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I have had goats now for a number of years now, with a long term dream to GO BIG in the goat dairy business... these are the funnest animals to have around. However I don't think I got there grain to my liking yet. We feed a mix of crack corn, oats, 16%pellets,purina goat mineral not much mollases I think it makes the milk taste funny.... basicly its 16% calf feed without the meds in it any thoughts on tweeking this mixture? now mind you I just use Tiger the MILL guy down the road . small out of the way mill, so sticking all sort of strange things in my mix isnt what I'm looking for I'm looking to get a good mix that will give me good return in milk,and also is cost effective as not to put me in a hole for a quart of milk.....so in advance I would like to say thank you for your thoughts and opinions... tammyd
 

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What area?

First you start with your hay, hopefully alfalfa, then your grain choices are much easier...you can't improve on oats and chopped corn, as long as you are giving them calcium in the form of alfalfa each day, which will give you the protein they need also.

If you don't feed alfalfa in some form everyday, you then have to use soy or cottonseed meal or fish and feather meal to improve the protein of your hay. Then you have to deal with your mineral program to make sure they are able to digest the calcium carbonate and calcium sorbate in thier minerals without having issues with hypocalcemia and milk fever before and during lactation (the more kid, the more milk the more the problem with calcium defficency rears it's ugly head).

Depending on your area even feeding alfalfa, your minerals may not be adequate.

It's one thing to have pet goats, another to have pet goats you breed and let nurse their kids, another to then let the kids wean and milk them for 10 months, and certainly another to milk them full time and expect a paycheck. The last catagory takes a great deal of knowledge on how to feed them correctly while still producing as much as they can while keeping them in excellent shape so they can be bred and milking for 100 days of that lactation.

Find someone doing what you are want to do and ask for help, visit them, hopefully you will find someone who won't lie to you either to make you not want to do it so you aren't competition or the opposite.

Your biggest cost is always labor, why having the best producers you can find and using bucks out of the best does you can find is always the smartest decision. Milking goats who only give you 3 or 4 pounds a day makes no sense in a dairy setting, when it takes the same amount of time to milk does who are giving you 8 pounds a day...Vicki
 
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