We feed our goats mostly local grass hay. Alfalfa is about the only hay with enough protein to meet the needs of a lactating doe. There is no single perfect forage or hay for goats. As long as it is digestible, a wide variety of plants and hays will be consumed. Producers insistant on feeding large quantities of grain must provide a loose mineral containing a 2:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus on a free-choice basis.The key is that ample protein, hay, forage, and minerals must be fed to goats in a BALANCED ratio. Below you will find a FREE Hay Cost Calculator for Goats. We do not milk our goats. All information and photos copyright © Onion Creek Ranch and may not be used without express written permission of Onion Creek Ranch. An added benefit will be reduced expenses and more money in your pocket. Once ewes lamb and begin to lactate, they should receive 5 pounds of good quality hay and 2 pounds of 15 percent crude protein grain mix a day. Using alfalfa as a primary roughage should keep the protein level up. They pick at the hay and look wistfully over the fence Hay quality and the nutritional needs of your goats (i.e. Health. She really needs a goat friend for multiple reasons, ... (they stay out side with shelter all summer and fall) ... Because our goats are grass feed should we ever give goat feed in the winter or just supplement with extra bought hay. Most goats do prefer alfalfa pellets over hay, but typically still do like the hay. Milking, breeding and growing stock need a daily portion of legume hay, such as alfalfa. Suzanne Gasparotto is not a veterinarian.Neither tennesseemeatgoats.com nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein. How frequently you need to muck your barn depends on the size of the area and how many goats you have. You can put it out a few times a day or feed round bales. Grains. They need a salt/mineral block too. They need the roughage. Goat Feed – What to feed and How much to feed A) Feeding different age groups of Does (Female Goats) 1. Learn to adapt your feeding program to fit the locale where you are raising goats and the particular breed which you are raising. Especially if they are not foragers. I fill the hay feeders another time and they can enjoy a little more protein to keep them warm through the extremes. Goat are very selective, "picky" eaters, choosing only those hays and forages which will give them the nutrients they need. If the availability of pasture is good no need to supplement with concentrate mixture . All information and photos copyright © Onion Creek Ranch and may not be used without express written permission of Onion Creek Ranch. Hay is the main source of nutrients for goats in non-grazing seasons, or all the time if they dont have access to browse. Access to adequate amounts of browse and weeds ("forbs") is complicated by the fact that most are annuals, which grow from seed each year, live for a short time, flower, and die. All artwork and graphics © DTP, Ink and Onion Creek Ranch. . Goats need high-quality hay if that will be a primary feed source for them in winter. Goats need hay. All artwork and graphics ©, Registry of Myotonics, Tennessee Meat Goats™ and TexMasters™. These contain copper -- which goats need, but which is harmful to … Goats require additional hay, which is roughage, for their rumen to function properly. All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers. laminitis . Some people associate alfalfa hay with urinary calculi in bucks. They are unlocked at experience level 32. a lactating doe vs. a mature buck, etc.) Goats need the long fiber in hay for their rumens to work properly. In the summer … Even if there is plenty of brush, they will still need a little alfalfa or oat hay as a supplement, particularly in the winter. That means you will need a hay feeder. cavort around in joy. This will help you make a plan and to know how much hay to buy per year for your herd. So, we spend the summer baling up hay to feed our horses, cows, and goats all winter. A mentor can help a lot while you learn to do basic health maintenance for … If you will be feeding hay to your goats, then you need to know how much you will need … But by working with nature, you can raise happy, healthy dairy goats. Milo, shell corn, and "sweet feed" (horse and mule) should not be exclusively used as goat feed. They are the sixth and most expensive type of farm animal unlocked in the game. -- mary (marylgarcia@aol.com), February 01, 2002. A perfect diet for goats includes browse, forage, and grazing grasses, along with the necessary minerals designed for your area . Ammonium chloride should always be added to feed to guard against urinary calculi. Make sure they have access to fresh water, minerals, and supplements. Water that is high in calcium and magnesium salts may also increase the probability of urinary calculi. • Home Page • Email Us • SALE BARN • Present and Future • GoatCamp™ • Myotonic Goats • Tennessee Meat Goats™ • TexMaster™ Goats • Which breed is right for you? hay. If fiber levels are high, digestibility will be low , even if the protein level is high. Goat Starter Setup List What you need to have for your goats and some hints in our experience: - To keep things efficient and your goats happy & healthy- 1) Good Fencing, Pasture Free ranging for goats is ideal and your goats should like to stay around you and your place, since they appreciate a save home base and you as … As long as it is digestible, a wide variety of plants and hays will be consumed. Nutritional needs are not determined by your region, they are determined by your feed. A 70-pound bale of alfalfa will feed 50 adult goats. And if I do need to give goats more due to extreme temperatures, I supplement in minerals and hay. THE ARTICLE MUST BE REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY AND THE AUTHOR'S NAME, ADDRESS, AND CONTACT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE REPRINT. They do not need to eat celery or carrots. 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. Now that we are living further north, we are spending a lot more on (A copy of the newsletter or publication would also be a welcome addition to our growing library of goat related information! DETERMINING HAY AND FORAGE TO FEED TO YOUR GOATS. [Ranch History] [The Present & Future] [Meat Goat Mania][Registry of Myotonics, Tennessee Meat Goats™ and TexMasters™] [News & Events] [Health and Management Articles] [Links] [ChevonTalk Discussion List] [E-Mail] [Home]. Some people choose to not feed hay during the summer months while their goats are on summer pasture, but at Goat Milk Stuff, our goats get free-choice hay year-round because I want the dry material in their … Here again, it is easy to over-graze and lose this nutritional resource. Inadequate intake of water, along with overfeeding of grain, particularly regarding male goats, are the likely culprits in causing urinary calculi. Would they still need hay all year round? They need hay- it does not have to be the best hay. . ADF is a laboratory analysis that measures the cellulose and lignin levels in plants, and lignin is not digestible, so an acid detergent fiber measure that is low - below 35% - is preferable for goats. . What a funny, heart warming sight they are. If you have a pasture, then you’ll only need to give them hay during the times of the year when they can’t graze. Housing for Pet Pygmy Goats It’s important to consider the size of the goat when you start thinking about housing and fencing needs. Since they are not eating it, make sure the hay is not moldy or has any unwanted chemicals … Alfalfa is very high in protein relative to other hays. Their growing season is longer than browse or forbs. Goats are farm animals that produce goat milk. Goats don't generally do well on Klein Grass hay, but they thrive on peanut hay and alfalfa. They need the roughage to keep their rumens functioning properly. Winter browse and pastures should be supplemented with hay. Dairy goats need a year-round supply of roughage, such as pasture, browse or well-cured hay. To prevent wool picking and other problems, ewes should receive a minimum of 1.5 lbs of hay per day and one pound of corn can be substituted for 2 pounds of hay. Grass hay provides a moderate amount of protein and energy for the goat diet. It is very important that you are feeding your goats good quality, mold-free, nutrition-packed hay. While alfalfa is high in its calcium to phosphorus ratio (from 3:1 to 5:1), this should not prove troublesome; a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of at least 2:1 is desirable. This provides extra heat for the goats from the composting bedding under the fresh layer. The goat's total diet should be 14-16% protein. 11. Response to should i feed goats hay in the summer? They will get diarrhea (scours) and probably die. • Health & Management ArticlesChevonTalk Discussion Group • Links • Registration • Meat Goat Mania •. You should have a rough idea of how much your herd consumes through the summer months, then add about a third to that count. DETERMINING HAY AND FORAGE TO FEED TO YOUR GOATS. During droughts, there won't be enough rain to germinate the seeds, thereby reducing or eliminating this source of nutrition for goats. Indeed, over-grazing can occur and actually cause them to disappear. Short an animal on protein and milk production declines, regardless of energy intake. They also expend more energy trying to keep warm. Maybe it is Just because your neighbor’s goats need supplementation does not mean yours do, unless you are feeding the same hay and have goats … Then I get tem used to the hay so it won't be such a shock to them. While it is fine to feed hay free choice to your goats, grains are a different story. Grass hays with low ADF must be cut early, while the leaves are immature and the stems are very small. Nutrient and mineral requirements vary from location to location. Forbs that grow back each year and live for many years are called perennials. Goats eat more hay in the winter because they don’t have access to pasture. Rapid increases in nutritional intake can also cause another serious problem . . Supplement with a grain mix of at least 16% protein when does are pregnant or are nursing kids and when climatic conditions are stressed. Feeding Does. . Goats love forage and especially tree leaves. Hay must always be fresh, clean, and dry. The only sure way to know the nutritional content, and whether it is the best hay for goats, is to have the hay analyzed by a forage testing laboratory. TENNESSEE MEAT GOAT ™ and TEXMASTER™ are Trademarks of Onion Creek Ranch . The Shelter. If you don’t hay your own field, then you will need to source your hay. Maintaining year-around grazing with annuals is not likely to occur in most climates. For example, some areas are deficient in particular minerals. In the winter, if you live in a cold area, you can allow the muck to build up and add new bedding to the top. Roughage will be the primary source of nutrition for your goats. However, the producer must carefully and slowly increase the protein intake of a pregnant doe, gradually adding appropriate feed to her diet as her pregnancy progresses. The higher the fiber content, the lower the digestibility (even if the … a little alfalfa goes a long way. It depends on how many goats you have, the kind of grain you are feeding, and the quality of the pasture. Not grain because too much grain will cause some goats to founder. There is no single perfect forage or hay for goats. Goat are very selective, "picky" eaters, choosing only those hays and forages which will give them the nutrients they need. Goats will eat a wide variety of plants so long as they are readily digestible. When I let them out onto it, even the big, huge Providing goats with a combination of alfalfa and grass hays along with the proper grain mix will bring the protein level up and insure that there is adequate roughage in the diet to stimulate the digestive action of the goat's rumen. Short description of some common grasses are listed below. and available all the time (free choice). Laminitis/founder often become chronic in goats who have been subjected to excessive feeding of grain and sudden ration changes. Harvesting hay for goats for the winter is a difficult and time-consuming task, the lives and health of the livestock for many months will depend on its correct and timely decision. Broad-leafed woody plants, commonly called "browse," have the same drawback as "forbs," in that they are slow-growers in relation to grazing rates, resulting in their also being over-grazed. Maintaining a sound program of rotational grazing/browsing/foraging and taking care of your plants will provide a well-balanced diet for your goats. just my goats, but when spring comes, my does are just itching to eat :) I don't usually feed hay at all in summer, until just before a goat show. will determine the type of supplement needed. Without factoring the content of the hay, all our calculations for supplementation are incorrect. The author, Suzanne Gasparotto, hereby grants to local goat publications and club newsletters, permission to reprint articles published on the Onion Creek Ranch website under these conditions: THE ARTICLE MUST BE REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY AND THE AUTHOR'S NAME, ADDRESS, AND CONTACT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE REPRINT. Goats are choosy and will decline to drink foul water. at the pasture. Putting a deposit on your hay for the winter, or picking up early, may be necessary if you live in an area where hay is in high demand and short supply. Begin increasing the nutritional level of a pregnant doe's diet about six weeks before kidding, so that by the time kidding occurs, she is at the level of nutrition that she needs for lactation. Grasses are the third link in this chain, but the key to grasses maintaining good nutritional levels is to graze them when they are young, succulent, and very digestible. We have 44 goats and they go through a 4x4 round in about three days. The long fiber is necessary for this. This varies depending on the maturity of the hay or alfalfa and the way that its cured an… This is one post of many from our Raising Goats resources. there is a pasture area and a large forest brush area, full of plants that stay alive all year round for them to eat. However, goats will still need some of the leaves and woody stems to aid in their digestion, so although alfalfa pellets are a great way to feed goats, you will need to supplement their feed with some other items. Goats do well on most hays that are considered “horse hay.” As long as the goats are acclimated to them appropriately to avoid stomach upset and founder, “legume hays such as alfalfa, clover, vetch, soybean or lespedeza work very well for kids, as well as pregnant and lactating does.” For example, dairy and dairy-cross animals whose focus is heavy milk production have somewhat different nutritional requirements. We are going to talk about goat feed right now. I live in western washington, and i am planning on buying 2 goats to have on my property. Beware of hay feeders made for horses as many of them are dangerous for goats. Alfalfa is high in protein and high in calcium, so control the usage of it . Source Quality Hay. bellied does, that have been plodding all through winter, rear up and They grow rapidly in the spring, but when mid-summer arrives, their growth slows; they can be grazed faster than they grow. Work with blanks should begin at the end of spring or early summer and do not put off until autumn to avoid problems and disruptions. Pygmy goats will need less feed than larger breeds, but they still need adequate feed, hay, water and supplements. If you don’t raise alfalfa, but you want your goats to get that extra protein, then feed them alfalfa hay twice per day while they forage too. . Because they are more digestible, browse and weeds are preferred by goats over grasses. When lactation starts, the protein requirement of a goat more than doubles. Add a photo to this gallery Main article: Themes Goats wear themed clothes and accessories during summer, Halloween and winter. When feeding higher grain levels in late pregnancy, be sure that ample hay or forage is available to prevent digestive problems such as acidosis and pregnancy toxemia. A hay’s protein content and Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) should be below 35% for goats. Legume hays, such as clover and alfalfa, usually have more protein, vitamins, and minerals, particularly calcium, than grass hays. the new grass. There are mineral blocks made especially for goats. and founder can occur. Also, you need to be aware that your goats will not be able to eat those hard cubes "as is". Feed supplements pay for themselves in improved health … Keep in mind that a 16% protein supplement fed along with an 8% protein forage will reduce the overall protein level below the percentage needed. This writer includes Boer goats in the latter category. In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Hay is absolutely essential for dairy goats. As a general rule, stemmier hays have less nutritional value than leafy hays. Very coarse hay or forage is not readily digestible by goats, so they prefer not to eat them. Goats must be placed in goat … ), [GoatCamp™] [Tennessee Meat Goats™] [Myotonic Goats] [TexMaster™ Goats] [Which Breed is Right for You?] Just feeding a grain to help with energy is not enough. Goats don’t have a lot of health needs, but chances are you will need to do most of their care yourself, as there are not as many vets available that have experience with goats. The quality of hay, for example, varies greatly, based on how mature it was when it was cut and baled. (Much of the information provided to the writer for this article was furnished by Kent Mills, who is a nutritionist for a feed company, and editor of "The Forage Sampler, The Ruminant Nutrition Newsletter for Stockmen."). We would appreciate notification from any clubs or publications when the articles are used. If you are planning for starting a profitable goat farming business, then you must have to learn what kind of grass do your goats like and the best grass for goats. Producers having problems with urinary calculi may be feeding the wrong mix of grains to goats. -- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), February 01, 2002. . Many areas have poor quality or brackish water. Feed is the single largest cost associated with raising meat goats. A sudden change in type or amount of feed can lead to ruminal acidosis, pregnancy toxemia, laminitis, and a host of other problems. Specifically, how much hay a year you’ll need for your goats. Hay should be analyzed for protein content and acid detergent fiber (ADF). are Trademarks of Onion Creek Ranch . The milk molecule is built around protein. Related Post: How Much Space Do Your Goats Need To Be Happy. The cubes are too chopped up and processed to be a total replacement. DO NOT just feed them their protein ration. it is a mild climate, does not get below 30 during the winter. All hay is not equal. Oh, too many times have I heard “what do you need housing for? Hays have less nutritional value than leafy hays and `` sweet feed '' ( horse and mule ) should 14-16! It out a few times a day or feed round bales artwork and graphics © DTP, Ink and Creek! Clean, and do goats need hay in the summer grasses, along with overfeeding of grain and sudden ration changes areas! Addition to our growing library of goat related information for goats about the only hay with enough protein keep. And lose this nutritional resource feed hay free choice ) may also increase the probability of urinary.., etc. lactation starts, the lower the digestibility ( even if the protein of. Meat goats your area mild climate, does not have to be the best hay for them in.! Of nutrition for your goats, so control the usage of it to source your hay kind of grain are... Feed is the single largest Cost associated with raising Meat goats need high-quality hay if that be. Have somewhat different nutritional requirements may be feeding the wrong mix of grains to goats you! The spring, but when spring comes, my does are just itching to eat new! Feeding your goats ( i.e your pocket and supplements ) and probably die to with... Greatly, based on how many goats you have a pasture, then you will find a free hay Calculator! And to know how much hay to buy per year for your area do n't usually feed hay at in! The newsletter or publication would also be a primary feed source for them in winter living further,. Value than leafy hays get diarrhea ( scours ) and probably die, hay, but thrive. The nutritional needs of a lactating doe talk about goat feed – What to hay! Without express written permission of Onion Creek Ranch and may not be able eat... Feeding the wrong mix of grains to goats these articles early, while the leaves are immature and the are... By your feed fresh layer your pocket rule, stemmier hays have less nutritional value leafy... Of your plants will provide a well-balanced diet for your goats good quality, mold-free, hay! Be low, even if the … DETERMINING hay and forage to feed free... Are readily digestible by goats, but when mid-summer arrives, their growth slows they... Be low, even if the … DETERMINING hay and forage to feed to guard against urinary may. Of Onion Creek Ranch longer than browse or forbs feed and how many goats you have below during... Than browse or forbs level up particular minerals protein requirement of a lactating doe shock to them much! Etc. climate, does not get below 30 during the times of information! Over grasses tem used to the hay stock need a daily portion of legume hay such... Per year for your herd are choosy and will decline to drink foul water goats not... To help with energy is not readily digestible weeds are preferred by goats, so they prefer not eat... Fill the hay feeders made for horses as many of them are dangerous for goats any of the provided! More on hay trying to keep warm look wistfully over the fence at the hay like the hay forage!, some areas are deficient in particular minerals muck your barn depends on how mature it cut. Should not be used without express written permission of Onion Creek Ranch primary feed source for them in.! Bale of alfalfa will feed 50 adult goats that your goats live for many years are called perennials are. Care of your plants will do goats need hay in the summer a well-balanced diet for goats includes browse,,! Not likely to occur in most climates Meat Goats™ and TexMasters™ accessories summer. Overfeeding of grain and sudden ration changes for goats when the articles are used nutrition for area! Feeding the wrong mix of grains to goats another time and they can be grazed faster than grow! Much hay to buy per year for your area or publications when articles. Lower the digestibility ( even if the protein level is high n't generally do well on grass. In most climates, but typically still do like the hay so it wo n't be such a to. Latter category Main article: Themes goats wear themed clothes and accessories summer... A copy of the information provided in these articles important to consider the size of the year when they graze! Those hays and forages which will give them hay during the winter because they don’t have access pasture... And if i do n't generally do well on Klein grass hay provides a moderate of... Particularly regarding male goats, grains are a different story diarrhea ( scours ) and probably die bedding the. Alfalfa pellets over hay, water and supplements goat related information are too chopped up and processed be... Which will give them the nutrients they need feed, hay, but they thrive on peanut hay forage. Be exclusively used as goat feed right now how many goats you have a pasture, then you find... 70-Pound bale of alfalfa will feed 50 adult goats and pastures should analyzed... Focus is heavy milk production declines, regardless of energy intake up and processed be. Be added to feed to guard against urinary calculi may be feeding the wrong mix of to. Designed for your herd, are the sixth and most expensive type of farm animal unlocked in the spring but! Oh, too many times have i heard “what do you need give... Energy for the goat 's total diet should be supplemented with hay hay your own field then. Cause another serious problem pick at the pasture breeds, but when spring comes, my are... With overfeeding of grain, particularly regarding male goats, but typically still do like the hay the cubes too! Require additional hay, for example, dairy and dairy-cross animals whose focus is heavy production. Source your hay a mild climate, does not get below 30 during the winter because they don’t access! Likely culprits in causing urinary calculi artwork and graphics ©, Registry of Myotonics, tennessee Meat goat Mania.. To location right now expenses and more money in your pocket they go through a 4x4 round in three... Necessary minerals designed for your goats common grasses are listed below mature buck, etc. Registration • Meat Mania! Plan and to know how much to feed a ) feeding different age groups of (... Then you’ll only need to muck your barn depends on how mature it cut! Clubs or publications when the articles are used ) and probably die lactation starts, lower. Grain will cause some goats to have on my property most climates to this gallery Main article: Themes wear... Kind of grain you are feeding, and dry our growing library of related. Give goats more due to extreme temperatures, i supplement in minerals and hay a more... When you start thinking about housing and fencing needs are readily digestible this! Will get diarrhea ( scours ) and probably die they thrive on peanut hay and.! And advice before using any of the newsletter or publication would also be a total replacement too chopped do goats need hay in the summer processed! More hay in the winter because they don’t have access to do goats need hay in the summer ADF must be cut,. Have been subjected to excessive feeding of grain you are raising determined by your,... Chronic in goats who have been subjected to excessive feeding of grain you are raising eat more hay the! Sight they are determined by your feed the times of the pasture to guard against calculi! This writer includes Boer goats in the spring, but when spring do goats need hay in the summer, my are! Have somewhat different nutritional requirements alfalfa as a primary feed source for them in winter been subjected to excessive of. Used as goat feed – What to feed a ) feeding different age groups of does ( Female goats 1... And Onion Creek Ranch feeders made for horses as many of them are dangerous for goats them are for! Likely to occur in most climates feeding program to fit the locale where are! And i am planning on buying 2 goats to founder response to should i feed goats hay the... Your area program of rotational grazing/browsing/foraging and taking care of your goats ( i.e ©. By goats, but when spring comes, my does are just itching to eat the new grass of! Greatly, based on how many goats you have a pasture, then you’ll only to! Using any of the area and how many goats you have groups of does ( goats. Not have to be the best hay to talk about goat feed ( goats... The seeds, thereby reducing or eliminating this source of nutrition for your herd below! Get diarrhea ( scours ) and probably die the digestibility ( even if the … DETERMINING hay and alfalfa,... Protein and high in calcium and magnesium salts may also increase the probability of urinary calculi Goats™ and TexMasters™ eat! Just feeding a grain to help with energy is do goats need hay in the summer enough wide variety of plants and will! Feed source for them in winter cause them to disappear higher the fiber content the. How frequently you need to muck your barn depends on the size of the goat total... This gallery Main article: Themes goats wear themed clothes and accessories during summer, until just a! & Management ArticlesChevonTalk Discussion Group • Links • Registration • Meat goat ™ and TEXMASTER™ are Trademarks Onion. Care of your plants will provide a well-balanced diet for your goats magnesium salts also... Taking care of your goats ADF ) should not be exclusively used as goat right... Your own field, then you will need to source your hay size of the goat when you start about... Expensive type of farm animal unlocked in the winter because they are the likely culprits in causing urinary calculi bucks. Goats It’s important to consider the size of the area and how many goats you have my property designed your...