What Do Goats Eat?

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed Veterinarian. Everyone is going to feed there goats something different. It all depends on your goats and where you live. 

Welcome to this month’s blog post. In the last couple of weeks, I have been working on my youtube channel. I posted a video on “What do goats eat?”.  Well, I decided to make a post to go with it. This is a little more detailed than the video, but the video is great too.  I haven’t posted a blog in a really really long time. I am going to try my best to post one blog every month on the tenth. 

Did you know that hay, pasture, and forage make up 90% to 100% of there diet? There are three different types of hay. There are grass, legume, and grains. But we will dive into that in a different blog. Alfalfa has the highest protein and it is legume hay. I love chaffhay because it is high in protein and it is fermented with molasses. Which makes it sweet. They eat all of it. They don’t leave the stems. Bermuda is just well-rounded grass hay. I like to feed this type of hay to all of my goats, but I like to feed this hay to my Wether and Buck especially. Because it has a good balance of phosphorus and calcium. Oat hay is sweet so it would be good for lactating goats, but oat hay is low in protein. You may have to feed something higher in protein. If you are copper or zinc deficient timothy hay is a good choice, because it has a lot of copper and zinc. If you need some fiber in your goat’s diet orchard grass hay is full of fiber, but it is also low in protein. If you have pasture than your goat will love it and will help keep your feed bill down. If you don’t have a pasture, but you have land full of trees and bushes your goats will love you even more. Just make sure there are no poisonous plants that your goat can reach. If you have anything you don’t want them to eat then you better fence it off. It will be the first thing they will eat.

They is a lot of opinions on if goats need grain. I believe goats don’t need grain as a staple in their diet. I only feed grain to milking does and does later in pregnancy. I also feed grain to any goat that is underweight. I know that you have your own opinions and that is fine. If you do decide to feed grain I hope you will make sure it is non-GMO and organic. Here are some benefits to feeding grain. If you need to get some more weight on one of your goat’s grain has a lot of proteins and fats.  It helps give pregnant goats a boost of energy and helps the growth of the babies. It helps boost milk production and keeps them at a healthy weight.  Now here are some cons of feeding grains. If you feed your goat to many grains then they can bloat. Bloat can be deadly. If you feed to much grain to bucks they can get bladder stones. It isn’t natural for them to get grains. It is harder for them to process the grains. There are different types of grains there is whole, pelleted, rolled, and texturized. That is a whole different topic.

Goats need a lot of copper, but they usually don’t get enough.  If you notice your goat coat color-changing or if your goat hair is split at the tips of there tail. These are just a few of the many signs that your goat is copper deficient. If your water has high calcium, sulfur, or iron the copper they are getting is not getting absorbed. The other minerals are blocking the copper and it is not digestible. Also, molybdenum can block copper absorption. Molybdenum is in alfalfa hay. Make sure you are not feeding to much alfalfa. I feed free-choice loose minerals. Make sure you are getting loose minerals and not blocks. Goats don’t have a hard tongue. I do feed Replamine Plus Gel weekly, as a supplement because we do have a lot of calcium in our water here. I also feed natural dewormer when and only when they need it. I also have a commercial dewormer on hand. Just check your goat’s eye color weekly and when they get a little litter color give them some dewormer. If they don’t need it then why give it to them. Also copper and other minerals help keep worms away. That is another reason I give Replamine Plus Gel.

I hope you like this month’s blog. Make sure you go and check out the Youtube video that goes with it. I hope your goats and you are having an amazing day.