What do you feed your goats?


12 Years
Aug 2, 2007
Central CA
We have five pygmy goats, just for pets, that we bought two weeks ago. We are feeding them about 8 cups of alfalfa pellets and a small flake of alfalfa hay every evening, plus some iceplant and they have pasture (mostly lawn grass, which they do not eat) all the time. We also feed about 4 cups of rolled corn by hand, mostly becuase it is fun and they are still getting used to us. Does this seem about right? We have minerals out that the lady we bought the goats from gave us and actually set up in our pen(!) for us.
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12 Years
Sep 11, 2007
I feed Purina Show Goat pellets (1cup per goat a day) and all the GRASS hay they want. I don't feed alfafa hay, it can cause bloat if they eat to much.
I wouldn't feed the corn. Grains can sit in their stomach and cause bloat too. That is why we have to vaccinate for over eatting disease. If you haven't vaccinated for that and tetnus, you will need to soon. You only have to do that one time a year.


12 Years
Mar 21, 2007
Sonoma County, California
First, congrats on your five new pygmies!

Second, if any of them are male (bucks or wethers) you should ease up on the alfalfa -it is too rich in calcium and can lead to kidney stones (and problems with their urethra). Feed a good-quality grass hay, such as Timothy or Orchard. Of course, I don't actually have goats yet (ten more days!), but I go by what the book says until I have a local goatherd tell me otherwise. Your area may be very rich -or lacking- in minerals and you may need to adjust feed amendments accordingly.

Third, where's the pics?!


12 Years
Mar 28, 2007
all i ever fed my goats was 1 coffee can of corn every other day when they had brush an grass to eat.an a can a day when grass was short.


12 Years
Mar 12, 2007
Alfordsville, IN
Congrats on your goats!

IMO You should put them on a pelleted goat feed that contains two things - Decoxx or similar for cocci and AC (ammonium chloride) - the latter primarily important to males both intact and wethered.

Actually - alfalfa hay is the perfect feed for goats, especially bucks and wethers. It's phosphorus to calcium ratio is just right. Just don't allow your boys (if you have any) to get overweight with it. Mine get grass hay and alfalfa pellets as needed.

To all of you feeding corn - PLEASE STOP. Corn is junk food and can lead to a HOST of problems in goats. There are so many HEALTHY treats goats love, please find a new one.

I second Pinenot regarding the vaccinations. One change to her advice is that if your goat's vaccination past is unknown, you will have to give TWO doses to provide good immunity - spaced 14 days apart.

Good luck. You'll probably get a million different answers on this one.


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jan 26, 2007
BC, Washington Border
Too much corn and grain are the very reasons people end up feeding baking soda to goats all the time. The two above ingredients are fed to goats in quantity, in order to enhance milk production and really serve no other real world purpose.

This is the same as the cow dairy business. Remove bulk graining from the diet and the cow lives longer, produces for more years, but does not produce the daily quantity of milk. Interesting thing to note for any with dairy animals, is the more grain you feed the higher your risk of E.coli and mastitis. Coliforme counts drop by 75% on average when a grain fed dairy animal is pastured.

Just a few things to consider when setting up a feeding regime.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 3, 2008
Licking Missouri
Why can't you feed corn to a goat? Thats all I feed mine and all the hay they want and it doesn't seem to hurt them at all. I just feed maybe a handful a day. I ask them at the feed store and thats what they told me to feed them.


11 Years
Mar 14, 2008
I have raised boar and pgmy goats for many years. Be careful with the amount of corn your feeding. I feed my goats a little bit of corn in the dead of winter when its really cold. but thats it. Not too much alfalfa. but all the grass hay they want. i wouldnt reccomend a show ration for them, this is really high in protien and its really good feed, but somtimes too much for them.. most "show" rations are only fed to the goat for a year then its shown and butchered. (i dont butcher any of mine). I feed my goats all grain plus at tractor supply. its def not the cheapest but its not the most expensive either.

they love the textures and the slight taste of maple. i dont feed my goats much sweet feed because of the risk of urinary calculi. read up on that if you can.

goats are ruminants as u know, and hind gut ferminters. make sure they have access of some sort of rouphage as much as possible. make sure they are chewing their cud. also, there rumen is located on the left side of there "stomache". you can look at make sure it is full and not sunk in. (the right side is okay if its sunk in a bit, as long as the left side is full and moving.)

keep mineral or salt block out for full choice access. goats really need the salt in their diets.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
I found a vet that is very knowledgable on small ruminants (he worked in research with goats, sheep and small camelids before he went to vet school, and now they are a specialty of his). He told me to feed my LaMancha kids (one doeling and the other now a wether) free-choice grass hay and whatever browse they can find. He added that I could feed a handfull of alfalfa and goat grain mix if I felt compelled (which I do, it feels wrong to feed babies only grass hay and sticks here in the desert!). He said that they really don't need anything else (other than minerals and some free-choice baking soda just in case they need it), it just tends to make them too fat - unless they are a high-producing dairy doe. At his clinic he sees a fair number of pygmies, and he commented about seeing too many of them obese on alfalfa. Just passing along what my vet told me in case you might get some use from it

If you have a good goat vet, I'd ask them for advice, since they can evaluate your pygmies in person. At the very least, most are very nice about giving you advice over the phone. If you don't know of one, and you have a equine vet (or if you have friends with horses whose vet you could contact), they might know of a goat specialist. I found my goat vet by asking my equine vet who she'd suggest.

PS My goats LOVE oranges. I have an orange tree, so I share an orange between myself, my horse and my goats just about every day since they are ripe now. The goats adore the peel - I even use it as a training reward. It's great for bonding!

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