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Howdy yall,
I am kind of new to HT, and had a question for you. I hope that you are able to help me with this. Growing up we raised meat and dairy goats and I am interested in getting back into them. I don't have much grass on my property and the ideal place to put the goat pen there is none. I was wondering if it is OK to raise them without pasture, and if so what do I need to supplement with? Hay? Beet Pulp? Grain? I am really really interested in getting goats again, and cost is not a huge deal as far as nutrition goes. But with the economy the way it is I will save werever I can. Thank Yall in advance!

-Katie
 

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Im not an expert, but they need room to run around and be goats, i belive they would be okay without pasture to graze on, but forsure need room aside from their pens. My girls graze olny a little bit(they have pleanty to graze on, they just prefer their alfalfa) and feed in the morning and night alfalfa for milkers with plenty of grain and all the minerals they want, and for the babys half wheat and half alfalfa with a bit of grain and all the minerals they want. So i think they would be okay without grazing pasture but they need their exercise time :D but yet again im not an expert, its the way i take care of my girls and they are fat and happy ;)
 

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They don't need pasture. It's good to have, as it gives them some exercise and a change of scene, as well as supplementing their feed, but if you can't have one, they'll do just fine on hay (which should be the bulk of their diet) and a little grain as needed. My goats get a mix of alfalfa and grass hay (straight alfalfa for the does in milk, but right now they are dry); small amounts of C.O.B. -- dry (corn, oats, barley without molasses); a handful of sunflower seeds; LOOSE goat mineral (don't let the feed store tell you that blocks are okay for goats! And don't feed cattle or sheep mineral to goats: cattle mineral often contains urea, which goats cannot tolerate, and sheep mineral is WAY too low in copper, which sheep cannot have but which goats NEED.), and plenty of fresh clean water. Give them all that plus a dry place out of the wind, and they should do fine for you.

Kathleen
 

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mine are in a dry lot aka this month the mud pit in some areas, they get regular hay and then alfalfa pellets with a little cob and boss just because. they get turned out to browse and graze a few times a week. They are staying pretty healthy, but i cant wait until the fence is finished.
 

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The best part about no pasture is you will see a significant decrease in parasites compared to pasture-raised (as in virtually none). You don't state where you are located, but some areas of the country have some issues with worms with pasture based management.

By dry-lotting them you will need to provide for their every need. Water constantly, good quality hay, loose minerals and of course the basics of shelter (wind, rain, snow, sleet, shade, predators) & excercize time. Good quality hay means more than just how it looks, you should consider having it tested so you can supply added energy (corn) or protein (sunflower seeds, protein block, etc) should your hay be lacking.

Yes they can do just fine without pasture.

On another note, given your description & of course your weaterh & size of the pen, you may need to keep an eye on their pen area, looking for wetness from excretions & possibly washing of the soil that can lead to loss of fencing, hoofrot/scald, etc.
HF
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am on the mid eastern coast of NC. The weather right now is rainy one day and dry and sunny the next. The pen will be about 30 by 50. How many goats are good to raise on this? And were can I get hay tested? Also what is the best type of hay? I have heard that peanut hay is the best for goats. Is this true?

Thank yall for all of your help! Yall are the best!


God Bless,
Katie
 

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I wouldn't have too many in too small an area. And you need to be able to keep it clean. That being said they do fine on hay and some kind of feed .Feed varies from person to person .I use beet pulp shreds,oats and hay with a good loose mineral available at all times. My goats are much healthier and happier now that they are on a larger pasture and browse.
 

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Start out slow with a few goats That way you can keep back some doe kids and grow your herd. Here in Minnesota we dry lot all winter. Your 30 x 50 area will be fine if its well drain as in after a rain there is no standing water. Good shelter, Hay, grain, goat mineral and fresh water and you are all set.
I keep colored Boer goats. I had dairy goats.Alpines.as I got older that's too much work. My Boers have kids, nurse them and I get the pleasure without the daily milking.
I do have a 5 acre pasture for my 13 does and kids, and they do well. But goats ae lazy, if you feed them they will be happy. I use cattle panel 4 1/2 ft high by 16 ft long for my lot fence...to ensure of no escapes.
Check out my web site www.fletcherthreeoaks.com
Jerry
 

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Florida Dept of Agriculture has a web page on forage peanuts--it's a variety that doesn't make nuts--only hay. Comparable in nutrition to alfalfa. Good for goats!

Madfarmer
 

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I am on the mid eastern coast of NC. The weather right now is rainy one day and dry and sunny the next. The pen will be about 30 by 50. How many goats are good to raise on this? And were can I get hay tested? Also what is the best type of hay? I have heard that peanut hay is the best for goats. Is this true?

Thank yall for all of your help! Yall are the best!


God Bless,
Katie
The NC Dept of Agriculture does forage testing.
http://www.ncagr.gov/htm/searchresu...5:vo7skdtumcm&cof=FORID:11&q=hay+testing#1036

You can also call the County Extension Agent where you live and get the forms and info on where to send the samples

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/index.php?page=countycenters

Most of the "peanut hay" youll find in your area is really NOT all that good.
There is a perennial peanut that is used for good quality hay, but it doesnt grow this far North. The "peanut hay" around here is the vines from regular peanuts, and may not be all that good.

You can check the "Agricultural Review" for hay sellers in your area.

http://www.ncagr.com/paffairs/agreview/index.htm

Others can be found here:
http://www.ncagr.gov/HayAlert/

Welcome to the board!

You cant be too far from me
 

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Hi.
We kept our does on a dry-lot area for several months while the barn was being built. It was big enough to keep them from going stir crazy and beating each other up. I have to disagree about fewer worms in this situation though. For us it was just the opposite. The pastured goats, which were browsing at the time, not grazing closely to the ground, had virtually no worms on fecal. The dry lotted girls however, especially some of the younger ones, had much more, and more cocci esp. We had a hay feeder but could not keep hay off the ground. It built up and provided the nicest environment ever for worm eggs. It didn't compost because the feeder was outdoors and the hay stayed wet and anerobic. Getting them out on a large pasture with plenty of browse helped lessen our worm loads considerably. If I was going to dry paddock again, and I probably will for my young does this spring, I plan to put crushed stone in it that I can rake clean. The mud just doesn't cut it and it's extremely bad for their feet. Nutritionally, though, I don't think you have to worry as long as they have good minerals and their regular feed. You might get some really weedy hay (no poisonous weeds of course) and keep that in one of the hay racks for variety. My goats love it when they find blackberry leaves and small trees etc. in the hay. I do remove the large thorny stems, but it's a good change of pace.
Good luck with getting goats. They are loads of fun.
Anita
 

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Anita the only way a goat on a dry lot can get parsites is from their feet. They step on worm or cocci larve in manure then put their feet into hay or feed mangers not set up right. If you stop the cycle of grass to mouth or hoof to mouth you stop parasties. If I ever got big again and dairied my milkers would be dry lotted even if it meant intially using roundup on my 'pastures'.

Barn space will be huge in a dry lot situation as will be hay feeder space. And alfalfa will be key if you are talking dairy goats. Unless you are talking showing your boers, I would not want the costs of dry lotting on boers sold for meat. And going smaller with mini's or Nigerian Dwarfs, would be something you could also do. Vicki
 

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A great thing about dry lotting here is that i can blow goat berries through the fence with a leaf blower, cant do that with horse flop.
 

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I am in Maryland and keep all of my goats on a dry lot. I agree with Vicki that the worm load should be much less in this type of situation. Just make sure your feeders are at a height that their feet will not get in them. I feed free choice alfalfa pellets from a stainless hog feeder hung from the ceiling of the shelter. This has been great. The girls who are milking get grain on the stand. They are all producing very well and have been extremely healthy with a very minimal worm load and with shiny coats and no dry skin. I could not report the same results when the goats were grazing on pasture.
Chris
 

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You can keep them on a dry lot, as a lot of posters have attested to, but I don't know how it will be very profitable. Raising pasture fed goats and I still have trouble getting production costs down to what the market will bear.
 

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FWIW my girls don't like the pasture. If we don't stay with them, they make a bee line for the pen after about fifteen minutes. We've even tried locking their pen to force them to stay in the pasture but they just stand at the gate and complain very loudly LOL. They never try to get out of the pen either with one exception. We have two sisters who are very close and when we moved the milk stand to another building and tried taking one goat at a time, they came over the cattle panels to get to each other. We take them together now.
 

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Your first goats, the ones you purchase will never competely assimilate into their surroundings if it is wildly different than what they were raised on, unless you purchased them very young. I purchased a 3 year old alpine this summer, she is used to forageing for her food in Idaho and is always walking out to the woods to eat. I wouldn't purchase a goat who doesn't come from an area like mine because they do become barn potatoes.

The kids you raise out of your goats will stay in your fences, will forage, and learn early that there are no boggy men out in the woods or pasture...well unless there are! During hunting season and this time of year when the coyotes are noisey my goats do spend alot less time in the woods and they are always running home from the slightest noise. I try to get out there with them at least once a day. Vicki
 

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Katie i sent you a pm. I dont know anything about drylotting! Just wanted to say hi since we live in the same area.
 
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