In my last post I mentioned that we were feeding a peanut feed to our replacement calves to try to keep them growing and maintaining good body condition. I thought in this post I would show what we provide our goats with.
We generally have great forage, and feed is not necessary for the goats, or cattle for that matter. Last year's winter and this year's winter has caused us a few challenges. Last year we ended up with no winter grasses for our does to graze and only fed them poor quality hay. They kidded during this time, and we had one of the worst kidding season ever. I truly do believe a lot of it was due to the poor nutrition and the below normal temps. We did provide a loose mineral, but the hay didn't provide what they needed to raise healthy kids in freezing temperatures.
This year, Shane purchased hay that had been tested out to have 8% protein. Once again rye grass was planted for winter grazing, but with our crazy weather this year, no real results with it. Our does have eaten all of the brush left over from summer and we have been putting a bale of hay out for them. Shane decided to try out a goat block that is formulated for goats that are on a pasture diet. He found it at our local Tractor Supply.
I took some photos of the ingredients and nutrient contents so you can see what it contains. We have only been using it for 1-2 months, but it seems to be working out okay. It is recommended to have 1 block for 12-15 goats.
When they are first put out, you have to limit their consumption. But after a few days it can be offered at free choice. You also have to be sure not to let it run out. We have, and when trying to put it out again, they "attacked" them. We keep them scattered out with good distance around the pasture in plastic tubs.
Hopefully when our does start kidding, the clover will be up enough for them to graze! I'm hoping it will be a great kidding season. We will be getting kids out of Rooster, Pistol Pete, and Gold Digger!