Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Alchemy Acres
presents
Tip of the Month





Welcome PageDescription of Dairy HerdWhat's New at the Site?Crafts and Nifty StuffAlchemy's MenagerieTip of the MonthPrevious Tips of the MonthOther Resources of Interest




Those of us with goats are continually searching for the perfect feeding program to keep our charges healthy and productive. If you talk to 10 breeders, you'll probably get 10 different programs - each of which is THE CORRECT program. Actually, they're probably all good programs for the herd under discussion at the time. This month, I'm going to discuss the feeding program used here at Alchemy Acres. I think of it as a simple and bare-bones approach. So here goes!!

First off, we believe that hay and greenery should be the main portion of the diet of each animal. We have several small fields (about 0.5 acre each). During Spring thru Fall, I expect the animals to get out and harvest their own groceries. They have their choice of orchard grass and a large variety of weeds and trees. In addition, we put out a small amount of dry hay and give milkers two pounds of 16% Co-op Goat Feed. Dry stock get one pound grain daily. To the grain, we add trace mineral salts and yeast. As we live in the humid Southeastern US, getting good legume hay is a real challenge. It tends to stay moist and get mouldy. Recently, our local Co-op has started to carry some dinky bales of midwestern alfalfa, which the goats really relish. The small size of the bales is more than compensated by the LARGE price I must pay for the beauties, however. I have a man who puts up really nice grass hay (treasure one of these jewels if you can find him), so the bulk of the hay ration is orchard grass. I sprinkle the alfalfa in with the grass, and the goats go snorkling for the alfalfa. In the ensuing melee, every last crumb of everything gets snarfed down - both grass and alfalfa. This really warms the cockles of my wallet. During the Winter, I feed a lot more dry hay - free choice. The grain ration remains the same year-round -- dictated by the whether or not the doe is milking.

The buck is treated pretty much the same - with a few important exceptions. The buck is kept in a big pen, so does not have access to as much natural greenery as the does. I do cut him some tasty treats at every feeding, and he really looks forward to these. In fact, this is how I prune back the trees and bushes. Whatever is in the way gets lopped off and fed to the buck (be careful - no poisonous ornamentals). So my Buddy dines regularly on honeysukle, privet, sumac, and maple leaves. He also likes poison ivy, but I have to be careful that he doesn't rub it all over me after he's thru. In addition to his green treats, he gets free choice grass hay (never alfalfa - don't want bladder stones) and 2-3 pounds goat feed deaily. He, too, gets trace minerals and yeast. All the animals get a weekly slug a vitamins in the form of Red Glo.

So feed your animals right, and they'll reward you with many years of troublefree, productive service. A little effort and forethought go a long way to a more pleasant goatkeeping enterprise.


Write us with your comments and suggestions.


Welcome PageDescription of Dairy HerdWhat's New at the Site?Crafts and Nifty StuffAlchemy's MenagerieTip of the MonthPrevious Tips of the MonthOther Resources of Interest