confusion over what to feed

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Debara, May 12, 2006.

  1. Debara

    Debara Well-Known Member

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    Help me please understand. I know that everyone is different. I have Pygmy Goats..Two. It is my understanding that it is good to have available the following at all times: baking soda, salt, minerals, hay. Is this correct? At what age would we start to give them more food? Right now we are giving them each one cup of food in the a.m. and then one cup each in the p.m. Thanks in advance for all of your help. Deb :baby04:
     
  2. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    You should also have proper grazing/browse availible at all times! Yes, you should have baking soda and minerals out 24/7 for them. Make sure they are good GOAT minerals, not sheep/goat or horse/cow, as they aren't usually the right stuff. I don't free feed hay 24/7, but I've been thinking about it lately. I don't even grain my goats, and i have 2 10 mon. olds and 4 adults. They don't get grain... My bucks don't get grain ever unless they are skinny or wormy... and if I had a wether still he would get no grain either, unless he was really skinny or wormy.
     

  3. witchysharon

    witchysharon Well-Known Member

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    I do grain my goats, but they only get perhaps 1/2 cup grain TOTAL a day per goat in addition to approx. 3/4 cup total per goat per day of alfalfa pellets.

    Fresh browse/pasture is access available at ALL times during spring/summer/fall. I feed free choice hay, free choice minerals (loose) and baking soda. it is not necessary, nor desirable, to feed salt in addition to mineral supplements. Nearly all minerals (block or loose) have plenty of salt already and in most cases too much IMO.
     
  4. havenberryfarm

    havenberryfarm Well-Known Member

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    How much grain you give depends in part on your hay, the goats' ages, lactation, pregnancy etc. If they are young and growing, what they are getting now is plenty. You can judge by looking at them. If they are too skinny, give them more. If they are fat or not eating much hay, give them less grain. Pygmies don't need much grain, but they will need more if they are pregnant or lactating. By the end of pregnancy and until the babies are weaned, they will need nearly double their usual ration, for instance. I don't know the ages or condition of your animals, so I am throwing out generalities. If you have grass hay, most pygmy does will do fine on a cup of grain twice a day. If they have alfalfa hay, cut that to about 1/2 to 2/3 Cup. Mine consume a flake of hay each plus they have access to grass pasture. I give them about the same amount of grain as you do, maybe a little more. Mine are part La Mancha tho, not pure pygmy, and they are either pregnant or nursing kids. I recently started adding even more grain as the kids are now eating it as well. They always act as though they are starving, so don't go by that. Look at their bellies. They should be slightly rounded. Eyes should be bright, and they should be jumping around, butting each other and acting like puppies. Bucks and wethers don't need much grain because they could get bladder stones from too much grain. If you are graining a male, give him ammonium chloride (available at Hoegger's) to prevent this and limit his grain intake to no more than 1/2 cup.