Goat Feeding Systems

Feeding Systems

There are many methods of feeding goats. Feeds should be offered in such a way to minimize mold growth or fecal contamination that reduces intake. Mineral mixes must remain dry and should be replenished at two-week intervals to avoid caking. Feed troughs should be designed to facilitate removal of feces and leftover feed. Troughs generally require a bar running above the length of the trough to keep goats from defecating in them.

Self feeders can be used for feeds containing sufficient roughage for use as a complete feed or for feed that has a built-in intake limiter. For large range operations, feeds such as whole shelled corn or range pellets or cubes are often fed on the ground. The feeding area is moved each day to have clean ground.

Hay should be fed in a rack off the ground. Feeding hay bales on the ground results in waste and leaves a mess that is difficult to clean. Hay can be fed in a manger or hay feeder with keyhole slots, but horns may cause problems preventing access to feed. For large operations, unrolling round bales on the ground works well.

Reference: Hart, S. 2008. Meat Goat Nutrition. Pages 58-83 in Proc. 23rd Ann. Goat Field Day, Langston University, Langston, OK.