Feeding Habits of Goats
By means of their mobile upper lips and very prehensile tongues, goats can graze on very short grass and to browse on foliage not normally eaten by other domestic livestock.
Goats have fastidious eating habits. They will accept a wide variety of feed, appreciate it, and thrive on it, but what is acceptable to one goat is not always acceptable to others. In general, a goat will refuse any kind of feed which has been soiled, either by himself or by other animals.
Goat consumes wide varieties of feeds and vegetation than either sheep or cattle.
It has been shown that goats can distinguish between bitter, sweet; salty and sour tastes and those goats have higher tolerance for bitter tastes than cattle.
Goats will consume certain species at definite stages of maturity and reject them at other times.
The rumen is not developed at birth, but young kids start picking at hay or grass at 2-3 weeks of age and by 3-4 months the rumen is fully functional.
Unlike sheep, goats relish eating aromatic herbs in areas of sparse food supply, and hence can penetrate deep into the desert.
Browse (means eating of leaves of bush and trees) forms an important part of the diet of goats. It has been observed that when goats find opportunities to browse for about 8-9 hours a day, the goats can take care of their maintenance and slow rate of growth.