If you want to raise goats, here’s some tips that will keep your goats healthy. There’s information about growing food for goats and designing adequate housing for goats. There’s also grazing tips. It’s all here.
1. Let Goats Graze on their Own
Apparently, goats like to wander on their own. In fact, when they are grazing, they tend to separate from the herd and go their own way.
Goats are known to be great climbers, and they are curious as well. They can balance themselves at awkward angles on dangerous perches. They are known to escape enclosures by climbing over fences or going through them. They may butt heads with other goats to establish dominance.
2. Keep Meat Goats Separate from Dairy Goats
In Europe and North America, meat and dairy goats are kept separate. Dairy goats are put out to pasture during the summer time. When the winter comes, the goats are brought into the stables. They can be kept in stalls or in pens.
Dairy goats are milked daily. In the U.S., dairy goats are re-bred annually. Meat goats are put out to pasture year round. They can be kept miles away from the barn.
3. Keep the Grazing Area Free of Garbage
Goats will try to eat anything. They will bite and chew on cardboard, cans, clothing, and paper. Goats prefer plants. Since goats can eat virtually anything, they are left out to graze instead of fed in the stalls. For this reason, it’s best to scan the grazing area for garbage and remove it. The last thing you want is your goat to get sick eating a cardboard box.
Goats graze on the following plants: vines, shrubbery, and weeds. They can’t eat these plants: Nightshade and wilted fruit tree leaves. Goats can eat different types of fermented feeds, but it needs to be consumed immediately after opening so that the risk of Listeria infection is low. This includes Silage and Haylage.
Goats can eat two to four pounds of hay a day. Another acceptable food is alfalfa hay. Growing food for goats is an essential part of raising goats. You can grow food for goats on the farm. If the goat isn’t feed properly, it may not produce enough meat or dairy for humans. Click here for goat meat recipes.
4. Add Grain Feed and Minerals to their Diet
Grain feed and minerals enhance the nutritional profile of your goats and make them the healthiest animals on the farm. Minerals should be given in gravel form, not blocks. You can use a mineral feeder or an ordinary bucket. The goal is to deliver the minerals to the goats routinely so that the goats have enough to eat on a daily basis. It’s an alternative to growing food for goats.
5. Don’t Try to Domesticate Goats
Goats are farm animals, but they still maintain their wild selves. It’s not a good idea to domesticate goats any further than they already are. They aren’t pets. They are herd animals which need a social group order to sustain a healthy life. If the herd is taken away, they may not function properly.
The main purpose of grazing goats is for food production. Goat meat and goat milk is edible. Goats are also used for breeding, so that more goats are produced. Goats are also raised to perform or act as show animals. Farm shows featuring goats are popular and many people go to see them graze. Since goats are able to sustain themselves through grazing, there’s very little investment in growing food for goats. You won’t have to grow food for goats each year.