How and what to feed the goats?
Feeding a goat is easy. There is no problem with feed in the summer. If there is a pasture, then the issue of feeding, in general, disappears. The edge of the forest, an abandoned field, an unowned flowerbed or lawn - nothing special is needed for a goat. Sedge, acacia and any weed goes to the goat for food. In nature, goats pluck the mountainsides very poor (in the sense of food). How and what to feed and feed the goats in winter and summer, we will tell in this article.
Where to graze goats in the summer?
If there is a choice of pasture, then it is better to graze goats where it grows:
- wheat grass;
If the pasture is sown, then for goats it is good to sow it with the following crops:
- common hedgehog;
- double source
- meadow foxtail,
- bluegrass and swamp meadow,
- American wheatgrass
- Clover Creeping
- sowing and sickle alfalfa.
If the soil allows, you can diversify the crops: suitable legumes, cabbage, cereal grass stands. The best for goats sown from legumes - from legumes. When feeding hay legumes, the amount of grain in the feed should be reduced.
In the process of evolution, a goat formed an excellent digestive apparatus - a 4-chamber stomach. It allows you to digest a goat and branches, and sedge, and needles, and algae.
A goat cannot do without roughage. On the day she needs them at least 1 kg, and optimally 3-5 kg, up to 30% of roughage can be replaced with twigs.
Feed is divided into three main types. Rough, juicy and concentrated.
The main types of feed for goats
Coarse Goat Feed
Rough feeds are the most natural for goats. After the vegetation of the plants, the goats have to be content with hay, twigs, straws.
Hay is stored at the beginning of flowering plants. Then it contains the maximum of its vitamin and microelement composition. Weed is dried from dew and rain. The most valuable is hay from field meadows.
You can not stock up on hay on city lawns and on roadsides. Hay from swamps, forests and lowlands is no better than straw. But straw with cereals cannot be replaced by hay. You can give it a maximum of a quarter or a third of the amount of hay. And this is about the straw of spring crops. Winter straw is even less nutritious.
In winter, you can feed goats grain feed — wheat, barley, rice, oats, corn. Grind the grain and add to the hay. You can mix different grains, but only no more than 0.5 kg per day per head.
Barley is better suited for fattening meat breeds. Milking goats from barley are gaining excess weight. From this, milk production in goats deteriorates, and in goats, tribal qualities decrease. Oats fit only mature. If it is feeble, then it is poorly digested and absorbed.
Corn cannot be abused. Not more than 300-500 g per day per goat. The grain is given in dry form so that goats chew it for a long time. Goats cannot digest porridge, porridge - for animals with a single-chamber stomach.
In order not to damage the teeth of animals, cereals are crushed or ground.
Rough feeds are also tree branches. They are given in half with hay, it is better not to give them separately, they are malnutrition. To harvest the branches it is best to take:
- birch tree
Their goats eagerly eat. Branches are good to harvest for replacing hay in the winter.
Juicy goat feed
In the summer, juicy feed for goats is grass. In winter, it is replaced by pumpkin, cabbage, carrots, beets. Juicy feeds are characterized by milk production.
Root crops are produced in a raw, but washed and cut form. Moreover, the whole root crop with tops and roots goes into food. Raw give all root vegetables, except for potatoes. It must be boiled. And give no more than 500 g per day.
In summer, goats are given a carrion of apples and pears. Goat apples are very fond of, but you can’t give them a lot. They are sour. Overgrown cucumbers and zucchini are given to the goats, as well as cracked tomatoes and peppers. The vegetables are chopped so that the goats do not choke. Dirty vegetables must be washed, and rotten vegetables - cut.
When feeding vegetables and tops, they need to add chalk. Since they themselves are sour.
Silo - a great alternative to grass for the winter
Great winter juicy food - silage. Silage is harvested in pits or insulated containers. Warm pits with a layer of earth and straw. Now the progressive and resource-saving method is considered to be harvesting in a pit, in a plastic sleeve. The temperature of the silage process is from 5 to 35 degrees, humidity from 60 to 70%. At the same time, lactic acid bacteria turn fiber and plant carbohydrates into nutritious and aromatic silo.
Good silo smells of soaked apples.
The main crops suitable for silage are plants with a high sugar content:
- Sudanese grass
- winter rye;
- perennial legumes, peas;
- perennial cereals.
Low sugar plants do not silage. For example, young alfalfa, nettle, tops of potatoes, tomatoes, watermelons, pumpkins, many weeds.
Conditions for obtaining a good silo:
- The term of laying is no more than 2-4 days, the faster you clog the grass in the bag, the better.
- Fine grinding, thorough ramming and the creation of anaerobic conditions.
- The temperature inside the pit is not higher than + 37 ° C. Microflora warms up the silo.
- Silo insulation: polyethylene film + 8-10 cm layer of earth + weed sowing (to protect the silo from moisture) + 80-100 cm straw (protection against hypothermia in winter).
Silo is prepared simply. Finely chopped fresh hay, tops, cabbage leaves, meadow grass, stems, as well as legumes, sunflowers, and corn are placed in a prepared container or sleeve. Raw materials that are too wet and too acidic are poorly silted. Wet can be dried and acidified with alkali chalk (1 gram per kilogram of greens).
Silo is a very cheap pasture replacement. Therefore, it can be harvested as much as possible (up to 600-800 kg per goat).
Combined feeds are considered a fully balanced mixture, for example, for pigs or poultry. That is, for animals with a single chamber stomach. The digestive system of goats is adapted to digest roughage. In the rumen, hay is digested by microorganisms, and heat is released - hay microflora heat the goats.
Feed for goats needs to be added a little. No more than half a kilogram per head per day. In excess, concentrates lead to stone formation in the kidneys and impair the digestion of goats.
Goat feed is OK-80. It is important to monitor the release date of the feed. It is stored no longer than 3 months. This feed contains grass granules that reduce the amount of hay.
Feed can be prepared independently. Goats during lactation (with daily milk of 4 l), the following mixture is recommended:
- barley 30%;
- corn 20%;
- oats 22%;
- wheat bran 11%;
- dry yeast feed 1%;
- sunflower meal 12%;
- common salt 1%;
- premix for dairy goats 1%;
- feed chalk 2%.
Other goat feeds
Beet pulp, molasses, oilcake, meal, feed yeast and other waste from the food industry can be added to goat food. But you need to monitor the quality of the waste. Cake and meal can run rancid and also mold.
Yeast should be given carefully, they can change the microflora of the stomachs and even “stop” the digestion of goats. Spoiled food should not be given to goats in any case!
Danger of overeating
You can feed goats plenty. But this is fraught with overeating, as well as bloating. Often it comes from mixing different feeds at one meal. Vegetables, root vegetables, fruits, and grain mixture at the same time appearing in the rumen can lead to abundant reproduction of microflora and bloating. Feed should be broken up and the goats offered more uniform feeding. And in the morning give more nutritious food.
Bloating can also overtake animals at the beginning of the grazing period. For prevention, before the pasture of goats need to feed hay. Otherwise, they will overeat tasty young grass. There may be a digestive upset. The stomach may “stop” from bloating. And this is very dangerous. Until death.
What to exclude from the diet of goats?
Poisonous plants. The most dangerous and even deadly poisons are plants:
- fern (in any form) - are fraught with internal bleeding;
- hellebores (especially in the hay) - damage to the respiratory tract;
- wolf bean or lupine (in the hay) - depending on the dose: from infertility to death from respiratory arrest.
Less dangerous, but you can also poison goats:
- red clover;
- dope grass;
- feather grass;
- a trailer;
- setaria (bristle);
- sprouted potatoes (especially green);
- cake of flax, hemp, rapeseed, mustard, colza, camelina;
- rotten, sour, infected fungi, mold, ergot;
- plants containing insects (aphids, caterpillars, whitewash, barn weevil, ticks).
All this is excluded from the diet of goats.
Doubtful food should be washed, dried and only then fed into the food.
Down breed goats are prohibited:
- Crimean burdock;
- black root;
Milk can be spoiled:
- cabbage leaves;
- sugar beet;
- wild garlic;
- anemone (anemone);
- the bugs.
The goat must be fed so that it is strong, strong, but not greasy. Even in the pasture period, it must be fed. For this, good hay from legumes, juicy silage, oilcake, fruits, peas, carrots, boiled eggs, beets are suitable. In general, you need to give about 4 kg of feed per day, of which half the hay.
Instead of water, it is good for the goats to reverse. For immunity and good seed, goats should be given multivitamins and minerals. In winter, a goat walking is required.
Goat feeding schedule
In the summer, goats themselves organize their day in the pasture. It is only necessary to organize watering and feeding. And in winter they need to be fed regularly, every 6-7 hours.
Moreover, in the morning it is necessary to give more nutritious food, for example compound feeds and potatoes, in the afternoon - hay or silage, in the evening - brooms or straw. Twigs fit on a broom:
- poplar trees;
- mountain ash.
As fillers add:
- heather grasses;
- nettle leaves;
- meadowsweet herbs;
Calculation per animal per day: hay - 10 kg, concentrates and root crops - 3 kg. It would be good to chop hay, crushed hay is better absorbed.
How to increase milk yield by feeding?
On the pasture there are milk-suppressing plants, such as celandine, milestone, cicuta, forest lily of the valley, coniferous branches, horsetail, hogweed. They must be avoided.
But there are milk-producing: these are nettles, caraway seeds, chamomile, wormwood, oregano, and yarrow. A pasture with such herbs is well suited for dairy goats. Such herbs must be harvested in brooms and in the winter to give them with food, as well as hang on fences and bushes on a walk. But the ties with brooms must be removed. And then goats and they will be eaten.
Approximate milk diet
|Stern||Live weight kg|
|Phosphates, calcium, g||10||12||12|
How to drink goats?
Often goats suffer from dehydration. At the same time they refuse water. This is because in nature goats drink the purest mountain water. And their water requirements are high.
This problem can be solved simply. Make teas for them, brewing herbs.
You need to start learning with water for kids. They cook stewed fruit. Orange peel, potato peel, apple peel - nothing special. Just an aromatic drink. Goats love water with smoke. Preferably heated at the stake with birch logs. Yes, goats, although unpretentious, but are very moody.
Tea temperature in winter should not be lower than 45ºС. Goats will not drink iced tea. One goat needs up to 6 liters of water per day.
Mineral and Vitamin Supplements
Vitamins are an indispensable component of goat nutrition. They regulate the absorption of minerals, the formation of immunity, stimulate productivity. In the summer, goats almost completely satisfy the body's needs for vitamins on lush grass under the summer sun. To fully provide the elements you need to keep in the public domain - lick salt.
A sign of a lack of trace elements is the behavior of goats - they gnaw coal, firebrands, rotten hemp. They may even eat land.
In winter, goats are threatened with vitamin deficiency. With a lack of vitamins in goats, the following is noted:
- milk reduction
- dry skin and mucous membranes,
- decreased appetite and weight gain,
- growth lag
- the birth of weak kids
- tearing and blurred vision.
Vitamins of groups D and E are of great importance. With a lack of vitamin D, signs of rickets are noted: the hooves of the kids are tucked up, the hair is thinning, and bald patches appear. Vitamin D accumulates in hay when dried in the sun.
For therapeutic purposes, fish oil is given - 45 ml per adult animal. Fish oil will be delicious if given on brown bread and salt. For natural vitamin D production in the winter, erythema emitters can be installed in the stalls. One radiator under the ceiling is enough for 20 m2 premises.
To prevent rickets, you need to add to the feed:
- a piece of chalk;
- table salt;
- bone meal.
Vitamin B12 is necessary for goats to absorb iron, it affects blood formation. Especially needed for growing kids. There is no problem with pasture feeding in the summer, and in the winter you need to add multivitamins.
- Eleovit - A fully balanced mix for artiodactyls. An injection of 1 ml is enough 1 time in 2 weeks (for prevention), 1 time in 7 days (with vitamin deficiency).
- Tetravit - Vitamin complex for livestock growth. The kids are given 1 ml once every 14 days (prophylactically), 1 ml in 7 days with vitamin deficiency.
- Kalfostonik - Another multivitamin complex. The norm is 10 g per 1 head of young animals. The course is 3 weeks.