Give your goat a treat! If there are animals whose greatest delight is to munch, count goats in. Of course, it is often unusual not to find goats chewing or moving their mouth around. Whether or not this fact is attributed to their four-chambered stomach, goats love to eat and they love to eat yummy treats all day long.
Goats go the extra mile for treats. They can comb the garden, make a mess of your store, whatever it takes, to find something tasty to move their maxilla and mandible over and on.
Common treats that goats eat include:
- A cake comprising Molasses, carrot, quaker-oats, and flour, that is a perfect treat for your goat. Apples too will do.
- Sunflower seeds as well as pumpkin seeds.
They’ll enjoy these for treats.
Goats will need a lot of fibre in order that they should remain in proper health.
You will have noticed that your goats have a lot more interest in eating brush and trees than in grasses.
Even though there is almost nothing that goats do not eat, it still does not imply that there should not be times occasionally that you should give them a good treat.
Other features of treats your goats would enjoy include:
- To start with, the treat has to be a healthy and balanced feed or diet.
- You can do well to offer your goats corn chips, raisins, some throws of sliced bread as well. Just be sure to give them these treats in little amounts and only within the time you apportioned for snacks.
- Disease-free, fresh and healthy vegetables and fruits are very much enjoyed by goats – the likes of pears, watermelon, carrot, lettuce banana, peaches, corn, grapes, celery, pumpkin, beans, squash, and spinach. So giving them some of these to feed on is a good treat.
- Also be sure to make them as sizeable as possible so they will not choke when eating them.
Treats You Should NEVER Give Your Goats?
One of the big mistakes people make in trying to give their goats a good treat is giving them cat or dog food.
It is unhealthy to feed your goats cat food or dog food because these foods would contain animal proteins that can be digested by cats and dogs (all meat-eaters) but not by your ruminant goats that naturally feed on vegetables and their derivatives.
Goats are herbivores and they lack the ability to process animal proteins.
- Also note that your goats should never be fed with Avocados. This is because they are poisonous to them.
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What Are The Best Foods For My Goats?
In this, is contained the most awesome kinds of food to feed your goats in relation to how much goats like them and also their nutritional advantage.
Here is a list of food to feed your goats so as to help maintain their health and also improve their weight.
Pasture & Browsing
Contained in pasture and browse is well enough taste and nutrition for your goat. This really helps digestion for goats inasmuch as they are highly palatable for the animals.
Even though there are different varieties of pastures, some are more nutritious and provide more nourishment for goats than others.
Pastures like the Sudan grass, Alfalfa, Sorghum Bahia grass, Millet, grain grass mixtures and clovers are vital and good sources of nutrition and palatable food for your goats.
With pastures, it becomes no longer a necessity to have hay.
Browsing also reduces the cost of feeding as they help you cut down on the things you should buy as they get food for themselves while browsing through pastures.
Pastures are healthy and will protect your goats from a lot of diseases.
Just like pastures, hay is a very important aspect of goat feed as far as goat farming is concerned.
One of the characteristics of a good, quality hay is that it does not contain mold.
If your feeding style for your goats is pasture feeding, and the pasture system in your farm is great, then hays become needful only when the pasture for grazing is not available at the time, because as we have earlier said, pastures provide every necessary nutrient that hays can give.
Even at that, the importance of hay for goat farming cannot be overemphasized. They are needful in the cold and in the rainy days.
Goats will mostly prefer hays like the alfafa, clovers, lespedeza or soybean and also vetch.
Chaffhaye is primarily grasses or hays that are made by cutting them early into smaller sizes and bits and spreading them with molasses.
When this is done, they are then arranged into bags, allowing them to parch.
This will enable an environment that favors some commensal or symbiotic bacteria to add to the hay to ease the digestive process for the goat.
By this, you have additional minerals, nutrients as well as energy.
Vitamins and Minerals
To keep healthy goats, vitamins and minerals are very vital in goat feed; some or most in trace.
For goat feed, Phosphorus, Calcium, and salt are very important for the health of the goat.
If your goat has issues with a bloated stomach or something like that, baking soda will be a good source of vitamin.
Some vitamins like vitamins A, D and E are highly important for kids and mature goats.
You can also get Vitamin E from Black oil or seeds from sunflower that is important in the enriching of goat milk and development of the reproductive system and muscular system.
Others like Probios are needful as they help goats in the proper function of the rumen.
You can get Iodine from Kelp Meal which helps to heighten milk production for goats.
You can also help build the immune system of your goats by providing them with fruits and vegetables that contain so much amount of enzymes and minerals. Such fruits like the Apple Cider Vinegar are key.
Garden and Kitchen Scrap
When it comes to goat feeding, aside their palatability, scraps are of great nutritional value.
It is also a time and money saver to feed your goats with kitchen scraps.
If you can find kitchen scraps like orange peels, pawpaw peels, tomato ends, banana peels, skin of garlic, and so on, give them to your goats and you are fine.
In addition to these, you can serve them human foods and vegetables or fruits (fresh or dry).
It is not advisable to give your goats sweet feeds so as not to make them lazy and depend on junks.
There is also a provision made for those who will not be able to make all these important foods available. If you can give your goats 13 to 16% of grains, that would do.
You can also feed your goats with grains everyday.
Actually, mature goat feed should contain up to 40% of grains but feeds for the kids don’t have to contain grains as they cannot digest it well.
In grains are high amounts of carbohydrate and protein and this makes grains very important.
Grains are of different types ranging from the texturized, rolled, pelleted to the whole.
Grain products such as rye, corn, oats, barley and moil provide the major elements. They are called cereals.
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What Should You Not Feed Goats?
Try not to give your goats these items:
- Plants with oxalates such as kale.
- Any nightshade vegetable
- Holly trees or bushes
- Lily of the valley.
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Can You Feed Cattle Feed to Goats?
The truth is that most ruminant animals belonging to similar families would eat similar things. Goats and cattle usually eat very similar things and you can feed your goat with cattle feed – the feed rations are similar.
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Composition of Ideal Creep Feed
An ideal creep feed should contain the following:
- Groundnut cake -30 %
- Wheat bran – 10 %
- Maize – 40%
- Molasses – 5%
- Mineral mixture- 2%
- Deoiled rice bran- 13 %
- Salt – 1% fortified with vitamins A, B2, and D3 and antibiotic feed supplements.
Below is a table that shows helpful feeding schedule for you kids from to 90 days
This system of goat rearing involves allowing the goat to graze the while pasture throughout the season.
In this method, feed cost is very much reduced.
To make the extensive system if grazing more effective and conducive, you can share the land into portions with the use of temporary fences.
The idea is that while they are done with one portion of the pasture, you can move them to another. Before the whole section is covered, you will have had adequate grass in the earlier sections to begin the second grazing.
This is called Rotational Grazing.
If there are parasites and infestations in the pasture, rotational grazing helps you monitor and control them to a large degree.
Also, fodder with quality will be readily available almost throughout the year if rotational grazing is employed.
When grazing is limited, it is advisable to adjust to the semi-intensive system of producing goats.
Here, there is an interplay between extensive and intensive systems. An extensive system is employed but with controlled grazing of fenced pastures.
Semi-intensive system involves the provision of stall feeding, shelter at night under a shed for your goats, and between 3 to 5 hours of everyday grazing and browsing on pasture and range.
It is more expensive to operate than the extensive system but has the advantage of:
- Being able to meet the nutrient expectation as it combines grazing and stall feeding.
- Also, it gives you the opportunity to be able to manage medium to large flocks of between 50 to 350 heads and counting. Cultivated forages can also be maximized during lean periods.
- Cultivated forages can also be maximized during lean periods.
- Kids for milk and meat are greatly obtained.
- Because there is no much input or labor, it is also profitable.
- Intensive system or zero grazing-system: This system of goat production is one such that the goats are always kept within the confinement of a housing system where they do not have access to land. Instead, they depend on stall feeding. This is why it is sometimes referred to as the zero-grazing system of goat production.
- This is more like parenting – the goats are not allowed to cater for themselves under little or minimum care.
- The operation of a 50 to 250 head medium-sized herd or intended herds for commercial production of milk will go well with this system especially for dairy breeds of goats.
The intensive system of goat production demands more labor and increased cash input. But it guarantees close monitoring and control of the animals.
You also have the opportunity to collect the dung at a place where you can be able to use them for fertilizers. In this method, the dung is collected in one place and used as a good fertilizer.
Also, you only need a little space for a larger number of animals.
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It is a very important thing to consider the well-being of your goats whether they are raised for pets, milk or meat, or for any other reason, and giving them treats from time to time is a good way to do so.