What do you feed your goats?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by tvtaber, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

    1,616
    12
    194
    Feb 8, 2007
    Colorado
    My goats get grass hay twice a day and then they get (I think, hubby feeds them) a can of sweet feed once per day. They also have a mineral block to lick on.
     
  2. EmmyGirl

    EmmyGirl Out Of The Brooder

    84
    0
    29
    Aug 2, 2008
    Skippack, PA
    We feed our two Boer/Nigi and Nigi a scoop of Purina Goat Chow twice a day with as much timothy as they want (although they usually end up eating their straw bedding and pooping on the hay), a handful or two of oiled black sunflower seeds and a mineral lick. Our feed store was just out of Goat Chow so they're now eating Show Goat and hating it! Too healthy and not all that sweet stuff--I think I'll try to jazz it up a bit and see if they'll eat it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
  3. Love my Critters!

    Love my Critters! Chillin' With My Peeps

    820
    3
    151
    Apr 15, 2008
    Carlsbad, NM
    My 2 nigi girls eat 1/2 of a coffee can of Purina Red Tag Goat food twice a day. They have full access to grass hay, although sometimes we can not find any and have to use alfalfa, and mineral/salt licks for when they want. I think mine are probably a little over weight [​IMG] but they are very shiny and seem to feel great!
     
  4. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,999
    661
    301
    Mar 19, 2009
    If corn is junk food for goats, I know a whole lot of commercial dairies that are in big trouble!! Corn and barley are the two grains with the highest energy and that is what you feed if you want good production. The only hay I ever fed my bucks was alfalfa and I NEVER, in the 40 years I raised them ever had urinary calculi. That said, if I had pygmies, I would feed them a good quality grass hay if I could get it, some alfalfa pellets, and a very small amount of grain, mainly for treats. Otherwise they will get too fat. Also have a salt block available. Get shots for tetanus and entero, too. BTW, even goats that are not fed any grain at all can still get entero.
     
  5. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

    4,639
    29
    256
    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Commercial dairies have cows in them, don't they?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
  6. mekasmom

    mekasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    538
    0
    139
    Dec 9, 2008
    There is a reason we have "high frutose corn syrup" in this nation. Corn converts to sugar at a very high (glycemic) level in the digestive tract. That's why it is so "high energy". It is a very cheap, high calorie food.

    In ruminants too much sugar makes them more prone to bloat. That is why other feed grains are better. The goats love corn because of that sugar conversion. But it does make them more prone to bloat. And that high glycemic (sugar) load is why people call it junk--like we call cereal junk food for human kids. Corn isn't the best choice, but it is the highest glycemic grain available. And goats LOVE it.

    I just lost a goat to bloat a few weeks ago. And it was because of too much alfalfa and corn. I knew better, but goats love sweet things just like human kids love them. She was vaccinated against overeating, but she still bloated. I should have been more careful, but I just liked giving her treats.

    I try to feed exclusively grass hay now rather than alfalfa, and a lower glycemic grain or goat food. I even feed them alfalfa (rabbit) pellets with a little goat feed to cut down a bit on the grain.

    If your goat bloats (not just colic, but true bloat) from too much sugar (high glycemic grain diet), it is almost impossible to overcome. Colic is easier to deal with, but true bloat usually kills them. All the baking soda in the world doesn't fix a true bloat where the goat is down. It's just too late then.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  7. scubacoz

    scubacoz Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Jan 11, 2007
    Texas hillcountry
    Do not feed a lot of alfalfa! They live it but it can kill your goats. I just bought a bunch go gates from Colorado nd had them delivered. The man I got yhem from had a lot of alfalfa hay in the trailer for them to eat on the 22 hr trip from Colorado to Texas. I had 5 of them die on me within the first few days. Their rumen shut down and the vet said too much alfalfa y coud kill them. She instructed me to give them only costal hay and that is what they have been eating and everyone is doing well.they shous have a salt block and a mineral block at all times plus baking soda available at all times. I now give them a small amt of alfalfa hay with the costal hay. They get some of their pellets when I milk them!
     
  8. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,999
    661
    301
    Mar 19, 2009
    If a high producing cow does not get the grain she needs she will draw on her own body stores of fat and get ketosis. If this isn't corrected promplty you won't have to worry about her much longer because she will be dead.
     
  9. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,999
    661
    301
    Mar 19, 2009
    Chances are your goats had enterotoxemia brought on by the stress of the trip. The alfalfa didn't cause it but it probably didn't help. Where I come from, California, dairy goats are fed a diet almost exclusively of alfalfa. They may get a little oat or Sudan hay once in a while, but their diet is grain and alfalfa. All goats should be vaccinated for entertoxemia with clostridium perfingens toxoid, and goatkeepers should keep entertoxemia antitoxin on hand. Entertoxemia is called overeating disese, but overeating may or may not be the cause of a particular case. Entero strikes without warning and is a true emergency. Oddly enough, a lot of vets don't recognize it.
     
  10. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,999
    661
    301
    Mar 19, 2009
    Bloat can be treated effectively if you catch it in time. Bloat can be caused by entertoxemia and the two often go together. To be safe, treat for both. When confronted by a blaoting goat, give Gas X. Works a lot better than the conventional treatments. It's cheap, it's safe, you get it at the grocery or drug store, and no goat owner should ever be without it. The goat will deflate promptly. To treat entero, in addition to the Gas X, give a shot of antitoxin under the skin, and another dose orally. You can do this by drawing the dose up in a syringe, removing the needle, and then squirting it down the throat. Give a shot of penicillin both under the skin and squirt another dose down the mouth. Clostridium perfingens, the bacteria that causes entero, is susceptible to penicillin. If the goat is not better in 20 minutes, repeat. If the goat is suffering from grain overload, such as what happens if it gets into the grain, it's a whole different story. If you catch them in the act, lock them up WITHOUT ACCESS TO WATER for a few hours. Treat for entero and give plenty of dry hay. Without water, the excess grain cannot form the lactic acid which is the killer. If they have gotten into the grain and you don't find them until after they have tanked up on water it is a whole new ballgame. Call the vet. This animal is going to need vast quantities of antiacids and maybe some activated charcoal. If you have any questions PM me. I used to have a commercial goat dairy and I have owned a lot of goats over the years. Also had the advice of some savvy goatbreeders and some very good vets.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by