Feeding goats is not a difficult task.
As they belong to ruminants, in summer the basis of the diet is green grass, and in winter – dry hay. Of course, the animal, like a human, wants more delicious and diverse.
And for health, good milk yield and complete goats should be provided with a complete diet, which contains all the necessary substances and elements.
And if we are talking about dairy breeds, whose milk yield is 8 liters per day, then their diet should not only be balanced in composition but also simply abundant. The menu of goats differs depending on their breed, age, season, and other conditions.
Feeding in the summer period
The goat, which regularly goes to the pasture, eats up to 8 kg of fresh grass during the day. This mass of feed gives enough plastic elements to produce a couple of liters of milk. Therefore, if the owner is interested in higher yields, he should provide a full supplementary feeding with concentrated feed:
- Grain (oats, barley, corn).
- Grain legumes (peas, beans, lentils).
- Ready factory compound feed.
Such feed is given ground at the rate of half a kilogram per animal per day.
Most often juicy and nutritious grass pasture can provide goats not all summer, but only until mid-July. Then the plants begin to dry up a little and in the daily goat’s diet have to add in addition to concentrated feed also branches of trees, vegetables or food waste.
As for mineral nutrition, we will need it:
Correct cooking salt, adding it to the food 15 – 20 g of each goat a day. The optimal option is an iodized version of this food product.
Also, add 12 grams of a mixture of chalk and bone meal in equal proportions.
The approximate daytime menu of an adult goat in summer will look like this:
- Morning – combined feed or bran in soaked form;
- After milking – pasture grazing;
- Evening – combined feed in combination with any juicy feed (carrots, potatoes, cabbage leaves, apples, pumpkin, etc.).
- Before going to bed – a small amount of hay.
As for the water, it should be constantly available to goats both during the day and at night.
Feeding in winter
The main food for goats in winter is hay. It is a rough food, which is eaten by ruminants with pleasure. Its nutritional value is not very high, so the animals should eat it in the future.
As an option, the straw will also do, but it contains even fewer nutrients.
For goats, deciduous varieties of hay are preferable, and the quality of hay is also very important.
During the day, goats, depending on gender and age, should be provided such nutritional standards:
If there is a lack of hay, it is allowed to replace it with brooms, but they should still be fed at least 1,000 grams of hay during the day. In terms of nutritional value, 1 000 grams of quality meadow hay corresponds to 2 000 grams of brooms.
Another substitute for hay can be dried leaves of trees, which are used as both forage and bedding. An accessible source of natural vitamins in winter is the young growth of pines and spruce.
In addition to rough forage, goats also need juicy forage:
- Food waste.
Vegetables and fruits are a real treat for goats, animals are happy to eat any of their varieties, both cooked and raw. It is also possible to dry a sufficient amount of such food in summer, it will also be eaten with appetite. Raw fruits and vegetables should be washed and sliced before feeding.
As for food waste from the table of the hosts, they should be pre-cooked and given to animals mixed with feed.
The dairy goat should eat within a day from 500 to 1 000 grams of mixed feed or bran. Factory mixed feed is successfully replaced by a mixture of ground seeds of cereals and leguminous crops. Whole grains of goats are contraindicated.
Can goats eat carrots?
Goats eat carrots, beets, fodder watermelon, fodder pumpkin, and corn silage well.
In all seasons, the main emphasis should be on succulent fodder, as it is enriched with a lot of nutritious and useful components:
Grass – this segment should be in the diet of the animal. Juicy grass is one of the most affordable and cheapest types of feed. After moving the animals to pasture in the woods, fields, or meadows, they will be delighted to enjoy the juicy grass.
What do goats eat? What fodder and in what quantity should goats be given? If it is possible to get a haulm, you should use it. Cabbage leaves, beet loaf, and other “waste” – is a treasure trove of vitamins, which the animal needs for the proper functioning of the body. But it should be noted that it is necessary to add chalk to the greens to reduce the concentration of acid, as a rule, for each kilogram of a bottle one gram of chalk is taken.
Silage belongs to juicy foods and is considered one of the most useful nutritional supplements. Goats like it and are absorbed with great pleasure. The owner should carefully monitor the quality of the product because quite often due to improper storage, it quickly peroxides. In terms of calories, nutritional value, saturation with vitamins, macronutrients, and trace elements, it is identical to fresh grass. Also, silage promotes the absorption of coarse food, which we will talk about later. The daily consumption rate should not exceed 4 kilograms.
Vegetables. In winter, the cattle should be provided with a large number of vegetables, for example, fodder beet, potatoes, cabbage, and carrots. They can be fed as waste or raw. As a rule, root vegetables are thoroughly crushed and give at least 3 kg a day. Potatoes can be given to goats only in boiled form.
Fruit. It is quite difficult to imagine, but the fruit is the favorite product of this animal. Goats can be fed in large quantities to apricots, plums, peaches, separated from the stones, pears, and apples.
The main advantage of juicy food is its composition, which is enriched with proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. The necessary amount of juicy fodder will contribute to an abundance of milk.