How to Feed Fainting Goats


How to Feed Fainting Goats. Even though goats are often depicted as virtual garbage disposals through cartoons or other sources, it is important to provide them with a nutritious diet. The fainting goat breed historically survived off brush and weeds. However, with the limited grazing conditions often present today, it is important to supplement fainting goats with a more traditional diet of hay and grain to insure adequate nutrition.

Things You'll Need

  • Alfalfa or grass/alfalfa hay
  • Grain
  • Salt block
  • Mineral block

Survey goats' pasture grounds and assess grazing conditions. Fainting goads will eat most weed and grass varieties and even vegetation such as dried tree leaves.

Feed goats alfalfa hay or a grass/alfalfa hay mix twice daily. Fainting goats with ample grazing grounds will only need about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. of hay per goat per feeding. Goats without sufficient grazing can eat up to 2 1/2 or 3 lbs. of hay each.

Supplement hay with a grain mix twice daily. Most grain mixes contain oats, barley, corn and vitamin and mineral supplements. Fainting goats only need about 1/4 lb. of grain per feeding, totalling 1/2 lb. per goat per day.

Remove any uneaten feed by the next day and replace with fresh feed.

Provide milking goats with extra protein. You can buy grain mixes with additional protein and feed good quality alfalfa hay.

Place a salt lick and mineral block in your goats' pen to ensure adequate mineral intake.

Continually monitor your fainting goats' weight and eating habits. Adjust your feeding routine as necessary. For example, if your goats consistently waste a fair amount of hay, simply offer them a bit less. If they are losing weight, offer more feed or better quality feed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Goats generally self-monitor their food intake well. Therefore, consider placing a large square or round bale in the goat pen and allowing the goats free-choice feeding. Still feed them grain twice daily.
  • Offer "dairy" quality hay, not "feeder" quality hay.
  • When weaning baby goats off their mother's milk and introducing them to grain, feed them separately if possible.
  • When feeding a grass/alfalfa mix hay, keep the proportions at 50/50 to ensure that the goats are getting enough protein (which is highest in the alfalfa).
  • When starting goats on grain or putting them back on grain, start with very small amounts and gradually increase the amount.
  • Fainting goats should not be given tree leaves from fruit or walnut trees.
  • Make sure the hay and grain you are offering are not moldy or rotten. This is not as important with free-choice hay, as the goats can pick around moldy spots, but is highly important when the goats are being fed specific quantities. Mold will make them sick.

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