Before I get to the feeding part…Guess who gets to keep her goats????
1) FIBER–always available, never let them run out.
Keep lots of hay (~$6 a bale, lasts long time) around to make sure they get enough fiber. However, if you ask the goat, the preferred FIBER is FORAGE.
Stripping leaves of of branches and shrubs is their FAVORITE THING EVER. So make sure that everything in their pen is something you can part with. No matter how much hay you have around, they’ll still eat your roses.
Your hay needs to be covered and up off the ground. And it’s COMPACTED when you get it, but the second you cut the strings to grab a chunk, it GROWS into a fluffy mountain of dry grass. I stuffed 3/4 of a bale into my giant toy trunk in the garage and it’s BARELY contained.
2) FEED–once or twice a day, if there’s no grass and stuff–every other day if there is….
Goats in the woods eat forage all day long. But, those that live in a pen, don’t have that option, so we humans have invented feed. It’s a concentrated source of calories–grain (not their natural food).
My plain feed bag says to feed 1 pound morning and night for every hundred pound of goat. So once my goats get full size next year (50 lbs each), a bag of plain feed alone would make it about 25 days in the winter.
My sweet feed bag says to use .25 to .5 pounds of feed morning and night per hundred pounds. A sweet feed bag could last for AGES.
I mix them, but my farmer-expert-friend uses exclusively dairy cow sweet feed, since it doesn’t have chemicals.
Feed can be quite an expense for a farmer, but for us suburban pet owners it’s beans compared to the Pomeranian.
If you want, however, you can get fancy-pants Purina Goat Chow. They have dairy goat, meat goat, baby goat, and SHOW goat versions. Puh-lease. Tell me goats aren’t aren’t pets. Whatever.