What to feed pet goats

If you're new to keeping goats as pets, here's what you need to know about what they need to eat and drink.


Goats need a carefully balanced diet of high-quality hay, grass, 'browsings', and additional supplements. You should give them feed that's suitable for their age and breed, including:

  • Long, fibrous food, which they need for their rumen to work efficiently at digesting.
  • Supplementary foods - goats need a mineral salt lick to supplement their diet.
  • Concentrates - 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.

Here are a few things to remember about feeding your goats:

  • Don't change foods suddenly - goats don't cope well with sudden changes to their diet.
  • Goats are browsing, not grazing, animals - they prefer not to eat anything that's been on the floor. You can use hayracks with a lid, positioned at a height where the hay can't be fouled, but never use hay nets, as goats can become dangerously entangled in them.
  • Give them enough space - there must be enough room for all the goats to feed at the same time without having to compete for space.      
  • Clean regularly - clean their food dispensers regularly.


You'll also need to give your goats a constant supply of clean, fresh drinking water. Remember to clean their drinkers or bowls regularly, and remove ice during the winter (never use chemicals to do this).

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