Knowing What To Feed Pygmy Goats
When considering what to feed pygmy goats one must take into account the age of the goat. Young pygmy goats have a digestive system that acts as a human or dogs stomach.
What the young pygmy goat eats will go through into the abomasum where the stomach will then digest the milk. As the goat matures and begins to eat hay, the rumen begins to develop.
Goats are one of the animals that have a rumen system. A rumen system consists of a stomach with four compartments. These are the reticulum, the omasum, the rumen and the abomasum.
It’s like having a fermentation vat where the microorganisms work on the foods that are eaten. AS a goat eats roughage like hay or other pasture plants, they add saliva to these foods and the swallow the saliva.
Some time later they will regurgitate (burp) it back up and chew it up more completely. Goats are great at this and will make ideal use of such pasture plants and hay.
Most goat owners prefer legume hay over grass hay as the alfalfa and the clover hay provide the goats body with more protein than that of other hay’s.
As the goat ages, they will begin to use more of the roughages in their diet. They will be able to do this more effectively than a young goat can.
Goats are perfectly content to graze and browse around the pasture foraging as they go. There are three basic types of plants that they forage for, grasses, forbs and what is referred to as browse.
These plants are made up of fescue grass, orchard grass and such grasses as bluegrass. Forbs are a broad leaf plant like dandelion or clover or even wild lettuce.
Browse is such things as brush, vines like oak or blackberry, rabbit brush and other similar plants.
For this reason, many cattlemen run their goats in with the cattle. Cattle prefer one type of grass and goats another so it helps them to make good use of their pastures.
Goats also help to prevent other weeds and brush from crowding out the good grasses and brush in the pasture.
In the summertime, goats that aren’t being milked heavily will do well on the pasture. Younger goats and those who are heavily milked will also require some more high energy foods such as corn, oats, barley and milo.
Grains won’t need to be ground as the goat will chew them enough to digest them and then regurgitate them later to complete the process of chewing on them.
Rolled grains are often more palatable than that of a ground grain. Rolled grains are far superior to whole grains as younger goats can be started on them and learn to digest them properly.
Goats require plenty of protein and plenty of fresh water to thrive. The protein will provide the required energy, vitamins and the minerals that their body’s require to function properly. Once these needs are met you’ll know what to feed pygmy goats.
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