Tuesday, December 5, 2023
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Practical Feeding of Goats


Despite similarities in sheep and cattle, goats differ markedly from them in grazing habits, sensitivity to sweet, salty, bitter and sour taste in accepting or rejecting the feeds. Goats are more tolerant of eating feeds containing bitter principles and refuse any soiled feed.

In general goat feeding agrees with the expectations based on universal formula of feeding ruminants. However, it is noted that a goat generally produces more milk than a cow from the same quantity of nutrients. The nutrients conversion efficiency for milk production of a dairy cow is on an average 38%, whereas for goat it ranges between 45-71%.

It has been observed that goats were 4.04% superior to sheep, 7.90% to buffaloes and 8.60% to cows in crude fiber utilization, a goat uses less feed for its maintenance than a cow and a goat uses more fodder for digestion and metabolism than a cow does.

A Feeding Table For Goats

Age and Stage of ProductionFeed IngredientsDaily Amount to be Fed



Birth to 3 daysColostrumsAd libitum
3 days to 3 weeksWhole milk or replacer,450 c.c. Ad libitum

water, salt
3 weeks to 4 monthsWhole milk, , water, salt450c.c up to 8 weeks,

Creep feed, Lucerne hay450 g daily, Ad libitum
4 months to fresheningConc. Mixture15-16% C.P. @ 450 g
Dry PregnantConc. mixture15% C.P. @ 400-500 g

Lucerne HayAd libitum

Water, SaltAd libitum
Milking DoeConc. Mixture15% C.P. @ 400-500 g

Lucerne HayAd libitum

Water, SaltAd libitum
BuckOnly pasturenon-breeding season

Conc. mixture@400 g daily at breeding season
A Feeding Table For Goats


Kids must receive colostrum from the doe within one hour after birth and should continue for 3 days as the total energy reserves of new born kids from well fed does is about 800-900 kcal and kids of under nourished does oly 400 kcal. These reserves would be adequate to meet the energy demand in drying the birth coat in a reasonable warm environment, but in winter the heat loss could well approach 150 kcal/hour in kids weighing 3 kg body weight.

Thus after the reserves are over and if the suckling is not established, the kids will die, colostrum is rich in all essential nutrients, it provides antibodies for protection of man diseases and it has got laxative properties, cleans from its intestine the accumulated faucal matter known as meconium, which is often of a dry, putty-like nature.

Feeding Schedule For Kids

Body WeightMilk (ml/day)Green FodderConcentrateComposition of Kids






2.5200200Gram   20.0
3.5300300Ground Nuts Cake35.0
4.0300300Mineral and Mixture02.5






Always provide clean, fresh water and minerals to kids as they grow. Commercial mineral mixture may be used.

Feeding Schedule for growing and adult Goats (Feed Per Day)





Body WeightMilkConcentrate MixtureGreen FodderOthers
(kg.)MorningEvening(g) of kid starter(kg.)






02.5200200Sulmet 5 ml from 5th day upto 3 days.

Benminth 1/2 tab. 10th day Piparazing 5 g in
2 days at 1 month age. Benminth 1 tab at 1.5
month age.

Phenovis 5 g in 2 days at 2 months age.
Benminth 1 tab at 3 months age.

Following de-worming at the onset and
at the end of monsoon season every
year or during flock worm infestation period. 
05.030030050Ad lib
Composition of kid starter (kg)%Compostition of concentrate mixture (kg)%












Ground nut Cake35.0Ground nut cake25.0




Wheat bran20.0Wheat bran20.0




Mineral Mix.02.0Mineral Mixture02.5




Common Salt00.5Common Salt00.5





Green Lucerne (Rijka) and berseem are normally preferred for Stall Fed Goats.


Since goats are slaughtered mostly for lean meat, the ration should be planned to include 30-40% of the dry matter from roughage source and the balance amount from concentrate portion having 12-14% protein and 60-65% TDN. Feeding concentrate more than this amount will yield fat in carcass. In general goat attains slaughtering age by 10-12 months having variable body weights (20-30 kg.) as specific for various breeds.

Concentrate Mixtures for Dairy Goats

Ingredient 14%16%18%
Ground Maize
Crushed Oats
Wheat Bran
Soybean Oil Meal (45%CP)
Iodized Salt

Feeding of Pregnant Goats

High quality roughages provide the basic nutrients needed during the last 6 to 8 weeks of gestation when 70 to 80% gain in foetal mass is made. Therefore, liberal feeding of quality leguminous fodder and concentrate having 25% protein should be offered between 400 to 500 g depending upon the condition of doe should be fed. A free choice lick of mineral mixture will take care for the calcium and Phosphorus requirement of dam and foetus. Allow good grazing if available and make sure that does get plenty of exercise.

Several days before the does freshen reduce the quantum of concentrate ration to one half and add bran to provide more bulk. After kidding, feed a bran mash for a few days, gradually bringing the doe to the full feed for milk production.

Feeding of Lactating Goats

Nutrient requirements are higher during lactation. The ration for lactating does should contain high quality roughages like Lucerne, berseem and other cereal grasses through which it will receive not only fresh nutrients particularly of minerals, vitamins and proteins but also the bulk needed for volatile fatty acids, viz., acetic, prop ionic and butyric needed for high milk production. To supplement more nutrients particularly of energy, cereal grains at the rate of 350 g for each liter of milk must be provided. The protein percent may vary from 14 to 16 %, the feed may be fed in two lots, at the time of morning and evening milking.

Add 1% trace mineralized salt and 1% calcium phosphorus mineral mixture to concentrate mixture. Molasses (5-7% of concentrate mixture) may be used to increase palatability and to reduce dustiness of feed.

Keep a clean, fresh supply of water available at all times. After two weeks gradually increase the concentrate level to that suggested by milk yield. As soon as the doe leaves some concentrate, reduce the amount until she again cleans it up. The concentrate should be fed on individual requirement basis of each doe. This can be done most easily by feeding the concentrate at milking times.

Feeding Breeding Bucks

During the non-breeding season, the buck does not require additional grain if he is on good pasture. During the breeding season, the same concentrate mixture fed to the does may be fed at the rate of 450-900 g (depending on the body weight) daily. Provide roughage free choice along with clean fresh water and minerals. Care must be taken not to allow the buck to get too fat. Reduce the intake of energy feeds as needed to prevent this. Make sure the buck gets plenty of exercise.

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