General information

Feeding dairy goats


Goats are perhaps the most unpretentious in relation to feed domestic animals. The basis of their diet is - in descending order - coarse, juicy and concentrated feed. You can also give these animals swipes from food waste from the owners table. In this article we will examine in detail how to feed a goat and how many times a day it should be done.

Basic dietary guidelines

The amount of feed given to goats depends on many factors - on the size, age, season, period of dryness, etc. But there are general rules:

  • a large goat is fed more than a small goat
  • adult animal - less than the same weight, but growing,
  • Suegnaya goat feed give more than barley,
  • milk - more than dry,
  • giving a lot of milk - more than low-milk.

Goats love variety in feed. In this case, animals quickly feel satiated, they gain weight better and give more milk. Of course, all feed must be fresh. You can not give goats moldy or rotted hay and poor quality root vegetables. Feeding of stale, sour feed leads to the development of various kinds of diseases, deterioration of the quality of milk and a decrease in its quantity, miscarriages and other similar troubles. Next, let's understand what to feed the goat, young animals and male producers in more detail.

Hay, straw and twigs

The basis of the diet of goats, as well as any other ruminant animals, is coarse feed. In the summer it is grass and branches, in winter - hay, straw and brooms. In the warm season, the lion's share of goat roughage is obtained by grazing. These animals eat almost any kind of grass. However, the tasteless, watery plants of the nisin prefer an odorous variety of meadow. Graze goats need in those places where there is access to water. Be sure to feed animals carrot and beet tops. In the fall, you can give and potato.

Branches of trees and shrubs are also excellent food for goats. In particular, these animals like willow, poplar, willow, aspen, linden. Goats and birch branches eagerly eat. However, too much of their animals should not be given. A large number of birch branches in the diet can lead to kidney disease. Hay goats harvested in the usual manner. Dry it right on the field.

Harvested branches should have a length of about 50-60 cm and a thickness on the cut of the order of 1 cm. The bundle should not be thicker than 10-12 cm, otherwise it will dry out badly.

The amount of roughage

On the day, one milk goat in a pasture can eat up to 9 kg of grass. In winter, a slightly larger amount of concentrated feed is introduced into the diet of animals. Therefore, the percentage of hay in the menu is less. Experienced farmers advise giving adult animals 1-5 kg ​​of such feed per day. According to nutritional value, one kilogram of hay corresponds to two kilograms of branches. Often, in winter, goats are given foliage collected in autumn. Such food is more nutritious than branches, it can be given less.

Hay for goats harvested in the usual way. Most often, on one head, the owners of household plots dry about 500-550 kg. You can also prepare 250-275 kg of such feed and 500-550 kg of brooms or 400 kg of leaves.

What to feed the goat yet? Of course, it is necessary to include in the diet of the animal and vegetables. Very willingly, these animals eat beets, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, etc. The amount of such feed should be about 2-4 kg per day. All vegetables, except potatoes, are given raw. You can include in the diet of animals and cleaning from the kitchen table. To increase their appetite, they should be sprinkled with purchased balanced feed or bran. You can not give animals green potatoes and tubers with large shoots.

Concentrated feed

On the question of how to feed a goat so that there is more milk, there is simply a wonderful answer. The animal should receive enough protein. Therefore, be sure to give the goats concentrated feed. Of cereals in the diet usually include oats and barley. Dredged goats digested much better than whole grains. Oats contribute to the rapid growth of young and increases the sexual activity of adult animals. Barley helps accelerate weight gain. In order to avoid obesity, goats are usually fed this type of crushed meat in a mixture with corn. In addition to oats and barley, such concentrated feeds as soybeans, beans, peas, and lentils (wholemeal) can be given to animals.

Be sure to include in the diet of animals and bran. This is an easily digestible food, which contains a huge amount of protein goats. In particular, the bran will be useful for young and nursing queens.

The number of concentrated feed

Cereal animals usually give about a kilogram per head per winter for an adult animal and about 0.5 kg for a kid. In the summer, this dose can be slightly reduced. Goat manufacturers, for example, give about 300 grams. cereals per day. Increase their number (up to 1 kg) for a month and a half before mating.

How to feed a goat: supplements

Mineral feed these animals do not need too much. However, it is imperative to put a piece of salt salt in the stall. On one head should be about 6-8 grams per day. In the second half of the womb, the uterus must be given chalk (10 grams each). Such a mineral supplement is required for kids from a month old (7 grams). Chalk can be replaced by bone meal.

As already mentioned, it is allowed to give goats and waste from the home table of the owners. It can be cereals, soups, peeling, boiled potatoes, etc. The feed of this type must be fresh. Do not give goats waste containing bones, rags, paper, etc.

Watering goats

With what to feed a goat, young and goats, we figured it out. Now let's look at how to properly water these animals. Do it at least three times a day. Water must be clean and fresh. Its daily rate is about 8-12 liters. It is best to give the animals water, the temperature of which is equal to t of air in the stall. Drinking cold can easily lead to the development of colds. It is not necessary to give goats and too warm water. It will pamper the animals. The result will be the same - frequent diseases.

How many times a day to feed a goat?

Of course, when raising these animals, a certain feeding schedule should be followed. In order to get as much milk from goats as possible, feed them at least three times a day. For the first time they do it at 6-7 in the morning, in the second - at 12-13 o'clock, in the third - at 18-19 o'clock. In summer, during the pasture period, additional goats can be fed only in the morning and evening. Milking is done after the goat has finished eating. In the morning and in the afternoon usually rough feed is fed, in the evening they give juicy, concentrated and good hay. Goats are gradually transferred to grazing in spring.

Than to feed a goat that there was more milk, you now know. The development of a balanced diet primarily contributes to higher yields. Animals should receive a sufficient amount of grain, hay and grass, as well as vegetables. Proper feeding will contribute to a rapid increase in livestock, a set of goats weight and reduce morbidity.

Feed and features of their cottages

Larger breeds and larger goats need more feed, as well as growing goats.

The basis of goat feeding in summer is green grass, which is the best succulent feed for these animals, and in the winter months - coarse feed. Especially small cattle loves to eat forest and meadow hay. Rough feed adult goat should receive per day from 1 to 3 pounds. 50% of the daily hay can be replaced with dried wood brooms.

Brooms need to be harvested in the first two months of summer. Goats eat brooms from birch, linden and aspen, alder, poplar and willow, hazel, as well as maple, elm, acacia, and mountain ash. Harvested branches should be half a meter long, no more than 1 centimeter thick. The thickness of the beam is about 10 centimeters. Two weeks of bunches of branches are dried in a place protected from direct sunlight and moisture - in the attic or under a shed.

In the photo there is a device for feeding goats in a common herd (so that everyone can get a cut-out for the approach of a separate animal)

When feeding goats in the winter they are given 3-5 brooms from tree branches per day (2-3 in the daytime and 1-2 before night.

Worthy food for goats is cabbage leaves and tops of carrots and beets. They give up to 4 pounds per day per head. You can also give skewed potato tops - at the rate of up to 2 kilograms per day.

Cabbage, fodder beets and potatoes, vegetable waste - all this is the best feed in the stall period. Per day, goats are given 1-2 kilograms of boiled potatoes (sometimes they can be given raw), chopped root vegetables - up to 4 kilograms. Avoid feeding green potatoes - goats can get poisoned!

Feeding the goats

In the off-period, producers need to provide the following feed ration:

  • 1 kilogram of potatoes or root vegetables (succulent feed).
  • about 2.5 kilograms of high-quality hay (roughage).
  • concentrates in the amount of 300 grams.

In summer, goats are fed with the same number of concentrates. For a month - one and a half before mating, goats are grazed on pasture with high-quality grass and give 0.85-1 kilograms of concentrates.

And last - pay special attention to the quality of the food intended for goats. Sour, mildewed and spoiled ingredients of the diet - not suitable, they can cause illness, lead to miscarriages or dramatically reduce the quality of goat milk!

Types of feed

Goat milk in its nutritional value compared with the female. A large number of "usefulness": calcium, phosphorus, five basic vitamins turn milk into a natural safe medicine and delicacy even for the youngest children. To preserve the unique composition and good fat content - do not be lazy and initially develop a “goat” diet. Even though goats are picky and eat almost any food.

Balanced feed should consist of several types:

Attention! Goats do not need to be fed with horsetail, wild rosemary, daffodils, tansy, wormwood. These plants will give a bitter taste to milk.

  • Dry food. It is basic in winter, when fresh grass and vegetables are not available. Hay, straw, which previously should be finely chopped. Goats with pleasure chew dry branches of trees which need to be prepared in advance. As a vitamin supplement, use needles or you can buy ready-made vitamin concentrates. For a variety of food, it is possible to feed the goat with ready-made dry mixes, which consist of grain and mixed fodder.

How to feed a goat and kids

Access to food from animals should be from 2 to 4 times a day. Power, as well as milking, is recommended to be carried out at clearly set hours. This will increase the volume of milk and improve its quality.

A pregnant goat feels the need for food with increased nutritional value of not more than 30-40 percent. Add more calcium and protein elements. All food must be fresh, do not use rotten or spoiled food. Eliminate sand or earth particles. Especially strenuously follow to feed the goat in the fifth month of pregnancy, when the future kid is actively gaining weight and height.

The diet of young kids is also special. Gentle digestive system requires soft and liquid feed. Of course, in the first days after the birth, the kid feeds on mother's milk, but after two weeks they need to be fed with milk porridge and hay. Juveniles require a lot of fluids, they should drink 3-4 times a day. The kids are able to graze on their own after 3 weeks, from now on you can include grated apples and root vegetables in the “menu”. Gradually add minerals and powdered powdered food to food. The goat goes to the “adult” diet at the age of 6 months.

Maintenance and care

Of course, getting a lot of goat milk depends on proper nutrition. But no less important and care, "psychological climate", created for animals. They should not be kept crowded; they should be provided with space for free movement. It is noticed that goats graze freely without a leash, milk is tastier and fatter.

Kozlyatnik should be bright, with opening windows, or through doors. Goats love fresh air. Put thick bedding on the floor where animals can lie down freely. For feeding it is necessary to equip the stalls, usually wooden. Each, measuring two meters for one animal, behind a separate partition. Drinkers are also needed, it is important to clean them regularly and provide goats with fresh water.

Attention! Even if the goatling is dry and warm, in the winter goats need compulsory walking at least 2 hours a day.

The proper milking process and preparation for it are also important. Wash udder should be washed with warm water and wiped dry with a soft, clean towel. Goats love sweet handling, then she will easily give away all the milk.

The origin of the goat from the mother with high rates does not play a major role in the big yield. The goat will give a lot of milk, only having excellent health, with proper maintenance and proper feeding. All in the hands of a caring owner!

What is recommended to feed the animal?

The specified animal is unpretentious in the care, maintenance and nutrition. They absorb almost everything that representatives of cattle and small ruminants eat: coarse and succulent fodder, leaves from trees and shrubs. Most of the diet is grass in the summer - grass, and in winter - hay. But if limited to only these components, then milk yield will not satisfy all your needs, therefore it is advisable to introduce various foods into the diet. Let's take a closer look at which foods you can put into the goat’s diet, and also which stern exist.

Succulent feed

At all times of the year, the main emphasis should be placed precisely on succulent feeds, since they are enriched with plenty of nutritious and healthy components:

  • Grass - this segment should be in the diet of the animal. Juicy grass belongs to the most affordable and cheap types of feed. Having brought animals to pasture in the forest, in the fields or meadows, they will be happy to feast on succulent grass.
  • Garden tops. If you can get tops, then you should use it. Cabbage leaves, beet tops and other "waste" - is a storehouse of vitamins that are necessary for the animal for the proper functioning of the body. But It is worth noting that chalk should be added to greens in order to reduce the acid concentration, as a rule, 1 gram of chalk is taken for each kilogram of tops.
  • Silage refers to a juicy feed and is considered one of the most useful food additives. Goats he has to liking and absorbed with great pleasure. The owner should carefully monitor the quality of the product, since quite often due to improper storage, he quickly sours. As for the calorie, nutritional value, saturation with vitamins, macro-and micronutrients, it is identical to fresh grass. Also, silage promotes the absorption of roughage, which we will discuss later. The daily consumption rate should not exceed 4 kilograms.
  • Vegetables. In winter, cattle should be provided with a large number of vegetables, for example: fodder beets, potatoes, cabbage and carrots. They can be fed in the form of waste or raw. As a rule, root vegetables are thoroughly minced and give at least 3 kilograms per day. Potatoes can be given to goats exclusively in boiled form.
  • Fruits. It's hard to imagine, but fruit is the favorite product of this beast. Goats can be fed in large quantities apricots, plums, peaches, separated from pits, pears and apples.

The main advantage of succulent feeds is their composition, which is enriched with proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other useful substances. The required amount of juicy feed will contribute to the abundant amount of milk.


In wintertime, roughage makes up a large part of the diet of goats, which maintain milk productivity at a high level. These include:

  • Straw and hay. It is actively used not only because it is an alternative to grass in winter, but because the animal needs roughage to improve digestion. One goat, on average, accounts for no more than 3 kg of straw per day. As a rule, goats are fed forest or meadow hay from small grass. In order to use winter stocks more rationally and economically, experienced farmers pre-chop hay. This can be done with the help of special equipment (crushers) or manually with an ax. Crushed hay, goats eat almost no residue.
  • Brooms or "branch hay," or ordinary tree branches. Billets of this product must be addressed in the middle of summer. It is highly recommended to use aspen, birch, willow and maple branches. Ветки необходимо нарезать тонкими прутиками, длина которых не более 0,6 метра, после чего связывают и подвешивают в помещение с отменной вентиляцией. В зимние дни одной козе можно скармливать до пяти веников в течение суток.

Чем противопоказано кормить коз?

Feeding animals low-quality products is fraught with not only the loss of milk, but also the development of disease or even death. Categorically is prohibited feed the goats:

  1. a grain in which insects are bred,
  2. stale or sour silage
  3. rotten or spoiled vegetables, fruits or hay,
  4. greened as a result of exposure to the sun, potatoes.

Summarizing the above, I would like to note that the correct diet of a goat is not only milk of excellent quality, but also the health and health of the hostess. Goat milk is a natural source of a large amount of nutrients and beneficial to the body. And directly, the quality of the product produced depends on the nutrition of the animal and the conditions of its maintenance.

Rough (dry) feed

The prudent owner knows exactly what to feed the goats in winter. Most of the diet consists of roughage.

  1. Straw and hay are needed to improve the metabolic process. Harvested in the spring-summer period, they are crushed before feeding. The preference is given to soft meadow herbs.
  2. Brooms. Thin young branches of aspen, poplar, birch, maple, willow are tied with bunches and dried in a suspended form. Good use for brooms fruit trees. In winter they feed animals together with other feeds.

Tip! Hay and brooms should be stored in a dry place to avoid mold.

You can use dried stalks of corn or reeds. They are also crushed in a crushing device or manually, with an ax.

Feeding goats after lambing

After a long pregnancy and lambing, feeding should be as balanced as possible. An animal needs to restore its health and reproductive function. However, the daily rate should be calculated in such a way that excess weight is not gained, and all the energy was spent on lactation. Succulent feed - this is what you can not feed a goat after lambing in the first hours.

How and what should a goat be fed to have more milk? The priority should be succulent feed. If an animal has lambed in spring or summer, there is less worries. A sufficient amount of vegetation, vegetables and fruits. But the diet becomes full only after a period of full recovery, when the swelling subsides on the udder.

In the cold season they always give succulent and dry foods containing protein. The quantity and quality of milk is improved in the diet, which includes:

Tip! Goats love chamomile. In fresh and dry form, such an additive will increase the milk yield.

Meals should be as balanced as possible. The addition of probiotics has a beneficial effect on lactation and increases it to 15-20%. The most popular ones are “Bacel - M”, “Monosporin”.

How and what to feed a milk goat depends on the timing of lambing, the availability of feed and conditions of detention. A mandatory requirement - round-the-clock access to clean drinking water.

Summer feeding

In the warm season of the year, goats eat mostly grass at home. Animals are fed naturally. This applies both to individuals kept for meat and for milch goats. The presence of vitamins is necessary in any case.

Reference! When grazing, it is necessary to pre-examine the pasture area for the presence of a hogweed, a poisonous plant for animals.

There is a mistaken opinion that artificial feeds are necessary only during the cold season. Meals should be varied in the summer. In the morning it is necessary to give the grain, preference is given to oats, as the most nutritious and high-calorie. The daily rate per adult animal should fall to 1 kg. Cereals are easily replaced by bran, pre-soaked in water. An indispensable source of protein - hay legumes. During the day it should not be less than 1.5 kg. Each hoofed - their taste preferences, they should be considered when selecting ingredients.

Winter feeding

Maintenance in the winter requires a lot of effort and money. It is not recommended to change the power cardinally, the transition should be painless. The residence time of the livestock in the fresh air is significantly reduced. However, walking animals under suitable weather conditions is possible.

Keeping in a stall without the possibility of going out can cause illness. Straw in large quantities should not be given, preferably the presence in the diet of hay. Animals are also happy to eat dried branches, the most suitable - brooms from poplar, willow and aspen. Eat and branches of conifers with soft needles.

Tip! Birch brooms are not recommended to be given in large quantities. This can lead to kidney disease.

It is forbidden to give dishes from the master's table, especially with the content of spices and seasonings. Of the most popular vegetables in fattening:

  • cabbage,
  • carrot,
  • beet,
  • pumpkin crops (without seeds).

Potatoes must be boiled, green tubers with a high content of corned beef are contraindicated. In the winter diet is useful to add additional ingredients.

  1. Leaves. They are collected in the fall, dried and stored in bags in attics and cellars. Their nutritional value is low, they are usually given at night. Foliage also silage. To do this, tightly placed in the pit, pouring layers of salt. Hermetically closed and begin to use no earlier than one month.
  2. Corn stalks. Dried whole, with inflorescences, crushed before feeding.
  3. Rowan brushes significantly increase the yield.

At the end of the garden season, in the fall they collect the remains of pea-leaf tops, dried and give as a forage once a day.

Reference! Up to 500 kg of dry feed is required for a half-year period of keeping in a stall for 1 adult.

If there is nothing besides straw, it is prepared before feeding:

  • crushed
  • put in a container
  • Pour with a solution of salt (5-6 liters per 10 kg),
  • insist 2-3 hours.

In the cold season, animals spend a large amount of energy to maintain body temperature. Therefore, feed the livestock especially diligently, add vitamin supplements and bone meal.

Bugs feeding goats

A common mistake made in subsidiary farms is mono-feeding, when using 1-2 kinds of feed. In such cases, there can be no talk about the increase and increase in lactation. Lack of vitamins and minerals affects the appearance and health of the animal.

You can not dramatically change the mode and diet in the transition from summer to winter feeding and vice versa. To dry feed accustom gradually, adding hay in small quantities. This period is stretched for 10-14 days.

Goats lose their appetite in 2 cases:

  • poor feed quality (fungus, mold),
  • last week of pregnancy.

If obesity begins, and milk productivity decreases, the rate of cereals is reduced. Do not fill the feeders when they contain the remnants of the previous feeding.

It is recommended to inspect the animals daily, observe them during the meal, monitor the condition and appearance. This will help to orient what is missing or in excess. Adjust the diet, diversify it. The profitability of keeping goats directly depends on the conditions of detention and the quality of feeding.

Summer meals

In the summer, goats spend a lot of time outdoors, eating grass up to 8 kg a day. Juicy food should be at least 70 percent of the total amount of food. But this is enough to produce only 2 liters of dairy product. Additionally included concentrated feed in the form of cereals or legumes. From the second half of the summer, the grass undergoes fading, drying out and becoming less nutritious and juicy. Under such conditions, it is necessary to feed the goat with vegetables or branches.

Animals should be able to move freely through pasture, this will prevent negative consequences for the work of the digestive system. This condition is especially relevant for dairy goats.

Winter "menu"

Keeping animals in winter time requires more attention and strength than in warm conditions. During this period, they experience pregnancy and lambing, so the ration for feeding goats should be as balanced and useful as possible.

In cold weather, hay is considered the main power source, preferably foliage. You can replace it with straw, but less benefit from it. It is recommended to harvest 400–500 kg of hay per unit of livestock per year. But this will not be enough. Goats need feeding:

  • brooms (up to five per day),
  • dried leaves and shoots of spruce and pine, containing a lot of vitamins,
  • vegetables,
  • fruits,
  • chalk and bone meal,
  • salt
  • waste combined with mixed feed
  • cereals,
  • legumes.