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Old 12-29-2008, 04:02 PM  
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Goat diet -- what's O.K to feed them besides hay

We have 3 pygmy goats -- 2 fixed boys and 1 female - approximately 9-12 months old. We know the exact age of the female and are guessing on the age of the boys.
We currently feed them mixed hay and my son feeds them a handful of oats 1-2 times/week.
They also get the odd spruce bough thrown in as well for a treat -- dunno why but they seem to like to nibble on the needles and strip the branch bare in no time.
Is it OK to feed them things like carrot peels, potato peels and vegetable scraps?? They are doing fine on the hay and occassional oat treat but I was just wondering --- what else do you feed your goats?
Oh -- they are getting a salt lick tomorrow as well and they do have a great supply of water.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:10 PM  
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Mine get an All-Stock feed. Not much, because they are piggies.

Promise Ranch, Range or Karen Cole all have good help for goats if you want to pm one of them!
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:14 PM  
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Be careful feeding too much grain and high mineral forage (alfalfa), especially to the males. Urethral blockages from urinary crystals are very common (and can be very serious). Grass hay, "fruit salad" and veggies are safer alternatives .
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:16 PM  
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My goat will eat whatever she can get into her mouth . Oats, corn, barley, high fat high fiber pellets, dog biscuts, toast, crackers, peanut butter cookies, chips and her most favorite MINI WHEATS (plain, strawbery, maple doesn't matter ).
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:59 PM  
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We fed ours hay and grain. Having had one die of the "urinary crystals" I too caution feeding too much grain, especially to the males. Be careful not to feed too many "gas producing" veggies---I had one bloat and almost die from that (not me this time, neighbor did it). Pygmy goats are pretty resilient creatures.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:06 AM  
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Thanks for the warning on the grain -- they get about 3 handfulls total (3 goats, one handful each) 1-2 a week as a treat so hopefully that is not too much. I just had a brainwave that we should be feeding the vegetable peelings (carrots & potatoes mostly) with the odd turnip or broccali scraps to the goats instead of throwing it in the garbage. They will eat it, but I wasn't sure if this kind of stuff was "good" for them or not. Am also planning on letting them out in the spring to mow the lawn and I am sure they will get in to all the plants out here. I think I have to figure out what they can and cannot eat in the flower beds as well . We are new to this acerage and I haven't figured out what every plant is yet. Is there a list of what is poisionous (sp?) to goats out there somewhere?
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:18 AM  
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Iam going to ditto mdDVM and add a little. The pine trees contain high amounts of Vit. C which is why they like it. It's fine in moderation as long as it's not been sprayed with color like alot of Christmas trees. A good loose mineral is better than a block goats are lazy they will not lick enough to get what they need. We have had good luck with Sweetlix goat mineral...for yours try to get the meat goat mineral , Pygmys are a meat breed. I would not feed any grain other than for the treat like you've been doing. Your wethers don't need it and your doe is not milking/bred she does not need it either as long as they are all in good flesh.

Try going to fiasco farms website they will have some really good information for you as well.

Good Luck
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:22 AM  
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I forgot to add it's best to stay away from the cabbage family when giving veggies also I belive some part of the potatoe is not safe but don't know for sure. I've heard pumpkins are good mine won't eat them but the seeds are supposed to be a natural wormer.

Ours like Mums, roses if you have wild roses let the goats browse them also briars they will help control those noxious plants.

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Old 12-30-2008, 09:45 AM  
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There's a sticky under Health and Nutrition that talks about plants that are toxic to horses----probably would apply to goats too. I know from experience that mountain laurel will kill them (you don't even want to know) and I know that azaleas and rhododendrons are also toxic.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:06 PM  
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Karen -- we have lots of wild roses and the pasture area is overgrown with them. Will have to let the goats out in the spring and have them do a bit of grazing in the pasture. The pine trees are branches from our own property and they haven't been sprayed with anything. Thanks for the warning about Christmas trees -- I never would have thought that they would be sprayed with colour
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:03 PM  
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feed

Hi there we are in Alberta as well, I feed my stock the best quality grass and alfalfa hay I can get, I NEVER feed pine/spruce as it will cause abortions. The best mineral is loose, you can buy it in ponoka or their is a good lick that is called moo goo!! The goats love it. what do you guys grade out as? can you feel their back bones? ribs? what are their weights? Do you trim the hooves every month? have they had their 8way shots? been wormed? given a vit/min shots? If you ever need any help just let me know.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:09 AM  
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Mine have loose salt and loose mineral free choice. Like was said before they get grain as a treat when not bred or milking. We feed ours fitting rations or mixed grain.

My goats love pumpkin and winter squash but have to be enticed to eat the summer squashes by cutting them into bite size pieces and mixing them in with the grain.

Sometimes foods are more readily excepted from the hand. Once it hits the floor...no way! Oh yes we just discovered they are crazy for oranges this includes the peelings.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:58 AM  
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Hi,

I see that someone has already mentioned keeping them away from brassicas, cabbage etc, they can get bloat from that, as I know to my cost.

Also don't let them get into your sugar beet or grass nut supplies because that will cause bloat/colic too.

I do feed mine a handful of soaked timothy cubes daily along with allstock mixture. They are just on ad lib hay in their racks in the barn right now as they refuse to set foot out of the door even to stretch their legs! I have been warned not to feed too much alfalfa as well. My 'bible' says that they can quite happily eat pines and spruces and even poison ivy. Before when I had goats we didn't have those three around so I wouldn't know.

The usual poisons are the same as for horses (although ivy is OK) yew, laburnum and box will kill very quickly I do know that. They'll wreak havoc in your garden eating the tender centres of all your plants, and they ADORE sunflower plants. Mine most certainly will not have free range of my garden, nothing would be safe!
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