Let's Look at our Different Feeding Practices *GOATS*

elevan

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It seems that if you ask 100 different farmers you'll get a 100 different answers on just about every subject and this subject is really no different.

So let's run a thread about our different feeding programs so that we can learn from each other's methods.

Welcome to all different methods of feeding: natural, homeopathic, commercial, custom, organic, etc.

Be sure to include what state / country / region that you are in.

What specifically are you feeding?
What are you adding to supplement it?
And how does your feeding program change seasonally?


Please include or edit to include the type(s) of goats that you raise

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No one is right or wrong on this thread - they are just true to their farm. This is a learn / share thread.

Learning requires questions and answers as well. So if you need clarification on someone's post please ask a question of them so everyone else can learn too.

This thread is open to civilized debate. As long as you don't state that you believe someone's feeding practices are harmful or outright wrong debating is good.

Any statements suggesting a practice is outright wrong or implied as harmful will result in you being reported.


Thank you for participating :)
 

elevan

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Location: Central Ohio - United States
Goats raised: Dwarf breeds (pygmy and nigerian dwarf and crosses)

Winter - Spring:
Hay (clover / orchard grass / alfalfa) - available free choice to all
Alfalfa pellets - free choice to dams in the kidding pens and goats in breeding pens. A handful a day to all others.
Sweetlix 16:8 Minerals - Available free choice to all
Mineral block - available free choice to all

Summer Fall:
Pasture / Browse
Alfalfa pellets - free choice to dams in the kidding pens and goats in breeding pens. And fed to milking goats
Sweetlix 16:8 Minerals - Available free choice to all
Mineral block - available free choice to all
(we don't grain during this time unless we are milking or breeding)

Our buck barn gets ammonium chloride (AC) added to their loose minerals.

Breeding bucks get free choice alfalfa pellets

Supplements:
CMPK (Calcium / Magnesium / Phosphorus / Potassium) - As Needed
Sweetlix 16:8 Minerals - All goats free choice
Ammonium Chloride (A.C.) - Added to minerals
Molasses - Post kidding does
Electrolytes - As Needed
BoSe - 30 days Pre-Kidding and As Needed
Copasure - 2x per year All goats
Vitamin A & D - All goats / Fall of every year
Red Cell - As Needed

Treats:
Usually crunchy leaves or a pine bough.
Sometimes the apple flavored horse treats.
A couple of my goats will accept fruit or veggies as a treat.


eta: We changed some of our feeding practices this Fall / Winter. Those that were changed have been italicized.
 

SuburbanFarmChic

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All year.

What ever hay I can get which is usually an orchard grass mix but I do try to give the milking girls alfalfa when I can get it.

I prefer Dumor goat but we are on a medicated goat/sheep feed at the moment due to bottle feeding a Khatadin lamb. She goes to her new home in about a month I think. This is supplemented with afalfa pellets, AC for everybody as my buck and a wether are running with the herd. Normally I use a loose goat mineral. Right now it's a goat/sheep block and I'm pulling the lamb into the yard to keep her from getting copper by accident if I have to dose anybody. Probios is top dressed every week or 3.

All year they are supplemented with fruit and veg from a local grocery and what ever I grow in the garden that I don't use. We are putting in a greenhouse and I want to have a bed that is for fresh greens for them in the winter.

I also cut browse/weeds/tree branches, etc to bring to them.


We grain all year. For 7 goats and 1 sheep they get 3 qt scoops a day and it is normally divided out to 1.5 scoops morning and evening. But since I probably go a little heavy on the half measure I would guess it is more like 3.5.
 

elevan

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Why do you top dress with Probios every 1-3 weeks? Is this preventative or are you seeing some benefit to it?
 

Livinwright Farm

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I know that I am going to like this thread already. It will be neat to see how each of us feeds, if we supplement(and if so with what & when), and all of that. I hope some of the all natural/homeopathic farmers chime in on this one too!

I am located in USDA Hardiness Zone 4b-5a in West Ossipee, NH.
I raise 4 Nigerian Dwarfs, 1 Pygmy, and currently 3 Nigerian Dwarf/Pygmy crosses.

From late fall through early spring we feed:
Does:
- Purina Noble Goat(bag does not specify medicated or non-medicated, however, just noticed the tag on the bag does )
- Manna Pro Calf Manna
- Loose Goat Mineral
- Salt block
- Goats Prefer Probiotic Power(once per week)
- Produce trimmings/"waste" (lettuce, cabbage, squash, green beans, anything else that the store deems unsellable - like fruit that fell onto the ground & bruised)
- Free choice hay(will edit this reply, once I find out WHAT our hay is)
- Lucerne Farms Alfa Supreme(shredded & molasses misted alfalfa hay)
BOSS during winter months & when lactating

Bucks:
- Dumor pelleted goat feed
- Loose Goat Mineral
- Salt Block
- Produce trimmings/"waste"
- Free choice hay

From late spring through early fall:

Same as above, except add Browse and corn husks & fresh corn kernels to both lists.

For breeding seasons(late spring & mid to late fall)
Add in Calf Manna & Goats Prefer Probiotic Power to the bucks list.

Kids that are not Dam raised are fed: Land O Lakes Does' Match Kid Milk Replacer w/ 1/2 scoop Goats Prefer Probiotic Power. When they reach the appropriate age they are given free choice a 50/50 mix of Purina Noble Goat & Manna Pro Calf Manna
 

jodief100

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OK, yall are probably going to be horrified but here it goes:

Location: Northern Kentucky, 25 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio.
USDA Hardiness Zone: 6A, average minimum temperature -5 to -10 F, average maximum temperatures 90 to 100 F.
Climate: Moderately hot and moderately humid summers, cold and dry winters with dramatic temperature fluctuations year round. Average snowfall is about 20 inches. Average is rainfall about 42 inches.
Terrain: Rocky hills divided by a year round running creek. Property includes wooded acres, grassland pastures and weedy floodplain.
Breeds raised: Kiko and Boer
Type of Operation: Market meat
Stocking rate: Currently 44 total animals including young and weaned kids on 32 acres.

I do not use medicated feed anymore because I am concerned about low level medications increasing drug resistance. The feed I use does have AC.

Open does and weaned kids:
Fall/Spring/Summer: Free access to grass pastures, 2-3 hours a day of browsing the woods and weedy floodplains. A mix of Dumor goat, corn, alfalfa pellets and BOSS at the rate of about 1 lb per 10 head is offered once a day to the general population. Free access to Southern States brand loose goat mineral.
Winter: Free access to wintered grass pastures, two days a week browsing the woods and weedy floodplains. Free access to a low percentage alfalfa/grass mix hay or grass mix, depends on what I can get, A mix of Dumor goat, corn, alfalfa pellets and BOSS at the rate of about 1 lb per 5 head is offered once a day to the general population. Free access to Southern States brand loose goat mineral.

Pregnant and lactating does and their nursing kids:
Fall/Spring/Summer: Free access to grass pastures, 2-3 hours a day of browsing the woods and weedy floodplains. A mix of Dumor goat, corn, alfalfa pellets and BOSS at the rate of about 1 lb per 5 head is offered once a day to the general population. Free access to Southern States brand loose goat mineral.
Winter: Free access to wintered grass pastures, two days a week browsing the woods and weedy floodplains. Free access to a low percentage alfalfa/grass mix hay or grass mix, depends on what I can get, A mix of Dumor goat, corn, alfalfa pellets and BOSS at the rate of about 1 lb per 4 head is offered once a day to the general population. Free access to Southern States brand loose goat mineral.

2-3 weeks prior to giving birth and 1 week following: Does are segregated into their own pens and given the Grain mix twice a day, 8 oz at a feeding. They have free access to a low percentage alfalfa/grass mix hay or grass mix and free access to Southern States brand loose goat mineral. During the warmer months they are let out to browse with the general population during their 2-3 hours session.

Bucks:
Fall/Spring/Summer: Free access to grass pastures. A mix of Dumor goat and BOSS at the rate of about 1 lb per 4 head is offered once a day to the general population. Free access to Southern States brand loose goat mineral.
Winter: Free access to wintered grass pastures. Free access to grass mix hay. A mix of Dumor goat and BOSS at the rate of about 1 lb per 4 head is offered once a day to the general population. Free access to Southern States brand loose goat mineral.

I will watch individual animals and will segregate during feeding time and feed extra if I feel it is needed.

I think that different feeding operations are needed for different situations based on your type of operation, your stocking rate, types of goats and what your land is like.
 

elevan

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jodief100 - what is your ratio for your feed mix? is it all equal parts?
 

20kidsonhill

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Virgnia in the valley, near the west virgnia line.

We have around 20 adult does, 2 to 3 herd sires, we are a meat goat operation. We normally kid out in february, it is a good time a year for our kids to be born, for the fair to be shown for 4H-ffa projects in the meat goat classes.

we have pasture from april to november, maybe december if it is a good year, and all our adult goats only get pasture and loose goat minerals(co-op milled) free-choice, unless

For flushing before breeding season they get some pelleted goat grain 16% protein, medicated for abougt 3 weeks before putting them in with a buck. We start with around 1 1/2 cups per day per head and go up to about 3 cups.

We take them off the grain after the buck goes in. (too much fighting)



We feed no grain to any of our does that are bred, until 30 days before they are due, then they recieve around 1 1/2 measuring cups at first on up to 3 cups(1lb) of 16 % medicated goat developer/grower grain and continue this through the nursing of their kids.

All goats receive a 2nd or 3 rd cutting grass mix hay if there isn't enough pasture, normally December to March, for the winter months. and during dry spells. mostly free-choice, Althoug I have to use the feeders to feed grain, so I feed what I think they will clean up each day.

After goats kid they receive free-choice hay, continue with the
1 lb 16% goat delveloper(co-op brand) pelleted/medicated has 2.5% fat and 16% protein, Roughage products is listed first followed by grain products on the feed label. We would also slowly start adding rolled/cracked corn for added energy and milk production. up to around 1 1/2 cups per doe per day.

This is all we used to do, until this year, after I have been on this forum we decided to try doing a couple new things. We started adding a bale(40lbs) of alfalfa hay to their diets per every 10 or so does,
adding up to 1 cup of dry beet pulp per doe, mixed into pelleted feed

We wean at 8 weeks, all weaned does come off of grain and are on grass hay/pasture.


kids are fed in a creep-feed area, free-choice 16% pelleted goat feed, same as what we are using on does, up until they are chosen for show whethers, show whethers are switched over to a show feed in May for an August show.

Replacement doelings/bucklings are kept on the 16 % feed until 15 months of age or they are bred, sometimes at 11 to 12 months of age. they receive around 2 lbs a day for the first 7 to 8 months and then 1 lb a day after that. 1 lb is 3 cups of feed. Yes, my growing buckling are receiveing up to 6 cups of feed a day.

All my feed contains AC.
All my pelelted feed is medicated.


Short version:

lactating does:
free-choice grass hay/pasture
2 to 4lbs of alfalfa hay
1lb pelleted medictated 16%protein goat grower
1cup dry beet pulp
up to 1 1/2 cups dried corn
free-choice goat minerals

All goats over 15 months of age, not nursing
Only hay or pasture, free-choice minerals

flush does for 3 weeks before breeding

under 15 months of age, not bred
1 - 2 lbs pelleted grain
hay or pasture


bred does, no grain, until last month of pregnancy.

Bo-Se shots twice a year, onse before breeding, onse before kidding

copper bolusing at the end of winter, this is new to us, I am not sure if we will do it twice, right now we are plannning on one time before the heavy worm loads in the spring.

BOSS: started using this a little on some yearlings that just kidded, not sure if I will continue, it was $17 for a 25lb bag.

Purchased Goat Preferred probiotic Powder this winter for the first time. used it on some does that weren't doing well. Along with red-cell for the first time. Seemed to really help them.

Vitamine B complex, also purchased t his for the first time. for sick goats.

I was able to save a very ill doe, that I am sure wouldn't have made it with out some of these new items . <<<Thank you BYH>>>

edited to add: we have 6 pasture acres, divided into 4 fenced in areas. Our goats are locked out of the barn from March to November, calf huts are provided for protection from rain, if they choose to use them.
 

jodief100

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elevan said:
jodief100 - what is your ratio for your feed mix? is it all equal parts?
Girls mix:
8 parts grain
4 parts whole corn
4 parts alfalfa pellets
1 part BOSS

Boys mix:
8 parts grain
1 part BOSS

All are by weight
 
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