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Organic Goat Feed Recipe

Discussion in 'Organic Husbandry - Goats' started by Meaghan, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. Dec 26, 2014
    Meaghan

    Meaghan Ridin' The Range

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    After reading on here and on Homesteading Today that Countryside Organics (the only available organic feed in my area of Florida) isn't a great feed, I was considering creating my own feed by buying grains and mixing them myself. However, I haven't seen any organic recipes on here. I'd prefer to stay away from a lot of corn or soy, but some is okay as long as it isn't the main ingredients.

    Any suggestions for good organic recipes?
     
  2. Dec 27, 2014
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Good luck and PLEASE if you come up with something, LET US KNOW!
     
  3. Dec 28, 2014
    Meaghan

    Meaghan Ridin' The Range

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    So far, the best suggestion I've gotten at Homesteading Today (among all the "corn and soy are best, you're stupid!" insults) is a grain mix of 10 parts crimped oats, 9 parts crimped barley, and 1 part molasses. It was given to me by someone who picks up this mix from a supposed national champion winning dairy, and the goats looked to be in pretty good condition on this farm. The website is www.munchinhill.com

    So I'm thinking of using this mix with another suggestion as far as extras goes. The other suggestion uses 12 parts prebagged (using the mix above instead of prebagged) grain, 6 parts alfalfa pellets, 3 parts beet pulp , and 1 part BOSS. However, since there are basically no sources of beet pulp grown organically, I might just eliminate that and feed extra hay. Also thinking of adding 1 part kelp as I've heard that's a good add for dairy goat diets, and it would round out the parts to an even 20, making math a bit easier. :)

    Any other suggestions?
     
  4. Dec 28, 2014
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    I am interested in your findings... I will say we never ever feed molasses. Molasses interferes with mineral utilization and if you notice drenches have molasses in them. There is a time and reason for using molasses as in the case where you have an animal needing drenched, but to feed it everyday IMO is like junkfood.
    The BOSS is great also but look at the phosphorus. It will really throw your calcium phosphorus ratio out of balance.

    Crimped oats and whole oats... I remember hearing about a month or two ago the difference and one was better than the other but can't remember which one and why. Do you know?
     
  5. Dec 28, 2014
    Meaghan

    Meaghan Ridin' The Range

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    I didn't know that molasses interfered with mineral utilization. Is it capable of doing that, even in small amounts? 1/20th of the grain mix, and the grain mix is only 12/20 of the total mix. I believe they were just using it as a binder, and my local breeder uses peanut oil instead. Might that be a good substitute?

    I knew that about BOSS, which is why I didn't think to use another feed (2/3 oats, 1/3 BOSS). I don't know how you're balancing for calcium or phosphorus, by the way, could you tell me how you're interpreting that? I know the ideal is a 2:1 ratio to prevent urinary issues primarily in males, but I thought that if you put apple cider vinegar in the water it can help balance that.

    From what I've heard, crimped oats are better for digestion. The crimping is just to make the internal starches in the seed more readily available. Whole grains are harder to break down because the external membranes haven't been broken through. I could be wrong though, that's just what I've seen. We were just going to get a grain mill and crimp the grains ourself.
     
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  6. Dec 28, 2014
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    I am really not sure... truthfully I just don't have the time to focus on much of this.:hide
    For the most part our goats have hay, live off the land and get little feed. I do care very much about the subject, it is just simply the time involved and the fact that my plate is pretty full.

    I though this may be of help to you.:) I have looked over this a few times but there again just not something I can do now.:(

    http://landofhavilahfarm.com/loh-feed-regimen.htm

    Thanks for clarification on the crimped! :)
    Let me know what you think-she has several formulas I think.
     
  7. Dec 28, 2014
    Meaghan

    Meaghan Ridin' The Range

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    That is a great resource! Thank you. :) I don't blame you for not having time for this, you have a lot of creatures to care for. I'm just starting out, so I wanted to get into a good routine while we're small so that it's habit by the time we get a bit bigger.

    Her last recipe is similar to the one suggested to me on HT, but more BOSS. I think her's a bit more balanced, but I could be wrong. However, she also provides daily feeding amounts, which leads me to believe that she knows better than the suggestion I got on the forum. She doesn't crimp hers, though. I wonder why. Ah well, I'm sure it's working well for her! :)

    Edit: I just noticed she also uses a grass/alfalfa hay with this grain mix. That would compliment the oat/alfalfa hay I have available to me right now. I was told peanut hay is best in the south, but we don't have any of that available to us right now, or at least, not organic anyways. The organic O/A hay is $490/ton at 23% protein, and the organic peanut hay that is out of stock at the moment is $455/ton at 22% protein. Needless to say, I think we'll also be finding an organic grass hay to mix with the alfalfa, as that's quite expensive in my experience.

    Then again, my hay experience was non-organic in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, aka grass seed capital of the world. A little bit different from the south, I think. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
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  8. Dec 28, 2014
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    One of my biggest concerns has been availability.
    I try to look long term and "what's ahead". We have pretty much fed local hay from my neighbor. He has cows... all grass fed, no grain. That has always been important to me because I want them to thrive off the land here and I don't want to have to rely on having hay and other feeds "shipped" in. I really do believe long term this will be an issue and relying on this supplement or this and that herb etc to be shipped is setting us up for possible disaster.
    Our goats have been healthy and thrived on what we have here. We have not done much alfalfa hay... it has always been a treat. Yet we milk our goats and have good production etc.
    This year we had hay issues... our little pocket ended up in a drought. My hay man needed all the hay for his cows to make it through the winter. UGH! Long story short we had started shipping in some alfalfa orchard for a good price. We normally pay our hay guy $25 for 800# round bale ... no pesticides and a big mix but it is what grows here. We suddenly started paying $50 for 120# bale... that added up. We generally do 2 round bales a month sometimes 3. So 125# bales were killing us in the pocket. We ended up shipping in the alfalfa/orchard for about $7bale 40-50# bales.
    Then we ran into a problem... I posted about it but long story short... my goats were not OK with the high protein in the new hay. We ended up having bloodwork on one of the goats... liver levels were highhhhhh! Everything pointed to the hay. She had been in milk for 18 months and was fine... after a month on the alfalfa hays she started having issues. I missed our hay.:(

    Told my hay man what was happening and he loaded a round bale on his tractor and drove up my driveway. Said he couldn't have my goats gettin' sick. We put her and all the goats back on the local hay with a mix of orchard and wella very quickly she returned to normal.

    I am not convinced dairy goats need all the high this and the high that. If I can grow it right here I would rather do so, I don't like relying on whether the market will be stable etc. Economic factors etc. and whether society will eventually break down...

    Maybe my gallon a day milkers would give 1 gallon and a quart with a bunch of feed etc... I don't know... I think I'd rather let them live as close to being a goat and living off the land where they live and if that means a little less milk I am ok with it.

    I love how you are planning it out and looking at different recipes!
    My one concern is the protein. Excess protein is generally just peed out but over the long term too much protein can cause other issues. Forgive me I cannot recall the "issue". I have some memory issues and have a hard time with recall... I was sick a few years ago and it caused a great deal of health issues for me... sadly short term memory has been affected. Stuff from many tears ago I can remember. Sometimes. LOL:p That and I am old.:old
     
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  9. Dec 28, 2014
    Meaghan

    Meaghan Ridin' The Range

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    Oh my, that sounds like quite a predicament! Unfortunately, here in Florida, I don't think even just a few goats could live on our small 5 acres without supplements. Ideally when we move (either back to Oregon/Washington border where I went to college or to the Indiana area of the midwest) and settle down for good, we'd like to get a few hundred acres and be completely self sufficient. But it's just not possible on 5 acres in Florida, it seems.

    As it is, our pasture is trashed. Half of the 4 acre pasture has never been logged, and it's all swampy under the pines. The front half has been logged in the past, but there are 5-10 year old oak and pine sapplings sprouting up everywhere, and the weeds are as tall as my SO Nathan (and he's over 6ft). We could only walk about 300 ft into the length of the pasture before we gave up and went back. We are contracting a brush hog guy to mow it all down so that we can sell the timber out and reseed the pasture, but that won't be for a couple weeks. Maybe we'll have a halfway decent pasture by summer. :hide

    So, letting the goats live off of our land just isn't possible at the moment. But you're right, goats really shouldn't be fed so much protein. It causes degeneration of kidneys, primarily. I've just been told that high protein is good for babies growth, especially when they're taken from their mother before weaning. We're probably going to use whole cows milk as suggested on HT and wean early at 8 or 10 weeks. :fl

    Thank you! I think I get excited most about planning. :celebrate Then again, I am the type to love researching information. I'm also scouring google for a good hog recipe, and I found a good layer recipe a few weeks ago.
     
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  10. Dec 28, 2014
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    The swampy isn't good but the rest is goat heaven!
    Saplings, weeds! Just keep in mind goats are not like sheep, they really aren't grass grazers, they love leaves, vines, tree bark, tall stuff and weedy growth. Of course for consistency of milk flavor in dairy goats it is best to have a consistent diet.