Posted 03-15-2002 at 04:31:40
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Goats (pygmies or big 'uns) will eat a lot of different stuff, whether it is good for them or not.
You should feed them hay...no mold or dust, but it does not have to be the best quality hay like a horse. In fact, too much legume hay (alfalfa or the like) can be bad for them--pet goats can tend to be fat if overfed.
We give ours some grain during the winter months, more as a treat than because it is needed. If you are milking them, the does really do need the grain, about a pound a day. They do not like dusty grain, so the best is mixed with molasis; you can buy goat/sheep feed at a coop. or feed store.
They love to 'browse' especially in overgrown areas. Mine love wild rose, honeysuckle and brambles. That's the main reason we first got the goats, because we were trying to recover some land that had been let go for decades and it was too steep for mowing. The more of this kind of stuff you feed, the less hay and grain they need.
Some things are bad for them, some plants are poisonous but unless you are underfeeding they won't touch them. Grass clippings from lawn mowing that are just beginning to wilt aren't good for them either: either feed it fresh or let it dry for a day or two.
Good luck. There's lots of good information on the web if you search for goats and sheep. One site I've linked below has stuff about nutrition that is pretty current.