Click here to view as a pdf: Dairy Goats Benefit From High Quality Nutrition
By Dan Leiterman
Goats are competent browsers, which leads to the misconception that goats can eat and thrive on almost anything. In reality, because goats have a shorter digestive system relative to their body size, food is not retained as long. This increases the need for both higher levels of nutrition and higher quality nutrients. This faster digestive pass through time, reduces nutrient absorption, but also allows goats the ability to increase their dry matter intake to offset the short access time to nutrition. The range of dry matter intake for goats is 3 to 5 % of their body weight which is typically higher than other ruminants.1
A goat’s diet may consist of a wide variety of feedstuffs. Goats can browse on shrubs, graze on pasture and can accommodate supplemental grain feeding when necessary to meet nutritional requirements during times of higher production or winter months.