I need advice on goat feeding

Discussion in 'Goats' started by JoyKelley, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. JoyKelley

    JoyKelley Well-Known Member

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    Florida
    WE live in florida on 3 acres. ( read this as no natural grazing, just rough grasses on sandy ground ) Ever since I got my does they have either been pregnant or nursing. All babies are now 9 & 11 months old and I have been feeding goat chow since day one. I keep reading that they don't need this much food and hay is fine. Can I cut them way back on food if I offer enough hay?, what hay is best ? thanks
     
  2. natybear

    natybear Well-Known Member

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    Portland, Oregon
    Feeding hay will dramatically reduce your costs. For us goat chow is really expensive and we feed a lot of hay. We have a covered hay feeder out in their pasture and they run to it in the morning just wondering which types of hay they will be dining on today. Oat, Timothy, other grass hays are all great for goats. I have found that milk does not increase when fed more grain, just the size of belly. Hope this helps, God Bless.
     

  3. GOATDADDY

    GOATDADDY Well-Known Member

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    My goats eat, pigweed, kochia, bindweed, weedy grasses, lambs quarter?, buffalo grass, more weeds. they have access to a stack of alfalfa hay, not the best, and do eat it at times but they go out to graze most of the time. I have 15 goats, 3 sheep and 1 horse about 10 acres, three of which I am trying to grow some sudan grass. Even where I live with a very little rain they can't quite keep up with it right now. I feed them a little corn, maybe once or twice a week and mineral free choice. They are in various stages of growing, lactating or in the case of my boer billy, just kind of hanging out. No goat chow or any thing of that order. They are all sleek and not loosing weight. Plenty of free time to loaf and play.
     
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    I feed orchard grass/clover hay free choice, and a cup of alfalfa pellets with some sunflower seeds in the evening. I do have lots of pasture and brush they have access to during the day, but in the winter it's just the hay and alfalfa pellets, along with whatever pumpkins and christmas trees I can find to toss in for them. They do just fine - glossy hair, good body weight, the babies grow quickly to a good size.

    I do use grain to tame the new babies down and get them trained, and I feed pregnant ones grain to make sure they're getting enough food to grow nice healthy kids. That's it.

    If you can find alfalfa hay at a reasonable price and quality, that's probably the best nutrition wise. I just can't afford to pay $9 for a questionable bale of alfalfa that they're going to waste most of. I buy a bag of alfalfa pellets they'll very carefully make sure to eat all of (even licking up the alfalfa dust from the bottom of the bag) and bales of local grass hay.
     
  5. Hogman

    Hogman New Member

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    Jul 3, 2005
    I have FB registered Boer Show Goats, and all they get to eat is Intimadator feed and very good alfalfa hay, I also give them Showbloom, for the show ring. I never have a prob with my goats losing weight, skin or coat probs, and they win well in the show ring. Maybe some of this info will assist in your decision on how and what to feed your goats. :sing:
     
  6. trappmountain

    trappmountain Well-Known Member

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    They also like to eat the leaves of trees. I cut low limbs that get in my way and toss it to them. They really enjoy munching the leaves. They are young Pygmys so they only get a cup of pellets each a day. They get plenty of fresh hay in the barn. I do have a lot of green and weedy pasture for them during the day though. They also like dried leaves so if its all you have on the property that is fine too. I plan on drying some branches for a nice winter treat this year.
     
  7. PLPP

    PLPP Boer Lover

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    Hay is very good for them. You can cut costs by a lot by feeding hay. We feed a coffee cup of meat goat in the am and they get all the hay they want.