~Our Goat Nutrition~
Brood Does are maintained solely on our pastures in spring, summer & fall. They are given good quality hay with legumes of alfalfa & medium red clover when the pastures are grazed down & in the winter. Fresh water & Sweetlix 16:8 Meat Maker Goat Minerals are available @ all times. We do test our hay for protein content. 2011 brought record rainfall in Pennsylvania. Our first cutting of hay was delayed.......followed by a long dry spell. We didn't harvest much of the 2nd cutting needed to keep the brood does producing rich, ample, milk for their 2012 kids. We plan to use a Blue Seal Meat Goat pellets and shelled corn mixture to supplement our less than prime hay. Supplementation will be given at the rate of 1 pound per doe per day and adjusted based upon body condition.
Kids are offered free choice Blue Seal pellets from birth to weaning. We provide a separate area in the barn with a creep gate to keep the does out. They have their own 2nd cutting hay & water in the pen as well. Providing the kids with creep feed boosts their growth & lessens the nutritional stress on our does. After weaning, the kids are fed based upon forage conditions & choices made for show prospects or future brood does. Show animals or those that we want to see obtain maximum weight gain & a quicker maturity rate are given a steady grain supplementation. The does I choose for replacement stock are not fed much.......if any grain while on a lush pasture.......after weaning. Please note that a pasture raised goat grows significantly slower than a grain fed one. Choose what direction you plan to go with the offspring & feed accordingly!
Bucks are maintained on pasture with Sweetlix 16:8 Meat Maker Goat Minerals in the spring, summer & fall. In the winter, they are given Blue Seal pellets, hay & fresh water. We use good quality hay to supplement the bucks when the pastures are grazed down also. When the bucks are down on weight from breeding, or penned in an area with little forage, they are also given pelleted feed. Having ample hay & feed while confined together helps to avoid unnecessary fighting to establish eating dominance.