How much should a goat eat?


  #1  
Old 12-07-09, 02:47 PM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,072
Received 398 Votes on 354 Posts
How much should a goat eat?

I've got a billy goat that's about to get my goat He's about 7 months old and far from being thin. His fenced in area is approx 1 acre of hillside with a mix of brush and trees. Since august he's really consumed what's eatable inside the fence. I've been giving him about 3 cups of feed a day since the 1st frost.

The goat hollers all the time that he's not eating. He'll try to knock you down when you go to feed him, even snatch the feed bucket off of the fence and carry it around on his head.

All this I can handle but he's got where he'll drag his teeth across the osb panels on the back of the barn to pull the chips off and eat them [paint and all] The section he finds the tastiest only lacks a 1/4" or so of becoming a big hole Today I noticed that where I've had a stack of aluminum windows leaned against the back of the barn have been destroyed by the goat. 1 new storm window still in the package has been reduced to metal scraps. He ate fiberglass screens, the rubber glazing, plastic wrap, cardboard ends - basically everything that wasn't glass or metal.

I had a nanny goat years ago in the same fenced in area, that goat was bigger but never did run out of brush to eat. My grandson picked out and gave me this goat or otherwise, I'd be tempted to cut him up and put him in the freezer.

Does anyone know how much a goat is supposed to eat? As fat as he is, makes me think I'm over feeding him but he acts like he's being starved.
 
  #2  
Old 12-08-09, 12:21 AM
RhainyC's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Blaine, Washington
Posts: 553
Received 9 Votes on 5 Posts
Marksr,

You don't mention if you have had the vet check him or not for parasites? Often grazing animals get parasites which will cause issues with their feeding.

I would definitely recommend a vet check for parasites, and general health.

As for specific feeding, here is an article which may be of help:

Sheep and Goat Nutrition Guideline - Goats and Nutrition - GoatWorld.Com

Definitely keep us posted, and hopefully someone with more recent goat experience may chime in as well. I will do a bit more research and see if I can find anything else that might point to why your goat seems to be a bottomless pit.
 
  #3  
Old 12-08-09, 04:33 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,072
Received 398 Votes on 354 Posts
Thanks for the response and link. Is there anyway to check for parasites without a vet?
Money's always tight this time of year. I don't know why car insurance, homeowner ins, rental property ins, land taxes and Christmas all have to come due around the same time
 
  #4  
Old 12-08-09, 07:46 AM
RhainyC's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Blaine, Washington
Posts: 553
Received 9 Votes on 5 Posts
Marksr,

You can check your goats Fresh droppings, but in all honesty, many parasites are not visible in them. Some worms do show up to the eye in the feces, but not all. If you have a local Farmers Co-op, they may have a general wormer that is OTC you can give to help get past the new year, but a vet check is definitely what I would suggest. Perhaps a neighbor or friend is having a vet visit, and you can take your goat over to get checked? I know the vet I worked for did what we called *community* visits quite often for ranchers/farmers and he didn't charge a full visit to the neighbors, since he already was out to one place, and it saved him time. I am not sure how the vets do things like that these days, but it's worth looking into.
 
  #5  
Old 12-08-09, 11:10 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,964
Received 6 Votes on 6 Posts
Mark, UT Knoxville may offer some help. I did that when I had a cattle farm. UGA would send over a vet professor with his students, allow them to diagnose problems, then he would treat for problems. I had 40 calves, tagged, full shots, wormed, etc. for the cost of the meds. Cost about $100. The prof explained he was in charge, but in return for allowing his students to get hands on training, the university would absorb the cost. Cool.
I have learned, too, goats had rather eat briers than green grass, so go figure. Your place probably doesn't have enough roughage for him.
 
  #6  
Old 12-08-09, 11:22 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,112
Received 4 Votes on 4 Posts
I could search for some good recipes..or stop by the local Indian restaurant if none of the other suggestions work out.

Mmmmmm shawarmas......mmmmmmm
 
  #7  
Old 12-08-09, 01:07 PM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,072
Received 398 Votes on 354 Posts
Larry, all my land is slate rock, not much grass. His fenced in area was full of briers, kudzu and saplings.... which he spent every waking hour eating. Hopefully most of it will come back in the spring. The power line goes down the center of the fenced in area so he's done a good job of cleaning it out.

Vic, If I cut up and cooked the goat, he might taste good but it would break my grandson's heart......... and my wife would probably make me add on a room to the dog's house

I can get goat wormer medicine at tractor supply. The dose goes by the goat's weight. Any ideas on how to figure his weight?
 

Last edited by marksr; 12-08-09 at 01:26 PM.
  #8  
Old 12-08-09, 05:01 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,964
Received 6 Votes on 6 Posts
According to the way you say he eats, he's gotta be big! Had a friend who also had goats on his farm. One guy who worked with us at the Airport wanted to buy one. He was from Somalia. Made a deal and drove his new Mercedes to the farm. Asked how he was going to get it home. He said, "back seat". Brought some of the meat to work a few days later. Melt in yo mouth!
 
  #9  
Old 12-09-09, 04:42 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,072
Received 398 Votes on 354 Posts
My goat isn't all that tall but he sure has a big gut.

My wife's father was a real character, I never met him but I heard stories about him long before I ever met my wife. Back in the early 60's he bought a goat, put it in the trunk and stopped at a bar on the way home. Apparently he stayed longer than he should have, when he got out the goat had eaten his way into the back seat and was starting on the front.

Now it isn't in my nature to believe outlandish stories so when I started dating my wife I asked her about it. She said " oh lordy, that was my brother in law's car, don't mention that story to him - he still gets mad about it"
i
 
  #10  
Old 12-10-09, 11:40 AM
todrut's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,212
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
marksr, I've had goat for a while, first I always have them on a worming schedule(twice a year no vet checks). I get mine from TSC as well, lift him up to judge weight.
Second, goat got to have something to do all day, they are very active animals. If there is nothing left for him to eat on the hill, I would do a couple things. I would get a bale of old crappy hay, the cheapest you can find, either big roll or small squares. Put that in his pen. Also get him some toys(yes toys), a ball or 2 are always a good choice. He will play with them keeping him busy. And lastly you could get him a "Buddy".
 
  #11  
Old 12-10-09, 02:22 PM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,072
Received 398 Votes on 354 Posts
Never thought about toys, I'll give that some consideration
I wonder if a goat can run a ball back up the hill???

I have considered getting another goat to keep him company but that will have to wait until spring. I had the goat on a chain for a bit while I was repairing the fence and since the goat and dog seemed to get along fairly well, once the fencing was done, I put the dog on a zip line inside the fence. 1st thing that stupid goat tried to do was breed the dog .... so now the dog is back outside the fence and they aren't as friendly as they once were

I bought the nanny goat I used to have a bale of hay for her 1st winter on my hill. That goat went in her shed and didn't come out for 3 days.... and all the hay was gone

Not sure my back would survive picking up the goat but maybe I can get one of the kids to give it a try
 
  #12  
Old 12-10-09, 03:14 PM
todrut's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,212
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
If you don't plan to use him to breed, consider castration, it will help calm him also. You'd be surprised how much they will play with the ball. The reason for the old hay is it will occupy his time sorting through it finding the stuff he wants to eat. If you know the breed and how old he is, post a picture, might be able to help with weight guess.
 
  #13  
Old 12-12-09, 09:54 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,072
Received 398 Votes on 354 Posts
Ok, I've never posted a pic before but hopefully this will work. I don't know what breed he is.

Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket
 
  #14  
Old 12-12-09, 10:10 AM
todrut's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,212
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Beautiful goat, he looks to be 80-90lbs. You'll be same worming him at that weight. He is nice big and looks very healthy. I'm sure he is just bored and starved for attention. If you can find something like a teather ball (ball with rope attached) and tie it to a tree or something he should play with it...
 
  #15  
Old 12-12-09, 02:40 PM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,072
Received 398 Votes on 354 Posts
Ya, he gets attention, just not as much as I guess he would like I took my grandson's old plastic bat and tied it to a branch. I may have it a little too high but it has gotten his attention

Thanks for the weight estimate - it gives me a good place to start.
 
  #16  
Old 12-12-09, 08:22 PM
waterwelldude's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: S.E. Texas
Posts: 1,038
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Does your goat eat alot of grass?
That belly looks like a grass belly. He/she looks good.

Your goat looks like a pygmy(pig me) goat. I don't think he is that heavy, looks like 65 to 70lbs to me.
I have had goats, and many other types of animals for years. I feed my two about 3lbs each once a day, half sweet feed, and half scratch. A little less in the summer time.
If you use wormer from feed store or anyplace other than the vet, Use under the amount on the directions.
Most of those wormers are for general use, and It is much safer for your animals to err on the side of caution.

There are some home grown wormers, but Ill leave that for another day.


Travis
 
  #17  
Old 12-12-09, 08:43 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,039
Received 324 Votes on 278 Posts
Kind of the same thing: We have two horses and they are on a worming schedule of every other month. We rotate between three different types of wormer because I guess worms can build up a tolerance. Our local tractor supply carries wormer so I suspect your does too. I have also learned that the most common wormer is Ivermectin. It is found in many livestock wormers to kill parasites.

Our neighbor has goats and the only thing that keeps them from going where they are not supposed to is an electric wire. One strand is all it takes.

On another side note getting him some toys or setting up a kind of "playground" might keep him busy. Using free stuff like old pallets (covered), ramps and wooded wire spools are fun because they like to jump up on things. Just make sure they can't get hurt.

BTW - looks like a nice Goat!
 
  #18  
Old 12-12-09, 09:04 PM
todrut's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,212
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Biggest pygmy I've ever seen, I had pygmy's up till this fall, I'm pretty sure it is not a pygmy, stands too tall and too big. Ears are also longer than pygmy's. It is an excellent idea to use different wormers each time, I did not mention that.
 
  #19  
Old 12-13-09, 04:51 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,072
Received 398 Votes on 354 Posts
I have 16 acres but it's all slate rock, probably couldn't come up with a tandem truck full of top soil off of the whole place I have a hard enough time growing grass in the front yard much less anywhere else. That said, there are/were sprigs of grass along with weeds in the fenced in area. Mostly it's briers, saplings and kudzu with trees along the fence sides. The goats main purpose is to keep the hillside where the power line is - clean

Since I didn't buy the goat [my grandson and his parents did] I didn't get to ask any questions about his breed. I suppose it could be a mix. While he does seem to be considerably shorter than the previous goat I had, I believe he's a lot bigger than the pygmy's...... but he might be part pig
 
  #20  
Old 12-13-09, 07:58 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,039
Received 324 Votes on 278 Posts
One thing I forgot to mention is if your goat is overgrazing, you need to rotate your pasture. I only have about 5 acres of pasture for our two horses and have very sandy soil. I have sectioned it off into 5 separate areas with one area that is a sacrifice area that I know will turn to dirt. This gives sections weeks to rebound after a week of grazing.

I'm not sure where in Tenn. you live, or what type of equipment you have, but check out your Craigslist craigslist classifieds: jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, events, forums for hay if you need it. I did a quick search at the Konxville one a saw som.body selling 4x5 rounds for $10 in Oliver Springs. Good thing is goats are not a touchy as horses.
 
  #21  
Old 12-13-09, 12:07 PM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,072
Received 398 Votes on 354 Posts
"One thing I forgot to mention is if your goat is overgrazing, you need to rotate your pasture"

Yikes, that's easier said than done! Ever try to sink fence posts in slate rock? not to mention the fact that most of it is steep hillside Hopefully things will work their self out and enough will grow back to keep him busy from spring on.

No problem finding square bales of hay for sale. Could probably find round bales if I looked.
 
  #22  
Old 12-13-09, 01:41 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,581
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Being a city boy with no knowledge of goats may I say I found this fascinating and what with all the talk of toys and hay I began to visualize a horse walker with baskets of hay suspended from it and maybe a switch so it only ran when the goat approached. OK that is my wild Idea for today.
 
  #23  
Old 11-25-12, 04:18 PM
M
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Lonely Little Goat

You need another goat!! I know it sounds crazy, but goats are herding animals. They MUST have a buddy. In fact, it is cruel to keep only one. Sometimes they will die from loneliness. You get a friends for him, (another boy if you are not wanting babies!! ) and I guarantee he will settle down. Soon you will be laughing at how comical they play!! Goats are such sweet loving little creatures, be happy you are blessed to have one to keep!!! And if you don't want him,, then drive him on down here I will gladly take him..
 
  #24  
Old 11-25-12, 04:36 PM
RhainyC's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Blaine, Washington
Posts: 553
Received 9 Votes on 5 Posts
Melishakay,

This is a very old thread and I believe that MarkSr got his situation resolved but thanks for adding the socialization aspect in. You're right they are herd mentality animals.
 
  #25  
Old 11-26-12, 04:24 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,072
Received 398 Votes on 354 Posts
Ya, I know it's best to have more than one goat but with as much as he eats - I couldn't afford another one

This goat was a father's day present from my grandson so getting rid of him isn't an option or I'd stick him in the freezer and replace him with a couple of nanny goats. While I don't know for sure, I think he's a Boer goat. Still the biggest goat I've ever seen! I don't have any way to weigh him but would guesstimate he's between 150-200 lbs.

btw - welcome to the forums melishakay!
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: