FEED :Goat vs. Cattle

Discussion in 'Goats' started by milkinpigs, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. milkinpigs

    milkinpigs Dairy/Hog Farmer

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    Not much experiences with goats, so I'm trying to learn more.Those of you with cattle and goats; what do you look for in goat feed that would differ than cattle feed? Do goats need a lot more protein, more fiber? Hope you can get the gist of what I'm asking; in other words give me a quick lesson in goat nutrition. lol. Thanks for your time.
     
  2. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    it all depends on what your feeding them for, as a generall rule goats need more roughage than grain, and do best on a all you can eat brows diet with free choice or at leat suplimental alfalfa or other legume hay, prairie or other grass hays will work too but its not the best and the goats will let you know,
    if your goats are Milkers, their diet will to be augmented with grain and/or a pelleted ration, dry does or does just careing for kids wont need this, and if you are raiseing Hair goats they will need a "cooler" Grass hay instead of the much prefured Alfalfa as that is too hot so i am told,
    if you are raiseing Meat goats they will need LOTS of Alfalfa, and Brows and the weithers will need a pelleted feed balanced Specifically for goats to avoid Urinary Calculi, (not sure on the actual mix but someone will know)
    Bucks for breeding Basically just need Brows and hay but during the breeding season you can supliment them with some grain/pellet mixes BUT always be VERY carful as a little bit goes a long ways and can mess up his system BAD,
    Does can handle grain better than Bucks/weithers, but they need to be watched as well as they can get over fat on it,
    best to only use a grain or pelleted feed when supplementing a Milker or putting weight on a Meat animal,
     

  3. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    Depending on your location - goats can be deficient in selenium and copper and may need supplementation, in the form of injections, bolus, or top dressing - it is a debatable choice! Not sure how cattle are in regards to these two minerals.

    I've heard that cattle feed can contain urea - which absolutely, positively, should NOT be in your goat feed.

    Niki
     
  4. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    for the mineral requierments you need to use the Loose Mineral, works great and goats LOVE it
     
  5. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

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    goats require more copper than sheep, but a little less than cattle, so watch the copper intake-a good all purpose all grain will work fine, and some loose minerals. a block will work if you can't get loose, maintenance goats at my place get a 12%, milkers get about 16% protein.
     
  6. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    One thing I don't see mentioned is hay quality. Lots of people use "feeder hay" for their cattle. These are bales that may have gotten a little wet on one side, or maybe a little rain, or are otherwise substandard. If you try that with goats, your goats will be sick or dead. Cattle are made to eat what grass is on the ground. Goats are made to browse up high and have no mechanism to deal with any kind of mold. Also, goats are far pickier eaters of hay than are cattle. They will get thin waiting for better hay, so it makes sense to give them the best hay you can buy.
     
  7. Kim Martin

    Kim Martin Well-Known Member

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    Hi...I have both sheep (4), goats(8) and cattle (8)! :help: LOL needless to say it is always an adventure each day here!
    But, I feed all-grain (9%) and cattle pellets (14% 3/16th I think? itty-bitty tiny ones) to the sheep and goats....roughly about 2 lbs a piece a day...half of each feed....(I know, I know sheep dont need it nor the buck...the mom's still have the babies not weaned yet..so :shrug:)

    I also buy sheep/goat mineral blocks at Atwoods for those 2 paddocks....the cows get 20 % cubes, but their also due any day! (They also run about 1 bale a week..now 3 ar'nt here right now!)

    And they have their mineral block.....I usually let the goats and sheep out during the day to eat up & down driveway...but have on occasion seen them eating the cattles round hay bales! Now the sheep think their goats! Eating poison ivy, tree bark, you name it! :rolleyes:

    (They wound up ruining the nets, and had trouble moving the bales! So now they are in diff. spot!)

    But all in all, having the 3 species and the way we're feeding them so far is working out great. (For us at least)

    (had the extension office) come do plugs from both the ground and our hay bales to see what was needed, or if too much of anyone thing...and he thought THEY all looked great! So, it just depends on what your needs are too....we're able to buy a months worth of feed for under $150.00...then add the mineral blocks, and the hay.... :shrug:

    Never said I would be in black just yet...just as long as Im not in red to much Im happy! :)
    my problem, I aint good at culling! sigh...Know it will have to be done someday, but.... :Bawling: No,No,..... :help: hahahaha, good luck! Kim
     
  8. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have dairy cattle and goats. Both meat and dairy goats but mostly treated as a meat herd since there is no outlet for goat's milk in Ohio (yet) and we have Jerseys for house milk.
    Our goats are fed a small ration (less than a pound a head a day..more when just fresh) of our heifer grain (which is in the 15% range-cracked corn, soybean meal, molasses, and Bovatech Supplement) and have access to the pastures (80 acres)....They are cleaning up our fencelines, etc. They used to get a Sweetlix mineral block for Horses and Beef cattle and did fine on that but we now feed them Sweetlix Meat Maker loose minerals without Rumensin (since we have the coccidialstat in the feed). The just fresh does get a mixture of the heifer hay and a 16% dairy feed. Any doe being milked also gets the same pellets our lactating dairy cows are on at that time.
    For hay they get dairy heifer quality hay. Originally we were feeding the junk junk hay but we lost one goat to Listeriosis and stopped feeding that kind. They get the same hay, maybe with a bit more weeds, that our young heifers get. Better quality when just fresh (since there is heavy dairy influence).
    In the summer I pull them off grain since browse is plentiful and they have mostly weaned their kids. I put them back on right before breeding and they get some grain through the winter and when nursing.
    If you are running a meat herd with your cattle for pasture clean-up (works wonderfully!!) then the requirements will differ from Fiber and Dairy goats.
    A couple of good groups for that type of thing are CommercialGoats1 (http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/CommercialGoats1/ ) and ProfiteableMeatGoats (http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/ProfitablemeatGoats/ ) on yahoo! Groups.