How to Feed A Goat

by Daisy

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Before I get to the feeding part…Guess who gets to keep her goats????

Feeding a goat in your yard requires two things: Fiber and Feed

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).

Feed comes in 50lb bags for about seven bucks. The bag tells you how much to use per goat.

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.


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Bettylou June 16, 2009 at 11:08 pm

I have loved goats for as long as I can remember. They are so smart and have such distinct personalities. When my children were small II always kept a milk goat besides the milk I made cheese. As teenagers they no longer wanted to have goats milk and we moved to townafter a divorce , and for the next 25 years I didn’t have a live goat. My present husband had no desire to own a goat. However since he was a great animal lover I knew he would fall in love with them If I could ever talk him into getting one. The day finally came and we now have four . A grown Nanny “Jen” who has not been bred, but will be this fall. She was a tiny babe when we got hertwo years ago. And now two wethers Tipsy and Topsy twins, and one little doeling who is black and whit spoted, named Speckles. Jen took over the job of mothering them, and acts like a mother hen.If speckles loses sight of her she cries and cries. My husband loves the goats and they love him. We get by with four dogs, four goats and four cats on 2 1/2 acres which we call dreams end.
Warmly Bettylou

and two wethers Tipsy and Topsy

ivorysoap76 June 17, 2009 at 8:52 am

I want more goats!!!! I LUV them. LUV, LUV, LUV, LUV!!!! Glad to meet another goat lover!

azim November 27, 2009 at 7:50 pm

I always love animal especially goats, i recently started out with three Saanen goats and in a soon time i will love to have goats of different sorts. I enjoy visiting this website because it helps me learn more about my goats.

Maven Koesler January 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm

FYI, my goat-mentor says If they’re lactating/milking, add a a half a pound a day of feed per kid in addition to their regular ration for a full sized goat. I run 7 Nubian/LaMancha crosses with a Nubian buck, one Boer/LaMancha doe, and her LaBoer/Nubian whether son. (10 total until spring kidding)

Paula Hiebert October 17, 2011 at 10:31 am

Hello I am new to owning a goat, I have a nubian whether. I got him as a companion for my horse after I got rid of her other horsey friends. I was wondering if you all could help me figure out just how much purina goat chow I should be feeding him and how much grassy alfalfa to give him per day. Or if there is a better less expensive feed to give him. If I had to guess what he weighs I would say about 60 lbs or so at 7 months old. Also what books should I get to learn more about the breed and how to take care of him. Thank you for any help you can give me. Paula Hiebert

Kay August 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I have 2 baby goats about 20 lbs each please tell me what to feed them and how much.

Ivory Soap August 21, 2012 at 5:46 am

WHAT??? how did you get them without instructions. Okay, at 20 lbs, they should be off milk, I think. They just need lots of grass and hay. You *can* give them feed. They love it, but if there’s enough forage available, they don’t need it. I think…..

Kay August 21, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Thank you for your reply. I dont have anything but grass for my babies to eat so I mixed a small amount of goat feed with beet pulp I some out all the time for them is this ok?

Ivory Soap August 22, 2012 at 7:19 am

I don’t know anything about beet pulp. You should probably call your local feed store.

kai January 5, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Check out fiasco farms for all things goat. Wonderful wealth of info there

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