Many people have asked, 'What do you feed?' 

Well to answer this, we included the following article:

FEEDING
Goat owners are always looking for the best thing to feed their animals. We feed Tennessee Co-Op Goat Starter (#93448). We also feed Tennessee Co-Op Goat Grower (#93461). We only feed rumensin-medicated feed. In attempt to bring down our cost we looked around for a less expensive rumensin-medicated feed. We have tried several but the cost keeps creeping up. We have found a rumensin-medicated cattle feed from Performance Feeds with 14% protein. We are using it as a maintenance feed mixed with Goat Starter, and it seems to be working well. The rest of this articles is how we got to this point...



A couple of years ago, we attend the monthly meeting of the Middle Tennessee Goat Producers Association and heard the nutritionist from the Tennessee CO-OP speak. He spoke for 30 minutes before he started talking about anything we were interested in. As a result of his talk and an after-the-meeting conversation, we have changed what we feed. 

Prior to that meeting we had fed TN CO-OP 16% Goat Grower medicated with monensin for about a year. To each 50 lb. bag of the Goat Grower, we added 2 scoops whole corn and 2 scoops black oil sunflower seeds. The sunflower seed shells are an excellent source of fiber while the meat of the sunflower seeds contain protein and act as a lubricant. The corn contains vitamin C and is an excellent source of glucose. The nutritionist suggested we take them off all medicated food for a while each year. When we reintroduce the medicated feed, it will be more effective against coccidiosis.

The Tennessee CO-OP has a goat formula that is not medicated, 16% Pelleted Goat Ration # 93842. It is the goat decoquinate medicated feed with the medication removed. We started feeding the non-medicated formula in November 2004 to return to the Goat Grower with monensin as the kidding season begins.

During the Q and A part of the presentation, a question about N-Timidator was asked. The nutritionist was very familiar with the Land-O-Lakes goat feed. After laughingly denying the N-Timidator contained steroids, he stated the CO-OP Goat Grower with monensin (CO-OP 93461) is almost identical to the N-Timidator.

He then told about full ration and part ration food, saying that the Goat Grower was a full ration, and their other feed is part ration, meaning the feed needs to be supplemented with hay or browse. Goat Grower was developed for a goat producer who wanted something for his Boer show goats. As a complete ration, no additional ingredients are needed. No hay, no browse, no whole corn, and no sunflower seed.

 
Regarding sunflower seed, the oil of the sunflower seed does help the coats of goats, but he suggested we might consider pouring corn oil over the ration for our show goats to improve their coats. Corn does provide quick heat and is often recommended to feed during extremely cold spells; but it brings down the percent of crude protein in the diet because whole corn is only about 8 % crude protein. Part corn and part Goat Grower will reduce the intake of crude protein by the amount of whole corn consumed. So if you are feeding Goat Grower at 5 parts to 1 part of whole corn, then you have reduced the 16% crude protein by 10 percent. Since it is a full ration food, the crude protein in Goat Grower with monesin is reduced by anything else a goat eats - hay, forage, or browse, whereas a 16% crude protein feed that is not a full ration needs the supplementation of hay, forage, and/or browse to complete the nourishment of the diet.

For the last thirty days of pregnancy we added two scoops of alfalfa pellets and 1 scoop of 48% soybean meal, raising the overall protein level of the above mix. We fed one scoop per goat per day the month before the goats are bred and during periods of lactation. Our yearling does and breeding buck are fed one scoop per goat twice a day. We fed alfalfa hay the month prior to kidding and through the lactation period. We feed grass hay year 'round. The goats also have available to them browse and a hay pasture.

Then we learned the Tennessee Farmer's CO-OP has yet another goat feed. This one is Goat Starter (#93448) with Rumensin. It is
18% protein and designed to give new kids a jump-start in growth. The label recommendation is to feed it the first six weeks; but, according to Mr. Niver, Nutritionist for the Tennessee Farmer's CO-OP, it can also be fed as a sole ration. We are currently feeding the Goat Starter to the entire herd, except the bucklings; Goat Starter's formula changed somewhere along the line, and it no longer has the proper calcium/phosphorus ratio for post-weaned bucklings. Part of the herd is on full feed and part are getting feed as a supplement.

When we obtained our buck, Rimfire, we started a dry lot operation at the top of the hill. Rimfire and his harem are on free-feed CO-OP Goat Starter. They have fresh water and Goat Starter in their creeper. We kept the does with Rimfire until we get a positive untrasound indicating they are bred. We found that the free feed did not put excess fat on the animals. The first couple of days in the dry lot, they pig out; but with feed available all the time, they tend not to eat as much and do not become over conditioned. We now have multiple breeding pens for our bucks; when not breeding the boys average eating 5 lbs. of feed a day. (They sometimes forget to eat when they are preoccupied with does.)

After does have weaned their kids, they go into a different lot. There they only get hay and water for a month. This allows them to dry off and to recovery from the pregnancy. Following their drying off, they are either put with a buck or returned to the paddock which had access to graze and browse. Depending on the show schedule, we select them for breeding and either AI them or expose them to one of our bucks. Our does who produce "meat" kids are put with the buck (or AIed) to coincide with the demand for goat meat.

Our nursing does and kids are free-feed Goat Starter from creep feeders. We make sure we have the Goat Starter available to the kids from the time they are a couple days old. They don't start actually eating the feed until they are about 10 days old, but they do nibble at it and get accustomed to the taste. Our weaned bucklings are fed Goat Grower. Mr Niver advised that the phosphorus and calcium ratio was changed in Goat Starter to make it more palatable, at weaning we put them Goat Grower.

Our non working bucks get CO-OP Goat Starter to supplement to their browse.

We provide to our bred does Feed in a Drum free choice.

WARNING: If you have horses, DO NOT FEED any feed with monensin. Over a period of time the monensin will kill a horse!

MONENSIN VS. DECOQUINATE
: We were feeding CO-OP 16% protein goat feed medicated with decoquinate. We switched when we learned decoquinate mimics thiamin, thus potentially causing goat polio (polioencephalitis) and realized the decoquinate was no longer offering protection against coccidiosis for our goats. Decoquinate kills coccidia in some stages; monensin kills coccidia in all stages.

HINT
: Do not feed too much whole corn. The goats are attracted to the corn like children to candy; there is little nutritional value, but it does encourage eating. Whole corn has an estimated crude protein level of around 8 percent. Crushed corn vs Whole corn: part of the nutrition is lost when the corn is crushed, bringing the crude protein down below 8 percent.


NOTE: The label states not to feed Goat Starter (or Goat Grower) to lactating does. This warning is on the label because rumensin has not yet been approved for human consumption. If you are milking your goats for human consumption, then don't use the rumensin-medicated Goat Grower or Goat Starter. But if you have kids nursing, then feeding the rumensin-medicated feed provides protection against coccidiosis since the medication is passed on to the kids through the milk.


Direction for building the above feeder.


Boer Goat Feed Labels

We have collected feed labels for a number of the goat feeds and other products, sold by the Tennessee CO-OP and others. We are presenting them here for your comparision and evaluation. Frank Pinkerton wrote an interesting article on Interpreting a Feed Tag.

CO-OP 16% Goat Ration Coarse # 348
CO-OP Goat Grower - Rum # 93461
CO-OP 16% Pelleted Goat Ration # 93842
CO-OP Goat Starter - Rum # 93448
CO-OP 16% Pelleted Goat Ration - DEC # 93840
CO-OP 18% Goat Supplement Bucket #4252

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Performance Feeds Performance Accelerator 14 Cattle Ration

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ACCO Feeds
Showmaster Boer Goat Express (DQ) (FD) Medicated

Land 0 Lakes Farmland Feed
N-Timidator Goat Ration R20

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American Stockman -Trace Mineralized Salt -TSC
CO-OP Aureomycin 2G Crumbles # 6130
CO-OP Goat Mineral W/ZINPRO # 96554
CO-OP Forage Master Goat Mineral #96216

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Burkmann Feeds -
Mammoth Cave Goat Mix #2619
Premier Goat Pellets-Rum #561


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Ken and Pat Motes
Clear Creek Farms
33 South Clear Creek Road
Fall River, Tennessee 38468
Phone: (931) 852-2167
Fax: (931) 852-2168


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