Feed and Supplements
Each year our hay is analyzed by the nutritionist at our feed mill Dundee Feeds. This is to evaluate what our goats needs are for grain in protein percentage according to the nutritional value in the hay. It can change from year to year depending on the quality. I cannot stress the importance of hay quality enough, it makes all the difference on how much other feed or supplement that needs to be added to their diet to keep them in good health and condition.
We started feeding a protein pellet that can substitute up to 30% of hay value, it is different than feeding just a mix it provides more digestible fiber and protein with no waste.
Our mature goats are fed a 36% Concentrate Goat mixed with whole corn, and a 14% protein pellet to make a 16% protein feed ration. (Approximately 1/2lb up to 1lb per day per animal) More to nursing mothers or as needed. They are always given good quality first and second cut mixed legume and alfalfa hay twice a day in the winter time. In the summer time the grain ration is adjusted depending on the quality of pasture. They are on pasture during the day and have hay at night.
Our first time mothers in the last month of their gestation are switched on to a prescribed 36% Concentrate with added rumensen mixed with corn, and a 14% protein pellet to make a 16% ration feed that is formulated for goats as a preventative for most causes of abortion and pregnancy problem that can occur in the last trimester. It is also a balanced feed for their needs during the most demanding time of their gestation. After the first week of delivery they are changed back to the Goat Concentration and fed the same as the older does. (Approximately 1lb to 2lbs as needed per day is fed in the last month of gestation and while nursing) There feeders are filled with good quality first and second cut hay twice a day. More often if needed depending on the demands of their kids.
Our kids are creep fed on an 20% Chevreaux with Rumensen to control Coccidiosis in the first few months.(Approximately 1/2 to 1lb per day per animal depending on the demand starting at 3 weeks old) They have good quality first and second cut hay accessible at all times.
After they are weaned at approximately two and a half to three months old (usually between 40 and 60lbs)some a bit heavier some a bit lighter depending on if they are singles, twins, triplets, first time mothers..etc. The kids are gradually switched on to a mix of 20% Chevreaux ,14% protein pellets with added 36% concentrate, to a protein value of 18%. We stop offering free choice grain when they are weaned and they are fed twice a day, 1lb, up to around 1 1/2lb per animal divided in two feedings per day but this amount can get adjusted. Our protein pellet can substitute up to 30% hay value with no waste and is much more digestible, it is not the same as feeding regular grain and sometimes can be fed heavier to replace nutritional value that is lacking in the hay. So we can feed more as needed.
By the time our kids are five to six months old they are fed the same 16% ration as the rest of our mature animals.
All of our feed is always being adjusted depending on hay quality fed. The higher the protein value in the hay the less protein pellets and grain we feed by pound.
Clean fresh water is available to all animals at all times.
All of our feed mixes have added selenium and vitamins as a preventative oral supplement that insures neither the mother or the newborn kids will require vaccination postpartum.
We also have salt blocks as well as special loose salt goat mineral made by our local feed company that is fed free choice to everyone it is boosted with probiotics and copper.