If you are thinking about getting goats or planning to bring home a couple soon, here are eight things that you will want to make sure you have ready for them when they arrive!
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Loose goat minerals
The minerals should say they are for goats and only goats! Minerals that are labeled for sheep and goats both will not have enough copper in them, and you will wind up with copper-deficient goats.
Be sure you get loose minerals, rather than a block or a tub because goats have very soft tongues, and if you live in an area where deficiencies are common, goats may not be able to get enough from a block or a poured tub. Some may give up while others may try to scrape off the minerals with their teeth, which could result in a chipped tooth.
On top of that, most blocks and tubs are mostly salt. The mineral content is often extremely low — so low that they are worthless. For example, Purina loose goat minerals have 50 ppm selenium whereas their block has 1 ppm selenium. That is not a typo! The loose mineral has 50 times as much selenium as the block! I’ve seen far too many people assume the block is better because they see the goats licking it all the time whereas they “never” saw them eat the loose minerals. They don’t realize the reason they are licking the block all the time is because they can’t possibly get enough minerals from it!
What about a protein tub or protein block?
They are a waste of money. A 16% protein goat feed or alfalfa hay are much less expensive sources of protein, and they are much easier for your goats to consume. These tubs and blocks also tend to be low in minerals, so they don’t serve any useful purpose.
Loose minerals are so named because they are loose like salt and pepper rather than solid like a sugar cube. That means you have to put the minerals in something. You can buy a plastic mineral feeder to screw onto the wall from many online sources and farm supply stores. If you only have a couple of goats, just put about a cup of the minerals in there to avoid wasting too much if it gets soiled, and always make sure there are minerals available for the goats free choice. Some will eat more than others, and some will eat more at different times of the year.
Assuming you are bringing home kids, they will probably need goat feed (sometimes just called grain) for at least a few months while they are still growing fast. If you only have a couple of kids, you may only need to buy one 50-pound bag, and by the time they’re done with it, they shouldn’t have any more grain unless you have a problem getting good quality hay. Nigerian dwarfs and pygmies only need about 1/2 cup each per day while standard sized goats need about twice that much. Bucks and wethers should not have grain after about six months of age, and does only need grain at the very end of pregnancy and while in milk. When buying goat feed, check the ingredients and be sure it has at least 35 ppm copper.
The feed pan does not need to be very big. Remember, you are not feeding them very much grain. If you put a pan of grain on the ground, always remove it from the goat pen as soon as the grain is gone. If you leave it in there, the goats will walk through it, and you will have to wash it before every use. The alternative to a feed pan is a fenceline feeder, which is pictured above. It is attached to the wall, and goats are less likely to walk through it, getting the pan dirty, or to butt heads over the feed because they are all facing the same direction. If you use a feed pan, avoid putting it in the middle of the floor because goats may start to butt heads and then knock over the pan, spilling the grain.
The most important thing about hay is that it is green! Bucks, wethers, and dry does are fine with grass hay, but milkers need alfalfa. In some parts of the U.S. milkers eat peanut hay. Towards the end of pregnancy, you can transition the does from grass hay to a mix and then to all alfalfa while they are milking. Hay and alfalfa pellets are also nutritious but you can’t use them to substitute for long-stemmed hay entirely.
You do not want to feed hay on the ground because it will increase the goats’ chances of having problems with internal parasites, and you will wind up wasting a lot of hay because goats are not fond of eating hay off the ground. That means you will need a hay feeder. Beware of hay feeders made for horses as many of them are dangerous for goats. Be sure your hay feeder does not have any “V” shaped bars where kids can hang themselves. Kids like to jump on top of mom’s back, and if they slip off when their head is in the hay feeder, the result can be tragic.
2-gallon water bucket
Goats need 24/7 access to clean water. When we got started, we bought 5-gallon water buckets, but we have transitioned to 2-gallon buckets over the years for several reasons. They are easier to handle, and goats like fresh water, which means you will need to refill them twice a day whether or not they are empty.
If you are young and strong and have more than four or five goats, you might prefer five-gallon buckets. Keep in mind, however, that it is a good idea to have at least two buckets available at all times so that if one bucket gets poop in it, the goats still have access to clean water.
If you live in an area that has freezing temperatures in winter, you might want to get a heated water bucket. Or buy two regular buckets, and take one inside to thaw while the other one is in use.
The only thing goats really need in terms of grooming is hoof trimmers. How often do you need to trim hooves? This can vary tremendously based upon the individual goat, as well as the surface they are walking on. If they are walking on sand or rocks or concrete, they will wear down the hooves a lot more than if they are walking on grass and straw.
Genetics also play a part, so it’s important to keep an eye on hooves and trim them before they start to look like skis. Most of my goats need to have their hooves trimmed about every 3 to 4 months, although a few have needed it monthly. And I know someone who has boer goats who said that some of her goats have needed their hooves trimmed only a few times their whole lives.
Of course, there are a lot more things you can buy for your goats, but this is a good start!
For more information
Equipment and Housing for Goats
7 Things You Need for Milking Goats
Rotational grazing: How do you DO it?
Are your goats getting the nutrients they need?
Test your knowledge of goat nutrition. Take my free quiz and find out how much you know!
51 thoughts on “8 Things Goats Need”
I am so confused about feeding my little dwarf nigerian goats. I have two wethers. Some sites say feed them hay but not alfalfa hay. Some say feed them grain.
I know there is a lot of conflicting information on the Internet, but I have never seen any reputable source say that you should feed grain to wethers on a daily basis. It’s okay for an occasional treat or to bribe them into going somewhere, but it should not be part of their daily diet. Wethers are very “easy keepers” because they’re not breeding animals. They do fine on good quality grass hay when they are not on pasture. During the summer, they don’t need anything extra while on pasture. Alfalfa has too much calcium in it, so could cause zinc deficiency. Grain can cause urinary calculi, which basically means urinary stones, and that can kill them.
I recently saved a sheep from slaughter and she will now be living with my 5 Nigerian dwarf goats. So my problem is minerals for both. The copper issue, can I get minerals good for both and feed foods high in copper to the goats to make up the difference? Or should I use the slow release copper pills for the goats?
Goats absolutely must have a free choice mineral with copper in it. People who give boluses give those in addition to free choice minerals because they have a challenge like sulfur in their well water, which causes the goats to absorb less of the copper in their feed and minerals. Many years ago when we added a sheep to our goat herd, we always let the goats into the barn at night, and that’s where we kept their free choice minerals. The sheep stayed in the pasture 24/7. Ideally you would have another sheep and put them in their own space. When I purchased my first sheep, I quickly learned that the two species do not speak the same language. In subsequent years, when I had the herd of goats and the flock of sheep in a pasture together, the two species ignored each other. Also, do not panic if the sheep gets a few licks of the goat mineral. Copper is NOT toxic to sheep. They need copper in their diet too. However, they don’t need as much as goats, and they can suffer from toxicity at a lower level than goats do. Some breeds of sheep, such as Shetland, actually need quite a bit of copper. I used to put goat minerals in their pasture a couple of times a year when I raised them.
Hi there, I have two Nigerian dwarf goats. They are 7 month old now.. I’m still feeding them goat pellets and hay. No one told me they only get pellets once in a while. So confused… do I just feed my girls hay from now on? What’s the best for them? I don’t plan to breed them for at least another year. Is that a problem?
Help in Texas
Hi, I have a 4 year old Nigerian weather and he gets grain everyday. It does not cause calculi!
It has vitamins, minerals and ammonium chloride to help him keep from getting urinary calculi, which he got when he was younger from overdose of sunflower seeds, too much protein. He gets assorted leaves, branches, vines, garden items in season, air popped popcorn, rolled oats, apples, pears and a few triscuit crackers as a treat. He is healthy and happy.
This is incorrect. It is an accepted fact in veterinary medicine that too much phosphorus in grain causes urinary calculi. It has nothing to do with protein. Sunflower seeds are similar to grain, as all grains are seeds. But if you were feeding him grain, it was the grain that caused the UC, not just the sunflower seeds. He does not need sunflower seeds though because those are only beneficial to does making milk — it increase their butterfat. There is NO reason to feed grain to a wether. I’m sure he is happy to eat it though as goats love grain and will eat enough to make themselves sick, if they manage to break into a bag of feed. He has not had more stones because you are giving him ammonium chloride. If you were not giving him ammonium chloride, he would get stones again.
How much Lucerne a day for 1 alphine female and how much pellets.
Does in milk can have as much alfalfa (lucerne) as they want. If by “pellets” you mean a goat feed that contains grain, she should not have more than about 1 pound per 3 pounds of milk that she is producing. If she is not milking and not pregnant, then she should just have grass hay — no alfalfa or grain. Only pregnant goats need alfalfa, and only does in milk need grain and alfalfa.
Be careful with grain and alfalfa hay with wethers. Too much and they can get Urinary Calculi, stones in there urine. They can block the urinary tract and cause a painful death. If they get it the odds are not good that they will survive, I went through this. READ UP ON THIS!
KJ Longstrom — Assuming your girls are in good body condition and have a good quality hay available, they do not need grain. In fact, if you are not planning to breed them for a year, they will probably get overweight if you continue to feed them grain, and overweight does sometimes have problems getting pregnant. A good quality grass hay should be fine for them until the last couple months of pregnancy when you’d move to at least 50% alfalfa hay. Here is more on feeding during pregnancy.
I raised nigerian dwarf goats for over 10 years and seen a lot of terrible nutritional information passed off as gospel. Some of it is downright dangerous. First HAY varies wildly in nutritional value. from source to source and from cutting to cutting from the same source, and all the different vegetation that constitutes hay. It is absolutely essential AS FIBER and they need lots of it but counting on it to provide nearly complete nutrition is to gamble with the health of your goats. Switching to alfalfa for late stage pregnant and lactating does is a step in the right directions but it still runs the riskof leaving your does mal nourished. When you buy a goat feed formulated FOR GOATS it has a lable and you know what you are feeding. I looked for non medicated and 16% protein and ammonium chloride to prevent urinary calci in my wethers and bucks. A LITTLE grain is good for your goats skin and hair. i fed corn. it is chock a block full of omegas and kept my goats sleek and healthy.. Loose minerals and plenty of fresh water. I supplemented with extra protein and copper boluses as warranted by condition and pregnancy dictated. regular parasite control should be exercised. plus your goats need partial shade and dry draft free shelter. In Texas I just bought used dogloos and placed them in the paddocks added some wood shavings and we were good to go. They would also love platforms and stuff to climb on and lay on top of.
All of these topics are covered more in depth by other articles on this site, but one thing that does need to be clarified here is that corn is high in omega-6, which is not healthy. Omega-3 is the healthy one, and that’s in green plants that are found in the pasture. This is why grassfed beef is higher in omega-3 while grain-fed cattle that gets finished on corn is higher in artery-blocking omega-6. Supplementing goats with corn is just adding extra carbs and fat to their diet with very little protein, and you are increasing the omega-6 of their milk and meat, which is not good for the humans consuming those products.
Excellent, I’m going to pass this on. The only thing I’d add after raising dairy goats for over 40 years is a good goat proof fence.
Oh, yeah! Fencing is another whole big discussion! 🙂
I’m so lost! Im new to goats and my local feed store told me to feed them goat feed, hay and minerals. Ok, but Why do feed stores sell goat feed if you only need to feed your goats a little of it? I went to my local feed store, explained my goats and situation, and apparently everything they told me is bull squabble! HELP ME! I have hay, minerals, goat feed, beet pulp, sweet feed, Chaffey, but each time I look something up and do research, I get completely different answers! My neighbor told me just to “feed em. They’ll be just fine!” Which I know is BS. They have specific needs! I haven’t slept in 3 days because I’m so afraid I’m going to kill my goats!!! I don’t know how to take care of them if every goat site has a different answer!
Sorry this is delayed. I’ve been traveling the past two weeks and some emails slipped through the cracks. First of all, people in feed stores don’t have any education in goat nutrition. They just know what the feed sales people tell them and what customers tell them, which could vary from great to deadly. I’ve heard some really horrible info attributed to feed store employees.
The other thing is that very little research was done on goats prior to 10-15 years ago, so people were doing a lot of things with goats 20 years ago that have since been proven to be a bad idea. But nothing online ever dies, which means that all of that old information is still out there, and people are still repeating it.
You definitely do NOT need to be giving them an all-stock sweet feed, and only does in milk need goat feed. If you’re raising for meat, some people finish on grain, but not all. Beet pulp is just for fattening up animals. It’s pure carbs. Goats do not need Chaffhaye. It’s just fermented hay, which is okay, but it’s definitely not required. Very few people feed it. You didn’t say whether you have pets, meat goats, dairy goats, etc, and the feeding protocol is different for all of them.
Here is my beginner’s guide to help you get started:
I am new at goats but recently moved to a property with a herd of 16 goats. Due to feeding my horses alfalfa, the goats have been getting a lot of alfalfa. The 3 year old Billy and a 1 year old Billy plus all the young does as well. There are also 2 does in their last month of pregnancy. I’ve been reading many of your discussions, questions and answers and I have a few concerns now. These have always been free range goats with basically no extra care and seem to be in good health. However, as I said earlier, now that I’ve moved my horses here they are getting a lot of alfalfa. There’s no way of keeping them out of the horse feeders so I always put extra hay for them. Then there’s the minerals. I recently bought a mineral mineral block and the goats have been tearing into it like there’s no tomorrow. I let them have it a little at a time but the other day I forgot and left it out. So the goats are a lot more. How much is too much for starting out? Even the babies are craving it and Big Billy too. I’m sure the pregnant does really need it right now but can too much at once hurt the momma or the baby. Also, there is a barn for them but I don’t know how or where they’ve kidded in the past. Thank you for your kindness in helping us all.
If they have not had minerals available, they are probably deficient, so it’s normal for them to be consuming a lot for a couple of weeks. A block is really not best for goats because they have small soft tongues. If this is a horse mineral, it may not have what goats need. Loose goat minerals are best for goats. If it’s all stock, it’s probably 80% or more salt, so practically worthless. They may continue to lick the block a lot because they just can’t get enough. You may even start to see tooth marks on it as some get desperate to get more. What’s the name of the mineral you bought?
Wow! I had no idea you replied! LOL So much has happened since then. The mineral block was for goats and it was soft enough for them to break into. I had it in a large tub that caught all the droppings. The owner has since given the herd away and to my knowledge all pregnant does kidded beautiful healthy babies. Except for the first one who kidded outside the barn on a cold night and there were 2 large wet kids dead in the morning and one tiny little girl all dry and curled up. I quickly snatched her up and rubbed her body in my coat until I got a little squeak out of her. Then I put her with her momma in a stall to bond. The baby girls back legs were rubber and she couldn’t stand to nurse so I assisted her in latching on so she could get the colostrum. She worked all day at it until she was finally able to get up, stand and then taking her first steps without falling. This was by late afternoon the first day. The momma seemed ok until the next day to witch she was still having contractions and trying to pass some placenta that looked like a string with blood clots in it. By the 3rd and 4th day she was down and in extreme pain. I wanted to call a vet, in fact I DID but I was honest that it wasn’t my goat so they wouldn’t come out. The owner said no. By the fifth day she died and I began bottle feeding the baby. I knew NOTHING but read everything I could and watched al the videos I could find. Her name is Nea (means “purpose”) and she is now 3 months old. I got to keep her and 2 of her sisters who were approximately 6ish months old. One of them just kidded a tiny baby girl I named Double Diamond. (Due to the 2 black diamonds around her eyes) Diamond for short. She was weak but was doing very well by her 1 week be. The day she died out in the field. I cried SO HARD for her. I don’t know why she died. Now it looks as though the other doe may be pregnant as well. If so, she should kid by the end of this month. I feed them all alfalfa and 1 cup of goat chow split btwn all 3 of them plus treats and sweets and free range green grass in abundance at this time. On rainy days when they won’t go out to eat I may give them some alfalfa pellets with their goat chow. I also have sweet feed ( cracked corn, barley and molasses) which I use more as a treat with their chow some times. (Very little) And lastly I add their loose minerals which they don’t always eat or sometimes the pregnant doe may clean it up.
Sorry for the book but I feel I’ve been through a lot all by myself and am pretty much blaming myself for all of it. Not sure why but I feel I could have saved the momma of Nia and also baby Diamond. It was my stepping in and changing their diets and also my lack of knowledge and experience. Diamond was my fault for negligence and momma and baby wandered off too far. I normally kept a closer eye on them but was distracted. 🙁
Thank you for listening, I know it was too long.
at what age do nigerian dwarf girls need to start on the copper supplement
All goats should have free choice loose GOAT minerals available to them 24/7 (NOT “sheep and goat”). There is no one-size-fits-all dose for additional copper. You need to watch your goats and only give additional copper if they become deficient. Here is more info on copper deficiency:
I am going to be a first time goat owner and cannot wait! I am a little overwhelmed with all the information online. We will be bringing home 2 wethered Nigerian Dwarfs when they are 10 weeks old. Can you please help me understand what I should be feeding them at this age?
I know we will have the minerals and baking soda available, but what about hay? Is Timothy Hay ok? And do they need grain at all?
Congratulations! Yes, timothy hay is great for wethers. They do not need grain, but if you want to buy a bag of it to use for training — a handful at a time, that’s fine. You don’t need to buy a second bag. It should just be a treat. Here is more info on what goats eat —
Hello! I Brought home 3 wethers on Sunday. First time goat owner. They’re 8 weeks old. 2 twin Nigerian and 1 Nubian. Strictly as pets.
They’re eating Orchard Grass, as that’s what they were all eating at their other owner’s prior to coming here. I have GOAT mineral down for free choice. Now here is my question. Both sets of owners told me they feed hay, and rolled oats. I bought a bag of rolled oats and have a little as free choice in one of my feeders. My 2 Nigerians love it. They came with a ziploc bag from their precious owners as well. The Nubian could really care less. Now is this something I should stop at 6 weeks? I bought a mix of oats and corn, 50lbs as hopefully a training tool in addition to the rolled oats. Now is this wrong? Information online like everyone else has said is so misleading. I’m seeing th Nigerian’s mother was eating rolled oats so I’m assuming they will be okay? I’m literally scared to death I’m going to do something wrong and end up on a Facebook Goat page in distress!
Can you point me in the right direction?
Thank you so much ❤️
I should add. They can free range eat all day in our pastures as well! Plenty to graze on!
They don’t need grain, and as wethers, when they get older, consuming grain will put them at risk of urinary calculi (stones), which could kill them. Since they are so young and growing fast, you can use a little grain for training purposes as you mentioned — like a handful at a time.
There is nothing magical about six months, but after that their growth seriously slows down, so they really don’t need grain or alfalfa.
I think a lot of people get confused about what causes urinary stones. Eating grain can cause stones in goats. Whether or not it kills your goat is a matter of how big the stones get and whether they can pass them. Some people think that castrating later will allow the urethra to grow larger and therefor be able to pass larger stones. Unfortunately some people are confused by the instruction to castrate later and think that castration has something to do with a goat getting stones — it does not. It’s not definitively been proven one way or the other that later castration reduces the risks associated with UC, but there are no reasons to castrate before 8 weeks, so most people wait until then just to be on the safe side.
As for the mother eating rolled oats, that’s not a good idea. A doe in milk should have a goat feed, which has 16% protein. Rolled oats do not have anywhere near that much protein, so her body condition or health may suffer as a result — or she just won’t make as much milk as she would if she were getting a better feed. And you don’t have to worry about does getting stones because they have a MUCH larger urethra than bucks or wethers.
I just got 2 Nigerian dwarf wethers. They are working pets. Their job is to eat the brush in their field. I lock them in a barn at night and let them out in the morning. Do I need to provide food for them in the barn while they are locked in there at night? They have water and their mineral block in the barn with them. It is summer here now. I know in the winter they need more calories provided for them when the weather is bad. When the weather is not bad I want them to be eating brush as much as possible, as the nice weather in my area is limited. I feel like they spend a lot of time laying in the barn instead of out eating brush. But when I put the hay down at night for them, they eat like crazy guys. Thank you for any advice you can provide.
Goats spend their days eating until their rumen (first stomach) is full, and then laying down and chewing their cud, which means they burp up the food from their rumen, chew it again, and then swallow it and send it to their second stomach. So they pretty much spend most of their day chewing. They do eat at night also, so you should provide them with some grass hay in the barn, if they are locked up and can’t go outside.
If my goats aren’t able to forage and are just on grass pasture, do I have to feed them hay or anything special?
Yes, it’s a good idea to have hay available for them in the barn. Here is more information on what goats eat:
Thanks for the tip to buy a goat feed that has at least 35 ppm copper. My dad wants to raise goats and he asked me to help him out with it. I’ll go find a livestock feed store near us and get some quality food for his goats.
I am looking to buy goats and I do not live on a farm and don’t have the biggest back yard to store huge amounts of hay. I want to buy 2 Nigerian dwarf goats. I need a place to buy hay, but in small amounts. Does anyone know a good place? I live in Seattle Washington, so a place that runs throughout the country or can deliver. Also which kind of hay should I buy if they are both males and around 2 years old.
I should also add that they will be pets
If you want pets, they should be castrated, so you are looking for wethers. A reputable breeder will castrate them before selling them to you. Wethers should have grass hay, free choice loose minerals made specifically for goats ONLY (not sheep and goats), and plenty of clean water changed daily or sooner if a goat poops in it. Be sure the hay is clean, not dusty or moldy, which could make the goats sick.
I’d suggest searching online for “buying hay in Seattle.”
That you so much that is very helpful. Just a few more questions. Can I feed them alfalfa hay? Also how much minerals per day? Again, thank you so much for your help.
Only milkers and pregnant does need alfalfa. Here is more info on what goats eat —
Loose GOAT minerals should be available free choice — NOT a block, and NOT a “sheep and goat” mineral because it doesn’t have enough copper for goats, which can cause infertility. Here is more info on goat minerals:
Hi! Can I come sit with you and just absorb your knowledge? Thanks! This is by far the least confusing information I’ve found on this and I’m thankful you explain why other information may have been wrong. I’ve felt intimidated by feeding my goats properly and I feel more confident now. I’m sure browsing through your site will answer any questions I have. Thank you!
I’m so glad to hear you’re finding my info helpful! Thanks for the feedback!
I have two 2 year old wethers. I am feeding them good quality first cutting hay during this winter. I feed them twice a day. How many flakes should they be getting each feeding? Thanks!
The hay should be grass — NOT alfalfa — because wethers are very easy keepers. They do not need the high calcium that is in alfalfa, and it can wind up causing zinc deficiency because calcium binds with the zinc and makes it unavailable. So, assuming you are feeding a good GRASS hay to your wethers, they can have as much as they want. Ruminants need to be eating almost constantly, so they either need to be on pasture or have hay available most of the day.
I need some help. I have two almost 9 wk old ND bucks. After reading this I realize I have been feeding them too much grain pellets. This has been for five days. What can I do to prevent UC? I have removed the overage of grain pellets and they have always had hay available 24/7. This was the 1st article I have found that gave me a definite amount. Most just say “not too much”, but I didn’t know what “too much was”. I’m worried now. They are playing and acting fine. They are peeing and pooping fine.
This article is absolutely amazing for answering so many of my questions! You hold so much knowledge its unbelievable! I’m a first time goat owner as well, with 3 pet wethers, 2 pygmies and 1 nigerian dwarf.
I just bought a ton of beautiful (and expensive) second cut hay for the boys over the winter because I heard that second cut is best for goats, but now I’m stressing because I’ve read above that they shouldn’t have alfalfa gahhh!
They have pasture to graze until we get our snowstorms, but once the snow hits I have this second cut hay – hoping it’ll be okay to feed them despite the comments above!
How many flakes per day do you recommend if its second cut hay? Thank you in advance!
You did not actually say it is alfalfa, but I assume that’s what it is because you sound worried. Second cut grass hay would be fine. If these are kids, they can utilize the extra calcium and protein of alfalfa when they are still growing fast, which is usually for the first 6-9 months, so alfalfa could be okay. It run into a problem when you are giving them this high protein, high calcium feed and they are not growing, so they don’t need much of those nutrients. Here is more on what goats eat …
and here is more info on the difference between alfalfa and grass hay …
If I can’t get enough grass hay for our bucks in the winter, I supplement them with grass hay pellets, so that is another option.
Watch out for any advice that says x, y, or z is “best” for goats. The answer is almost always “it depends.” Wethers do not have the same needs as a doe that is pregnant or lactating, and young goats have different needs than mature goats. And your goats will have different challenges depending on whether you live in Arizona or Georgia or North Dakota.
I love reading the articles and comments on this site. Very useful information. So I have 3 dry does around 6 months old. They are rotational grazing on an overgrown pasture with plenty of browse like tulip poplar seedlings, goldenrod, assorted tall grasses, etc. I have been giving them 1.5 pounds of Purina Goat Chow Goat Feed per day each at the recommendation of the farmers who we got the goats from, but from what I’m reading on your posts, it sounds like I shouldn’t be feeding them grain anymore? Purina maintains that feeding my goats the Goat Chow helps them maintain a balanced diet, but I don’t want to waste my money on Goat Chow if it’s not needed. This winter I will be feeding them round bales of hay that my neighbor cuts and bales out of our fields. A lot of the same stuff – assorted grasses and weeds with not much clover or alfalfa. Would you recommend feeding them grain in the winter when they are not getting to browse? Any feedback would be much appreciated!
The short answer to just about everything goat related is … it depends! Since the does are growing fast still, the grain is okay. However, if you are not planning to breed them soon, then you need to wean them off of it because dry adult does can easily get overweight even when eating nothing but “salad.” Here is a post on what goats eat that gives you more details … https://thriftyhomesteader.com/what-do-goats-eat-it-depends/
Hello dear, am Martha from Nigeria, am new to raising goats, (for commercial purpose ) and I bought a matured male goat from Northern Nigeria, still expecting the ewe. But the problem is the goat is sick of cattarh and cough and is not eating well. What do I do?
I have two, 3 year old male banded Nigerian dwarf goats. Each weighs approximately 80 lbs. Beautiful and very healthy. I’m Interested in supplementing daily feeding with Timothy Hay pellets in place of compressed Timothy hay. They waste so much. Do not like tougher stems of hay. How much per day of pellets would you recommend? Of their compressed hay , they each currently eat 3/4 of a flake a day .
You can’t completely replace long-stemmed forage with hay pellets. If the boys are on pasture and the hay pellets are just a supplement, that’s fine. Hay pellets are hay, so they can have as much as they want. Goats need long-stemmed forage because they need to chew to create bicarbonate. Hay pellets are pulverized, so they don’t require much chewing. If you completely replace the hay and forage with pellets, then you would need to have baking soda available free choice. Here is more information on that:
I moved in with my boyfriend who has feeding his goats (pets, 1 nubian & 1 pygmy, 12 & 8 years old) only alfalfa. If we suddenly introduce loose minerals, will it make them sick?
No, it will not.