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Goat Grub - A Guide For Feeding Your Pet Goat

There are a lot of options when it comes to feeding your pet goats. Here are some handy tips to get you started.

Hay: Goats need access to good quality fibrous hay. Oaten hay or good quality pasture hay provides the best nutrition for your goats. While they are rapidly growing (up to 1 years of age) we recommend giving your goats hay ad lib - feed out enough that there is always a little bit left over. Your goats growth will slow once they’re over 1 years old and it is important to provide them with enough nutrition without them getting fat! Depending on your pasture availability we recommend about ½ biscuit of hay per adult goat per day. Never feed lucerne, clover or alfafa hay to wethers as it predisposes them to urinary stones. These types of hay are only necessary if your goat is pregnant or lactating, in which case we recommend lucerne.

Mineral block: Goats need free access to a mineral block. We recommend Olsson’s Goat Block as this is specifically formulated for goats. You can also purchase mineral block holders from most stockfeed stores to keep them fresher for longer.

Grain: We recommend only feeding grain to pregnant or lactating does. Pet wethers do not need any grain unless they are underweight as it increases their chances of developing urinary stones (urinary calculi), which are often fatal in wethers. If you do need to feed your wethers grain, we recommend feeding Barastock Goat Pellets or Barastock Goat Muesli. Barastock are the only brand of pre-made goat food that we are aware of which has analysed it’s phosphorous to calcium content to ensure that it is correct. Additionally, avoid feeding lucerne or alfalfa hay to wethers, which is very high in calcium.

Fruit, Veggies & Treats: Goats love to eat a variety of veggies and fruit. We recommend pumpkin, watermelon, carrots (especially the tops), celery, banana chips and sultanas as yummy treats for your goats. Twiggies (a Peter’s rabbit treat) also make great treats for goats, and are available from most PetStock’s and supermarkets.

Browse and Grass: Goats are browsers, rather than grazers, and prefer to eat branches and leaves that are higher off the ground. As such they do not make good lawn mowers, and cannot be expected to survive solely on short grass. Goats do love to have a nibble at shrubs and tree branches that they can reach. Just make sure that they do not have access to anything poisonous. Most plants that are poisonous for dogs or horses are also poisonous to goats. Common ones to look out for are yew, azaleas, oleanders, horse chestnut, rhododendrons, stone fruit trees and lilies – but there are many more not listed here. We recommend that you check any plants that you are not sure about before your goats move in.

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