Milking goat Feed question

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Ranchermom, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. Ranchermom

    Ranchermom Sam at the Pecan Ranch

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    I have looked at other threads on this but wanted to hear some more suggestions.

    We do not want to give them oats is this still possible to get a good milk production without it?

    We dont mind=

    Alfalfa pellets, mineral block, sunflower seeds, maybe corn, milo??(do they eat this?)

    Any other suggestions? She also grazes a lot and we occasionally give her rose clippings(No they have not been sprayed)

    Sam
     
  2. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Out of curiousity....why not oats??

    Alfalfa pellets will produce good milk. Black Oil Sunflower seeds help with butterfat and over-all condition. Barley is a good grain. Don't feed much corn, it produces fat goats, not good milkers.... :rolleyes: My goats won't *touch* milo with a ten foot pole.

    My milkers are getting alfalfa pellets in outside feeders, and they go out and browse now that there is greenery coming on. They get a mixture of whole oats, rolled barley, BOSS, and a bit of corn when they are on the stand. They also get free-choice minerals and kelp mixed with a bit of salt.
     

  3. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oh, and I would definiately switch her to a good loose mineral, not a mineral block. Goats cant seem to fulfill their needs on just a block. Make sure you are NOT feeding a goat and sheep mineral as it will have no copper and you will have copper deficient goats.
     
  4. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious too, why not oats? Barley would work as a substitute for the oats. The things you say "you don't mind" are ok, but I think they still need some kind of grain if you want good milk production.

     
  5. Ranchermom

    Ranchermom Sam at the Pecan Ranch

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    We are more of a grass-fed farm, we try not to feed our animals any sort of grain, it’s a preferred choice, it’s the philosophy we run our ranch on, I am not saying its right for everyone but its our decision and its been working out great so far for our sheep, chickens, turkeys, & rabbits everyone loves the meat we produce.

    However at our last place we had plenty of goat forage stuff but this new place doesn’t. We got rid of most of our goats, but my new milking goat, so this is new to me I am not raising her for meat but milk. Our fields has mostly clover, coastal grass, Augustine grass, a few dandelions. I Know she needs more but I would perfer to feed if possible our animal’s local farm feed I know that grows around here that hasn’t been hit with pesticides.

    Corn, milo, alfalfa, coastal, sunflower seeds are some of them that I know that is not hit with chemicals in our area. I am kind of allergic to corn so I am sort of worried if I let her eat it, it will go to her milk then to me?? Right???

    Y’all said-
    Black Oil Sunflower- I saw that there I can get that thanks
    Switch her to a good loose mineral-Thanks I think I will do that
    Alfalfa pellets will produce good milk- Great thanks! Plenty of that the alfalfa pellets and even alfalfa hay

    Do you think pecans would hurt her to throw in a few with her feed? We have plenty of that since we live in a pecan orchard, do you think its fatty like corn?

    Sam
     
  6. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    Ok, gotcha. We're more of a grass-fed farm too, but I just don't think there is a substitute for grain for our dairy goats. Grain isn't the main part of our milkers' diets, alfalfa is. But a little grain is needed while milking to keep them from losing too much weight, but more importantly, during the end of pregnancy, to avoid small, weak kids and problems with the doe. I'll be interested to see if anyone has any suggestions though.

    Other breeds of goats could probably do just fine with no grain, as long as the browse was adequate. But dairy goats just use up so much of their body's resources to make kids, then to make unnaturally huge amounts of milk.
     
  7. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oats are probably one of the best types of grain to feed the milk doe. I get organic oats for mine from Azure Standard. Milking does need grain to remain healthy along with alfalfa. Grass hay is fine as is browse in addition.
     
  8. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    Is corn more of a grain than oats?
     
  9. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree, I think less grain and more greens make for healthier goats and healthier milk. But I do give a bit of grain on the milkstand. If you can see your way to do it, I would try to find a source of whole oats you are happy with and use that instead of corn, or mixed with the corn. And yes, I would think it would be a possibility that if the doe eats corn, the milk could aggravate your corn allergies. Might be wrong. Oh, and I don't know a thing about pecans and goats.....??
     
  10. Ark

    Ark Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sam!

    We didnt name her "Barrels" for nothin'! :p LOL

    Barrels has got to be THE #1 EASIEST KEEPER in Texas. :shrug:

    So, that said, I think you could just try the alfalfa and BOSS, but RUN FROM CORN!! She will get too fat to even go into heat. (Spoken from experience.) If you want to breed her again in the fall, you want her fit, not fat.

    She loves alfalfa pellets anyway and I suspect she would still be a good milker without the oats.

    HTH!
    Rachel
     
  11. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I don't have much in the way of pasture or browse for my goats on only one acre, so have to buy almost all of their feed. They get alfalfa hay free choice for the high protein and calcium, then I add small amounts of grain because they need the phosphorus in the grain to balance the calcium in the alfalfa. With GOOD mixed pasture (herbaceous plants, legumes, and browse, not just grass) an easy-keeping doe might not need grain or even hay all the time. This is a case of 'the eye of the master fatteneth the stock' (anyone know where that saying came from, by the way? I always thought it was in the Bible, but can't find it); you'll have to spend a lot of time observing and keeping records. You may have to do some experimenting.

    I am also interested in grass-based dairying for goats. I've been told by several people that it can't be done, but I suspect that with two conditions -- the right pasture, and the right genetic mix in your goats -- it CAN be done. However, you may have to be prepared to feed small amounts of grain at certain times. Have you ever read the book Natural Goat Care by Pat Coleby? That might be a good starting point for you. As for the genetics, I have some very easy-keeping goats. I have Kinders (Pygmy X Nubian), and I have a Boer X Oberhasli doe who is built like a tank. I think that with some judicious combining of the genetics I have, I can have goats who would do well on forage, with little added to their diets. I just don't have enough space to do as much as I'd like with it at the moment (would love to hear from people who have the same idea).

    Kathleen
     
  12. Ark

    Ark Well-Known Member

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    If Samantha is talking about Barrels, the LaMancha X that she bought from me, then "built like a tank" is the prefect description! LOL But, for all I know, maybe she got another milk goat??? :shrug:

    Rachel
     
  13. Ranchermom

    Ranchermom Sam at the Pecan Ranch

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    Yup Rachel its Barrels you know after she had the twins I thought for sure another was coming out hahaha she was so fat still, she was thinning out in other places which got me a bit concerned but Imagine with two boys on her it will take its toll, she has gotten better this week. They are two weeks today. The sunflower seeds seem to help a lot I gave her alfalfa pellets but she perfers the alfalfa hay. I just give her a handful of corn just to get her out the gate its like chocolate to her hahaha

    The pecans don't really work she perfers the roses for a treat I knew I should have planted more!

    I really, really dont want to give her oats or grains if I can help it, its just not natural to me goats are browsers they dont naturally roam in oat and grain fields ;p or do they? hehe but then again I have never seen them running in a sunflower field either hahaha

    From what people are telling me it can be done so I will let y'all know once I start milking her which is soon here and let you know how much she will be giving me in all.

    I really dont need a lot I just bought/traded her so we can experiment on making cheeses till my sheep are ready someday. She has been a good goat and has grown on me. Rachel she is a great mom. Does La Manchas have a hard time hearing or seeing? Takes a lot to get her attention to come to me while the others I just whistle I have to jump up and down to get her to notice me.

    I will keep records and keep y'all updated.
    I will look into that thanks!

    Sam