Fainting goats....what should I be feeding them?

photo chick

10 Years
May 4, 2009
Essex, VT
I'm a new owner of a couple of fainting goat wethers. They just turned 4 months old. We have been feeding them each a cup of Sweet Goat grain in the morning and another at night - so 2 cups each a day. It seems that they do not graze in their pasture when I feed them hay. I had heard that they should eat as much roughage as they can while we have it since in Vermont our ground can be covered with snow 5-6 months of the year. So I stopped feeding them hay except for when it's raining and they don't go outside. What should I be doing? 2 cups of grain every day seems like a lot but it's what the breeder was feeding them and should I give them hay now or is it OK to with hold for now?

Here's a pic of Oscar and Owl the first week we got them.

We feed more hay then feed, especially in the summer. A cup of feed a day is more then enough until winter hits. We also avoid sweet feed and stick to a balanced feed. Goats can get "off track" with their diet and it can lead to serious issues. We just saved one of ours from a bad case of goat polio brought on by an extreme temp change and an over abundance of greens without enough roughage.
I would only feed hay at night feeding when you put them up for the night. Let them out to graze during the day, no hay for the am feeding.
I think everyone feeds different, I think personally two cups of grain is way too much for goats I give mine grains more as a treat every few days, and hay and free range as much as they want - my vet, on the other hand, tells me NO GRAIN for male castrated goats at all - females, yes, males, NO
Have you gone onto Backyard HErds yet, the sister site? Great info there
I feed mine all grain. In the summer I don't usually feed the buck and wether grain but I do the doe. Usually because she is bouncing back from nursing. Or like right now she is nursing. In the summer when there is grass I don't feed hay at all. My buck and doe are fainters by the way. The wether is an alpine.
They seem a good weight in the pic you posted they should be fine with or without or any in-between at least till winter. I would give them at least that in the winter...since there is not much to forage on then and then also feed hay am and pm....you can still let them out though if you want to during the day. They are still babies growing right? They don't look over weight in that pic either by the way. They look good to me.
The short answer is yes. Before continuing with the grain with a male goat you may want to google URINARY CALCULI . Too much grain with a male can kill them in the long run and quickly when it hits. Wethers are especially prone to this problem.

Drop by our sister site BackYardHerds.com If you want more input on the question from other experienced breeders.
Check out the Feeding Discussion (link in signature) on the sister site BYH for how members feed their goats...there are a lot of differences but plenty of similarities.

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