What Do Goats Eat?

Last Updated: 17.07.19

 

Have you ever wondered what goats eat when they are not chewing on your goat fence? If you are curious to find out the answer, check it out here in this article. If you are the proud new owner of a goat, but you are still a beginner when it comes to taking care of this animal, then you should know what to do and what not to do in order to keep your goat healthy and happy.

 

Behavior

If you bring home a baby goat that has been bottle fed instead of being raised by her mother, then the little animal will be very friendly and will come close to you or any other humans as it associates humans with food.

The goat will start to nibble on your clothes and will want you to hold it, trying to tell you that it wants to be fed. To prevent that you can scratch its back and it will behave. If the goat has been raised by its mother, then chances are that it will run away from you or be skittish.

 

Feeding

If your baby goat is under 6 weeks of age, then it’s a good idea to proceed and bottle feed it. Although there are sellers that give you 4 weeks old goats and say that they will be fine without bottle feeding, you should do that regardless of what they say. Feeding a young goat some milk greatly improves its health.

The best thing you can do is to find some milk on a goat farm. This way you are feeding your goat fresh milk. If you don’t have access to this kind of milk you can opt for dehydrated goat’s milk or even goat’s milk you find at the store, as well.

 

 

When you are bottle feeding a goat that has never been bottle fed before, what you need to realize is that a baby goat is not going to accept the bottle very well at first. If they are not used to being fed this way, they are going to fight it. They will get hungry but despite this, they will not easily accept that bottle. This is going to be one of the biggest challenges in the beginning.

What you need to do is to be persistent and tough. During the same day, you have to return multiple times to the goat and force-feed it. Get it accustomed to the bottle and make it drink until it realizes that is good for it.

 

Watch their diet

If the goat is between six and eight weeks of age or older, after you bring them home, you can start feeding them a normal diet. Here is the biggest mistake that new or beginner owners make. After picking up their baby goat, they head straight to the feed store and they buy a package of goat feed.

Those goat feed products are actually meant only as a treat for the animal. They are not meant as food. If you choose to feed your goat only that feed, your goat will die. That’s how much this mistake costs you, you actually kill your goat. Goats are ruminant animals and their digestive system is designed to process just grass or hay.

What you have to understand is that 90% of a goat’s diet is some type of hay. If you go to the same feed store you can purchase bales of hay that’s usually alfalfa, also called Lucerne, or a grass blend. These are the most common types of food that you can and should get for your goat. Sometimes you can get alfalfa and grass, sometimes it’s just alfalfa, but either way works.

Alternatively, if you don’t have access to fresh hay, you can buy hay pellets. They are basically made up of the same plants. These options are the only ones you need in order to feed your baby goat, provided it’s the right age (above 8 weeks). This diet is one hundred percent safe and adequate for its digestive system.

You can purchase grain or seeds and you can give it treats such as fruits, vegetables, and similar products but you have to understand that it’s a very small amount, smaller than you may think. There is a tendency for humans in general to spoil little baby goats and this is why most people want to feed them fun treats.

We want to see them eat strawberries and we grab a handful of grain every time we go out to see it, but by doing this regularly, your baby goat will develop digestive issues. Therefore, stick to a hay-based diet and only from time to time give them these special treats. This way, your goat will grow healthy and will live a long and happy life.

 

 

Goat services

A lot of times people who own land and don’t tend to it will notice that it becomes covered in all sorts of weeds. Some weeds are classified as noxious weeds. These are defined as being non-native and aggressive plants, have made hundreds of acres unpalatable to cattle, horses, and wildlife.

Because of this, these weeds especially are targeted with chemical sprays. Unfortunately, over the years some weed species have evolved and are now immune to any chemical that farmers can use. Pesticides are not a viable solution anymore for kochia, for example.

This is where goats enter the scene. Goat stomachs have enzymes that can digest these plants. Because both goats, as well as these weeds, were introduced in America from Europe, they are in a way compatible. Native horses and cattle can’t eat this weed, but goats have no problem.

Goats are often brought into areas that are covered in weeds and through this process of natural recycling, the goats are fed, the field is purified and made fit for cattle and horses and last but not least, the soil is fertilized.

 

 

 

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