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Well, ive had my goats for about 6 months. (Dwarf Nubian/Pygmy cross, so theyre fairly small) When i got them it was from a BYB and they were skinny (not bad) but you could tell they were the ones pushed around in the herd. They were about 5 months old when i got them.
This is the first time i have had my own goats so i wasnt too sure how to exactly feed them. i did alot of research online and what i have been feeding them is Producers Pride All Stock Sweet Feed at Tractor Supply and one flake of hay. One flake in the AM & one handful of grain at night. i was feeding them 2 flakes of hay in the AM and 2 handfuls of grain at night but they were getting HUGE. So i cut back.
does this sound bad? am i over/under feeding them? theyre completely healthy and happy.
heres a few pics. the first one is when i first got them and the second is from last month.
Soo cute :) I have goats also...one pygmy. I feed one alfalfa flake per day right now ( two fainting goats, one pygly and two sheep) as mine also have tons to forage on as far as brush, blackberries, olive suckers etc. My vet showed me how to check the weight (NOT by looking at the belly) by pressing firmly down the length of each side of the backbone all the way down the back and there should be a nice layer of fleshy fat there....not bony or protruding at all. I kinda keep an eye on mine and then check them regularly to see if I need to increase or decrease my feed.
I doubt they need sweet feed. Remember goats evolved to eat even lower quality feed than horses. They shouldnt need anything more than hay, grass, weeds and a mineral block. Mine also gets a trace amount of horse feed that the horse drops. Make sure the feed doesnt have copper in it. or list "Cu" on the label. My vet said its in most horse feeds but is bad for goats.
I don't feed grain to my goats, the largest wether gets a flake of hay a day, and two littler ones share one and half (they aren't large flakes either) but these guys weigh 150 pounds, and 80 each so they are a little bigger than a pygmy. They do just fine, and are health as long as I stick to deworming them regular as we've had a problem with bottle worms.
Well they are in a big dog kennel with a huge house my dad built and they don't roam since I kinda live in a neighborhood. So that's why I started giving them grain (its the cheap all stock grain anyway at $11 a bag)
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They still don't "need" grain, but if you feel better giving to them just give a handful each. My don't have much browsing because well, they ate it all, so they have a run 24 feet by 50 or more long plus a large house, and two hay nets a day. The are happy and health, good weight. That is the diet they've had since we've gotten them, at a couple months old, (ones five years the other two are year an half still growing). The only time they need it is if they are dairy goats, than a ration would be needed or they are for market. A dairy ration shouldn't be fed to them unless pregnant of lactating because it isn't balanced for every day.
If they seem not to thrive if you take them off the grain deworm them with something like ivermecton, a couple of days in a row (horse tube wormer works).
I agree. Mine never get grain however they get lots of treats....they love carrots, apples, olives are to die for lol most veggies and fruits of all kinds and go crazy for a pumpkin :)
caution on the hay nets, mine has got his horns tangled in them
Oops sorry didn't see that they had horns, mine don't because they were from dairy stock, culls. The nets are hung above their heads and very small holes. Not a good idea with horns though.
Year around we have give them Christmas trees, halloween pumpkins, and all the slightly off vegetables and fruit from a local store. The two wether love apple cider vinegar.
so, if i feed them hay they should be fine? there isnt much for them to nibble on since they are confined .
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