What should goats really be eating?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 22, 2013 at 5:10 AM

What is the prime diet for milking goats? Ive found some raw milk for "Making soap" and am wondering if its fed a bit a feed mix with corn and oats in it, would it make the milk higher in omega 6? They are mostly pastured and get 2 cups of feed mix a day.



on August 22, 2013
at 12:15 PM

I believe tin cans are the natural diet for goats.

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on August 22, 2013
at 12:23 PM

Goats are quite similar to cows in terms of nutritional needs, they are not sheep! They do have differences (cows are grazers, goats are browsers).

In terms of what is good and bad, the problem with grain-feeding is not grain-feeding itself, cows and goats do tolerate a ration of grain in their diet. It is only when grains displace roughage (grass, hay, silage, etc) does the health of the animal suffer. You could find 100% grass-fed dairy, but in my opinion it would be produced from an animal that is literally starved until their production falls to a sustainable level. It's definitely not economical for farmers to product 100% grass-fed product, which is why it is typically sold for outrageous prices, production suffers so much. Goats in proportion to size actually produce more milk than a cow does, so production suffers even more when energy needs are not met.

The effects of on the quality of the milk are minimal. It's particularly hard though to eliminate too much roughage in dairy animals, because they cannot be put on the same antibiotic cocktail that meat production animals can be. Dairy animal health is generally superior to meat production animals. But sure, you could bemoan the slight decrease in ALA and CLA in grain-supplemented milk, ignoring all the other nutrition that goes unmodified.

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