Q:

What is the best diet for a miniature goat?

A:

Quick Answer

Goats need protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and water. Grain, hay and grazing supply energy, and the hay also provides dietary fiber. However, sometimes the grazing and hay is not enough and goats require protein supplements like barley, bran and rolled wheat, all of which are found in traditional feed. Additionally, if the pasture in which the goats graze is low in minerals, add mineral supplements to the feed to provide necessary nutrients.

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Full Answer

Goat owners should make hay available at all times and never store it on the ground, as it can become moldy and contaminated with parasites. Early-cut, grass-legume mix is an ideal daily hay for miniature goats. One flake of grass hay and one to two cups of goat feed per day is approximately what a miniature goat needs. Goats are vegetarian, so owners should not feed any animal products to their miniature goats. Additionally, goats need a lot of clean, fresh water, which should also be available at all times.

Grain supplements are sometimes necessary, particularly when a goat is pregnant. Goat feeds that contain 12 to 18 percent protein are best for lactating females. Also, feed must not contain urea, which is highly toxic to miniature goats.

Goats are called "ruminants," which means that their stomachs are made up of rumen, reticulum, abomasum and omasum. The rumen is a fermentation vehicle that allows micro-organisms to react with the food goats eat. The roughage (like hay and plants) mixes with saliva so that the goat can regurgitate it later and chew it again.

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