Forages such as grass or grass hay, and non-toxic tree and shrub trimmings should make up the majority of the diet for all goats. Additionally a small amount of alfalfa hay can be fed to growing, pregnant and lactating goats. Alfalfa hay should only be fed sparingly to non-pregnant does, bucks and wethers. Feeding alfalfa hay to bucks and wethers can result in an increased risk of urinary stones and blockages, which can be fatal. High percentages of alfalfa in the diet can also increase the risk of frothy bloat in goats.
Grains are high in carbohydrates, and should be fed sparingly to goats. Sweet feed should not be fed to goats, as the high amounts of sugar and starch can cause digestive upsets such as bloat and ruminal acidosis, as well as obesity. If grains are fed, they should be fed as a commercial pelleted feed designed for goats. Choose a goat feed formula based on the life stage of your goat (i.e. growth, maintenance, etc). Feed amounts according to label recommendations to prevent obesity. Never feed grain or pelleted feeds free choice. Do not feed “show goat” formulas to pet goats, as they are too high in calories.
Minerals & Salt
Provide free choice access to a mineral salt block or a loose mineral/salt mix. Many goats prefer loose minerals to blocks. Provide minerals/salt in a small feed pan or bucket in a dry area.
Providing plain baking soda free choice in a small bucket or feed pan can help prevent ruminal acidosis. Goats will consume baking soda as needed to regulate the pH of their rumen.
All goats should have access to fresh, clean water at all times.