Front Cover

Group Title: Circular Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Title: Feeding and management of dairy goats
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00014509/00001
 Material Information
Title: Feeding and management of dairy goats
Series Title: Circular Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Alternate Title: Dairy goats
Physical Description: 10 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Harris, Barney
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1987?
Subject: Goats   ( lcsh )
Goats -- Feeding and feeds   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: Barney Harris, Jr.
General Note: Cover title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00014509
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA6949
ltuf - AEN8415
oclc - 16568592
alephbibnum - 000927692
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
Full Text

7'; ~

Ic~t A TI rrr
d L'~` r~7`7
ii Cr i_
i.. \r I
tC ~1
Li r-

Circular 761

Feeding and Management



JUN 30 1987

Universe ty of Florida

Dairy Goats

Barney Harris, Jr.

~ -7~9;
r -~~
"-a~~ -,f
~'-r"- i'
Ic~ ~:'.~~CII*"CL~y~'''; ;C~
h i'
:-~ i~. .-,
IL_ i~L~ ~--i
' Z~~~.II~Li~.~JF~BC~+.~~:
~_~i i~3C E ~31

Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville
John T. Woeste, Dean for Extension



Barney Harris, Jr. is Professor and Extension Nutrition Specialist, Dairy Science Department, IFAS. University of Florida, Gainesville.


Goats are energetic, inquisitive, and versatile in
their eating habits. They are good browsers and
can selectively utilize a wide variety of shrubs and
woody plants. Their versatility in choosing feed-
stuffs, however, can cause trouble, as they may
browse on toxic plants. If you allow goats to
roam in a large area, look carefully for wild
cherry, hemlock, azaleas, or species of the laurel
family because these plants are poisonous. Allowing
goats to browse on mixed range simplifies manage-
ment, but it can result in bad eating habits and
poor performance. Careful feeding of a balanced
ration of concentrates and roughage, perhaps
supplemented by free browsing, will result in
better growth and milk production.
Goats are good eaters and can consume from 4
to 7 pounds of dry matter (DM) per 100 lbs body
weight per day. This high level of intake allows
the goat to have an abundance of nutrients readily
available for the synthesis of milk for growth.
Overall though, the efficiency of milk production
by the dairy goat is quite similar to that of the
dairy cow.
Feeding goats involves combining various
feedstuffs into an acceptable and palatable ration
that meets the nutrient requirements for a given
function such as milk production or growth. Since
goats belong to the cud-chewing or ruminant group
of animals, they have the unique ability of being
able to digest roughages which contain sizable
amounts of fiber. The fiber or cellulose portion of
the ration is broken down by microorganisms and
becomes a good source of energy for the goat.

The digestive system of ruminants includes the
four compartment stomach (rumen, reticulum,
omasum, and abomasum) and the small intestine.
The rumen is the largest of the compartments and
contains many microorganisms which supply
enzymes to break down fiber. It is often called
the fermentation vat. Protein and B Vitamins and
also Vitamin K are produced in the rumen. The
reticulum (honeycomb structure) is the second
stomach and is just below the entrance of the
esophagus into the stomach. It appears as a part
of the rumen, being separated by a partial wall.
The omasum consists of hanging layers of tissue.
The large surface area of these folds permits the
absorption of moisture from feed as it passes into
the fourth compartment, called the abomasum. The
abomasum is considered the true stomach. It
contains hydrochloric acid and enzymes that break
down feeds into simple compounds that can be
absorbed by the stomach walls and the intestines.
Feed ingested by the animal is mixed with
saliva in the mouth and passed down the esophagus
to the rumen where it is temporarily stored and
mixed with ruminal contents, fermented and
degraded by ruminal microorganisms. Later, the
roughage portion of feed is regurgitated for more
mastication (chewing the cud) and then returned to
the rumen for additional fermentation. Fatty acids
resulting from fermentation of the feed are
absorbed into the blood stream from the rumen.
The remaining feed particles pass into the omasum
and abomasum where further digestive action takes
place. As ingested feed enters the small intestine,

enzymes further break it down and the released
nutrients are absorbed into the blood stream for
use by the goat. The ruminant animal is unique in
that fibrous feeds can be degraded and utilized.
Also, B-vitamins, vitamin K and amino acids can
be synthesized by the microorganisms from plant
The rumen microorganisms deaminate (break
down) dietary protein, in order to synthesize
microbial protein. The remaining carbon skeleton
from dietary protein can then be used to synthe-
size protein or be utilized as energy. Protein that
escapes degradation in the rumen is called low
soluble bypass protein. Feedstuffs such as dried
brewers grains and corn distillers are good sources
of bypass protein. Improved performance may be
obtained by using some bypass protein in the
ration. Protein sources escaping degradation in
the rumen are absorbed in the small intestine. A
balance of such protein provides the animal with
protein over a longer period.

The Feed Nutrients

The nutrient requirements of dairy goats have
been more clearly defined in recent years and are
now considered fairly accurate in formulating
practical diets for feeding dairy goats. The
National Research Council's committee on goat
nutrition compiled and printed in 1981 the publica-
tion Nutrient Requirements of Goats. The require-
ments listed in this publication are very similar to
the requirements given in IFAS Circular 452, Dairy
Goat Production Guide.
The nutrients considered in formulating diets
for dairy goats are energy, protein, minerals, and
vitamins. While fiber is not considered a nutrient,
it is important since it relates to animal health
and normal milk fat composition. Frequently, a
dairy goat producing 3% fat could have as easily
produced 4% if the roughage in the ration had
been adequate. We have seen this occur in a
number of cases in the milk competition contests
held in Florida.

Energy The nutrient found most limiting
under usual field situations is energy. Energy is
obtained from carbohydrates, fats and protein
feeds. Excellent sources of energy are cereal
grains such as corn, oats and wheat. The energy
content of a feed is expressed as estimated net
energy (ENE) and total digestible nutrients (TDN).
Energy limitations may result from inadequate
feed intake, too much low quality feed, incorrect

proportions of roughages to concentrates that tend
to restrict intake, and too much dependency on
pastures or green forages.

Fats Fats serve as carriers of the fat-soluble
vitamins (A,D,E,K) and other fat-soluble substan-
ces. Fats are sometimes called lipids and include
such compounds as waxes, phospholipids, glyco-
lipids and sterols. The fats which occur in nature
consist of triglycerides containing different fatty
acids in varying proportions. Fats are concentra-
ted sources of energy and supply 2.25 times the
energy of carbohydrates. Excess fat in the ration
tends to reduce palatability and may increase
oxidation and cause feed to spoil. Most added fats
are poorly utilized by small ruminants. Naturally
occurring fats in feedstuffs are utilized quite well.

Protein Protein is the principal constituent of
organs and soft structures of the body. Protein is
made up of amino acids. Amino acids are called
the building blocks of all body cells. Their
presence is vital to all body processes and secre-
tions, including milk production.
The term "crude protein" is used in reporting
amounts of nitrogenous compounds found in feed
as well as protein requirements for dairy goats.
Non-protein nitrogen is that protein derived from
compounds such as urea and is reported as such on
feed tags.
Protein deficiency in the ration depletes stores
in the blood, liver and muscles as well as reducing
growth rates and milk production. The deficiency
further reduces rumen function, feed efficiency,
and over extended periods predisposes animals to a
variety of serious and fatal ailments.

Minerals The mineral elements perform
essential functions in the body of all animals.
While all have not been tested in each species of
animal, all have been tested in similar types of
animals. The animal body requires seven principal
mineral elements: calcium, phosphorus, potassium,
magnesium, sodium chloride (salt) and sulfur. At
least seven other minerals are utilized in trace
quantities: copper, zinc, cobalt, iodine, selenium,
iron and manganese. Several other mineral
elements are present in the tissues, but their
functions, if any, are not clearly defined.

Calcium, phosphorus, and salt are the minerals
most likely to be deficient in rations of dairy
goats since their needs are generally met through
supplementation rather than from the usual food-
stuffs. About 90% of the calcium and 80% of the


phosphorus of the body are present in bones and
teeth. Bone, therefore, not only serves as an
organ of structure, but also as a reservoir of both
calcium and phosphorus.
Calcium and phosphorus are closely related
elements and are found in bones in about 2:1 ratio.
Likewise, the preferred calcium-phosphorus ratio
in the ration is from 1.5:1 to 2:1. Rations
containing wider ratios than 2:1 are generally no
problem so long as both minerals are adequate.
The levels of minerals recommended for dairy goat
rations are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Mineral content recommended in rations for
lactating dairy goats (DM basis)
Major Percent in Minor Total
Mineral Total Ration Mineral Ration
(%) (ppm)
Calcium .78 Iron 50
Phosphorus .45 Manganese 40
Magnesium .25 Copper 10
Potassium 1.00 Zinc 50
Sulfur .20 Cobalt 15
Salt (sodium
chloride) .60 Iodine 0.5
Selenium 0.15

Minerals may be provided in the grain mixture
as well as outside in protected mineral boxes.
Select a mineral supplement that balances with the
forages or roughages being fed. Legume forages
are excellent sources of calcium, but relatively low
in phosphorus. As a guide, use mineral supple-
ments lower in calcium when legumes are fed
(Approx. 1:1 ratio) and higher in calcium when
other forages are used.
An adequate amount of salt in the diet increa-
ses palatability and stimulates appetite. It is
commonly recommended that dairy goats have free
access to salt. Salt provides the needs for sodium
and chlorine. Feeding too high a level of salt
prior to kidding can increase problems with udder
Magnesium functions in many enzyme systems
in the body, as a constituent of bone, and in
muscle contractions. Grass tetany is the common
condition associated with magnesium deficiency.
Potassium plays many important roles in the
body including enzyme systems, muscles, cells,
water retention and osmotic pressure. More
recently, research has indicated that the level of
potassium may need to be increased during heat
stress because there is a greater need for potas-
sium during hot weather.

Sulfur is an important element in the synthesis
of protein since two amino acids, methionine and
cysteine, contain sulfur. Sulfur is related to
protein and nitrogen utilization in the dairy goat.
Iron, copper and cobalt have different functions
in the body but deficiencies in any of these
minerals are associated with anemia in dairy
animals. Cobalt is a component of vitamin B12 and
therefore affects blood formation.
Zinc is involved in many enzyme systems in the
body and is essential in the normal mobilization of
vitamin A from the liver. Deficiency symptoms
include leg and bone disorders, parakeratosis (a
psoriasis-like skin disorder), or rough and thick-
ened skin.
Iodine is a component of hormones secreted by
the thyroid gland that regulate energy metabolism.
A deficiency of iodine causes an enlargement of
the thyroid gland or goiter. Research has
indicated a relationship between thyroid activity
and reproductive performance.
Manganese is needed in the body for normal
bone structure, for reproduction and for the
normal functioning of the central nervous system.
Since forages are fairly high in manganese, most
rations are adequate.
Selenium is the newest mineral element given
consideration following studies showing a reduction
in retained placentas when selenium is added to
rations. The more classical deficiency symptoms
include white muscle disease in calves, stiff lamb
disease, and muscle degeneration in pigs.
The total ration dry matter is frequently
evaluated to determine the level of minerals.
Those of most importance to goat producers are
calcium, phosphorus and salt. Table 1 contains a
suggested level of minerals in the ration dry
matter. Lactating dairy goats need more calcium
and phosphorus than do kids, dry does, or bucks,
since sizable amounts of these minerals are
secreted in milk.
Specific and non-specific symptoms may be
observed with nutrient deficiencies. Table 2
contains a list of clinical signs of deficiencies that
are associated with each mineral element.

Vitamins The vitamins can be divided into two
major groups: fat soluble and water soluble. The
descriptive terms simply mean that solvents are
used to extract certain vitamins whereas others are
soluble in water. The fat soluble vitamins are
stored in the fat or lipid portion of the feed and
include vitamins A, D, E and K. The water soluble
vitamins are usually met with the use of natural
feedstuffs, rumen synthesis and tissue synthesis.


Table 2. Clinical signs of dietary deficiencies
Slow Reduced Impaired Weak Lowered Other
Growth Appetite Reproduction Offspring Milk Effects
Energy Reduced condition
Protein Poor feed efficiency
Calcium Milk fever
Phosporous Milk fever, poor feed
Magnesium Tetany, milk fever
Selenium White muscle disease
retained placenta
Potassium Poor consumption,
reduced resistance
Sulfur Weakness, dullness
Salt Rough haircoat
Iron Anemia
Copper Anemia
Cobalt Anemia
Zinc Dermatosis
Manganese Irregular estrus
Iodine Goiter

Vitamins A, D, and E are present in significant
amounts in high-quality forage. The B vitamins
and vitamin K are synthesized in the rumen and
vitamin C is synthesized in the tissues.
Vitamins A, D, and E are commonly added to
commercially prepared concentrate mixes for
ruminant animals. Of these, vitamin A is the one
that receives the greatest consideration.
Under certain conditions, vitamin supplemen-
tation may be desirable. Dairy goats receiving
poor quality hay or hay stored for several months,
corn cobs or cottonseed hulls as sources of
roughage for prolonged periods, need a supplemen-
tary source of vitamin A. Generally, vitamin A
should be added to the grain supplement to provide
about 5000 units of vitamin A daily per doe. An
important role of vitamin A is in the maintenance
of healthy tissues the integrity of epithelial
Vitamin D is associated with the cure for
rickets, calcium absorption and utilization. Since
in the presence of vitamin D, calcium is absorbed
more efficiently, phosphorus is also used more
Good quality legume hay is a good source of
vitamins A & D. Sun-cured hays are excellent
sources of vitamin D. Animals exposed to sunlight
can obtain some of their requirements directly
from irradiation of 7-dehydrocholesterol (provita-
min D) in the skin. Dairy goats need about 500
units (IU) of vitamin D per day.

Table 3. Combined requirements for maintenance and
milk production at various levels for dairy
goats at three different sizes producing 4%
milk fat.
Crude Net
Milk Body Wt. Protein TDN Energy Ca P
(Ibs) (Ibs) (Ibs) (Ibs) (Mcal) (gms) (gms)
2.5 130 0.42 2.8 2.4 8 5
160 0.45 3.0 2.7 9 6
190 0.50 3.5 2.9 10 6
5 130 0.60 3.4 3.2 12 8
160 0.65 3.8 3.4 13 9
190 0.70 4.0 3.7 14 10
10 130 0.95 5.2 4.8 19 13
160 1.00 5.5 5.0 20 14
190 1.04 5.8 5.3 21 15
15 130 1.31 6.9 6.5 26 18
160 1.35 7.2 7.0 27 19
190 1.40 7.5 7.4 28 20
20 130 1.67 8.6 7.9 33 23
160 1.71 8.9 8.2 34 24
190 1.76 9.2 8.5 35 25
TDN = total digestible nutrients; Ca = calcium; P =
phosphorus; Mcal = megacalories. 1 lb. = 454 grams.

Feeding the Dry Doe and Kids

Non-lactating or dry does should be properly
managed and fed during the dry period to assure
top production in the next lactation (Table 4).
Also, good nutrition is extremely important for


providing energy, protein minerals and vitamins for
the rapidly growing fetus and for conditioning the
doe prior to kidding. While good condition at
kidding is important, care must be exercised so
that the doe does not become too heavy or obese.
Pregnant does should receive plenty of exercise
and fresh water and an adequate amount of hay or
pasture. Depending on the kind of forage and
forage quality, provide 1 to 2 pounds of a 12-16%
protein grain mix during the late dry period. A
number of breeders routinely inject the doe with
vitamin E and selenium about 3 to 4 weeks prior
to kidding.

Table 4. Maintenance plus medium activity and late
Body Wt. CP TDN NEL Ca P
(Ib) (Ib) (Ib) (Mcal) (gram) (gram)
130 .46 2.0 2.6 7 5.6
165 .51 3.3 3.0 8 6.0
200 .56 3.7 3.3 9 6.3
CP = crude protein; NEL = net energy for lactation.

A clean environment in a supervised area near
the house should be available for the doe at
kidding. After parturition; normal kids will be on
their feet and nursing within a short period.
Feeding colostrum (first milk after kidding) to
newborn kids is important for maintaining a good
herd health program. The colostrum contains all
the antibodies against diseases for which the doe
has been vaccinated and has immunity. In
addition, colostrum is high in minerals, vitamins
(especially vitamin A) and total solids as well as
acting as a laxative. Kids should receive about 4
to 8 ounces of colostrum at birth and for the next
3 or 4 feedings.
Kids usually remain on milk for a period of 8
or 10 weeks or longer if desired. After 2 to 3
weeks on goats milk, a good quality milk replacer
may be used.
A starter feed with 16 to 18% protein and good
texture should be offered the kids at about one
week of age. Early consumption can be encour-
aged by placing a small amount of grain in the
kid's mouth at milk feeding time. By limiting daily
milk consumption to about 1 to 2 quarts, consump-
tion of dry feed will also be encouraged. Hay may
also be offered at about 3 to 4 weeks of age.
Offer only small amounts of grain and hay to kids
in order to maintain palatability and keep the feed
from getting stale. Provide fresh water and a
source of trace mineral salt.

As soon as the kids have been eating grain and
hay for 2 to 3 weeks and appear healthy, weaning
may be considered. Usually this occurs around 8
weeks, when the kids weigh about 20 pounds each.
If a good balanced feeding program is followed
after weaning, the kid should gain about 0.3 pound
per day for the next few months. A doe kid fed
using this feeding program may be bred to freshen
at 12 to 14 months of age weighing 90 to 110
pounds. The rate of growth varies with feed
intake and the kid should be fed at a rate that
allows good growth but avoids fattening. Palata-
bility of forages is very important to the kid and
quality of forage is closely associated with intake.
Legumes are usually the most palatable but good
grass hay is also acceptable. Note the require-
mehts shown in Table 5.

Feeding Lactating Dairy Goats

Feeding dairy goats to obtain peak milk
production and consistency in lactation requires a
lot of careful planning, know-how and use of good
quality and palatable feedstuffs that contain the
needed energy, protein, minerals and vitamins.
Management is also very important since good
quality forage is needed as well as plenty of fresh

Table 5. Total requirements for maintenance and given
rates of gain per day.
Body Wt. Daily CP TDN NE Ca P
(Ib) Gain (Ib) (Ib) (Mcal) (gram) (gram)
20 0.20 0.13 1.06 0.90 2.5 1.7
40 0.35 0.22 1.54 1.40 4.0 2.8
60 0.35 0.25 1.82 1.60 5.0 3.3
80 0.30 0.30 2.00 1.90 6.0 3.8
100 0.30 0.34 2.30 2.20 6.5 4.3
125 0.25 0.36 2.60 2.40 7.0 4.6
150 0.20 0.40 2.80 2.70 8.0 5.0
175 0.20 0.44 3.10 3.00 8.5 5.5
200 0.20 0.48 3.40 3.30 9.0 6.0

As with raising kids, there is a need to start
with the dry doe to make sure she is in good
condition at the time of kidding. The ration
should be similar to the one received by the fresh
doe in order to avoid digestive problems at or near
kidding time. An adequate amount of hay during
this stress period will smooth the doe's transition
from dry to lactating, since the fresh doe may
not have been receiving a lot of feed prior to
kidding and may have a reduced appetite due to
the stress of kidding. Use caution by offering


smaller amounts of feed. After 2 to 3 weeks, the
fresh doe may be fed according to appetite so that
peak milk production can be obtained 8 to 10
weeks into lactation.
The nutrient requirements for lactating dairy
goats as outlined in the National Research
Council's 1981 publication Nutrient Requirements
of Goats, are outlined in Table 3.
Note that energy is outlined under total
digestible nutrients (TDN) and net energy for
lactation (NEL). TDN is given in pounds and net
energy for lactation as megacalories. In many
feedstuffs one pound of TDN is equal to one
megacalorie of net energy. Therefore, the units of
TDN and NEL appear to be similar in most
standard feeding tables. The calcium and phospho-
rus requirements are given in grams.
A dairy goat weighing 160 lb and producing 10
lb of 4% milk daily would need 1.0 lb of crude
protein and 5.5 lb of TDN daily. To meet this
requirement, the doe would need 2 to 3 lbs of hay
(8% CP, 40% TDN) and 6 to 7 lbs of grain (14%

CP, 68% TDN). A grain mix containing about 7.5
to 10% cottonseed hulls would contain about 68%
The nutrient requirements as shown in Table 3
are useful in formulating rations for dairy goats.
The composition of feedstuffs, however, must be
available in calculating a ration for dairy goats.
Several feedstuffs and their composition are
presented in Table 6. The maintenance require-
ments for dairy goats are given in Table 4.

Feed Composition Values

Feed composition values may be found in many
textbooks as well as the Dairy Goat Production
Guide (Circular 452) and the Extension Goat
Handbook. The values in Table 6 are given for
those feedstuffs commonly used in Florida dairy
goat rations.
The term "roughage" is used to designate feeds
high in fiber and lower in energy. Roughages such
as hay, silage and pasture are termed "forages"

Table 6. Composition of feeds commonly used in dairy goat rations on an as-fed basis.
DM CP TDN NE, Fiber Ca P
(%) (%) (%) (Mcal) (%) (%) (%)
Alfalfa hay 89 15.0 48 48 29 0.75 0.20
Bahia hay 88 6.0 38 35 31 0.30 0.15
Barley, rolled 89 11.0 74 76 5 0.04 0.27
Bermuda hay 88 8.0 40 38 32 0.30 0.15
Beet pulp 91 7.2 70 72 19 0.60 0.10
Brewers grains 90 24.0 65 65 14 0.30 0.48
Citrus pulp 90 6.2 72 74 12 1.50 0.12
Clover hay 88 14.0 48 50 26 0.80 0.25
Corn, cracked 89 9.6 80 82 2 0.02 0.30
Corn gluten feed 90 21.5 74 74 6 0.01 0.70
Cottonseed hulls 90 4.0 40 35 43 0.14 0.10
Cottonseed meal 92 41.0 70 70 11 0.15 0.90
Molasses, cane 70 6.0 62 65 1.00 0.08
Oat hay 88 7.0 45 45 29 0.22 0.17
Oats, rolled 89 11.0 70 72 10 0.05 0.34
Pangola hay 90 6.0 35 36 32 0.30 0.20
Peanut hay 90 8.0 42 42 36 1.00 0.15
Peanut meal 92 50.0 74 74 4 0.20 0.60
Perennial peanut hay 92 13.0 50 44 24 0.80 0.20
Rice millfeed 90 6.0 30 32 12* 0.08 1.30
Soybean hulls 91 11.0 68 65 14* 0.40 0.15
Soybean meal 89 44.0 76 78 4 0.30 0.65
Soybeans, crushed 90 37.0 84 86 5 0.30 0.65
Wheat, coarse 89 12.6 78 80 2 0.05 0.34
Wheat midds 89 16.0 76 74 6 0.10 0.90
* Effective crude fiber.
DM = dry matter, CP = crude protein, TDM = total digestible nutrients, NEL = net energy for lactation.


while cottonseed hulls and peanut hulls are termed
by-product roughages. A number of feedstuffs
such as soybean hulls and cottonseed are high in
fiber but also high in energy. Some ingredients
such as soybean hulls and alfalfa pellets are low in
effective fiber but high in crude fiber. The
effective fiber value of a feedstuff is an indication
of whether or not the feedstuff is useful as a
roughage source. Roughages are needed for normal
butterfat content of milk and for the prevention of
acidosis and looseness in bowel movements. Low
roughage rations tend to depress the fat percent in


Dairy goats should always have access to a
clean supply of fresh water. Lactating dairy goats
require from 2 to 3 gallons of water daily plus
another 2 quarts of water for every quart of milk

Mineral Supplements

A number of mineral supplements are available
in Florida for use in formulating dairy goat
rations. Those most commonly used for calcium
and phosphorus are defluorinated phosphate,
Dynafos and calcium carbonate. Others available
are shown in Table 7.

Formulating Rations

A variety of ingredients may be used to
formulate rations for goats. The ration formulated
must be well-liked by the kids and mature animals
or otherwise productivity will suffer. Care should
be used in formulating rations so that the needed
nutrients are provided and the ration provides good
texture and palatability. A balanced ration must
contain all the nutrients needed to meet a given
function such as milk production and growth.
Note the rations listed in Table 8a.

Table 7. Mineral supplements available in Florida.
Ca P K Mg S Na
Supplement (%) (%) (%) (%) (%) (%)
Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) 38.0 -
Limestone, ground 33.0 -
Oyster shell flour 33.0 -
Tricalcium phosphate 38.0 18.0 -
Monocalcium phosphate 20.0 21.0 -
Defluorinated phosphate 32.0 18.0 -
Dicalcium phosphate 26.0 18.0 -
Disodium phosphate 21.6 -
Salt (NaCL) 39.3
Steamed bone meal 28.0 14.0 -
Sodium biocarbonate (NaHCO) 27.4
Diammonium phosphate1 20.0 -
Monoammonium phosphate2 24.0 -
Monosodium phosphate 25.0 -
Sodium tripoly phosphate3 25.6 -
Biofos3 18.0 21.0 -
Dyna-K3 50.5 -
Dynafoss 22.0 18.5 -
Dynamate3 18.5 11.6 22.3
Dikal 213 19.0 21.0 -
Magnesium Oxide 60.0 -
Potassium chloride 52.4 -
1 Compound contains 18.0% nitrogen or 112.5 protein equivalent.
2 Monoammonium phosphate (monofos) contains 68.75% protein equivalent (11% nitrogen).
3 Trade names of products available in abundance in Florida. Mention of a trade name, proprietary product or specific equipment does
not constitute a guarantee or warranty by the Dairy Science Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, or the University
of Florida and does not imply its approval to the exclusion of other products that may be suitable.
Ca = calcium, P = phosphorus; K = potassium; Mg = magnesium, S = sulfur; Na = sodium.

Table 8a. Suggested lactating dairy goat rations (165
Ibs body wt.)

---Pounds Milk--
Feedstuffs Used 2.5 5.0 10.0 15.0

Alfalfa hay (16% CP) 2.0 3.0 3.5 4.5

Grain (16% CP, 70% TDN)* 3.0 5.0 6.0 8.0

* Coarse textured low-fiber grain mix.

Table 8b. Suggested lactating dairy goat rations (165
lbs body wt.)

Feedstuffs Used

-Pounds Milk-
2.5 5.0 10.0 15.0

Bermuda hay (7% CP) 2.5 2.5 3.0 4.0

Grain (16% CP, 65% TDN)* 3.4 4.6 7.0 9.0

* Grain mix to contain 10-15% cottonseed hulls.

Using Different Feedstuffs


Goats do well on good pasture. Permanent

pastures may consist of several varieties of grasses

including Bermuda and Bahiagrass. Summer annual

grasses include several varieties of Pearlmillet and

sorghum-sundangrass. Both of these are erect,

tall-growing, high-producing annuals. Sorghum-

sundangrass is adapted to drier soils fhan millet.

Winter annual grasses include rye, oats, wheat,

barley, and ryegrass. Excellent grazing may be

obtained from winter grasses under conditions

suitable for growing them. Also, legumes such as

clovers and perennial peanut are excellent pasture


Good-quality pasture and a supply of minerals

may be adequate for goats at maintenance levels

and at certain times of the year. When pasture

grasses are short, additional roughage and some

supplemental concentrate will be needed.

~l~~araP~r~- ---_ hLi' -.
;...b :1
''''..~. i
'' rmr r~ -
c I--- r- r -:~.FACII -
fi '' '
.-* ~P~lr~i~ ~I ~e
~ss~~~ '-
- .Y I
~Y-~Y -1? i
a.rrp' . !r 'L
.. .-

-`Vl- --~DP~:r i ~I
? f.c- i.
c. .. c..-. II
PP 1
''"'~ C P''
~dc .~
- : -I 1
-- ~g~
'' -9h 1.
-~a ~ B
~~ -LVC --~ I' r~
I, " r'' Ilr
--ii;- rr r
.. '.~~-
.-HL r iPL
~ -~C'
~ r
r'~51. r r ~
~c, ,~: :
r r I
~~. ~~*ccc~
' ''
'' ''~t: ~i~Z~b ~'i
~zcrfjpa;~ -. c
~~- -Y I
.. ~ . ~-ss:L..;, 1
r c .~ ti
r yLr r T ~b~-ilh_
, . c-
r. ,e .-
/ r 'i
- j 9V~
I s r,
.e -
c~ . .
, -
~L~4~~~"c ~ C4
7L 'Zr~ "4r
.- r.



.t~u BI ~
~Bi 9

* -~ ~
Liri\~ iil Sj'

Small acreage pastures are useful i
yearlings. In using such pasture,
should be avoided. A good management
to divide the pasture into smaller lot
the animals every 10 to 14 days. In
preventing overgrazing, such rotati<
break up the life cycle of internal par
can create health problems.
A good-quality legume hay or a m
and grass hay is an excellent source (
nutrients. Such hay is rich in protei
vitamins and usually contains excel
effective fiber. Hay that has a good
pleasant aroma, is leafy, and has small
stems is usually very palatable to
Palatability of coarse stemmy hay can
by crushing. The stage at which hay
direct influence on its feeding value.

Table 8c. Sample grain mixtures for lad

Cottonseed hulls
Cracked corn
Rolled oats
or barley
Soybean hulls
Wheat midds
Soybean meal (44)
Citrus pulp
Corn gluten feed
Def. phosphate
Calcium carbonate
Salt, trace

Levels of Protein i
12% 14% 1
- 300
680 715







JL) KJ''~-.i PP I ; iV1 V {

for does and By-Product Roughages
overgrazing Weather conditions (high humidity and rainfall)
nt practice is during the summer months in Florida are detrimen-
:s and rotate tal to the making of good quality hay. As a
addition to result, good quality hay is expensive and other
on helps to alternative roughage sources are in demand.
asites which Cottonseed hulls have been a popular source of
fiber in Florida feeds for several years. They are
bulky, containing 43% crude fiber and about 40%
Lixed legume TDN. The amount needed to maintain a butterfat
of digestible test varies from 25 to 40%, depending on other
in, minerals, ration feedstuffs. Dairy goat producers have found
lent quality that cottonseed hulls are very palatable and add
green color, good texture to the ration. Since grass hay is the
1 and tender most abundant and cheapest source of hay in
dairy goats. Florida, the addition of cottonseed hulls to grain
be improved mixtures reduces the amount of grass hay needed.
is cut has a Dairy goat producers have reported improved
As the grass performance when adding 10 to 15% cottonseed
hulls to grain mixtures and feeding less grass hay.
eating goats* Coarse, scabrous peanut hulls may also be used
Sin limited amounts during periods of short rough-
16% 18% age supplies to extend the usage of other fiber
ingredients. The recommended level varies from 5
- -- to 15%. Peanut hulls are low in nutritional value,
870 620 containing 15 to 20% TDN and 45 to 50% effective
fiber. Avoid using peanut hulls that may contain
00 0 pesticides.
200 200





* Roughage component must come from hay, silage, etc. Higher
level protein needed with silage and lower level needed with
legume hay.
or legume matures, there is a steady decrease in
crude protein and energy content along with an
increase in crude fiber content.
Grass hay is frequently used as the source of
roughage for dairy goats in Florida. The quality
of grass hay varies considerably depending on
stage of maturity. Grass hays require supple-
mentation with concentrate and should be used in
smaller amounts than legume hay.
The following kinds of hays are commonly fed
to dairy goats in Florida: alfalfa, perennial peanut,
soybean hay, alyce clover, mixed grass and legume
hay, and grass hay such as Bermuda, Bahia and

Silages and Haylages
Silages and haylages have never been used
extensively for feeding dairy goats. This is
primarily due to management problems and the
limitation on the amount of silage to be fed in a
given day. If the herd was associated with a
cattle operation, a smaller amount of silage could
easily be made available to dairy goats. During
warm weather, the top 3 to 4 inches of silage or
haylage must be removed daily to prevent spoilage.
It is recommended that silage, haylage and root
crops such as turnips be fed either after milking
or in amounts that will be consumed 3 to 4 hours
prior to milking in order to prevent off-flavors in
milk. About 2 lbs of haylage and 3 lbs of silage
are needed to replace 1 lb of hay.

The Concentrates
Concentrates tend to be high in energy and low
in fiber. They are that portion of the ration that
provides the greatest amount of energy and
protein. Protein feedstuffs vary in level of protein
and are classified as medium or high. Medium
protein feedstuffs commonly used arecorn gluten
feed, corn distillers and dried brewers grains.
High protein feeds are soybean meal, peanut meal



and cottonseed meal. Commonly used energy in-
gredients are corn, hominy, oats, barley, wheat,
wheat midds, soybean hulls, citrus pulp, rice bran
and molasses. The amount of concentrate to
include in the ration depends on level of milk
production. A dry doe requires very little concen-
trate if adequate amounts of pasture or good
quality hay is available. Goat producers mixing
their own rations will need to take care in balan-
cing the minerals, especially calcium, phosphorus
and salt.
Commercial feeds are used by most producers
and contain a variety of ingredients as well as
minerals and vitamins. The preferred mixture has
good texture and in some cases is pelleted to
prevent separation. Ingredients such as cracked
corn, oats, barley, wheat midds, soybean hulls,
corn gluten feed and citrus pulp add good texture
to the feed. Special ingredients such as molasses
may be added at the rate of 5 to 10% to reduce
dustiness and cottonseed hulls from 5 to 15% to
improve texture. Greater amounts of cottonseed
hulls may be used if needed as the major source of


Dairy goats like a good textured and chewy
feed that provides adequate amounts of the needed
nutrients. Ingredients that are usually very
palatable and are commonly used include cracked

corn, rolled oats, corn gluten feed, cottonseed
meal, and limited amounts of wheat midds, soybean
hulls, citrus pulp and molasses. Also, soybean and
peanut meal are quite palatable protein sources.
Cottonseed hulls are very useful in providing extra
texture and roughage to the ration.
An acceptable and recommended practice is to
dry-off lactating dairy goats about 8 to 9 weeks
prior to kidding. This provides a rest for the doe
and enables her to meet the needs of a rapidly
growing fetus. The fetus gains about 70% of its
birth weight during the last two months of the
gestation period.
Dry does do not need a lot of feed during the
dry period. Some long hay and pasture may be
adequate during the early dry period. About 3 to
4 weeks prior to kidding, add some .grain supple-
ment. The amount needed will vary with the
condition of the dbe. Provide a good source of
minerals and vitamins.
Long hay should be available to does before and
after kidding. Grass hay is recommended over
legume hay since legumes are high in calcium and
may cause a mineral inbalance unless special
attention is given to the source of minerals. Feed
legume hay to high-producing does when available.
Lactating does should be fed according to their
ability to produce milk. A doe producing 10 lbs of
milk would need 3 to 4 lbs of hay and 6 to 8 lbs
of grain per day. Does will usually consume about
one-half pound of grain per pound of milk

f: I

This publication was produced at a cost of $1105.50, or 55.3 cents per copy, to provide information to dairy goat pro-
ducers in Florida 4-2M-87

director, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this information to further the purpose of the May 8 and.
June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress; and is authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institu-
tions that function without regard to race, color, sex or national origin. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4-H and Youth publica- UNIVE SITY O
tions) are available free to Florida residents from County Extension Offices. Information on bulk rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers is
available from C.M. Hinton, Publications Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611. Before publicizing this publication,
editors should contact this address to determine availability.


3 1

I j: r.l j(' i 4. ~clli
t*1 Ii
\ r ~r. J 7

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs