Great Goat Nutrition

January 7, 2019


There are many benefits to owning a goat. And with the amount of time I spend on the road and at county fairs, it is easy to see they are becoming a popular, well-loved pet across our CVA footprint. Goats are small and easy to handle with great personalities. They provide hours of entertainment and are a perfect pet for children to learn the responsibility of chores and animal care.  Goats can thrive in pastures that cattle may not benefit from and help to manage land and brush. In this blog, I would like to discuss proper goat nutrition to help producers understand the importance of nutrition in a goat herd.

Kids must receive colostrum no later than 18 hours after birth and should be fed 10% of the kid's bodyweight. An example of this would be a 4 lb. kid would require .4 lbs. or 6.5 ounces.  Once colostrum has been consumed, the kids can be left with the doe or started on a doe's match milk replacer.  When bottle feeding kids know that they must be kept on a strict schedule because bloat, diarrhea, and even death can occur with improper feedings. Kids can be aggressive eaters so after day one a goat should be fed 4-5 times a day and get 4-6 ounces per feeding through day 10. 7-12 ounces fed 3 to 4 times a day is recommended on days 11-21 and finally up to 16 ounces fed 3 times daily after day 21. Forage consumption starts as early as 2 weeks and is critical for digestive health and function. Kids can be weaned as early as 30 days, but 6-8 weeks is preferred.  Just like cattle, we can set goats up on creep feeds, as well as starters and self-feeder diets, using Purina's IM technology.

Goat mineral is designed for all ages and breeds of goats. Minerals are important for healthy skin, shiny coats, bone and hoof development, and provide antioxidants for immune health. Mineral is to be fed free-choice from feeders or mixed into rations for goats to provide approximately 1/4 to 1/2 ounces per head per day.  Please keep in mind that similar to cattle mineral, goat mineral contains copper and should not be fed to sheep. Clean water along with a proper vaccination and deworming program will provide a producer with happy, healthy goats.

Last, but not least, what should a goat have in their diet besides forages? Depending on what your plan is with your goats whether it's dairy, meat, or headed to the show ring, we offer a wide variety of products. Purina Goat Chow is an all-life stage feed, whereas Goat Charge is a concentrate that can be mixed with local grains to offer a customized ration for a particular life stage. For dairy goats, the Dairy goat line provides optimum milk production. For the show enthusiast, we also carry Impulse and Commotion show goat feeds along with the High Octane supplements to get the perfect show ring look. I invite producers to stop by your local Central Valley Ag feed location or visit www.cvacoop.com and click on the feed tab to find a feed specialist in your area who can answer any goat feed questions you may have.
 
by Brandi Salestrom
Posted: 1/7/2019 9:21:34 AM by Kristin Petersen | with 0 comments