What to feed goats
By Tanmay Roy
Among all the ruminants, goats are only the animals which can eat and consume almost all types of food. So, if you are planning to start a goat farming business, then you don't have to think much about what to feed goat. Because you can raise goats by providing them all types of natural, home or commercially formulated goat feed. Nowadays goat farming is becoming very popular because of it's multifunctional utility. We can get many goat products like meat, milk, skins, fiber, manner etc. from them. But the profitable production from goat farming business mostly depends on proper feed supply and management systems. Proper feed management includes providing nutritious food, vitamins, minerals, energy, protein etc. So, before starting goat farming business it is a must to learn about how to and what to feed goat. Read flowing step by step goat feed management system.
It is very necessary to make a pasture for your goats, where they can browse freely and eat food from there. By browsing pasture, your goats will remain healthy and will get sufficient and necessary food elements like energy and protein. Natural food from pasture also helps the goats increasing the tastiness and digestibility of other foods. A pasture with natural plants and grasses like millet, Sudan grasses, Bahia grasses, grain grass mixture, clover, sorghum etc. are very healthy and effective for goats production and health. In pasture if the goats can browse freely then it will help them to keep free from various internal and external parasitical diseases.
Hay is another important source of goat nutrition, especially in winter seasons. Feed your goats mold free qualified grasses based hay. You can also feed your goats weedy hay because it is very cheap and contain a large amount of necessary nutrition. There are various types of hays are available. Among those lespedeza, alfalfa and clover hays are highly enriched in protein and some other essential nutrients.
Vitamins and minerals
Presence of vitamins and minerals in goat feed is a must. Because, vitamins and minerals keeps the goat productive and help them preventing various types of diseases. They need a lot of vitamins and minerals ingredients in their food. Some feed elements like phosphorus, salt and calcium are very useful minerals for goats. You can provide a premix of loose minerals, because goats prefer that very much. For proper growth and production, they also need some vitamins like Vitamin A, D, and E. So, while feeding your goats, be sure that all those elements are available in their regular and daily food.
If sufficient natural goat feed is not available in your location then you can feed your goat 12% to 16% grainy formulated food to your goats. You should provide creep and complementary feeding to the kids. Grain is a great source of carbons and protein. Rye, oats, moil, corn, barley etc. are cereal grains and highly enriched with carbon, and energy. Cottons meal, soybean meal, fish meal and some other protein supplements formulated from animals and plants are suitable source of protein for goats.
Garden and kitchen scraps
By raising goats you can proper utilize your garden and kitchen scraps. Generally garden and kitchen scraps are used in compositors purpose. But by raising goats you can use those scraps as their feed. Goats will happily eat all those scraps. Some general garden and kitchen scraps like banana peels, orange peels, tomato, garlic skins other vegetables and fruit cutting etc. are very suitable food that you can feed your goats. Goats don't eat some elements like eggs shells, fish cutting etc. Instead you can feed such products to your chickens and ducks.
As goats are ruminants, they eat almost all types of food which they find in front to them. Even they have interest in papers and can eat or consume papers. But feeding any types of paper may harm their health, because paper contain some chemicals. While browsing goats may find cigarette or cigarette butts, which is also very harmful their health. Some producers feed their goats dogs or cats feed. As dogs or cats are totally different form goats and their nature. So, feeding your goats such food may causes serious health problems. Besides those foods, there are some other foods also which are very harmful for goats health like nightshade, crotalaria, poke weed, peach leaves, plum leaves etc.
11 Tips For Feeding Your Goats:
- Before feeding, determine the health condition of your goats.
- Store the feeds in safe place for keeping the food value intact.
- While storing, never let the feeds being vermin, damp or contaminated.
- Always try to feed your goats in hygienic ways.
- In case of feeding hay, always try to feed high and good quality hay.
- Be sure that, the half of your goat diet is coming from forage.
- Ensure adequate vitamins, green feed ingredients and minerals in goat feed. Because it is the key to be successful in goat farming.
- Never change the food habit of goat suddenly. If needed try to change gradually.
- Ensure colostrum for newly born kids.
- Keep the formulated food far from the goats.
- Always provide your goats sufficient clean and fresh water according to their demands.