Goats/Goat Nutrition

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Question
Hi Donna , been a crazy few days here 10 kid's born 9 bucks 1 doe , all healthy . Been doing some research on Grain and goats , and found you can actually feed good second cut hay and less grain , at least that is what the site says . What is your take on this ? can this be done ? and how much is less grain . The site stated goats have a harder time digesting grain , as compared to forages , is why i'm asking . If it's better for them i'd much rather feed second cut hay .

Answer
Sounds like you have been busy - I just had the first kid born here yesterday.  A good grass hay generally has only 9 to 10% protein - this is a good maintenance hay for most all goats.  And grass hay generally has a higher scratch factor than many other hays - a good scratch factor helps the rumen stay healthy by making new surface area in the rumen for the good bacteria to live.  Grain is what adds the extra protein needed for production of goats - meat, kids, milk, etc. Certain grain is hard for goats to digest, such as corn and other noncracked/crushed grains.  I use a pelleted livestock grain that has 14% protein and is easy to digest (I start kid goats on this at 2 months of age and they do great on it).  The key to nutrition is what the production of your goats is and what protein that production needs to keep your goat healthy - examples are a pregnant doe should have 12 to 14% protein, a doe in milk should have 14-16% protein, a growing kid goat needs 14 to 16% protein, maintenance for a doe who is not pregnant and not milking would be 9 to 12%.

Hope that helps - Donna

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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres

Expertise

All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.

Experience

27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

Organizations
NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Publications
Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

Education/Credentials
4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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