A Guide To Feeding Your Goats For Success

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.

Goat Food GuidePre-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.

Goat Balancer Food ProductSometimes 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.

4 Responses to “A Guide To Feeding Your Goats For Success”

  1. Jane Ross April 28, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Excellent article on feeding.

    For people with several goats and where costs need to be kept down, try feeding a Coarse Calf Mix (names can vary according to manufacturer) freely available bagged. Most cattle farmers rearing calves use it so it is relatively cheap at around £7 a bag. Dairy Nuts are another option that is excellent & easy to obtain.
    I have always fed mine on cattle food as the mineral levels are better but not good enough for heavy milking goats. Which is why it is essential to add something like the Premium Goat Feed Balancer mentioned in the article.

    We all have our own ways of doing things and it is very interesting to read what others do.

  2. Linda April 28, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Check with your local Trading Standards that your feeding regime would not be contravening any mixed product regulation.
    I checked with my local T.S. and providing the storage bins were kept clean and vermin free it was ok

  3. Tania July 5, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

    Hello,
    I was hoping you could advise me as to how much goat mix feed I should be giving my goats a day. I have a 2 year old nanny saanen and 3 4 month old kids. Do you feed this all year round? Any advise would be very much appreciated.
    Kind regards
    Tania

  4. Roadie June 22, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

    Hi, I live in Thailand and just bought 2 baby Saanen goats 2 days & 6 days old along with a Saanen-Nubian rescue. All are a little emaciated and my mix is extremely emaciated. Since Thailand is limited on food resources for goats and horses. What cheap everyday common foods could I use to quickly fatten these guys up to their proper healthy weights? The kids are bottle babies and my 4 month old mix is a very picky eater who was left for dead by the farmers because she’s a hermaphrodite. We’ve found that she will eat Pangola grass, sticky rice, and cooked corn as she was eating nothing to very little at the farm we rescued her from. Please help!!! Thank you

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