Notices
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16
  1. Collapse Details
    How badly do goats need grain? 
    #1
    I have been reading Joel Salatin, and I have a sheep/cow farmer friend who swears by not feeding ruminants grain. On the other hand, everything I have read about goats says that a little grain is good for them, especially if you are milking. I must say I am a bit confused. I wonder if, ideally they would be grass fed, but raised in a small space they need grain? Perhaps? I know they need lots of hay and can eat some garden veggies and sunflower seeds.
     
     

  2. Collapse Details
     
    #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    669
    Quote Originally Posted by RutabagaGirl View Post
    I have been reading Joel Salatin, and I have a sheep/cow farmer friend who swears by not feeding ruminants grain. On the other hand, everything I have read about goats says that a little grain is good for them, especially if you are milking. I must say I am a bit confused. I wonder if, ideally they would be grass fed, but raised in a small space they need grain? Perhaps? I know they need lots of hay and can eat some garden veggies and sunflower seeds.
    I have a study paper that shows that dairy goats that have been fed mulberry leaves will increase their production.

    Introducing grain to ruminants must be done slowly so the microbes in the gut flora can get used to the new feed. I reckon they probably do eat a bit of grain naturally, but more of the green stuff hanging from trees rather than dried corn or such. Tagasaste would fit the bill.
     
     

  3. Collapse Details
     
    #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Waikato
    Posts
    1,266
    Where abouts in the world are you?
    Do you have really cold winters?really hot dry summers?

    A family friend had a goat dairy farm a few hours north of Auckland(I miss that place. learnt to milk goats by hand there...)
    The farm was rough with alot of gorse and 'weeds' which the goats loved,which is why they chose goats.
    Their goats did get hay in winter, which wasnt very cold to be honest-it wasnt cold enough for them to need a shed and there were plenty of trees and scrubby land to get shelter from the winds-they dont like cold wet wind.

    Goats are top feeders(will eat trees) and browsers rather than grazers,(cows and sheep are grazers), although, they will love your neighbours turnip crop just cos its on the other side of their fence.
    Our friends had this farm for years.
    They will eat out all your thistles and gorse and will tell you they need to be moved -they will move themselves over your fences when things arent to their liking.
    They werent ever fed grain or seeds, but then none of our livestock in NZ are grain fed.
    Why would you when grass and trees/scrub grow so readily.

    'The complete herbal for farm and stable', by Juliette de Bairacli Levy, is a good book to have in your personal library and has quite alot on things for goats.
    I think this is a great book for everyone to have unless they have pigs exclusively.
    She is of Turkish descent and decided not to include pigs on religious grounds.

    I got my copy from The Book Depository(UK).
    It's only a mistake if you don't learn from it...
    www.photoblog.com/mischief

    Chapter one:mischief at large. two:Round two. three: Guilding the garden. four:2013.
     
     

  4. Collapse Details
     
    #4
    Senior Member Michaelangelica's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    N.Sydney 'burbs Zone 9-10
    Posts
    4,777
    Quote Originally Posted by matto View Post
    I have a study paper that shows that dairy goats that have been fed mulberry leaves will increase their production.


    .
    I have read (somewhere) that fenugreek seeds(?) will also help increase milk production
    I agree that The complete herbal for farm and stable', by Juliette de Bairacli Levy is an excellent buy for anyone with a few animals http://forums.permaculture.org.au/sh...+Bairacli+Levy
     
     

  5. Collapse Details
     
    #5
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Cape Eleuthera, The Bahamas
    Posts
    111
    Grass-fed is the way to go. Mischief put it pretty well really. But some more food for thought: an over-reliance on grain is the reason why conventional grain-fed dairies (such as are commonly found in most of the US) use so much antibiotics and burn through their cows in only a couple years. Their stomachs just aren't built for grain. Grass-fed dairies can keep their milking cows around for many many more years.

    Now, goats are a bit different it's true, but they aren't really built to handle a lot of grain either. Give em lots of brush, weeds, and overgrown areas and they'll be in heaven.
     
     

  6. Collapse Details
     
    #6
    Senior Member pebble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    inland Otago, New Zealand
    Posts
    2,615
    I reckon they probably do eat a bit of grain naturally, but more of the green stuff hanging from trees rather than dried corn or such.
    Wouldn't goats get grains but only seasonally in the wild?
     
     

  7. Collapse Details
     
    #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Central Texas USA Zone 8 Latitude 30N
    Posts
    777
    Grazing grass may not be the best for goats because they're vulnerable to parasites. Browsing may be better for them and what they're adapted to more than grass. Same with primitive sheep breeds like Jacob. My Jacob sheep prefer to browse. Existing trees could be coppiced to provide browse, or browse trees and shrubs could be planted for either the goats to harvest themselves or cut and brought to the animals in a paddock. A large variety of tree species would provide better nutrition than just one or two kinds.
     
     

  8. Collapse Details
     
    #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Waikato
    Posts
    1,266
    I incompletely quoted Juliette de B....she hasnt included pigs also for the reasons that they do not respond to herbal remedies very well when they are forced to live in unnatural conditions.

    As Ludi says having a wide variety of trees and shrubs provides better nutrition and this book as well as others can give you a good idea of what things to add to your pastures or farm races (access tracks).
    It's only a mistake if you don't learn from it...
    www.photoblog.com/mischief

    Chapter one:mischief at large. two:Round two. three: Guilding the garden. four:2013.
     
     

  9. Collapse Details
     
    #9
    Senior Member Pakanohida's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Coquille, OR, Latitude 43 North, Coastal
    Posts
    2,604
    Quote Originally Posted by mischief View Post
    I incompletely quoted Juliette de B....she hasnt included pigs also for the reasons that they do not respond to herbal remedies very well when they are forced to live in unnatural conditions.

    As Ludi says having a wide variety of trees and shrubs provides better nutrition and this book as well as others can give you a good idea of what things to add to your pastures or farm races (access tracks).
    Hmm, I have been planning a swale, paddock (cut in half to facilitate moving through better), swale, paddock, swale, paddock swale system on a portion of my property to allow milking goats to graze and play with their kids. Having the trees and shrubs along the outside should help with food, but what about the inside? I would think anything inside the paddock would be decimated in a day or less.
    If you still have a job, get everything in order, and quit. Do it as soon as you can, because we’ve never had a more important work to do. -Kyle Chamberlin

    Permaculture is a concise design of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have diversity, stability, & resilience of natural ecosystems.
    -Bill Mollison

    It's just my 2 cents,
    Paka no hida

     
     

  10. Collapse Details
     
    #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Central Texas USA Zone 8 Latitude 30N
    Posts
    777
    If the browsing area is eaten that fast, the goats will need to be moved to another paddock, or the paddocks will need to be larger.
     
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
 
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •