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In Reply to: hay posted by cindy on June 03, 2001 at 16:37:27:
The "medicated" feed you are possibly referring to are the ones that contain Rumensin and Decoquinate? If my memory serves me correctly, one of the medications is used to prevent coccidiosis and the other urinary calculi. It has been quite some time since I have fed a feed using that.
The diet I have fed using hay is based upon an article about goat nutrition (located in the Goats and Nutrition section of GoatWorld). They say that a goats everyday diet should be at least 51% hay. So for our goats, even though they too have alot of acreage that they browse daily, they still receive at least one to two square bales of mixed grassy alfalfa hay. This figure doubles and triples in the winter.
There are a few posts further down where "what and how much to feed" is covered but I'll basically paraphrase here for you: depending upon the specific use for your goats, different diets may be necessary. Dairy goats are fed a different diet than meat goats. Brush goats are different than both but one important common factor is that no matter what purpose the goat serves, they all need a certain amount of vitamins and minerals.
Some areas of the country have various mineral deficiencies such as selenium. You may want to check with your ag extension agent to see what the deficiencies are in your particular area. You may be feeding your goats all the hay they can eat and all the pasture they can browse and they will still be "deficient" if they are not given loose minerals free choice. I highly recommend not using the block type minerals because it is hard on the teeth. The only "block" we feed is a sulphur block to combat ticks and a few other parasites.
The free choice baking soda is a very good idea because every now and then the goats will need it to balance the pH in their digestive system. It is especially helpful if they get into some weeds that they should normally not eat.
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