What To Feed Goats - Critical Tips For Beginners

Published: 08th June 2012
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When deciding on what to feed goats settle on what your goat or herd likes best. When raising goats, feed is the requirement with the highest cost. It is very important to feed goats properly. The type of feed and feeding procedure affect dairy production, reproduction of goats and growth of young goats. The critical periods for doe nutrition are late lactation and late gestation. Goats that are sickly, fail to receive enough nutrition. Proper care is not given to goats that are incapable of meeting their required function.

Here are the basics on what to feed goats. Goats must be fed with around 14 to 16 percent protein grain mix. Consider feeding your herds from a hanging hayrack or use a feeder. This procedure will prevent goats from messing the hay. Goats must be provided with adequate amount of hay. The feeder to be provided to goats must be sufficient for them so they don't soil their feed. Consider giving them a mineral block or mineral mix. Most beginners in goat farming, aside from asking what to feed goats, also ask how often goats should be fed. Goats must be fed once or twice a day. Also consider plotting a schedule on when to feed the goats depending on their purpose. For instance, in the case of a milking doe that is being milked twice, it has to be fed twice as well. Otherwise, your milking doe cannot provide enough milk if it is not properly nourished. The farm owner's knowledge on what to feed goats is evident in the health condition of the goat. Check your goat's hair, eyes and growth for indications if the feed being provided matches their needs.

What to feed goats doesn't only involve the type and amount of grass, hay or grain mix. Goats need enough fluids in their body. They need adequate amounts of water, protein, vitamins and energy. Among all of the other nutrient requirements they need, protein is the most expensive. Health problems may result in animals receiving improperly balanced vitamins and minerals. Make sure that animals are receiving right water supply to prevent them from acquiring various illnesses.

Though water is the easiest and cheapest to provide to goats, this is also the most neglected. Remember that a mature goat consumes to 1 gallons of water daily. The cheapest source of nutrients for goats is pasture. In its vegetative condition, pasture is high in protein and energy. Yet, the quality of plants decline when they age. Rotation of pasture plants is important in maintaining them in good vegetative shape. The first source of nutrients for goats especially during winter months is hay. Ample supply of hay is not an assurance of adequate nourishment, however, due to varying nutritional content of hay.

What to feed goats? Feed them food that contains vitamins and minerals especially phosphorus, calcium and salt. Vitamins may be given in small amounts. To ensure adequate absorption of nutrients, it is advisable to consider grains in the list of what to feed goats. To sum up, feeding program for goats must involve the following factors: adequate feed supply, balanced nutritional content, animal requirement and reasonable cost.


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Goat meat production is the fastest growing segment of U.S. agriculture. Raising goats for meat can be simple and easy if based on those who have done it. If you are looking for more tips on goat keeping and want to avoid the common painful mistakes made by novice and experienced farmers too, go to: raisingmeatgoats.com

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