Goat Feed

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Goat Feed:

Forages such as pasture, leaves and long stemmed forage or pellets are best goat feed as goats are anatomically designed to digest fiber

Some facts about Goat Feed:

  • Pasture grass, plant leaves, grass and long stemmed forage or pellets, and grain are great sources of calories for goats.
  • Grain can be fed to help them satisfy energy needs if you have goats with higher energy requirements, such as lactating goats and growing goats.
  • Goats are only the animals which can eat and consume almost all types of food among all the ruminants.
  • All types of natural, home or commercially formulated goat feed can be given to goat as goat feed to raise them in a goat farming business.
  • Goats have the ability to pasture on anything from lovely green grass to scrubby woods.
  • They are excellent at clearing rough, overgrown land as they are ruminants, animals who eat plants and digest them through a four compartment stomach.
  • Not only the health of goats will be compromised but also it lowers their quality of milk or meat by not feeding your goats the correct diet.
  • Five essential nutrients including water, energy, protein, minerals and vitamins are reuired to feed goats.
  • The energy portion of the diet should be the same as the calorie content of the diet.
  • Your goat get fat if you feed too much energy or too many calories and and they get thin if you feed not enough calories.
  • You should feed  between 3 to 5 percent of their body weight in dry feed per day.
  • So, a feed intake of 1.2 pounds to 2 pounds per goat per day is sufficient for a 40 pound goat.
  • Higher feed intakes are seen in lactating goats and baby goats, growing goats.
  • You should be careful when selecting and feeding grain since the wrong grain or too much grain can cause serious problems.
  • Always select a grain product specific for goats and follow feeding directions on the packaging.
  • The requirements of protein of goat vary according to the physiologic function of the goat.
  • The protein requirements will be higher than for a mature goat if the goat is pregnant, lactating or growing at maintenance. 
  • High protein ingredients such as fresh, pelleted or long stemmed alfalfa, or grains such as soybean meal are typically fed to goats with higher protein requirements as they are high in protein.
  • Grass pasture, long stemmed grass forage or pellets are usually fed to goats with lower protein needs.

Types of Goat Feed:

Goat Feed can be many types. These include:


Making a Pasture for goat is very necessary as they can browse freely and eat food from there to remain healthy and get sufficient and necessary food elements like energy and protein.
The tastiness and digestibility of other foods can be increased with natural food from pasture.
A pasture with natural plants and grasses like Sudan grasses, Bahia grasses, grain grass mixture, millet, clover, sorghum etc. are very healthy and effective for the production and health of goats.
It will help the goats to keep free from various internal and external parasitical diseases if they can browse freely in a pasture.


Hay can be grass or a legume, like clover or alfalfa which  is the main source of nutrients for goats apart from their range
You can feed your goats mold free qualified grasses based hay which is an important source of goat nutrition, especially in winter seasons.
You can also feed your goats weedy hay because it  contain a large amount of necessary nutrition. It is also very cheap.
Lespedeza, alfalfa and clover hays are rich in protein and some other essential nutrients among various types of hays.
About two to four pounds of hay per day is required or each goat in addition to what they might forage on pasture.
Dry grass hay of a horse quality is acceptable if a good range isn't available.
Additional hay, which is roughage, is required by goats for their rumen to function properly which is the first stomach compartment, rich in live bacteria, that initiate the digestion of fiber.
Alfalfa hay can also be used for feeding goats as it has more protein, vitamins, and minerals than grass hays.
It can be a good choice for feeding milkers as it has more calcium.
Hay should be given as the bulk of your goat's daily feed, making up to 40 percent of that feed.
4 pounds of hay per day should be enough for a normal goat where as up to 9 pounds of hay per day should be consumed by milking goats.
The other benefits of feeding plenty of good quality forage to goats is it will keep them warm apart from nutrition.
Feeding your goats plenty of forage will keep them warm from the inside out as a byproduct of bacterial fermentation in the rumen is heat which is important as goats have thinner skin and do not develop thick coats.

Vitamins and Minerals:

Goat feed must contain vitamins and minerals as these will help keeping the goat productive and help them preventing various types of diseases.
A lot of vitamins and minerals ingredients are required in goat feed.
A host of minerals including  salt (sodium and chloride), calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, copper and zinc are of primary importance for goats to stay healthy.
Providing a free choice, granular mineral source is an easy way to ensure goats are getting the proper amount of minerals.
The granular mineral should consist of 50 percent trace mineral salt that is rich in magnesium, selenium, copper and zinc with 50 percent dicalcium phosphate. 
These ingredients are easily available at most feed stores and a simple means of ensuring goats get adequate mineral intake can be provided by them.
Feed elements like salt, phosphorus and calcium are very useful minerals for goats.
A premix of loose minerals can be provided, because it is preferred by goats very much.
They also need some vitamins like Vitamin A, D, and E for proper growth and production.
So, make sure that all those elements are available in their regular and daily food while feeding your goats.
You can feed your goat 12 to 16 percent grainy formulated food to your goats if sufficient natural goat feed is not available in your location.
Creep and complementary feeding should be provided to the kids. 
You can also feed grain to your goats as it is a great source of carbons and protein. 
Grains like rye, oats, corn moil, barley etc. are cereal grains and highly enriched with carbon, and energy.
Cottons meal, fish meal, soybean meal and some other protein supplements that are formulated from animals and plants are suitable source of protein for goats.
Your goat should be provided with loose minerals to allow the animal rich access to nutrients that are not in high concentration in their feed.
Most of the other needed vitamins such as all of the B-vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin K are synthesized by the microbes in the rumen.
Therefore, these are not generally considered dietary essential. 
Vitamin A can be supplied to the goat by feeding green forage and yellow maize.
The requirements of vitamin D of goats are satisfied if goats have access to direct sunlight, since vitamin D is synthesized by the sun on the skin surface.
Vitamin D supplementation would be necessary if goats are confined in barns, without sunlight
Synthetic vitamins A and D can be included in the ration of growing kids.
Minerals should be given as an essential part of the feed as they help building of the skeleton, physiological functions and production of milk. 
Calcium and phosphorus are the more important of these salts.
Blocks of magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus are suitable for your goat.
Calcium and phosphorus that are required for maintenance are 6·5 and 3·5 g, respectively, per 50 kg body weight.
The mineral mixture can be included in the concentrate ration at the rate of 0·2 per cent.


Ater cutting early alfalfa or grass and chopping it, molasses and a probiotic culture called bacillus subtilis are mixed in it and vacuum packed to make Chaffhaye.
The hay ferments in the container by adding beneficial bacteria for the rumens of goats.
Chaffhaye can be fed as an alternative to hay, which has more nutrient density than hay.
One 50-pound bag of chaffhaye is roughly equal to 85 to 100 lb of hay.

Grain Feed:

Protein, vitamins, and minerals can be added to the diet of your goat by grain feed or pelleted grain mix.
Although, foraging and browsing is the foundation of good goat nutrition, grain feed can be used as a supplement when necessary, such as does who are raising multiple kids or in bad weather. 
However, grain should not be overfed as it can make goats fat, resulting in illness and even death.
One cup of grain is sufficient for adult goats, while half cup of grain is ideal for baby goats.
Up to 2 cups of grain a day can be given to pregnant goats and those kept for milking, as they need the extra protein and fat.
Wheat, barley, and oats are the best type of grain to feed goats.
A goat pellet formulated by a livestock nutritionist are used by some goat farmers when supplements are needed.
The local livestock nutritionist can tailor the feed to your area conditions to minimize problems.

Garden and Kitchen Scraps:

You can proper utilize your garden and kitchen scraps as goat feed.
Garden and kitchen scraps like banana peels, tomato, garlic skins, orange peels, other vegetables and fruit cutting etc. can be used to feed your goats.
Some elements like eggs shells, fish cutting etc should not be given to the goats as feed.
Although, goats have interest in papers and can eat or consume papers, but feeding any types of paper may harm their health, because it contain some chemicals.


Water is the most essential of all nutrients as goats can live days with inadequate protein or not enough minerals in their diet, but they can't survive without water.
The best approach is to provide goats with free-choice access to fresh clean water as the requirement for water is influenced by physiologic activity such as pregnancy, lactation and growth.
Your goats need access to fresh, clean water at all times as water is required to help them digest their roughage rich diet..
It should be ensure that all goats can reach the water source and keep it clean and filled.
Your water bucket need to be raised off the ground onto a platform or in an old tire, so it's less likely to get kicked over or pooped in.

Baking Soda:

You feed your goat baking soda freely with their loose minerals which will help aid their digestion and stop bloat.

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds:

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds helps with the reproductive health o goat and their muscles as they are high in Vitamin E.
They are also high in iron, zinc, and selenium which will make their coats shinier and will enrich the fat content in their milk.

Kelp Meal:

Kelp Meal is an extremely helpful supplement for those that raise milking goats as it will increase their milk production.
Kelp meal is a great source of iodine too.

Tips For Feeding Your Goat:

  • Determine the health condition of your goats before feeding them.
  • The feeds should be stored in safe place for keeping the food value intact.
  • Never let the feeds being vermin, damp or contaminated while storing.
  • You should always feed your goats in hygienic ways.
  • Always try to feed high and good quality hay in case of feeding hay.
  • Make sure that, the half of your goat diet is coming from forage.
  • Adequate vitamins, green feed ingredients and minerals should be ensured in goat feed.
  • Do not make drastic changes to the diets of your goats.
  • New hays or feed should be slowly introduced to avoid a major digestive upset for them.
  • The bacteria in their rumen will time to adjust by changing their diets slowly.
  • Colostrum should be ensured for newly born kids.
  • You should keep the formulated food far from the goats.
  • Your goats should be provided with sufficient clean and fresh water according to their demands.

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