Making a proper grain mix

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Anita Martin, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    I know this has probably been discussed on here about 200 times or more, but I can't find exactly what I am looking for. Just looking for a few differing opinions.

    I have been feeding oats and BOSS, plus kelp, calf manna, and flax seeds, for my grain mixture. Oats are about $12 to $15 for a 50 pound bag. There is a feed store close by where I can get grains MUCH cheaper. Oats are the same price, but corn, wheat, and barley are almost half the price, so I have switched grains. Plus I have added soybean meal. I got the wheat for the chickens mostly, so am using the corn, barley and soybean meal for the goats. Does anyone have an opinion on what the percentages of each should be? I do plan to use BOSS too, just forgot to get them last trip. I don't have a clue about how much soybean meal to use, just using maybe 1/3 cup per doe right now.

    Also, for feeding young does I plan to breed this fall, how many pounds should they be getting per day? I truely think I have been over-graining everyone. The girls are 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 months and are still getting a limited amount of milk once per day because I HAVE TOO MUCH MILK! The smallest is 69 pounds. The heaviest is nearly 80 pounds!

    I'd like to figure up a base grain mix, and then add smaller amounts of ground flax, etc. Sometimes I add a few dried herbs etc. Free choice alfalfa pellets and grass hay for everyone at all times.

    Thanks for any input.
    Anita
     
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Anita this is just my opinion but I would leave out the soy and go with
    100lb oats
    100lb barley
    25lb cracked corn
    25lb boss
    20lb dry beet pulp

    I used this for years and years and works good. then at times I add a top dressing of calf manna which is high protien and believe it is also soy.

    depending on the production of the doe is how many lb she get per milking and babies get 1/2 to 1 lb per feeding.
     

  3. goatershubby

    goatershubby Guest

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    What Sondra has described is the traditional COB, corn-oats-barley; with a few extras. We not only don't like to use soy, but we think that corn is not particularly good for ruminants, and both corn and soy are among the most genetically modified crops around! We use milo instead of corn (it is the "original" corn, also known as maize, the Indian and Spanish for corn.) We like to call our grain mix MOB BOSS :lol
     
  4. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    :rofl Love it Lenny!! I have to agree am not overly enthused with the use of corn
     
  5. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Tis true, I've always been against using corn and soy, but with grain prices skyrocketing, I've had to cut corners every way I can. I am hoping next year to be able to include feed grains in my garden, planted every few weeks and cut young and fed to the goats. I have some organic cover crops ordered for the fall, both for increasing organic matter in the garden, and also for goat food. Just trying to get by for now on what I already have. Is there a site or a spreadsheet somewhere that acurately tells what percentage or amounts of certain major nutrients, such as protein and calcium goats needs at various stages?
    Thanks thanks thanks.
    Anita
     
  6. ecftoggs

    ecftoggs New Member

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    Anita,
    I did not find a site that listed calcium but here is a site that lists protein. http://www.sheepandgoat.com/articles/feedinggoatherd.html I note that the National Research Council requirement that they list is a base level and usually lower than what is needed for optimum performance.
    Tim
     
  7. wheytogosaanens

    wheytogosaanens New Member

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    I have a friend that feeds barley exclusively to her dairy goats and they do quite well. For your grains and prices I would probably go with:

    3 parts oats
    6 parts barley
    1 part BOSS
    1 part Flax seed (or skip the flax seed if real expensive. Compared to BOSS it used to be, but maybe not so much anymore.)

    We avoid the corn as well. Not only the GMO stuff, but if something is going to make your goat sick, 9 times out of 10, it's the corn!

    Add the Barley in slowly - it is a hotter feed than oats. We haven't used the shredded beet pulp, but many on here do. Not sure what its' cost/value is... I can say that our heavily milking Saanens are getting 50/50 oats and barley (we pay more for barley) with BOSS. That's it. Oh, and we mix the kelp in with their mineral, rather than the grain.

    Also, our young stock get alfalfa only. No grain. They grow beautifully and are not fat. That would save you some money right there.

    Camille
     
  8. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    I do feed the youngstock alfalfa pellets free choice...everyone is in together now, so not having to seperately grain the younger does is a relief. I do use flax, it's probably about the same price as BOSS. Mixing the oats and barely sounds like a good idea. I can get barley for about $6 a bushel, compared to oats at around 13-14 dollars for 50 pounds.
    Thanks
    Anita
     
  9. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Barley and corn are both high fat products (seems barley is different everywhere it is grown) I used to feed barley for fat, then BOSS other than for kids it's just simply too expensive. There are other forms of fat if you need more than what is in barley or you don't want to feed corn. All the oils, just make sure you keep only enough for the week because some go rancid quickly. Feeding Boss or flax is simply too expensive when you are talking about using it to increase fat or roughage in adult goats.

    Are you young girls fat? My weights are higher than that and everyone is sleek and long and hard. I free feed my kids...milk, alfalfa pellets, grain, hay and minerals. I want them bred at 9 months old, takes alot to grow, be bred, be weaned and kid at 13 months. If I have to cut corners with them on their feeding program I sell a kid instead, and feed her food to the group :) Skimping here, because of the quality of alfalfa hay costs me in the long run because I can't breed them until nearly 2.

    Make sure you make your changes slowly. Vicki
     
  10. ecftoggs

    ecftoggs New Member

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    Camille,
    Would you clarify this, please. It sounds like mastitis, respiratory disease, and parasite problems, etc. could all be linked to feeding corn.
    Tim
     
  11. wheytogosaanens

    wheytogosaanens New Member

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  12. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    I don't feed corn or soy either. This is my mix,

    8 parts Oats
    4 parts Barley
    1.5 parts Beet Pulp
    1 part BOSS
    1 Part Anamax (Calf Manna knock off)

    Christy
     
  13. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    1 Part Anamax (Calf Manna knock off)
    ......................

    Christy read your label, the knock off I use has corn in it for fat and it also gets all it's protein from soybean meal. Vicki
     
  14. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    Oops. I knew that, I forgot though :blush
    I just wouldn't feel like I had enough vitamins if I left it out.
    Christy
     
  15. ecftoggs

    ecftoggs New Member

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    Camille,
    Thanks for clarifying your corn comment. I do admit that I am a corn farmer here in Iowa. Your main concern is mold and not the corn. I understand that in non corn areas corn is brought in and it is not always been stored and dried properly and that creates the mold issue. I have seen mold in oats and oilseeds as well, so I would say that it is not only a corn problem. I do believe that corn is a useful feedstuff in many areas and should not be overlooked and fed responsibly.
    Tim
     
  16. wheytogosaanens

    wheytogosaanens New Member

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    Hi Tim,

    Didn't mean to step on your toes. But you are right - it is the mold/toxins. We are very careful about hay too, as some hay farmers do a beautiful job, cut/ turn/ bale when dry and at peak, even if it means they are out at 3 AM and then 12PM the next night. Others bale anything, wet, has mold or worse yet, might burn down your barn! We are willing to pay more for GOOD hay from reputable farmers. Since corn is not grown here, we can't do that, so have learned that when we avoid it our girls do better and we miss lots of problems.

    We are trying to buy our oats and barley directly from local farmers, which helps us get better quality. And the referral network is one that we love - longtime farmer folks know who the good farmers are!

    And to clarify on your comment about mastitis, respiratory disease, and parasites linked with corn - we never had those problems when feeding corn. Just the off-feed/entero gosh you need antitoxin kinds of problems. (We haven't had a lot of health issues really, so probably not a good test case for most things. I like it like that! :) )

    Camille
    P.S. Love corn fed Beef! Oh yes I do!
     
  17. ecftoggs

    ecftoggs New Member

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    Camille,
    You didn't step on my toes at all. :D Keep eating Beef, Pork,...Cabrito!
    Tim
     
  18. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Yes, Vickie, my girls look fairly fat too me. Not over fat. They get everything free fed except milk and grain. Never had enough milk this year to free feed, and now that they are bigger, they are in with the three adult does, so can't do free grain in there. I thought 80 pounds at 5 months old was pretty good?