Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Feeding the goats

goats Sept 13 5

I'm still learning about goat keeping but feeding our new arrivals over the past week has been interesting. We give them bran and bruised oats (and will soon add to the mix some flaked maize), hay and whatever tree leaves we can get our hands on. They particularly like browsing elder, bramble and hawthorn. We have about a month left to continue picking branches and leaves before the leaves drop to the ground. After that the goats will have to rely on our stocks of hay for their roughage.

The kid (pictured above) eats the bran and oats from my hand. The mother eats from the bucket but this allows me to handle her and get her used to me. They will do their first outing shortly. I will take them up to Dad's allotment where they can eat some of the weeds and brambles that need to be cleared.

goats Sept 13 6

goats Sept 13 7


Erica said...

If you want to lower the cost of feeding the goats and give them some variation in the winter you can pick leaves of their favorite foliage and dry them. Either by drying the leaves on a rack turning them every now and then or by tying small bundles that you hang to dry. The key point is to keep them out of the sun and rain and to have good ventilation.

This is something that was done at every household with livestock here in Finland before (and nowadays by many that only keep a few animals). Usually the foliage is collected in June when the leaves aren't as tough but I think it would work with older leaves as well.

Jonathan Wallace said...

Erica, thanks for the advice. I'll try this on elder and hawthorn leaves.

elfriide tramm said...

we also use dry the small branches of the trees, tying them to small bundle/sheaf. like this

this way you can also dry the other plants/herbs your goats like, not only branches of trees. like this

this has been always done to feed goats, and also deers in wintertime . and yes, mostly it's done in june, but it's never too late :)