Goat diet questions...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Badhbh, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. Badhbh

    Badhbh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    Ok, so I have wethers. Two of them, about 4 months old. The only feed that was available at the time was meat goat developer that i got from the TSC. From most of the reading i'd done, it sounded like wethers didn't really need much by way of "feed", so i was giving them about a cup a day. The rest of their diet is hay and browse. But they act like they're always starving (as most goats do). My question is, should they be getting more than a cup a day each? Should I switch them to a grain like oats or goat feed instead of the meat goat feed? They try to kill me every time it's time to eat because they're apparently THAT hungry. They aren't skinny.. not too fat either.
    ?
     
  2. helmstead

    helmstead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    My general rule of thumb is to keep feeding them grain until they're done growing. The pellets have the supplemental nutrients for healthy growth. As long as yours are 16-18%, it should be fine. I personally like meat goat feeds and minerals because they TEND to contain more copper. I also like to offer alfalfa pellets, free choice, to growing goats.

    After one year, I would say you could go from the goat feed to alfalfa pellets (to give them the idea they're getting fed) or simply cut way back on the grains.

    Also, make sure, doubly sure, that the minerals you're giving them (loose, of course) contain ammonium chloride. The new school of thought is to offer AC on and off, so they don't become acclimated to it (say 6 weeks on, 4 weeks off). I don't keep wethers - but I do this even for my bucks.
     
  3. Badhbh

    Badhbh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    How much feed or grain do you put out each day?
     
  4. helmstead

    helmstead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    Mind - mine are Nigis and Pygmies...

    Kids to 6 mos get about 1/2 cup twice a day of grain along with free choice alfalfa pellets and hay.

    6 mos to 1 year, increase the grain to 1 cup twice a day, change nothing else.

    If you have full sized goats, I'd at least say double this amount.

    **adjust as needed based on body condition**
     
  5. Badhbh

    Badhbh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    They are pygmy crosses. Not tiny, but pretty small. There's a picture here

    The ones i'm getting are Fainters. I'll go with the cup twice a day. So you're saying that the meat goat ration is a better choice?
     
  6. helmstead

    helmstead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    It depends on what you have available as to what is better. Meat goat feed is formulated for quick gain and growth...so often for breeding or growing goats it's a better choice than your run-of-the-mill "goat feed". The meat goat minerals, I love...but the ones available around me don't include AC - so I have to add it myself.

    Compare labels. Check the calcium to phosphorus ratios (2:1 is ideal) and see what is best in your area. If the feed looks really yellow, it contains WAY to much corn product - aim for a darker pellet.

    I will drop an ad for Purina Noble Goat feeds...great newer product (actually their meat goat feed slightly reformulated [​IMG] ).
     
  7. davidb

    davidb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 15, 2008
    north east Georgia
    a cup a day is fine, goats need more hay or roughage in their diet to keep them healthy, If anything maybe add some BoS in with the feed
     

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