Goats need a carefully balanced diet of high-quality hay, grass, ‘browsing’, and additional supplements. You should give them feed that’s suitable for their age and breed, including long, fibrous food, which they need for their rumen to work efficiently at digesting.
You have probably heard that goats will eat anything.
I’ll be honest; that’s not true.
Some people have goats that can eat anything, however, Tiny Dancers are a little spoilt however and have loads of pasture grass and get a treat of goat nuts each week.
Goats need hay. Especially if they are not foragers
If you have a pasture, then you’ll only need to give them hay during the times of the year when they can’t graze or when the pasture is lean.
If you don’t grow lucerne or oats, but you want your goats to get that extra protein, then feed them lucerne hay twice per day while they forage too.
Chaff is a mixture of lucerne, goat pellets, barley and lupine adding molasses to this will add good bacteria to the hay which makes it easier for the goats to digest. The fermentation process also adds more nutrients, minerals, and energy to their food.
There are 4 different types of grains: whole, pelleted, rolled, and texturized.
Whole grains are the regular unprocessed grains. Be careful when feeding this to young goats’ (small amount no more), we almost lost our 100% buck by feeding too much and it caused a blockage in his urethra.
Pelleted grains are milled grains or grain by-products that have then been turned into pellets with a binding agent. Some are opposed to this, but we have found no harm in giving them to our goats
Rolled grains are the same as whole grains only they’ve been rolled.
Then there are texturized grains. They are similar to rolled only they have other grains mixed with them to add extra nutrients.
What is best is to sow your own pasture grass which we have done, we have not had to supplement (other than as a treat) forage for our animals.