It seems like goats everywhere around the world have developed so much interest in dog food, and a whole lot of people have been raising questions concerning whether or not it is a good idea to feed their goats dog food, seeing that in most cases, the dogs look to be cooperating with their domestic ‘friends’ only at first. Not just goats – cows, horses, donkeys, sheep, etc, like to eat dog food.
So the question is can I feed my goat dog food?
Actually, dog food is not good for your goat. Simply, it’s bad for them. That is because some of the ingredients in your dog food contain animal products which would form a coating in their stomach and utterly prevent them from being able to take in nutrients into their system. Although the major ingredients in dog food are mostly grain, they also contain ruminant products, and of course, it is illegal to feed a ruminant to another ruminant.
Herbivores are not supposed to eat meat and meat products, if you recall correctly, disease like mad cow disease is transmitted through a situation like this. As much as you can, keep your goat really far from your dog food for their life’s sake.
What Are the Ingredients in Dog Food?
Your dog food contains really interesting ingredients which are expected to be nutritionally complete even though it is not always true when technically assessed.
In your dog food, you will find:
- Yellow cornmeal
- Corn Gluten Meal
- Corn Gluten
- Ground wheat meal, etc.
These are products from grains which every goat is naturally in love with, and which should in no wise be unhealthy for your goat.
So why should I not Allow My Goat to eat Dog Food then?
The amount of nutrients locked up in the grains and grain products should have been awesome for your goat. The challenge here is the grains and grain products are not the only contents there are in your dog food; there’s a whole lot more. To add to the list of ingredients in your dog food are lots of animal products, meat by-products, processed chicken fat, poultry by-product meal, etc.
These animal products are really bad for your goat, especially the fat, as they coat the stomach of the goat and prevent them from being able to soak up nutrients, so the goat will live in delusion as it feeds on the dog food, but because little or no nutrient is absorbed, the goat dies of starvation with time even though it feeds on hays and grains whether or not in much quantity.
What Then Should I feed my Goat?
If you are a goat lover or farmer about to venture into livestock farming, then consider yourself lucky to be dealing with one the most economical and cost-effective ruminant animals there is. You will hardly find a type of food that goats don’t eat. Among all categories of ruminants, goats are the only group that would not mind eating almost any kind of food.
Because of this, it is a really minor issue, the problem of what to feed your goat. Whether natural, home or commercially made feed, it can go for goats. All you need to do is to be sure there is proper feed management which includes the provision of food with enough nutrients protein, energy, vitamins and minerals, and so on.
It would be wonderful if you create pastures that will make room for your goat to graze freely, giving it access to sufficient, necessary food elements like protein and carbohydrates and as such, helping your goat remain healthy. When you allow your goat to graze natural pastures, you help the goat to enhance the digestibility of other foods and get more taste out of them.
Getting the goats to graze on natural pastures with plants and grasses such as millet, Sudan grasses, Bahia grasses, grain grass mixture, clover, sorghum etc, which are very healthy and effective for goat meat production and health, is a wise decision. For goats, free grazing in the pasture keeps them free from diverse kinds of internal and external parasitical diseases.
Another essential source of goat nutrient is Hay, especially in the winter seasons when the plant kingdom is generally drying up, losing their water content to the environment. It is definitely a welcome idea to feed your goats mold free hay.
Feeding your goats with weedy hay does not matter too. It is really cheap and contained in it is a great number of nutrients essential for your goat. Hays available for your goats vary in types. You can find among so many, lespedeza, alfalfa and clover hays that are very much enriched in protein and some other essential nutrients.
Presence of vitamins and minerals in goat feed is not a topic for argument at all. This is because vitamins and minerals help the goats to remain productive and help them to prevent various types of diseases. In other words, vitamins and minerals help to build up the goats defense system against diseases even as they keep being productive.
Your goat needs a lot of vitamins and minerals ingredients in their food. Having some feed elements such as phosphorus, salt and calcium which are very useful minerals for goats, included in your goat feed is great.
- You can also provide a premix of loose minerals because goats prefer that very much.
- To enhance apt growth and production, your goat also needs the inclusion of some vitamins like Vitamins A, D, and E.
So, while feeding your goats, be certain that you have all those elements available in their regular and daily food.
- You might stay in a location where there is not much supply or availability of hay or adequate natural goat feed. If this is your case, an alternative means is to feed your goat with 12 to 15% grainy formulated food and you are good.
- Also, do well to provide creep and complementary feeding to the kids. Ensure colostrum for newly born kids.
- Of course, constantly supply your goat with adequate clean and freshwater.
Grains are incredible sources of carbohydrate and protein.
- Rye, oats, moil, corn, barley etc. are cereal grains and highly enriched with carbohydrates and they give much energy to your goat.
- Cotton meal, soyabean meal, fish meal and some other forms protein supplements prepared from animals and plants are acceptable sources of protein nutrient for your goats.
Did you know that you can properly manage your garden and kitchen garbage in the process of raising goats? Normally, scraps from the garden and kitchen will be used as in compositors purpose. But by raising goats you can utilize those garbage as their feed. Goats will cheerfully consume all those garbage with a ‘thank you very much’ if you can hear them.
Various common garden and kitchen garbage like pawpaw peels, watermelon peels, garden egg leftovers, banana peels, orange peels, tomato, garlic skins other vegetables and fruit cutting etc, as well as food scraps like yam peels, potato peels and so on, are very suitable food that you can feed your goats.
Goats should not munch some elements like eggs shells, fish cutting etc. Instead, you can feed such products to your poultry birds. As goats are ruminants, they eat almost all types of food which they find in front of them.
Goats also have interest in papers of all sort and can eat or gobble them in. But feeding them with just any type of paper may cause damage to their health, the reason being that paper comprises of some chemicals. While grazing goats may locate cigarette or cigarette butts and eat them, even though they are very destructive to their health.
A lot of farmers go ahead and feed their goats, dogs, cats or other non-ruminants feed. Because dogs or cats are entirely distinct from goats and their nature, feeding your goat such food may result in severe health crises.
Apart from those foods, there are some other kinds of foods that are also extremely toxic for goats health like nightshade, crotalaria, pokeweed, peach leaves, plum leaves and so on. Don’t feed these to your goat.
How do I Make sure my Goat doesn’t Eat Dog Food?
Honestly, the safety measures are up to you; whether, where to raise your goat should be different from where you raise your dog or to establish a demarcation between the goats and the dogs.
Whichever way you want it, just be sure they are raised in a healthy environment and away from your dog food.
Presently, goat farming is coming to be very prominent due to its diverse economic utility. We can obtain several products such as meat, milk, skins, fiber, etc. from them. But the profitable production from goat farming business mostly depends on proper feed supply and management systems.
So as you go ahead having a wonderful animal farm or pet, be sure we’re always here to help you have them at their best.