Feeding Goats: How Much, and How Often? (Feeding Charts & Guide)

To the uninitiated, goats may seem the easiest animals to care for. After all, goats have a reputation for eating just about anything. But not so fast, because the claims are more or less old wives’ tales. Like other animals, goats will eat what is available to survive. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have dietary preferences.

What’s more, not feeding your goats a proper diet not only harms their health but also degrades the quality of their milk or meat. So, what should you feed the goats? Read on to learn all you need to know about this subject.

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What Feeds Goats

Goats need the following to thrive:

rough (straw)

Roughage should always be available for goats, with hay being the best form of roughage for goats. Hay should make up the bulk of your goat’s daily diet, making up up to 40% of that feed. Goats raised for milking should consume more hay than others, with experts recommending feeding milking goats up to 9 pounds of hay per day. For other goats, 4 pounds of hay per day is sufficient.

When it comes to hay choices, Alfalfa is the best, as it contains more vitamins, minerals, and protein than any other type of grass.

eat goat

grains

Grains are a good source of protein and vitamins for goats. However, don’t feed your goats too much grain, as this can negatively impact their health.

One cup of oats is enough for an adult goat, while a cup of oats is ideal for children (baby goats). However, pregnant goats and goats raised for milking can eat up to 2 cups a day, as they need extra protein and fat. The best types of grains to feed goats are wheat, barley, and oats.

Mineral

You should provide your goats with loose minerals to allow rich animals access to nutrients that are not in high concentrations in their feed. Consider buying magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus blocks for your goat.

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Clean water

Goats need lots of water to help them digest fiber-rich foods. Therefore, make sure your goats have access to plenty of fresh and clean water 24/7.

Read Related: What Do Goats Eat In The Wild And As Pets?

What Not to Feed Goats

Since goats are herbivores, you don’t want them to eat any meat or dairy products. Their stomachs are not designed to process these products. Feeding your goats anything, including supplements containing meat or dairy products, can cause all kinds of health problems.

You should also check your pasture to make sure that it doesn’t contain plants that are toxic to goats, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, and yew. Here’s a complete list of plants that are toxic to goats.

Most importantly, make sure your hay doesn’t get moldy when you feed your goats. If you suspect mold is present, throw it away, as moldy hay can cause diseases such as goat polio, listeriosis, or even death.

Feeding the goats

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Goat Feeding Chart

Baby Goat Feeding Chart 1-90 Days Old

Age milk Mix concentration Green/Day
1-3 days Colostrum 300ml 3 times feeding
4-14 days 350ml 3 meals
15-30 days 350ml 3 meals A little A little
31-60 days 400ml 2 meals 100–150 grams Freedom to choose
61-90 days feeding 200ml 200–250 grams Freedom to choose

Goat Feeding Chart Age Growth 3-12 Months

Age Concentrate Mix Green Straw
3 months 150-200 grams 500 grams By choice
4 months 200-250 grams 600 grams By choice
5 months 225-275 grams 700 grams By choice
6 months 250-300 grams 800 grams By choice
7 months 250-300 grams 900 grams By choice
8 months 300-350 grams 1,000 grams By choice
9 months 300-350 grams 1,000 grams By choice
10 months 300-350 grams 1,200 grams By choice
11 months 300-350 grams 1,300 grams By choice
12 months 300-350 grams 1,500 grams By choice

Goats eat vegetables

Feeding Chart for Adult Goat

Adult Type Herding (number of hours per day) Straw Green Feed Concentrate
Dried female rabbit, not pregnant, adult male 5-6 hours 300-400 grams 750-1,000 grams 100-150 grams
breastfeeding rabbit 5-6 hours 300-400 grams 1000-1500 grams 100+ (400g/kg milk)
Nursery money 5-6 hours 300-400 grams 1000-1500 grams 500 grams during breeding season only
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Source:

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How Often to Feed the Goat

The amount of feed required by goats varies according to the age, size and function of the livestock. However, as mentioned, the average adult goat needs about 4 pounds of hay per day to thrive. That number can increase or decrease depending on the number of goats looking for food in the meadow. This means that more foraging equals less hay, while less foraging means consuming more hay.

Consider feeding your goats twice a day, meaning about 2 pounds of hay in the morning and another 2 pounds at night.

Is It Important to Herd Goats?

Grassland is very important for goats, as it is their main source of nutrition. Grasslands are very rich in protein and energy. What’s more, it is cheap, which is why it is so popular among farmers. Therefore, make sure your goats have access to pasture.

Goats eat grapes

Can Goats Eat Kitchen and Garden Leftovers?

Yes, goats can eat your compost. However, you must first make sure that it does not contain food or ingredients that are toxic to goats.

Best Foods and Dietary Supplements for Goats

Giving your goats an over-the-counter goat supplement is very important, as it ensures that they receive the right amount of nutrients each day. As mentioned, loose minerals or mineral blocks are an ideal form of supplementation for goats, as they supply these animals with nutrients such as chlorine, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, vitamins A, D, and E, as well as trace minerals such as copper, cobalt, iron, iodine, manganese, and zinc.

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In terms of diet, stop overfeeding goats, as a lot of food promotes weight gain and urinary stones. Nonetheless, an occasional treat is recommended to keep your goat happy. Most goat diets come in the form of vegetables and fruits such as:

  • Pumpkin

  • Sunflower seed

  • Watermelon

  • Apple

  • Carrot

  • Celery

  • Wine

What to Do if Your Goat Isn’t Eating?

Goats live to eat, literally. Therefore, one of the most obvious signs of disease in goats is a reduced or reduced appetite. Therefore, if you notice that your goat is not eating normally, have the animal checked by a veterinarian.

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Conclusion

Even though goats don’t need as much care as animals, you still need to know their needs, as that will allow you to keep them happy and productive. Be sure to learn as much as you can about goats to avoid common mistakes made by first-time goat keepers.

Interested in learning about goat breeds? Look at this!

  • Do Miniature Goats Make Good Pets? 15 Things You Need To Know Before You Get It
  • Fainting Goat (Myotonic): Facts, Age, Behavior & Care Guide (with Pictures)
  • How to Care for a Pygmy Goat (Care Sheet & Guide 2021)

Featured Image: FitMum, Pixabay