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Friday, August 3, 2012

Balancing Hay, Pasture Browsing & Feed

GOAT TIPS:
Balancing Hay, Pasture Browsing & Feed
When choosing a nutrition plan for your goats, the balance of forage and feed provided needs to be determined.

Goats are "browsing ruminants," meaning they have a 4-section multiple compartment stomach specialized in digesting fibrous feedstuffs and will eat the leaf and bud portion of shrubs and trees. Thus the ideal grazing situation for goats will be an environment with lots of high quality browse.

While a grass-type of pasture may not be the first forage of choice for goats, they will also do quite well with this type of a grazing system. With either browse or pasture, goats will eat up to 2.5 percent of their body weight in dried forage. As long as maximum growth or milk production is not desired, a forage based feeding program, with either some supplemental feed or a goat mineral, will suffice for most goats.

When browse or pasture is not available, hay can be used as the source of forage. Again, the amount of hay a goat will consume will be dependent on the quality of the forage - goats will consume more of a higher quality of hay.

Unfortunately, one of the problems with all forages is that hay and pasture may vary considerably in quality and nutrient value. Of particular concern is the extreme variation that occurs in key nutrients such as protein, fiber and energy needed to promote growth and good milk production. Inconsistencies in quality can be influenced by climate, land use and time of year. Controlling these inconsistencies is an important part of providing the nutrition your goats need to lead healthy, productive lives. For this reason, the Purina nutritionists have developed a full line of goat feeds designed to take the guesswork out of feeding goats for all life and development stages. Purina® Goat Feeds are available as complete diets that contain roughage and as supplemental feeds that require additional roughage sources. Both types give you confidence and peace of mind, knowing your goats are getting optimum nutrition during every stage of growth and production.
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT:
Getting to Know Purina® Noble Goat® Charge Concentrate
Purina® Noble Goat™ PreCon™ Starter-Grower 18 DQ .0015 is a pelleted complete feed formulated for the optimum growth and development of goats. This high-protein diet helps maximize weight gain in kid goats, which in turn helps eliminate the stresses of weaning and shipping.

  • Complete and balanced diet with built-in roughage:provides everything young kids need for optimum growth and development all in one feed
  • 18% high- protein formula: maximizes weight gain in young kids
  • Easy to feed pellets: provide consistent nutrition in every bite, eliminates sorting and reduces wasted feed
  • Contains urinary acidifiers: to help reduce the formation of urinary calculi
  • Addition of thiamine: helps to promote stress tolerance in growing kids
  • Contains Diamond V® Yeast Culture: to help maximize digestion of feed and promote stable rumen function during stress
  • Available in medicated form: to help prevent coccidiosis
Feeding Directions: Feed Purina® Noble Goat™ PreCon™ 18 free-choice to goats on range or under dry lot conditions. Feed to newly weaned goats for a minimum of 14-21 days. If kids have not been creep-fed, or they were purchased, then they should be offered grass hay on a free-choice basis after arrival. If feeding the medicated version, feed this ration at a rate to provide 22.7 mg decoquinate per 100 pounds of body weight (0.5 mg/kg) to goats as indicated in the feeding table below:

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