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Goat nutrition; get your fill

20 August 2019

How much feed do your goats need? Which supplementary feed should I buy? How many goats can I stock in a paddock and for how long? What plants are toxic to goats and which are highly nutritious?

These are just some of the topics covered in MLA’s new Going into Goats Nutrition module. The module includes information on:

  • how to complete a forage budget
  • edible shrubs and forbs along with their estimated nutritional value 
  • nutritional disorders you should be aware of such as bloat and acidosis, how to spot them and how to treat your animals
  • palatability of plants commonly eaten by goats along with information on when goats are likely to eat them, for example all year round or only during flowering. The list includes grasses, herbs, trees and shrubs.
  • lists of high, medium and low energy feeds and high protein feeds
  • basic information about lot feeding goats
  • how to calculate the required energy supplement

Video support

The module is supported by a series of four short videos which walk through the essentials step by step.

These videos can be accessed via the MLA website here.

What else is coming?

In the coming months MLA will be trialling a series of one-day workshops for producers based on this module. The course, called Feeding Fundamentals, will be designed to take producers through the following key topics from the module:

  • functions of the gut
  • main components of a feed – energy, protein, minerals and vitamins
  • how and why to prepare feeding strategies
  • why expert advice is needed
  • calculating feed requirements of various classes of goats
  • understanding feed labels and deciding which rations and supplements are best for you
  • the quality of pastures
  • fundamentals of grazing management

During the day producers will get hands on with activities looking at goat anatomy, plant identification, assessing feed, calculating the amount of forage in a paddock and live animal assessment.

If you’re interested in getting a group together to do the course in your area, contact Julie Petty.