best. Advice much appreciated.
 

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I agree - you may save a few dollars per 50 lb bag depending on your area and alfalfa pellets would definitely work. Since they are not bred I would think 2% of body weight would be sufficient but let others chime in! Also - alfalfa will help you even out the calcium:phosphorous ration of 2:1 that is best for goats and to prevent urinary calculi in your wethers.

Do you have loose goat minerals out for them also?
 

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I'm looking for some feed advice. I have 5 cashmere goats; three wethers and two does. They are pets. I got them to clear my woods and they've done a great job. This Spring I'm ordering some portable electric fencing as my neighbors are lining up to have their woods cleared. Anyway, it is winter and their browse is pretty much gone. I've always provided 2 string Timothy hay free choice as my breeder recommended. As winter came I've slowly introduced more sweet feed (Purina goat chow 16 %) to supplement their diet. Last winter I only had two little wethers. This year with two bigger wethers, a growing wether, and two growing does I'm realizing at $20 a 50lb bag this may get expensive. First, is what I'm doing okay? Second, if so, how much feed should I supplement?; Should they be getting the full 4% of their body weight each day even though they still have free choice hay. I've found some feed at SS that appears comparable for only $13 per 50 lbs.; I'll switch over gradually mixing etc. Should I go with something else?

You guys are the best. Advice much appreciated.
I mix beet pulp pellets in water really good and than use half the grain my goats are in great shape
 

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I would second the advice to use beet pulp and alfalfa pellets along with free choice hay. I use Purina Goat Chow but am cutting back a bit while adding those others. But as Saltey said, you will need a good free choice mineral if you switch to hay and alfalfa. I like Manna Pro (for a few goats) or SweetLix for a small group or larger number of goats. Rations like Purina contain copper, calcium, etc so all that would need be replaced.


I often remind myself that, in the wild, goats eat NO PREMIXED GRAIN RATIONS; they are strictly browsers by natural selection! I suspect that if done right, one might do well by feeding goats only minerals, grass hay, and some good legume hay for protein. Might be less milk, but would likely work well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone! Minerals - I do have a mineral block out plus a Billy Block (berries). They do use them but I wasn't sure if they were getting enough so a couple of weeks ago I got them a 'goat bucket.' They did not care for that. So, I put out some loose minerals (manna) about a week ago an it looks like they just pushed it around some. They must be getting what they need. So, today I went to a local place called "The Mills.". They get feed through the SS Cooperative. They had goat feed very closely matching the nutrition content of Purina Goat Chow for much less cost. And, they had alfalfa pellets. I picked up 5 50 lb bags of each. I'm blending the goat chow with the new goat feed even though it looks just about identical. And, I'm going to slowly introduce the alfalfa pellets into mix until I get to about 50/50 I think. I'm also going to see if the gang likes the hay from this place also... they haven't really liked the last batch I brought home as much. The things we do for our goats....spoiled brats. ;-). Thanks again.
 
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