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Author Topic: Which cattle feed for dairy goats?  (Read 4632 times)

Raspberry Pie

  • Joined Apr 2022
Which cattle feed for dairy goats?
« on: April 06, 2022, 05:56:23 pm »
Hello, newbie here looking for some goaty advice...

Am about to get a British Toggenburg in-milk first kidder (she will have a GG companion, not sure yet whether the GG will be in milk or not as it depends which one I end up going for). Very exciting to get my first goats after years of wanting them!
I have been told (and have read) that you can feed milking goats cattle feed instead of the very pricey goat food. But I am struggling to know which to buy. I asked my local Carrs and Wynnstays but they couldn't advise because they didn't really know. One feed rep (over the phone) did say their 18% protein cattle feed would be fine, but when I went into the shop, they said there are loads of different types of this, and I didn't know which to get (and they looked at me like I was a right idiot!)
Could anyone advise what to ask for / any specific names of products? I have Carrs Billington and Wynnstays local to me, so anything they might sell would be really really helpful!

Thank you in advance

(Oh and I will also be feeding hay, Caprivite, and Rockies Red lick; and they will have access to pasture with lots of hedges to browse. Eventually I will grow a fodder area for them, with alfalfa, oats and tares, kale, and comfrey - but this will take time to establish)

 :goat:

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Which cattle feed for dairy goats?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2022, 11:07:05 am »
If the goat is in milk, just ask the current owner what s/he feeds and continue with that. Sudden changes in feed (and/or quantitiy of feed) will cause all sorts of problems in addition to the stress you will be causing her anyway by moving to your place. So definitely ask the current owner for half a sack of feed, and it would probably be very appreciated if you offered to pay for it.


If you cannot take feed from current place, ask what the goats are being fed (and their routine) now so you can stock up on identical stuff.


Goats should be fed on dairy cattle feed - so dairy nuts are ideal. My goats turn their noses up on Carr's DN's, but love I'Ansons 18% ones. I also always "dilute" the protein levels by adding in oats, and either baby calf mix or calf rearer. You just need to check that the main part of the feed has tzhe copper levels that cattle need - sheep feed and most goat mixes do not have added copper.


GG's are better suited to a lower protein level, and most of mine go through phases of turning up their noses at DN's regularly. Dry GG's will go fat on any concentrate feed, so only need a tiny bit to give impression that they are fed when the others are.


What feed is available where you are may also be a deciding factor - I drive into England to get my dairy nuts as I am living in a dairy goat&cattle desert...

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Which cattle feed for dairy goats?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2022, 12:58:42 pm »
I struggle to get dairy nuts, so I feed coarse calf mix, they are looking well on it, better than the goat mix that seemed to smell a bit strong and they were a bit iffy sometimes,
  I also feed soaked sugar beet if they haven't been out during the day.
 I have toggenburgs and boers

Raspberry Pie

  • Joined Apr 2022
Re: Which cattle feed for dairy goats?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2022, 06:50:30 pm »
Thanks to you both.
Good idea to get some of the previous feed and change gradually.
If anyone has any idea what to specifically ask for when buying dairy nuts, that would be great - as when I asked for 18% protein cattle dairy nuts they said there were too many types and I need to be more specific!

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Which cattle feed for dairy goats?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2022, 10:02:10 pm »
as when I asked for 18% protein cattle dairy nuts they said there were too many types and I need to be more specific!


No, that is precisely what I ask for... You get dairy and you get beef nuts, both can be 18% protein, only dfference is that all feed is made by different manufcaturers. Carr's are probably the most widely avilable, and then you get more local feed mills - the one I use for my DN's stocks I'Ansons.


But really the best bet is to speak to the current owner and ask what they feed and take it from there.

Christian

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: Which cattle feed for dairy goats?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2022, 11:58:35 am »
What feed is available where you are may also be a deciding factor - I drive into England to get my dairy nuts as I am living in a dairy goat&cattle desert...

Anke, are you going all the way down to Morpeth for the dairy nuts?

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Which cattle feed for dairy goats?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2022, 04:40:22 pm »
What feed is available where you are may also be a deciding factor - I drive into England to get my dairy nuts as I am living in a dairy goat&cattle desert...

Anke, are you going all the way down to Morpeth for the dairy nuts?


Yes I am such a crazy goat person, that I do a trip to Hexham solely for dairy nuts. Mind you I get 15 x 25kg bags at a time, and that lasts me bewteen 2 and 3 months. I do have a van, so load not an issue. And it is avery nice drive across Carter Bar... For everything else I use Tarff's at St Boswells

Raspberry Pie

  • Joined Apr 2022
Re: Which cattle feed for dairy goats?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2022, 03:52:56 pm »
Thought Iíd update in case itís useful for anyone else. I ended up getting Champion Calf Starter Mixture from Carrs, which both the goats absolutely love. Itís 18% protein, and smells like you might want to eat it yourself!
I now give some of this, mixed with rolled oats, micronised barley, bran, flaked peas and chopped alfalfa (Dengies Hi Fi).
Plus Caprivite.
I think my goats eat better than I doÖ  :D

I still donít think they get enough copper but thatís another thread entirelyÖ

I appreciated all the advice btw - thank you!

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Which cattle feed for dairy goats?
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2022, 10:50:57 am »


I still donít think they get enough copper but thatís another thread entirelyÖ



My goats get a mineral sheep drench with added copper about three times per year (around kidding time, 10 days or so before I go to Great Yorkshire and then again in autumn just before I start mating/AI season).


Unless you see below par performance I wouldn't worry about copper too much, as you are feeding dairy cattle stuff, and I guess the goats have access to a Red (now white) Rockie lick at all times?


The vet can take a blood sample for analysis, incl copper levels, and if you are worried you can do that at the same time as you do any other blopd work, like CAE and/or Johnes.

 

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