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Pet goats diet

Water

  • A constant supply of clean, fresh drinking water must be available to goats at all times.
     
  • Drinkers/bowls should be cleaned regularly.
     
  • Goats must be able to access water in all weathers. Make sure water does not freeze in winter (ice should not be removed using chemicals).


Food

  • Goats need a carefully balanced diet of high quality hay, grass, ‘browsings’, and additional supplements. Long, fibrous food is needed in order for the goat’s rumen to work efficiently.
     
  • Feed suitable for their age and breed, should be provided.
     
  • Goats do not cope well with sudden changes in diet.
     
  • Goats are browsing, not grazing, animals and prefer not to eat anything that has been on the floor. Hayracks with a lid and positioned at a height they cannot be fouled could be used.  Hay nets, commonly used for horses, should never be used, as goats can become dangerously entangled in them.
     
  • There must be enough space for all the goats to feed at the same time without having to compete for space.
     
  • Food dispensers should be cleaned regularly.


Supplementary foods

  • Goats should have access to a suitable mineral salt lick.
     
  • For growing or milking goats, or when additional forage is in short supply, the diet of bulk foods can be supplemented with a ration of concentrates.


For more information on keeping goats download our booklet: An introduction to goat welfare and ownership (PDF 1.1MB).