Goat Considerations in Ration Formulation

Considerations in Ration Formulation

Rations should be balanced not only for protein and energy but should be balanced for calcium and phosphorus as well. In addition, macrominerals should be supplemented and trace mineralized salt added. A vitamin premix should be used to provide at least half vitamins A and E.

If the diet is being fed at high levels to bucks or wethers, there is risk of urinary calculi. To prevent urinary calculi, the ration should be formulated with a …

Goat Nutrition GI tract

The ruminant digestive system

Digestive tract of the goat.

Goats are ruminants, animals with a four-compartment stomach, as are cattle, sheep and deer. The compartments are the reticulum, rumen, omasum and abomasum, or true stomach. Monogastric or simple-stomached animals such as humans, dogs and cats consume food that undergoes acidic breakdown in the stomach and enzymatic digestion in the small intestine, where most nutrients are absorbed. In ruminants, feed first undergoes microbial digestion in the reticulum and rumen — together, …

Goat Winter Feeding of Does

Winter feeding of does

Early to mid-winter is a time when does should be in early pregnancy. The goal of a wintering program is to economically provide the necessary nutrients to help them maintain a reasonable body condition, lose no weight and keep warm. In general, most wintering programs consist of both forage and supplement components. The forage component can consist of hay, stockpiled forage or a cheap byproduct roughage feed. The supplement usually contains energy, protein, and often vitamins …

Goat Feeding Replacement Bucks and Does

Feeding replacement bucks and does

Replacement bucks and does must gain sufficient weight from weaning to breeding to be adequately large and sexually mature. A Spanish doe weaned at 12 weeks of age would be expected to weigh 40 pounds and gain 5 pounds per month to achieve a minimum breeding size of 60 pounds at 7 months of age. A Boer doe weaned at 12 weeks of age would be expected to weigh 50 pounds and would need to …

Goat Feeding the Lactating Doe

Feeding the lactating doe

The lactating doe has very high nutrient requirements. Calculate the requirements for a 4-year-old, 110-pound Boer cross doe nursing twins in week four of lactation. When lactating is selected under question #2 on the Langston Interactive Nutrient Calculator (LINC), a form drops down. Select litter size (twins), week of lactation (4), and age at kidding (4). The program then predicts production of 4.5 pounds of milk per day with 3.6 percent fat and 3.3 …

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 …

Goat Nutrition

Goat Nutrition

Proper nutrition is essential for the health and productivity of all animals and is the basis of successful production systems. A well-planned and executed preventive health program cannot overcome problems that are created by poor nutrition, nor can advanced reproductive technologies overcome nutritional limitations of reproduction. Therefore, nutrition of the goat is of paramount importance for successful goat production. Nutrition is the science of providing nutrients to animals in adequate amounts and in forms that the animals will …

Goat Kidding Season and Nutrient Requirements

Effect of Kidding Season on Nutrient


Nutrient requirements of does change dramatically with stage of production. Requirements increase dramatically the last six weeks of gestation due to increasing fetal growth. They remain high in early lactation (kidding occurred on week 20 in chart). During the month prior to kidding and for the following three months, assuming weaning at 12 weeks of age, the doe will consume nearly as much nutrients as in the remaining eight months of the production …

Goat Feeding Bucks

Feeding bucks

Boer buck.

Mature bucks can obtain most of their nutrients from pasture. However, yearling and 2-year-old bucks have greater nutrient requirements since they are still growing. Bucks need to be in good body condition, with a body condition score (BCS) greater than 3, before the breeding season because feed intake may be relatively low during that time, resulting in weight loss. Thus, body condition should be evaluated three months before the breeding season. Decisions can then be made on the …

Goat Example Diets

Example Goat Diets

There is a wide variety of production systems in which goats are raised in the United States. Likewise, goats consume many different types of vegetation and are fed various diets and supplements mixed on a farm or purchased from local sources. The institute receives many questions about types of diets and supplements that can be used with goats. Listed below are some of the diets and supplements fed at the institute in the past few years. Many …