Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hello. I am new to the goat world and will be getting my first 2 (Nigerian
Dwarfs) next month. I don't want to give them store bought grain and plan to mix
my own. Just wondered what others are feeding theirs. I have a friend who just
uses oats and sunflower seeds. Also wanted to know opinions as to the importance
of grain. With grassfed beef and such being popular as the natural way to feed
cows, is there any validity to avoiding grain as much as possible? Is it mostly
used just to keep them happy on the milkstand or is it necessary for health and
production? So, I guess it's really two questions :)
TIA!
Theresa




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I feel like I have done enough studying to have a BS and am going for my Masters!! (and I still don't know anything! =>)
One thing I really like about Purina is that it doesn't contain a lot of corn. It's actual grain. If you're really serious about not buying commercial feed, I would think you could mix loose minerals into your grains, but you'd have a tougher time knowing exactly what "doses" your animals were getting possibly. I'm going to be using Food Grade diatomaceous earth mixed into my grains with unsulfered molasses eventually. You could do the same with minerals if you were mixing your own grains, but you'd need to be very aware of just how much mineral you're adding so as not to over dose.

So you put minerals into the grain and you give them free choice minerals?

It's seems like the new goat owners's (such as myself) really want to mix up their own rations (my reason is I don't know what some of the stuff in it is and I want the least amount of soy and I really want linseed meal but can't find it around here). But then the experienced goat owners feed a commercial brand....is it experience talking or the fact that the herd has gotten so much larger, it's more difficult to mix for a larger herd....LOL sorry my babbling...there was a real question up there, I promise

I make my own grain mix of organic oats, organic barley and BOSS, but it is only for does in milk, and cold nights for everyone else.  I have been giving the BOSS to everyone lately just to add to their selenium intake.  Normally I have the minerals out free choice, but right now I am rationing them since they are new minerals and my goats are deficient and I don't want them to OD

I have avoided Purina because I figured it had preservatives and etc in it, but maybe it doesn't?  Does anyone have a list of the ingredients?  I think it's kinda spendy too, right?  Between the three things I buy, I get about 150# of mix for around $50-$60. 

It is actually easier to mix for a larger herd. If you buy a ton at a time, the feed mills around here will mix whatever you want. It's taken me nine years to figure out what my goats need, and honestly, at this point, I'm afraid to change much at all -- maybe a little tweaking, but that's it.

As far as soy -- it's the villainous food at the moment. In a couple years, it will be something else. I've been into nutrition for 20 years, and I've seen all sorts of food dubbed as miracle foods and toxic foods, and those labels only last a couple years, and then everyone forgets about them. There is nothing inherently bad (or good) about soy, but like a lot of foods, researchers discovered some component that they thought was awesome, then they isolated it (estrogen) and put it in a pill, and it caused problems. Big surprise! Give someone too much Vit. A, and it will give them cancer, but you probably could never eat enough carrots in your life to cause cancer.

Jaci Jahn said:

So you put minerals into the grain and you give them free choice minerals?

It's seems like the new goat owners's (such as myself) really want to mix up their own rations (my reason is I don't know what some of the stuff in it is and I want the least amount of soy and I really want linseed meal but can't find it around here). But then the experienced goat owners feed a commercial brand....is it experience talking or the fact that the herd has gotten so much larger, it's more difficult to mix for a larger herd....LOL sorry my babbling...there was a real question up there, I promise

Purina Goat Chow ingredients as per Purina's site:

Grain products, Processed grain by-products, Plant protein products, Molasses products, Calcium carbonate, Roughage products, Salt, Forage products, Dicalcium phosphate, Soybean oil, Phosphoric acid (a preservative), Vitamin E supplement, Tetrasodium pyrophosphate, Vitamin A supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, Calcium iodate, Sodium molybdate, Cobalt carbonate, Manganese sulfate, Ferrous sulfate, Ferrous carbonate, Copper sulfate, Zinc oxide, Zinc sulfate, Magnesium oxide, Manganous oxide

 

I wish the copper wasn't sulfate...

  1. My two main beef's with soy are that the majority of soy in our food system (and in grain systems as I understand it) is GMO.
  2. Soy in high doses (and try to NOT eat a lot of it, it's IN everything) can cause thyroid issues (which I have) unless it's fermented soy. (like Miso, soy sauce... etc)

Seeing as soy isn't one of the first couple ingredients, I'm less inclined to be such a pessimist about it in my feed. lol

 

I personally don't mix loose into my feed. I'm using Purina Goat Chow at Deb's suggestion, because I liked the reasons she feeds it, and they apply to my situation. I have started buying the minerals she uses as well, but they'll be offered free choice on the side.



Jaci Jahn said:

So you put minerals into the grain and you give them free choice minerals?

It's seems like the new goat owners's (such as myself) really want to mix up their own rations (my reason is I don't know what some of the stuff in it is and I want the least amount of soy and I really want linseed meal but can't find it around here). But then the experienced goat owners feed a commercial brand....is it experience talking or the fact that the herd has gotten so much larger, it's more difficult to mix for a larger herd....LOL sorry my babbling...there was a real question up there, I promise

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