Feeding my new goats question

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by littlebanty, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. littlebanty

    littlebanty Songster

    Hubby broke down and let me bring home 2 nigerian wethers today. They are both 3 months old. One is already wethered and the other just got banded today....They are fed a Manna Pro Ranch Mix feed for all livestock..10% textured with NO copper 1/3 cup once a day. Coastal hay free choice. I worry about urinary stones in the males and was told that too much protein can cause it also and over 20ppm of copper is not good as it can cause overdose and no copper will cause copper dificiency which they can die from also. I have also read that coastal burmuda is high in phosphorus low in calcium which is a cause of stones. So my question is....SHould I find a 10% textured feed with copper or should I go with a goat feed that is 16% which they all have copper anyway? TSC has a 10% textured feed with copper in it and says its for goats, cows, and horses. If I remember right the copper was 30ppm. Its a cheaper feed but has a lower protien with copper. I plan on keeping them on coastal hay, feeding baking soda to keep the gut neutral and ammonium chloride...If I am reccommended a feed that has the AC in it I wont need to add it. I plan on dropping the feed to 1/4 cup 1x a day so they wont be getting so much. Maybe adding a goat mineral free choice or top dress. What do you all feed and recommend?
  2. FlockEweFarm

    FlockEweFarm Songster

    Jun 11, 2008
    WOW! Sounds like a lot of worry for a couple of little goats! Ok, I have 2 doe Boers that are now 4 months old, both are healthy, fat, dumb and happy and pretty annoying at times,(one kicked me in the head tonight when they were playing, so I am still miffed at her), and I have fed them nothing but cracked corn, oats, and alfalfa hay with the occasional dose of probiotics. They do sneak into the chicken feed from time to time, so that is why they get the probios, and I keep a salt block for them to lick as they feel the need and want.
    Minerals are important, and a good mineral block with help to supply that, but when I asked about feeding the expensive feeds, I was told by a person who had been raising goats for over 20 years, "Why? if you want to throw away money, throw it at me and I will go to dinner with my girlfriend.", sooo, I have not lost a goat and they are doing fine, and if you doubt me, look up Tennessee meat goats and check out all the information there, but people have been raising goats for thousands and thousands of years without all of the stress and fancy feeds, and the critters are like cockroaches, everywhere and equally hard to kill, but then again, they are soo cute and fun to have, who would want to?
    Enjoy your babies, save some money.
  3. penelope77

    penelope77 Songster

    May 6, 2008
    northeast oklahoma
    well some people don't feed their males any feed at all. my little guy gets about a half cup a day, plus hay, and whatever they graze on. you can put apple cider vinegar in their water too. i personally use a loose mineral, free choice. any goat feed would be fine. around here alot of people feed the 16% dairy cow feed to their goats because it can be about 4 bucks cheaper at some places. you have to do what makes you feel comfortable though. everyone is gonna tell you something different and the whole thing can be very confusing. what to feed was the most confusing part of getting goats for me. you'll settle in though.
  4. FlockEweFarm

    FlockEweFarm Songster

    Jun 11, 2008
    Lil. seriously, I may sound a bit casual about how I care for my goats, but I do have some experience with goats, and the herd I had when I was a youngster in East Texas, did really well on nothing but what they grazed on because my folks would not buy them hay or grain because they were bought for weed control. My herd of 10 goats lived on nothing but pasture grass and weeds and whatever feed they could steal from the cattle and horses, and they thrived and multiplied to a herd of 15, before they disappeared about the same time a church revival set up down the road from my folks place...: idunno
    I take good care of my girls and I plan on adding a billy in the next few months so that I add babies down the road.
    Depending on the forage that your fellas get, and what they can find to nibble on, I would really not opt for all the high dollar feeds, especially for the little ones. My goat expert told me to treat the babies like human babies and keep them warm, dry, well fed, hydrated, and keep it simple!.
    Good luck!
  5. Calebs Acre

    Calebs Acre Songster

    May 17, 2008
    Long Island
    I have two alpine wethers and a nubian buck. They get hay, green leaves from tree branches and each get about 1/2 cup of the cheapest goat feed we can find...Goat Chow if they are REALLY lucky (it's expensive) and that's what they've eaten since they were weaned....one is two, one is one and one is a few months old. So far, so good. Knock on wood.
  6. FarmerMack

    FarmerMack Songster

    Oct 28, 2007
    Stanford, KY
    I have a pygmy mix female (pregnant) an Angora male and a Nubian/Sainan mix female. They eat a 32 oz of course #14 goat feed and hay and whatever "greens" I cut for them. They all seem to be getting fat and are still healthy after over 4 months of me taking care of them. They especially like the green leaves i cut for them actually entire branches as they eat the bark too. It's funny to watch their reaction when I pick up the cutting tool as the follow me around the goat pen wondering what I'm going to cut for them. Their favorite seems to be the lilac bush that i have been trimming all spring. Thank god the last owners of my farm never heard of pruning bushes. Also the occasional cans of french cut green beans goes over well too, I dont eat them so they might as well, to much salt in canned veggies for me

    Farmer MacK [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. Chatychick

    Chatychick Songster

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    Wethers have a tendency to put on weight very easily. If you feed them grain you need to give them alfafa pellets to balance out the cal-phop ratio. I dont feed Baking soda free choice as it can kill them if they eat too much. Loose minerals are best and Ammonium chloride only if needed like when the weather changes is the only time to give it. I personally would only feed them hay and maybe 1/2 cup of whole oats a day. All the hay they can eat and try to keep them on the slim side as its very hard to get the weight off after its on them.
    My wethers only get oats and alfafa pellets and fresh water . If I trim some trees make sure its not the type that can be toxic to them. They love cedar and spruce branches and elm usually and all the browse they can do. Goats love weeds and dont really like grass unless thats all they have to eat. JMO
  8. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    Quote:The goats we raise today are SO FAR from the goats raised for "thousands and thousands of years". And...I choked on my coffee when I read that they're hard to kill. COMMON GOAT MYTH! A goat will die at the snap of your fingers with no warning, and leave you wondering what just happened.

    People, having animals is a luxury. It isn't about finding the cheapest way to keep them. The "expensive" feeds save you so much money in the long run...in terms of healthier animals which live longer, thrive better and are less likely to succumb to deficiencies. Buy the best you can afford, not the cheapest you can find.

    Back to the OP - 10% is too low for growing goats. I recommend 16% minimum. Avoid textured (sweet) feeds like they're poison (because they ARE to male goats). Purina Show Goat includes AC in the mix, so it is the ideal feed choice for a wether. Offer LOOSE minerals (NOT a block) 24/7.

    Once your boys are done growing, you will likely be able to take them off the grain and only feed alfalfa hay to keep them fat and happy.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  9. Cheep Mama

    Cheep Mama Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    Sorry to butt in with a different question, but how much hay can they get each day. I just got a boer and an alpine weather on Sunday and do not know how much hay to give them. Any help would be great.
  10. FlightsofFancy

    FlightsofFancy Songster

    Jan 22, 2008
    Canton, GA
    What you feed your goats depends on how much you care about them. If you want them to live a long healthy life then researching nutrition is a MUST! There are alot of different ideas on what is best or just adequate feed, but since you have wethers you should be aware of Urinary Calculi. Also goats can bloat and some horrible diseases can be caused by poor diet or low quality feed. Goats are more likley to wander and escape from pens if their nutritional needs are not met correctly. The old wifes tail that "Goats will eat anything including tin cans" is as stupid as it is untrue!! Goats can be very sensitive and in my humble opinion you will pay in feed or pay the vet. Unless you are one of those types to just let your goat die and replace it with another. Either way $$$ spent.
    Now let me finish with letting you know that my goats are for dairy, so what I feed them is very important to me. But I also have wethers as pets and they are like members of our famly. I am not humanizing them (so save your posts), but stating that they are not just lawn mowers to us. Some good links are: http://fiascofarm.com/
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008

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