Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Feeding Goats  (Read 706 times)

Festus

  • Joined Jan 2019
Feeding Goats
« on: January 29, 2021, 06:22:44 pm »
Hi.  Im interested in what people feed their goats.  When I got my first three goats nearly four years ago the previous owner was not available to advise me on what shed been feeding so, having no confidence that I would get it right, I opted for a commercial goat mix.  I now have eight goats and still feed goat mix.  However, goats being goats, they are very picky and leave the bits they dont like.  I was just wondering if I could make my own mix thereby omitting the bits they reject and hopefully also saving a bit of money.  They have ad lib hay and are out during the day foraging ( when forage is available) in a pasture and small copse.  In my situation what would other people feed?

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Feeding Goats
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2021, 10:10:33 pm »
"It depends"... on so many factors!

Are they castrated males or breeding stock?  Are they growing young stock or adults?  What forage do they have access to and how good is the browse?

Non-breeding adults may not need any supplementary feed (particularly wethers); milking females need sufficient nutrients to produce a quality milk to ensure her own and the young stock's wellbeing.

Do you have the confidence to know how to balance the nutrients to ensure they'll get enough of what they need?  If not, you're probably best to stick to a commercial mix (but shop around the brands if necessary until you find one they like).  Remember, if you're mixing your own feed you need to be registered under the Food Hygiene Regulations even if it's only for your own stock.  The type of registration will depend on what you're mixing.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Feeding Goats
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2021, 01:42:08 pm »
My milkers get several different individual feed stuff - they do their own mixing... Dampened sugar beet shreds, rolled oats, a general calf-type mix and cattle dairy nuts. The latter two only when milking or growing. Plus seaweed granules if and when I remember (some love it others don't), also always have either some readigrass or alfa a on hand esp during winter or early lactation. Pony carrots cut into sticks during autumn/winter, branches during summer.


You can feed any cattle feed to goats (better for the extra copper in it), and it is usually cheaper than proper goat mix, though ingredients will be very similar.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Feeding Goats
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2021, 07:07:47 am »
agree with  Scarlet Dragon .... depends what your goats are.   I wouldnt want to mix my own feed (wouldnt know I had it right.   I do pick and mix commercial feeds .....  goat mix , sheep pellets, calf mix  and cattle pellets.... ringing the changes does reduce pickyness.   Mine are breeding females so need the feed. However the one barren one has to be restricted as she is fat!
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

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macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Feeding Goats
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2021, 04:28:10 pm »
You can feed any cattle feed to goats (better for the extra copper in it), and it is usually cheaper than proper goat mix, though ingredients will be very similar.
I checked some goats mixes and they had very little or no coper at all!
Much better to feed dairy goats a calf mix (nutlets).
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Festus

  • Joined Jan 2019
Re: Feeding Goats
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2021, 06:23:02 pm »
Thank you to all of you for your advice.  It's really interesting about calf mix.  I shall certainly take that all on board and ring some changes to see if that affects their pickiness. None of my goats are in kid or milking.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: Feeding Goats
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2021, 07:09:52 am »
. None of my goats are in kid or milking.

They probably dont need any feed then (the odd handful to keep friendly maybe) which is maybe why they are picky?

Also you can buy calf nut ......  pelleted feed so cant pick the bits they like
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Feeding Goats
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2021, 02:29:19 pm »
Thank you to all of you for your advice.  It's really interesting about calf mix.  I shall certainly take that all on board and ring some changes to see if that affects their pickiness. None of my goats are in kid or milking.


They should only get Alfa A or Readigrass as a treat, plus maybe carrots, cabbage, bananas, apple, kale.... no need for concentrate at all.

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Feeding Goats
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2021, 03:06:14 pm »
To be fair goats would be very healthy eating just hay, ivy and brambles - the only reason I feed them concentrate is to give them minerals (mainly copper).

Which bring me to the following question:
Pig feed has a lot of copper - could you use it? Or does it have too many other things not so good to them? I assume its more similiar to chicken food (but less calcium).
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Feeding Goats
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2021, 05:26:57 pm »
To be fair goats would be very healthy eating just hay, ivy and brambles - the only reason I feed them concentrate is to give them minerals (mainly copper).

Which bring me to the following question:
Pig feed has a lot of copper - could you use it? Or does it have too many other things not so good to them? I assume its more similiar to chicken food (but less calcium).


Pig food is also high in iron - and the stuff that goes in it doesn't bear thinking about.... I would stick to ruminant feed.

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Feeding Goats
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2021, 07:27:00 pm »
Ok great. I was looking at it once in the shop, when they run out of calf nuts, at the end i just bought goat mix (with very little copper).
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

 

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