A. Recommended Pasture Grasses and Legumes
Goats, like other livestock require the same nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins, and water but their need for some of these nutrients is not as critical. Bacteria and protozoa in the rumen of the goat have the ability to manufacture and make available many of the nutrients from such feeds as silage, hay-soilage, and other fibrous feedstuffs.
Goats are known to relish Paragras, Stargrass, Napier grass, Guinea grass and Centrosema over many improved tropical grasses and legumes. It is also known that goats can browse on leaves of shrubs and bushes for their feed requirements.
Table 1. List of Common Philippine Feedstuffs for Goat Production
Sources of Ca and P = %Ca | %P
- Steamed Bone Meal 28.0 14.0
- Dicalcium Phosphate 26.0 18.0
- Oyster Shell Flour 33.0 0.0
Source: Gerpacio, A. and L.S. Castillo, 1974. Nutrient Composition of Some Philippine Feedstuffs. Tech. Bul. 21, UPLB-College of Agriculture, College, Laguna p. 117
B. Feed Requirements
A practical feeding program for goats, being ruminants, should be based on the type and quality of roughage available. This is because the quality of roughage available determines both the amount and the quality of concentrates needed to supplement the diet. (See Table 2 below)
Table 2. Feed Requirements
- 1 – Ground Corn -12; Rice Bran -24; Copra Meal- 40; Soybean Oil Meal -8; Meat & Bone Meal- 10; Molasses- 5; and Salt-1 Kg.
- 2 – Copra Meal- 50; Wheat Pollard -32; Molasses -15; Bone Meal- 2; and Salt -1 Kg.
- 3 – Copra Meal- 40; Corn -25; Soybean Oil Meal-15; Rice Bran -10; Molasses -8; Bone Meal- 1; and Salt -1 Kg.
B1. Lactating Does
Confined goats should be given good quality forage for free choice, ad libitum. To increase water consumption, concentrates can be added at the rate of 1 kg./20 liters of drinking water. Provide vitamin-minera1 and salt, ad libitum.
B2. Pregnant Dry Does
Pregnant dry does should be adequately fed with quality feeds to build reserves for the coming lactation and to nourish the developing fetuses. Does should be allowed liberal access to good quality forage and roughage, vitamin-mineral plus concentrates at a level of 0.20 to 0.70 kg./ day depending on the body condition of the does.
B3. Four Months Old and Above
They should be fed enough for maintenance and for desirable growth, but not for fattening them. Generally, a liberal supply of good quality forage/roughage plus 0.20 to 0.50 kg./day of concentrates is enough to obtain desired growth rate. Under complete confinement, goats may be fed with quality forage plus vitamin-mineral, and salt, ad libidum.
B4. Breeding Bucks
Bucks should be maintained on good pasture alone when not used for breeding. Two weeks before and during the breeding season, the ration of the breeding bucks should be supplemented with 0.2 to 0.7 kg. of concentrates. Forage, vitamin-mineral mix, and water should be given ad libitum.
B5. Practical Feeding Guides
The general herd should be pastured most of the time to lower the cost of feeding and maintaining them. Provide enough space for grazing, but be sure that the pasture is rotated frequently, i.e., the herd is moved to another pasture after one pasture lot has been grazed for sometime. This will keep a pasture from being overgrazed and polluted or heavily infested by parasites. Even if the pasture has abundant feed, it may become a breeding place for parasites if the goats are allowed to graze on it for so long.
Breeding goats, as well as the growing and fattening stock, can be raised solely on pasture feeds. Goats enjoy feeding on a large variety of plant growths so that bush land, together with the common pasture grasses, is an ideal combination for raising healthy goats.
Goats are also selective when it comes to grazing. They eat only what seems suitable to them; hence, there is little danger of their eating poisonous weeds. Goats will be able to live on grazing even if only grasses are available on the pasture. However, they can feed better and grow better if there are different species of plants on the pasture. Leguminous plants can also help improve the quality of the pasture.
During the rainy days, keep the goats shut in the barn, well protected from the draft and provided with a clean solid floor. Give them cut grass or hay to eat. If the weather is humid and cold, and especially if there are strong winds, cheap grain feeds, like rice bran, will help maintain body vigor among the animals.
Care of the herd also includes giving them clean water and salt. Place a watering trough in the pen where the goats can drink any time they like. Also, place enough salt in the pen for them to lick whenever they want to.