'Best' Goat Feed

Discussion in 'Goats' started by volchitsa, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. volchitsa

    volchitsa Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I know that with most animals, to each is their own, and it is unlikely to find a 'best' feed for an entire species, but I want to know what other people feed and are successful on.

    The breeder I just got my goat from fed her Purina Goat Chow, but eck! Those ingredients don't sound very good (and I'm opposed to feeding Purina anyway because of how bad their dog and cat foods are). Once she's "weaned" off of it, I want to change to a new diet.

    Do any of you have luck with making your own goat foods? Or is there a nice, natural feed that isn't too expensive? I want to feed her a more natural diet, mostly herbs, hay and pasture with some natural pre-made goat food to balance the diet.

    Thank you all :D
     
  2. Lada

    Lada Well-Known Member

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    It won't help you, since you are anti-purina, but the best goat grain I have found is Purina Noble Goat Dairy Parlor. There's really no BEST feed for everyone. Some people do well with just feeding whole grains and alfalfa, but my goats do much better on the Noble Goat.
     

  3. CaliannG

    CaliannG She who waits.... Supporter

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    Do you have a feed store that carries non-Purina products, or a co-op that you can buy feed from?

    I use my local Co-op's lactation pellet 18% for grain.

    At one time (long ago), I just used low-molasses COB. (Corn, Oats, Barley)

    The hay and the alfalfa pellets is the VERY important part. For grain, you could go with oats and Boss, or dry COB with a rice bran top dressing.

    What is important in the grain mixture is concentrated energy (simple carbohydrates provided by corn, oats, or other seed) and fat (provided by BOSS or rice bran). How you achieve that influx of carbs and fats is up to you.:)
     
  4. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    I feed Purina Noble Goat, add a bit of oats and BOSS
     
  5. prairiedog

    prairiedog Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We feed whole oats and BOSS 1 to 3 ratio(1 scoop boss to three scoops oats) beet pulp and free choice alfalfa pellets. Grass hay and copper bolus every 4 months.
     
  6. Creamers

    Creamers Lucas Farm & WV Raw Milk

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    I like Caprine Challenger and Buckeye feeds, and I love Strategy Health Edge, though it is for horses
     
  7. chewie

    chewie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    love my noble goat here too. tried the whole oat thing and lost some nice does.
     
  8. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We don't feed "feed" as such. The goats get high quality hay, alfalfa pellets, browse, minerals, oats, BOSS.

    :shrug: It works for us. Someone bought two lovely, healthy does from me, and killed one of them using bag feed.
     
  9. gunsmithgirl

    gunsmithgirl Missin Sweet Home Alabama

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    I feed nuetrena goat feed to the pregnant does and milkers. The rest get oats and boss. I do keep hay, minerals and a protein pail out for them all the time though.
     
  10. Goat Servant

    Goat Servant Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have a couple of %s that get Purina Goat Chow while milking. + free choice alfalfa. But they still need high copper levels which they get in their loose minerals.
     
  11. RW kansas hogs

    RW kansas hogs Tim (the W of R-W Hogs)

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    Any body ever use The ADM brand goat feed? There is a lady who started up a ADM feed store and she will give me a percentage off as long as buy her ADM products.
     
  12. 1sttimemom

    1sttimemom Well-Known Member

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    Just FYI...Purina dog and cat feed is an entirely different company than Purina Mills which makes livestock feeds. I don't use any of their feeds at this point but new someone who used to work for the Purina Dog food mill in Denver. The livestock part of the Purina company was sold off many yrs ago.
     
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  13. volchitsa

    volchitsa Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all.
    I think I'm going to try make my own blend with some of the things suggested. That's interesting about how the livestock feed is different from the pet feed, but I still won't feed it from looking at some of the labels.

    What kind of minerals should I buy? There is a brown mineral block that has a picture of a cow in my local feed store, is this good? Or, should I buy a mineral blend online specifically for goats?
     
  14. CaliannG

    CaliannG She who waits.... Supporter

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    What you want is a mineral blend that is high in copper. A lot of us use Cargill Right Now ONYX. It is formulated for cattle, but works very well for goats.

    You want a LOOSE mineral, not a block. Goats have smooth tongues, unlike cattle, so they don't get what they need from a block.
     
  15. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    I'm feeding our local mill's goat mix. 37% dairy pellet, oats, corn, vitamin/mineral mix, extra Se/vit E, salt, molasses (WAY too much, need to remember to tell 'em to cut it in about half). Comes to 16%, it's a pretty good mix.. I used to mix in alfalfa pellets at a rate of 1 part pellet 2 part grain... dairy does dislike alfalfa pellets so it makes them take 2x as long to eat because they're picking around the pellets. One of them especially hates alfalfa pellets. The other will eat them until she's about halfway done and partially satiated... at which point she'll start picking through.

    I toss in a partial handful of calcium carbonate now to top dress for calcium, and I also feed alfalfa/grass hay.
     
  16. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    I don't feed "feed" either. I feed whole foods. Just browse/hay, alfalfa, oats, boss, minerals and water. Also copper bolus. You can see my girls on my website do just fine. They milk well too.
     
  17. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    If I'm feeding two different feeds on the stand, I feed one on one side of the bucket and one on the other. This way the gaots don't pick, they eat their favorite, then the other. If my goats pick through their feed, the less favored feed has been licked by *somebody* and is no longer worth eating.

    I really think you could save money by feeding less protein. There are top ten milkers eating a 12 percent mix. Take advantage of the alfalfa protein. Extra just gets peed out- and gives the kidneys more work to do it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  18. dbarjacres

    dbarjacres Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am totally anti-Purina because of the crummy cat/dog feeds too, but I do like their stock feeds (yes it is a different company - actually the cat/dog feeds were sold years ago and Purina stock feeds is what was retained - they have a huge facility in Missouri) and in my area, that's primarily the only brand feed to find except for a local company who makes some even worse stuff to sell commercially.

    In the "off" season I'll use a 12% horse feed (oats, corn, Land O Lakes protein pellet and mineral) for everyone and when I'm getting kids onto grain or have a heavy milking doe I do use Purina Goat Chow, it's readily available for me and fresh (no looking at the tag to find 10+ month old feed). It seems to have way less molasses in it than when I first started it. The kids start eating it fast, the does that are lucky enuf to get it love it.

    I did try the ADM dairy pellets a couple years ago, but that mill is very inconvenient to go to (totally out of the way and impossible to get to M-F and closed weekends) and everything needed to be ordered 2 weeks ahead of time. It was a good feed, but just too inconvenient.
     
  19. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    Winter ...

    Each bag 50 pounds.

    Oats, local cattle "dairy" pellet or (fitting ration) 20%, 2 bags of Alfalfa pellets, Beet pulp, corn, 2 bags of local "hay" pellet. I mix it in several large plastic garbage cans and store it this way. keeps out critters.

    The above fed at about 2-2.5 pounds a day. Plus some hay to munch on.... They mostly don't eat it.
    I have found that if they get more "feed" than this they just eat less. It's about the max.

    If they are thin like after birthing. They get BOSS to add flesh and are full fed the feed.


    Spring, summer, fall.

    Once the grass greens up. Nothing till next winter.

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    Minerals

    The hay pellet contains calcium carbonate and the local dairy pellet has trace minerals. I also use a loose goat mineral free choice when milking and a red cattle block for the rest.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  20. TroutRiver

    TroutRiver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    there is a Vermont-based organic feed company called Green Mountain Feeds that makes a good dairy ration, which I used to feed. I don't think they sell their products outside of Vermont, though. Now I buy organic whole grains from the same company and mix them myself (I use corn, oats and barley, but plan to phase out the corn) and top dress with BOSS, flax and kelp. I have not found any source of organic BOSS and I probably won't find one that isn't outrageously expensive, even the non-organic BOSS is super expensive.