Goat Feed Management Information

Goat Feed Management.
Goat Feed Management.

Goat Feed Management Guide:

Introduction to Goat Feed Management :- Well, if you are a beginner and wanted to know about goat feed management in commercial goat farming, you have reached the right place. One of the factors that decides the success of goat farming business is “efficient feed management”. The cost you save on feed directly reflects profits in goat farming. Hence, goat feed management is very important and critical task to be carried out from birth of goat kids to the time they leave your farm. Generally, goats can eat most of the grasses, leaves, tree branches available. Another advantage of goats is they can convert the feed very efficiently and fast pace when compared to other livestock. This will help in gaining weight quickly in meat goats and also helps in quality milk yielding of milk in dairy goats. Usually goats will not like the leftover food of another animal. They always look for different food and need diversity in their regular feeding habit. Roughage (dry and succulent roughage), grainy feed, feed additives (vitamins and minerals) are the main types of goat feed one should adopt in their goat farming business. If you are raising goats on commercial scale, you must be very careful and choose right feed for your goat which covers the all the feed requirements such as proteins, minerals and other nutrients. In this article, let us talk more about goat feed management at different stages of animal growth.

Goat Feed Management at Different Stages of Goat Life Cycle:- Let us discuss more about goat feed at different levels of goat growth period.

  1. Goat Feed Management Stages of Female Goat (Doe): This will give you more details goat feed management in female goats at different stages.
  • Goat Feed Management in Breeding Female Goats
Goats Grazing on Pasture.
Goats Grazing on Pasture.
    • In case where there is enough pasture is present, there is no need of supplemental concentrate mixture for your goats.
    • In case of poor grazing conditions, goats may be supplemented with a mixture @ 200 to 350 grams of concentrate feed / animal / day depending on their age.
    • Usually, the crude protein level of concentrate feed mixture used in the adult feed should be about 12%.
  • Goat Feed Management During the First 4 Months of Pregnancy
    • You should allow pregnant goats in good quality pasture at least 5 hours/day.
    • Goat feed ration must be supplemented with available green fodder @ 5 kg /goat/ day.
  • Goat Feed Management During the Last Month of Pregnancy
    • In the last month of goat pregnancy, the fetal growth increases 60 to 75%, so it is recommended to allow these pregnant goats in good quality pasture for 5 hours/day.
    • You should also feed he pregnant goats with concentrate mixture @ 250 to 400 grams/day/animal.
    • Goat feed ration should be supplemented with available green fodder @ 7 kg/day/goat.
  • Goat Feed Management at kidding time
    • Just before kidding time or immediately after goat kids birth, the grain feed should be reduced but good quality dry roughage should be fed free of choice.
    • It is recommended to feed lightly on the day of parturition. Make sure to provide plenty of clean and cool water.
    • As soon as the female goat gives birth, it must be provided with slightly warm water.
    • After parturition, the ration of the female goat should be gradually increased to meet the daily requirement of 6 to 7 doses/day.
    • You can include laxative feed stuffs in the ration during the first few days after the goat delivery.
    • It is recommended to provide a mixture of wheat bran and barely or oats or maize (corn) @ 1:1 proportion.
  • Goat Feed Management in Lactating Female Goats
    • It is recommended 6 to 7 hours of grazing plus 10 kg of cultivated green fodder/day/goat.
    • It is recommended 6 to 7 hours of grazing plus 450 grams of concentrate mixture/day/goat.
    • It is recommended 6 to 7 hours of grazing plus 750 to 800 grams of good quality legume hay/day/goat.
  • Goat Feed Management in Non-Pregnant Female Goats
    • In case of good pasture availability, there is no need to provide a supplemental concentrate mixture.
    • In case of poor grazing conditions, goats should be supplemented with 150 to 200 grams of concentrate/goat/day.
  1. Goat Feed Management in Male Breeding Goats: The general practices is that male goats (bucks) allowed with female goats (does) to graze and male goats have the same ration as female goats. However, in case of separating male goats and female goats, bucks should be provided with a 1/2 kg of concentrate mixture that should consist 3 parts of oats or barley, one part of wheat and one part of maize /day/goat.
  2. Goat Feed Management in Goat Kids:
Newly Born Goat Kid.
Newly Born Goat Kid.
  • Feeding from Goat Birth to 3 Months of Age
    • Colostrum feeding is very important and should allow newly born goat kids with mother’s milk.
    • Make sure to keep newly born goat kid and mother goat together for 3 to 4 days for frequent access of goat milk.
    • After 3 days and up to weaning, make sure to feed the goat kids with milk at 3 times/day.
    • At about 15 days (2 weeks) of age, these goat kids should be trained to eat green roughages.
    • At 30 days of age (1 month), these goat kids should be provided with the concentrate mixture.
  • Colostrum Feeding for Goat Kids
    • The newly born goat kids should be allowed to have good amount of colostrum form their mother.
    • It very essential and one must make sure the colostrum feeding to avoid any goat kid deaths.
    • You can also feed cow colostrum to goat kids.
    • Make sure to give colostrum @ 100 ml/kg weight of goat kid.
    • You can preserve goat colostrum with 1 to 1.5% (volume / weight) propionic acid. Mostly , propionic acid is recommended as it keeps the ‘pH’ value low.
    • Make sure to keep the chemically treated colostrum in a cool place for better quality.
  • Creep Feeding (Concentrate Mixture) for Goat Kids
Goat Kid with creep feeding.
Goat Kid with creep feeding.
  • You can start creep feeding (concentrate feed) after 1 month of birth and can continue up to 3 months of age. The main advantage and purpose of this creep feed to provide nutrients for fast growth.
  • Usually, each goat kid should be provided with 50 to 100 grams/day/goat. This creep feed should contain 22% of protein.
  • It is recommended to mix the antibiotics like chlortetracycline @ 20 to 25 mg/kg of feed.
  • Creep Feed Composition- The following is ideal composition of creep feed.
    • Maize: 40%
    • Ground nut cake: 30 %
    • Deoiled rice bran: 13 %
    • Wheat bran: 10 %
    • Molasses: 5%
    • Mineral mixture : 2%
    • Salt: 1% fortified with vitamins A, B2 and D3 and antibiotic feed supplements.
  • Feeding schedule for Goat Kids from Birth to 3 months Age
    • Goat kids of age 1 to 3 days:
    • Mother’s milk or cow milk (ml) – Colostrum of 300 ml, 3 feedings/day/goat kid.
    • Creep feed (in grams) – Not applicable.
    • Forage, green/day (in grams) – Not applicable.
  • Goat kids of age 4 to 2 weeks (14 days): 
    Bottle Feeding of Goat Kids.
    Bottle Feeding of Goat Kids.
    • Mother’s milk or cow milk (ml) – Colostrum of 350 ml, 3 feedings/day/ kid.
    • Creep feed (in grams) – Not applicable.
    • Forage, green/day (in grams) – Not applicable.
  • Goat kids age 15 days to 30 days:
    • Mother’s milk or cow milk (ml) – Colostrum of 350 ml, 3 feedings / day / goat kid.
    • Creep feed (in grams) – You can provide little amount.
    • Forage, green/day (in grams) – Provide little amount.
  • Goat kids of age 31 days to 60 days:
    • Mother’s milk or cow milk (ml) – Colostrum of 400 ml, 2 feedings/day/goat kid.
    • Creep feed (in grams) – 100 to 125 grams/day/kid.
    • Forage, green/day (in grams) – Your choice.
  • Goat kids age of 61 days to 90 days:
    • Mother’s milk or cow milk (ml) – Colostrum of 200 ml, 2 feedings/day/goat kid.
    • Creep feed ( in grams) – 225 to 250 grams/day/kid.
    • Forage, green/day ( in grams) – Your choice.
  • Feeding after 3 Months of Age to 12 Months of Age
    • Should allow the goats in quality pasture for grazing for about 8 hours/day.
    • You must provide Supplemental concentrate mixture @ 125 to 200 grams/goat/day with protein of 15 to 18% in the feed.
    • It is recommended to provide dry forage (fodder) during night time in summer. You can also provide dry matter during rainy season.
Goats with Dry Matter.
Goats with Dry Matter.
  1. Other Goat Feed Management / Grazing Methods: Extensive Grazing, Rotational grazing method, Semi-intensive grazing, and Intensive system-zero grazing-system are the main goat grazing/feeding management systems.

Bottom Line: You can grow green fodder in your farm to reduce the feed cost. This also provides you to utilize goat manure produced in your farm. You can also make silage by using green fodder crops. Goat feed cost may vary from region to region so it advised to avoid buying feed and instead, you can grow fodder in your land. If you don’t have sufficient land, think of growing hydroponic fodder.

For Dairy Goat Farming: Read here.

For Sheep Farming Guide: Read here.




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