Most goatkeepers rely on some sort of feed to supplement grazing and fresh forage. There are a number of pre-mixed course goat feeds on the market, most of which are molassed based. These, along with many other cereal grains (oats etc.) make it easy to feed a very palatable and varied diet to your goats. Lucerne, grass, dairy nuts along with dried grass and haylage are there to purchase and put in your goats larder. Hay is the MOST important item of food for your goats. It should always be available to them. With the exception of dairy nuts, the others could be termed as extras. Dried sugar beet pulp is sometimes added to mixes but more often fed separately after being soaked in hot water for 4 to 6 hours.
Pre-mixed feeds vary between 18% C.P. (crude protein) and 14% C.P. Some people feed them as they are, while others add cereal grains to them.
50% pre mix + 50% cereals (such as oats, flaked barley etc.) = 14% C.P. mix.
75% pre mix + 25% cereals = 16% C.P. mix. This is using an 18% pre mixed feed. Remember wheat has better energy than oats.
Also 6 kgs. oats + 1 kg. each of the following – bran, flaked maize, flaked peas, flaked barley, grass nuts and pre goat mix.
Back in the early 1980′s a very knowledgeable British Toggenburg breeder devised the following recipes to make. We should point out that if you are mixing your own goats feed using cereals, they should be purchased from a licenced animal food merchant.
An excellent high energy mix of 18% C.P. 2 kgs. barley + 1 kg. wheat+ 1 kg. flaked maize+ 1 kg. soya. or 12 kgs. mixed flakes + 2 kgs. soya + 6 kgs. oats.
or 7kgs. oats +2 kgs. linseed flakes + 2 kgs. flaked peas + 1/4 kg. soya + 1kg. flaked maize.
Without flakes maize. 23kgs. oats + 12 kgs. flaked barley + 5 kgs. soya + 5 kgs flaked peas.
No oats. 8 kgs flaked barley+ 2 1/2 kgs. flaked peas + 1 kg flaked maize.
It goes without saying that correct storage of feeds is important. Keep in clean waterproof containers, plastic dustbins are excellent. Regularly cleaned out to protect from contamination by stale food residue. The same applies to the containers in which you put the food for the goats to eat. A goats total ration of concentrates should be given as not less than two feeds a day. Any change in their diet must be made gradually so that the digestive system can adjust.
Sometimes overlooked when feeding your goats a cereal diet, is the adequate supply of fresh water. Water buckets need to be cleaned regularly. Goats will not drink or eat if containers are contaminated. Always make sure plenty of water is available.
The aim of good feeding is to keep your goats in good body condition all year round. A new product just on the market and receiving very good reviews from goat keepers is the Premium goat balancer developed by Brincombe Minerals. Developed specifically for goats, it is one of the few products available that is designed for them. It is highly recommended by the Anglo-Nubian Goat Society to keep your goats in tip top condition. Goats love this with soaked sugar beet. If you have any questions or queries regarding the feeding of goats, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to advise.