|"Goats and Nutrition - The Facts and the Myths"
Support of our advertisers helps support GoatWorld!
Goats and Nutrition - The Facts and the Myths
By: "Gary Pfalzbot"
Ask anyone who raises goats what to feed them and you're sure to get as many different answers as there are breeds of goats. While the trend and history of what to feed goats seems to be rooted in "pre-mixed" and readily available feeds, there is a growing number of persons raising goats who regularly mix and create their own feed types based on their own experiences. For the individuals who do mix their own types of feeds and supplements, you will find the "Select An Ingredient" feature to be very useful in comparing different types of feed ingredients.
There are also several persons (author included) who prefer to let their goats graze openly on pastures and woods besides the feeding of readily available commercial feeds. There are certain dangers in this as well; in grazing openly, there is always a chance that a goat can accidentally consume a portion of a plant or substance known to be toxic - poisonous plants. As one myth puts it - "goats will eat anything." They don't and won't. And no, they do not eat tin cans either.
In this section "Goats & Nutrition - The Facts and the Myths," we will attempt to cover both areas by presenting "known" factual information as well as rumours and insights regarding "what's worked" but has yet to be proven by clinical studies. Science is not always 100% accurate, but I think that most of us know that our own science is usually determined by hands-on experience.
|TYPES OF BRUSH UTILIZED BY GOATS1
This section will continually grow with more and more information as this web site progresses. We are relying upon your own input to help create a vast resource. We welcome your comments, stories and your own experiences to help make this useful to everyone involved with goats, or those persons who are considering raising goats.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF FEED FOR GOATS1
Due to their smaller numbers, along with producers being prone to let the animals fend for themselves, in terms of tonnage of purchased feed ingredients and feed costs, goats are unimportant in comparison to other domestic animals.
Angora and Spanish goats utilize rough, brushy range areas that are not suited to other species - many of these ranges would not otherwise be utilized and would revert to brush and wilderness. On such ranges, Angora goats are supplemental fed to a limited degree only, whereas most Spanish goats live entirely off the land and are rarely supplemented. This does not mean, however, that Angora and Spanish goats would not benefit from, and increase production, with supplemental feeding, especially during the critical periods - just before breeding (for flushing), just before and after kidding, and when feed is short.
Modern dairy goat producers generally feed well-balanced rations that are high in energy and protein and contain adequate minerals and vitamins. Many of them use commercially prepared feeds during lactation and for the young kids.
NUTRITIVE NEEDS OF GOATS 1
In the past, efforts to set nutritional requirements for goats have relied heavily on the extrapolation of values derived from cattle and sheep studies. Despite their similarities as ruminants, goats exhibit significant differences from cattle and sheep in grazing habits, feed selection, water requirements, physical activities, milk composition, carcass composition, metabolic disorders, and parasites. So, the nutrient requirements of goats should be treated separately from those of other ruminants.
The hearty appetite of goats makes for a significant species difference. Lactating and growwing goats will consume from 3.5 to 5.0% of their body weight (moisture-free basis) in one day, while cattle and sheep normally eat only 2.5 to 3.0%. It follows that their large feed capacity in relation to body weight makes it possible for them to consume large quantities of low quality materials. This characteristic, along with their ability to select the high-quality parts of plants, makes it possible to maintain goats successfully on poor pastures.
Since the nutritional requirements of the goat are distinctly different for milk, mohair, and meat production, specific requirements and allowances are discussed in separate feeding sections. Despite these distinctly different quantitative needs, the basic nutritional physiology of all goats is similar; hence, certain fundamentals relative to their nutritive needs - energy, protein, minerals, vitamins, and water - apply to all goats regardless of the purpose for which they are kept.
1 1990; Feeds & Nutrition; M.E. Ensminger, J.E. Oldfield, W.W. Heinemann
Email: Contact INFO
Telephone: Contact INFO
Designed & Hosted by: JOLLY GERMAN
All written, audio, video and graphic material contained within this site, except where otherwise noted, is Copyright ©1999-2024. Some content may also be the property of contributors to the site, in which case their material is also protected by applicable copyright laws and this copyright policy. No material may be linked directly to or reproduced in any form without written permission. If you would like to reprint something from our site, simply send us an email to request permission to do so. Please refer to our REPRINT criteria.
This site is run and operated by a Disabled Veteran