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Nutrition is the most important requirement when you're producing meat goats. Goats have a selective grazing habit which enables them to eat a wider range of plants than either sheep or cattle.
Ideally goats do best when given feed ad lib but that process may not be financially viable for most producers. Goats need a mixture of fresh green grass and roughage in the form of hay. Where green grass is not readily available, then a supplementary feed such as grain either natural or in the form of pellets, or as a premix can be used but hay is still a requirement.
In goats, the most common mineral deficiencies are of cobalt, copper, iodine and selenium. Porenrial deficiencies of zinc and manganese may occur in some parts of Australia. During Pregnancy and lactation, requirements are high for calcium, phosphorous and sodium.
There are some who say that goats should not be given urea as a supplement. This idea is not based on science, but rather unfortunate experiences with urea poisoning. Goats ruminants, they recycle urea in the rumen and have a mictobial population in their rumen. Therefore they can benefit from non-protein sources of nitrogen that can be utilized in the rumen to build up mocrobial protein. In fact, this is a very economical way of supplying protein to the animal, especially when protein deficiencies occur in the pasture. If pasture or diet will not adequately provide the mineral nutrients which are required, Olssons Goat Blocks can help make good the deficiency.
At Seven Hills Tallarook we use:
Irrespective of the age of the animal or breeding status that is pregnant does, working bucks, they all have a basic requirement for water, energy, protein vitamins, minerals and roughage. It is only the quantities which will change.