Goats Love to Eat, But What's Best For Their Diet?

Posted by Christy Caplan
Baby Goats

We love goats! Baby goats, screaming goats, and any color goat! We've done many breed profiles on goat,  but now it's time to talk about what goats eat. Goats are ruminants and herbivores; They shouldn't ever have meat or animal by-products in their feed. I've been told to add some goats to our chicken area, but goats cannot eat chicken feed.

According to Morning Chores, there are four major things you should know about feeding goats:

1. Hay

goats grazing

Morning Chores says good quality hay is what goats need. That is especially crucial if they are not foragers:

"If you have a pasture, then you'll only need to give them hay during the times of year when they can't graze. If you don't raise alfalfa, but you want your goats to get that extra protein, then feed them alfalfa hay twice per day while they forage too."

2. Chaffhaye

Chaffhaye is alfalfa or grass that has been cut early, which is then divided into smaller chunks and sprayed with molasses. Lastly, a culture of Bacillus subtillis is added and the entire mixture is vacuum sealed in larger bags.

Goats are known to love fermented chopped alfalfa like this!

3. Whole grains

Boer Goat
Images via Able Acres Boer Goats

Free Range Life says that you should feed grains to the following:

  • Pregnant does
  • Bucks in rut
  • Does in milk
  • Kids under 1 year
  • Underweight goats

4. Snacks 

Black sunflower seeds are a great snack! I also feed these to our chickens, and other healthy snacks include kelp, fresh fruit, and sweet feed.

5. Supplements 

three goats

Black oil sunflower seeds are a great snack but also high in protein, so we consider this a snack and supplement. You can also try loose minerals, baking soda, beet pulp, and apple cider vinegar. These are all important for goat nutrition and goat care

Raising goats requires a lot of research, and it's useful to have them on pasture if you can. Grass hay is crucial to a goat's diet and raising healthy goats, so make sure to follow this above list if you're a goat owner.

Like most farm animals, don't feed your goats most human food:

  • Avocado
  • Toxic plants like Azaleas
  • Any nightshade vegetable
  • Milkweed
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Wild cherries
  • Banana peels

They don't eat tin cans! Always watch their body weight and make sure you feed goats high-quality hay. They have sensitive digestive systems and need supplements and you can offer them free choice.

WATCH NOW: Nigerian Dwarf Goats Are the Happiest Little Things!

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Goats Love to Eat, But What's Best For Their Diet?