What Do Goats Eat – Factors You Should Know
As a goat farmer, it is very important that you have the right knowledge in terms of feeding your goats. The usual mistake of novice farmers is that they get their tips from goat raisers who rely on their goats not for business purposes but for other types of venture (i.e. showmanship goats). This will prove to be fatal in your cause to raise quality goats. What do goats eat? Continue reading this article up to the end and see what you can do to gain that competitive advantage in raising goats.
Goats are very resilient animals. They are naturally resistant to unforgiving weather. But knowing this basic fact does not mean that you have to neglect their health. Goats can be prone to sickness, especially if they don’t have access to clean water or are exposed to subpar food supply. Add to that the fact that sometimes, goats are housed in unsterile environment; this becomes a come on for different types of fatal diseases for your farm animals. To better understand proper goat care, it is crucial that we look in to what do goats eat.
When you look at the digestive profile of goats, you will notice that they are similar to ruminants but this can be misleading because if you dig deeper into what goats naturally eat, you will discover that they are unlike their counterpart cows and sheep. They are not “grazers” but rather more akin to “browsers” which means that they are partial to shrubs and small trees more than just grass.
Therefore, if you rely on grass alone as your feeding source for your meat or dairy goats, then you are terribly mistaken. To facilitate proper feeding, it is essential that there must be variety on what your goats eat. You can read all the literature on what do goats eat but if you skip on other food sources for your goat, then you will miss the boat on the profit that you can potentially make in the process of raising them. There are several food sources that you can add to your goat’s diet such as the following:
• Hay – This type of food is not as simple as it looks. To yield the best condition, it is advisable to have a laboratory examine the type of hay you wish to feed your goats. This food source is ideal during winter months where reliance on foraging is not possible. There are different types of hays which are rich in protein content such as lespedeza, legume and alfalfa.
• Pellets – This type of food may be bought in specialty farm stores. They are designed to give your goats the vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal growth and development. Caution however, must be taken and you should ask your supplier the percentage of synthetic composition in the pellets that you will purchase. Remember what do goats eat in nature, so choose only those which are closest to natural sources.
• Cereal Grains – This includes corn, oats, barley, milo and wheat. Grains can add variety to the diet of your farm goats and can be contributory to their development as full size farm goats. Grains contain additional nutrients that can provide your goats with the added weight that you wish to achieve.
• Shrubs and small trees – Goats love to pick on leaves from small trees and shrub. This is also a good part of their diet when you watch them go out in the wild. If you want what is ideal for your farm goats, then you should add this to their diet.
Now that you know the basics of what do goats eat, it is still important to note that changing your goat’s diet rapidly can cause the bacteria inside their body to be thrown off. Allow a steady and slow process of introducing new food to your goat in order to acclimatize them to the new food you wish to add in their diet. Lastly, you may also want to have a list of plants considered as poisonous to your goat’s diet. This will save you time and unnecessary trouble in the future for your commercial endeavour in fine tuning your procedures on how to raise goats. These are the things you need to know on what do goats eat.