When to stop grain
My boys will be 2 this spring. We don't have a lot of pasture and they eat what I provide for the bulk of their diet. I feed them some dry cob and alphalfa pellets in a ratio that balances calcium/phosphorus. They don't waste any grain and tend to waste a lot of hay. So I am not looking forward to feeding a lot more hay and eliminating grain. One thing that's been successful about my feeding program is that they've gotten big! I believe they are growing to their full potential. 200#+ right now and 34". They love christmas trees this time of year!!!

I also had some issues with Gussy with hair loss around his eyes. But I found a mineral supplement that they seem to like and that's gone away too. It's just an Equine Block. One of the red bricks. I tried one with molasses that weighed like 35# and they ate that in a week. Won't do that one again.
All I want for Christmas is a new hip.
Here, the cheapest grain is 12.00 a bag for a dairy ration. Alfalfa pellets are like 14.00 a bag. Bale of our dairy quality alfalfa is between 10-12.00 each. All goaties do waste hay thats for sure. But at these prices, id rather they have the better feed and waste some then try for pellets. I only give the boys grain once a week or two with a touch of AC in it to make sure they are getting what they need. They have it in their mineral mix as well.
Pack Goat Prospects For Sale. http://trinitypackgoats.webs.com

S.E. Washington (Benton City)
We stopped grain with our first 4 boys at age 2. I was really worried about the switch but it went well, just wean them slowly off it. I know some people may not agree, but after loosing one of my boys to AC we made the decision to raise the 4 boys this year on no grain or alfalfa and they are way ahead on weight and height compared to the first 4. I am very happy on how it's going so far. They went through one bag of grain with cocci prevention and are now on high quality orchard grass only (free choice) as well as pasture. We have lot's of blackberries to munch on as well. As far as wasted hay, I think that will always be an issue.
Sounds like a goatie paradise Smile
Pack Goat Prospects For Sale. http://trinitypackgoats.webs.com

S.E. Washington (Benton City)
I have been feeding good quality grass hay with occasional stemmy alfalfa free choice for the youngsters with free choice minerals designed specically for this area. They are doing well in the cold and my 8 mo. old saanen/alpine is already as tall as the saanen does. My adult packers are doing well on just the grass hay too. They get a treat of cob or alfalfa when I go out to clean their area. I'm lucky my horses don't mind trompled hay and I throw them the waste from the goats, so no waste at all. My vet is adamantly against any grain for wethers so I try to keep it minimal.
Charlene in Central Orego
My guys never get grain, especially since my Saanen got UC last summer from (unknown to me for a long time) eating grain that was slipping through the cracks in the floor of the horse in the neighboring paddock (but he got lucky and survived with minimal treatment - it scared the shit out of me though!). I do feed the other two timothy pellets with a little black oil sunflower seeds mixed in from time to time during the winter, especially since the Saanen (well, turns out to be a mix with maybe a little Boer) is a jerk and gets the most to eat. Other than that they only get grass hay.
*Saltlick*  Rancho Topaz   
near Topaz Lake, Nevada
My boys are just now 2 years old. My chickens have turned my half acre into a dry lot so aside from taking my boys on walks on the neighbors' properties when the weather & my schedule permits (this time of year it's almost exclusively pine as everything else is dormant & dead & leafless), they pretty much only get what I provide them. They always have free choice grass hay. Should I be weaning them off of grain & alfalfa pellets now? They get a rotation of all stock feed, alfalfa pellets, or soaked alfalfa cubes, with BOSS every few days (especially in the fall when they're growing their winter coats), plus the occasional treat of fresh veggies or chopped fruits. They also tend to nibble at the scratch feed I throw for the chickens (mostly cracked corn with some wheat & millet) but I throw it into the leaf litter under the trees so the goats can't hoover it down very effectively. They do NOT have access to the chickens' laying feed.

By the way, I've been using the metal cage from those large 275 gallon liquid storage containers as my hay feeder. I can throw two 50lb bales into it (or more, but for only two goats I don't buy that much at a time as I don't have a lot of room for storing large quantities of hay at this time), cut the twine, & they can reach through to eat it but can't walk on it or pull a bunch out & throw it on the ground to be wasted. I have it under cover, but it has a solid metal bottom with small holes every square foot or so, too, so if water gets into it it drains out the bottom. Probably wouldn't be a good choice for goats with horns, but for disbudded goats it seems to be a good fit so far. And I'm cutting an opening in the side of the plastic container that came with it, putting shingles on the roof to keep it shady in summer, & using it for a goat shelter/dog house for the goats & the LGDs.

Anna and Co.
Thunder Mountain Central Asian Shepherd Dogs
Working Livestock Guardian & Personal Protection Dogs
Hey Guys well i think that Grain providing can sometimes be a suspect topic among goat and sheep producers. Some producers feed a lot of grain to their animals, while others do not feed any grain at all.Thanks!

Grain is used to finish out butcher stock.
Pack Goat Prospects For Sale. http://trinitypackgoats.webs.com

S.E. Washington (Benton City)
I fed a little grain to my boys when they were growing like crazy during the rut last fall and they were all losing weight from chasing girls. Cuzco gets grain every day now that he's old (he got none when he was in his prime). It helps him keep weight in the winter and it's the only practical way to make him eat his arthritis medicine.

I also give grain to any skinny goats that need building up, and I give grain to the girls if I'm milking them or if they're losing condition while pregnant.

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