Free choice alfalfa hay. Some Orchard Grass or forage hay for variety.
Trimmings from our non-poisonous trees. Goats are browsers (like deer), not grazers, and love eating the leaves and bark off of trees. Just be sure they aren’t toxic. And fence off any trees or bushes you don’t want them to eat or they will have a feast and might destroy them!
High quality alfalfa hay is the basis of our goats' diet and we go through a lot of it!
Loose Goat Minerals
Free choice loose minerals (NOT blocks - goats can’t lick/chew them well) - we use and highly recommend Crafts-MIN Organic cattle & goat mineral, which we order online from Grass Farmer Supply in Minnesota. It’s all organic, really high in Copper and Selenium, which are very deficient where we live, and also contains Icelandic Kelp and a lot of other great ingredients.
If you can’t get CraftsMin then Sweetlix Magnum Milk or Meat Maker is our second choice and available at most feed stores. We do NOT use Sweetlix and don’t think it comes close to Craftsmin in quality and nutrition, but it’s a decent substitute for those that don’t want to order Craftsmin.
We do NOT recommend the Manna Pro mineral from Tractor Supply at all. It's not well balanced and our goats wouldn’t even touch it! In fact we haven’t found any mineral at Tractor Suoply to be worth the money so do yourself and your goats a favor and buy Craftsmin!
Please note that you shouldn’t use any mineral that’s high in copper and selenium, including Craftsmin or Sweetlix, if you have too much of these minerals in your soil. Most areas a deficient in them but not all so do your own research before feeding any product to your goats!
To order the mineral we use & recommend click the button below:
CraftsMin loose organic minerals balance out the hay and keep our herd healthy!
Grain: We don't feed much grain since goats are ruminants and get most of what they need from high our quality alfalfa (and grass or forage) hay and free choice loose Crafts-Min minerals. Roughage (hay, trees, etc), not grain, is what makes milk and keeps goats healthy, so that's the foundation of their diet, while the minerals balance everything out. We do give some grain to does on the milk stand. Our bucks don’t get any grain. Grain is not good for male goats as most grains are high in phosphorus and can cause urinary calculi! Please, don’t feed your male goats grain, especially pet wethers. It can lead to a very sad end. (Alfalfa is ok for bucks and wethers as it actually helps prevent UC. Just don’t overfeed it or they can get too fat!) We have not found a need to feed our bucks grain even during breeding season because they get everything they need from alfalfa hay and CraftsMin loose minerals.
We don't like to use commercial feeds because of all the GMO's, soy, etc. We also refuse to use any feed that doesn’t use a fixed formula. Therefore we feed either whole oats or rolled barley (or both) or 4 way COB (corn, oats, barley) to does on the milk stand. Our kids, bucks and dry does generally don’t get any grain, other than as an occasional treat.
Electrolytes: when it’s really hot out we give electrolytes to keep the goats hydrated, especially does in milk and young kids. Our brand of choice is Sheep and Goat BlueLite, which we get at Premier 1.
"Above the arch there was a lamp, and beneath it swung a large signboard: a fat white pony reared up on its hind legs. Over the door was painted in white letters: The Prancing Pony by Barliman Butterbur." ~ from The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings.