Thursday, July 29, 2010

Feeding The Goats!

Everyone Wants in the pic......

Got an Itch do we??(This is Pizza)

Pick Me?

Pick Me OR else the shirt IS MINE!

 Cause I am so handsome...
(Crash Of the Crash and Eddie twins)

 Mariah, Momma
to Crash and Eddie(who wasn't posing for pics tonight.)

Dottie and Hope

Ethel(her momma is Dottie)
 They are my 2 Boer/Nubian crossbred does.
She had been into the Mineral. Its all over her ears!

April Laying Down with Kate(Her Grand-daughter) and
Ethel Showing her spots off...

Some of the babies playing on the burned stump..

They Love it!
Sasha and Kate chewing and rubbing on it..

Okay On to feeding the goats...
This has been a learning experience over the last 7 years.. Right now I am feeding 21 goats, 9 adults and 12 babies between 4-7 months old. There are only 2 dry does and 1 wether. The other 6 adults are milking or nursing babies.
First the grain... I am a small time dairy goat farmer.. Very small time...  I cant afford to mix quantities of Natural grains to be all natural. Its next to impossible to get organic or naturally grown grains without being a millionaire.. I do the best I can with what I got..
  I also swore against any kind of pellet the first few years I had goats. But I have a goat or 2 that will Pick through the grain only eating the bits of corn and leaving the rest.. So I switched to this 14% All Stock Grower from our local co-op.. I never could get the goats to eat the pellets that were actually labeled for goats. It's like they think they shouldn't have this so they Love it!lol It is soy based but I don't mind soy as a grain since in reality the grain doesn't make up the bulk of their diet.
 They get about 1-2 lbs depending on Age, gender and if pregnant or Milking.
 When milking they get 1-2 lbs Plus 1 lbs of grain for every 2 pounds of milk they produce.
 Oh and I got this barrel for $10! Kyle cut the top off and it flips over and fits like lid. It will hold 300lbs of grain. That is more than a weeks worth.. I would like to eventually get 4 more and buy feed once  a month for all the animals.. But they don't always have these barrels. Sometimes they may have them but I don't have the $$!....

When they are pregnant or needing a little more I add Black Oil Sunflower Seeds or BOSS.
They are high in protein, Vit E and Selenium.
They only get about a handful per goat.
 But I have found with High quality hay and pasture they don't need it right now..
They are great for the chickens too...

 Which brings me to their hay... For the first 5 years of having goats we made our own hay.. It was absolutely wonderfully Weedy stuff that goats loved!.... Then we moved and had to start buying..Ick...
Finally last fall I found some one with GOOD red clover hay.. They loved it and it loved them.. but of course he run out.. Then found another guy who has almost pure alfalfa for not to bad price they eat every last bit of it and love it.. SO that is what they get.. I tried just grass hay but they waste so much I spend a $! more a bale and they eat almost all of it.. Sometimes I am afraid they will be licking the floor trying to get the last of it...  Silly Goats..
 For Supplements... I give a copper bolus every 6 months.. I started with 1/2 of a 12.5mg Copasure. But I will be giving the full 12.5mg next time around to my adults. Its a slow release supplement and it makes a World of difference. Goats also need high amounts of copper to fight parasites.
I use to not have to give BoSe or any selenium besides BOSS or Minerals. But after this last year since we are now in a deficient area. They will be getting a BoSe Shot before breeding.  
 They have a loose mineral(Manna Pro Goat mineral), a mineral tub(Smart Lics) and a salt block.
They use all 3! The salt especially in this heat we have had.
 I use chemical dewormers because I haven't found a Natural/Herbal dewormer to work well all by itself yet. I have gotten the deworming down to about 4 times a year. I use Cydectin Injectible, Ivomec Plus(knock off brand is Normectin Plus), Valbazen and Safeguard.  I don't use this every year. I haven't used Ivomec this year or Safeguard. I use one for a few times then switch. Every time I worm I do a follow up in 10-14 days because there will be a second hatch of eggs that you got kill off. Otherwise you will just be causing the parasites to be resistant to the drug you used.
  When you worm with chemical sit will affect the livers because as their bodies try to remove the toxins it goes through the liver. This is where I use some of my herbs. Dandelion will cleanse the liver. I make a tea with Dandelion and Red Raspberry(2 big handfuls of each herb) then I add it to a single water tub emptying all the others.  I add a half a gallon of strong tea to a 30 gallon water tub. As they drink it down I add more water. when the tea is pretty much gone I put the other water tubs back in and fill with clean water.
 I know there are other herbs but so far these are the 2 they will take easily in their water. It seems to really make a difference too.
 Their pasture I would love for it to be a mix of grassy, leafy  and weedy stuff.. Unfortunately I don't have the rotational grazing up yet.. So they have eaten all the Leafy weedy stuff... But once I get that in it will come back.. That is the best for them.. I drive by fields with weedy leafy stuff and think I would let my goats eat that... LOL
 I think that is everything.. I have been working on this for 7 years now and I may...May have some of it figured out.. Goats like to keep you on your toes...


tree ocean said...

Great pix and good general info! I want to book mark this!

I thought, you haven't weaned yet? But I forgot you wether the boys young...

300 pounds a week?!?! wow! 50 lasts me about 10 days for 10 I guess mine get about 1/2 pound sweet feed each day. (wethers and dry does)

I know what you mean about the weedy stuff! I just got into this years hay and it is fine grasses in one batch or coarse in the other..give me weeds!! LOL. Although, my pasture is now covered in self-heal from the seeds in last year's weedy hay...

and they don't really like that..

Feral Female said...

Oh yeah, goats LOVE to keep thier people on thier toes. Very informative post, thanks!

matty said...


I always learn so much from you! We are doing many of the same things with our gals... we use lesbedeza for our hay. It is supposed to be a natural dewormer. We deworm quarterly with Cydectin, Safeguard, and Valbazen. The herbals didn't work well for my gals as they came with lots of problems.

The gals won't eat the pellets either. We use Southern States Sweet Goat feed, 1-11/2 qt. per gal, depending on season and milking, pregnant, or dry.

How do you manage foot care? I have two who have hooves that grow sideways. No matter how much I trim them, they keep coming back. Ideas??

I love having another goat person to chat with! Thanks!

BTW, Lanie is just as you predicted! Her leg is completely healed and she is dancing and running like a wild child. She is now on grain, 1 cup, per day, and is slowly weaning! She is beautiful!



~Tonia said...

I guess I should have said I am feeding 21 goats. 9 adults and 12 babies that are 4-7 months old.I will go back and edit that...
Matty That is great about Lanie! I am so glad she is better!
Hoof trimming is the one thing I am a slacker on. It takes me forever. I am thinking of getting one of those little hand held sanders to help.
Lespedza is a GREEAT hay!! I wish I could find more.. But its not to popular around here yet.
If they grow sideways then maybe trim where its pushing it out. Not necessarily they part that is growing out. Kind of hard to explain with out some kind of picture..

OurCrazyFarm said...

Thanks for all the great info! What beautiful goats:) Enjoyed the pictures!

Goodwife said...

Hey Tonia, just a thought......we keep our grain in an old chest type freezer. It works great, and we got ours for free when the neighbor got a new one.

Deanna said...

That sounds like an awful lot of work! But then anything worth doing is a lot of work. I know what you mean about the hay. Our sheep were the same way - either they liked it or they didn't it and if they didn't like it, they'd waste so much! Interesting information and beautiful animals.


~Tonia said...

Goodwife-I used a freezer like that before but I prefer these barrels. The freezers are kind of hard to find around here..
Deanna it does sound like a lot of work but alot of it is just once in a while. Like the deworming and things to go with that.
It is well worth it and I have help..

Shanster said...

Well the goats all look in good weight and shining with health! Lucky goats!

Brenda said...

Great photos and great info. The goats are looking really good.

Crash is a character! He's almost as big as his momma!

You have happy goats! And, you take wonderful care of them.

goatmilker said...

Your goats are so beautiful. What an interesting post. Thanks for sharing the info. Have a great night. Rebekah

R Dean said...

Tonia, your blog is very helpful to others looking at getting into raising goats...Question, do you sell raw goat milk? I have eaten goat cheese, but never tasted goat milk, how is it? I guess I should try and find some to try.

Loved the pics of the goats, they are sooooo cute!!

R Dean

~Tonia said...

I do sell goats milk. Its legal to sell it from the farm or delivery to the final customer here in MO.
It is sweet with a consistency of whole milk. If it taste goaty there is something not quite right! Fresh cheese is the best in my opinion.. I make Chevre after my friend showed me how and its easier than the vinegar cheese I make. You can do all sorts of things with it!