How much spent grain to feed?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by kidsngarden, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    Now we are really getting crazy with all the spent grain we are getting from a local brewery. We get it wet and there is no economical way to dry it. So it will spoil fast and the 5 pigs can't eat fast enough. We end up dumping it on the garden as mulch. It seems like such a waste!

    I heard you can feed it to goats. right now our goats get to browse in the woods for a few hours a day and alfalfa hay. We are hoping our three does will be bred this fall. When we had a doe in milk she would get goat grain mix as well.

    So we know we should feed grain, but if we do spent grain - how much is too much? We have five goats. We supplement corn and soy with it with our pigs and wonder if we should do that with the goats as well?

    BTW if they can get to it they will and they will eat a ton! Even the stuff that's five days or more old we have spread on the garden - EWWWW! This happens of course when they have gotten to where they aren't supposed to.

    kids
     
  2. Ark

    Ark Well-Known Member

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    I hope someone answers this question for you!

    I'm curious too!

    How'd you get permission to get the spent grain? Did you know the people already, or just call them out of the blue? Seems like a great idea!

    Ark
     

  3. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Please remember that spent grain is NOT grain. It's "spent." That means that most of the carbohydrate has been removed in the brewing process. What's left is mostly protein. Spent grain is dried commercially and used as a protein supplement. Please do NOT use soy when feeding spent grain unless you're feeding enough corn or other high-carbohydrate grain to require the extra protein of the spent grain in order to bring total protein to 16 percent or so.

    So, how much? I'd ease them in to it and see how much they'll take. Watch their poops. I mean, it's just a high bulk protein supplement, so treat it like one and you should be fine.
     
  4. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    FREECYCLE! She posted an offer for it. They are a small local brewery and the catch is that we need to come when they have it or they dump it over their hill (which is a huge pain for them since then they have to haul it over there) They usually give us 24 hours notice. We just leave our bins there and they fill them... about 4 40 gallon garbage cans full twice a week.

    kids
     
  5. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    I read that it is about 28 percent crude protien. What I don't get is why if it's so high my chickens stopped laying when I fed it to them. (thanks for your response there as well.)

    My thing is I don't want fat goats, not even overly fatty pigs either.

    I think I will just have to experiment like you say and see.

    So if I feed them this you are saying I need to still feed them the goat grain too? Even if I feed alfalfa as well?

    Thanks,
    kids
     
  6. Alice In TX/MO

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

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    If you mix it with pig poo, I bet you could make some killer compost!
     
  7. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I wouldn't use it with goat grain because goat grain is already at the proper protein percentage. I'd use it to bring up the protein on some dry COB or other, lower protein grain. Just remember that the 29.4 percent protein figure (per my National Research Council book) is based on 100 percent dry matter. So to tell what to feed to balance 10 percent COB, you need to first subtract the percentage of water from the total weight. I'm not sure how you'd get that except to take some wet grain, weigh it, dry it in the oven until bone dry and weigh it again. Let's say it 70% water, 30 percent dry matter. So if you've got 10 pounds of wet grain, what you've really got is 3 pounds of feed with 29.4 percent protein. You can use that to calculate how much to feed. Here's a handy way to do the calculation; it's called a Pearson Square: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/PUBS/livestk/01618.html .

    I'm not a pig pro, but my understanding is protein makes muscle, not fat. The only trouble I've heard with pigs is that they can have some organ problems if they get way too much protein. When I have excess milk for my potbellies, I feed it with dry COB to drop the protein a bit. In the dry times, I feed 16 percent hog grower. Theyre not commercial hogs, but they're in great shape, and the sow has nice litters. These pigs do have access to a good bit of ground for rooting around in, so minerals don't seem to be an issue, though I do throw a handful of the sweetlix in their milk/COB mix from time to time.

    The other thing is to be sure that your goats have a good vitamin/mineral supplement. Some of that is normally in the goat grain, which they won't be getting any more. I've tried Purina, Golden Blend and Sweetlix Meatmaker loose minerals for goats, and the Sweetlix is the winner around here. I have trouble feeding loose minerals, so just put a handful under the grain in the bowl at milking time. When they finish the grain, they can nosh on the minerals. I also keep a good block available in the stall. I really like the Equine Micro 100 block because it has lots of copper and selenium. It's kind of expensive, but lasts quite a while.

    I don't have any idea why your chickens quit laying on brewers grains. Mine did great! I kept their regular feed available, along with fresh greens, or dried in the form of leafy alfalfa hay, and gave them as much spent grain as they would eat. This was when I didn't have range for my chickens. I got lots of eggs, and they ate far less purchased feed!

    As for the excess, and unless you've got LOTS of animals, it sounds like you're going to have excess, maybe you could find someone nearby who also has pigs and split the take? I'm sure they'd be thrilled.
     
  8. Jcran

    Jcran Well-Known Member

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    When I bartended at our local brewery a zillion years ago, afore I became a teacher (and guess what, first graders and slightly intoxicated adults act A LOT alike!), we fed the spent grains to feeder steers. Have you considered ONE steer? It could take up the reserve of what you can't feed your pigs and goats and you'd have some yummy beef down the road. We'd also feed the old beer from the bar spill (the stuff that goes down the drain from pouring beers). The steer LOVED that, too.
     
  9. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    What's COB?

    One steer - I know! People keep saying we should get a cow, but I've heard calves are a lot harder to deal with compared to pigs and goats because they get sick easier - Any truth to that?

    kids
     
  10. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    COB, also known as "rolled ration," is a mix of Corn, Oats and Barley, all rolled. It comes "wet," with molasses, or "dry," without. I've never raised a calf without the help of its dam, but it seems that while a bottle calf might be tricky, a weanling wouldn't be that much of a challenge, just like other animals. The catch is, with a calf, you have more invested.
     
  11. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Calves *can* be tricky, but with common sense a bottle calf is no harder to raise than a bottle kid. Don't overfeed, jump on any signs of scours and if at all possible, feed goat milk or cows milk, *not* replacer!! Even easier is buy a weanling that is past the bottle calf stage.