Feeding goats – what do our dairy goats eat?

Feeding goats is always such a diverse topic, every herd is different and every herd owner’s ideals are different. It’s always best to buy from a herd that has similar feeding ideals as you will know the animals will do best in your herd with minimal issues. This post is to show what we do here at Kessel Run Dairy Goats that works for our little herd! We try to adopt a more natural/holistic and minimal approach where we can.

Kessel Run’s feeding regimen

  • All of our animals, bucks, does, kids, get green, leafy, alfalfa hay twice daily. We fill their feeders full with the morning and evening milkings. Alfalfa is a great source of calcium and protein and makes fabulous milk!
  • During spring through fall, our animals have access to brush filled pastures 24/7. Our girls are excellent foragers and love to clear out fields full of brush! During the winter when the brush is scarce, we provide them with round bales of hay 24/7. They still get their alfalfa hay as well, we want them to have plenty of calcium and protein while they grow kids.
  • On the milk stand, our girls get a hand-mixed ration that contains barley, oats, calf manna, beet pulp, and black oil sunflower seed. We are looking into fermenting this mixture (we did with our chickens) to make it more beneficial. We top dress the feed with beneficial Diamond V Yeast and Icelandic Kelp when available. Bucks do not get grain unless we feel they need it before/during rut. Kids have access to grain in their first year of growth.

We have a loose mineral out 24/7, typically it is Vitafirm Concept-Aid. At times we do use Sweetlix Meat Maker, Bluebonnet Techmaster Complete, or Wicks Hi-Copper. We also copper bolus twice yearly (or as needed) and use Replamin Plus at times. We do herbal wormer weekly to monthly and only use chemical wormer as needed.

Our animals keep condition really well on this feeding routine. We make sure our girls are well fed before breeding so they don’t struggle during lactation to keep their weight as well as milk. While they are pets to us as well, we milk twice a day and expect our girls to perform, they’re dairy goats, that’s what they do.

That’s our simple care regimen, it doesn’t work for everyone, but our animals thrive on it! Feeding goats doesn’t have to be complicated. If you think our management ways fit in with your farm, check out our breeding plan and sales page and we’ll find the perfect new addition to your farm!

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