When it comes to fair season, every goat owner has one thing in mind: what to feed goats to get their hands on that all elusive blue ribbon. This image is the ultimate symbol of quality and shows other farmers and small livestock owners that your hard work has paid off.
With so much competition, however, it can be tricky to stand out from the crowd. Every aspect of your goat’s care must be the best of the best, from conditioning and grooming to that all-important diet.
Whether you are a veteran goat farmer, or this is your very first rodeo, read on for our top tips. Now is the time to act to see your animals emerging victorious at every show!
As well as being super cute, raising goats has a host of other advantages for owners. These include:
Raising goats for meat is an excellent step towards sustainability, and can provide a good profit if you know what you are doin
Goats milk is a fan favorite and can be used to create delicious cheese, yogurt, or an alternative for those who cannot stomach cows milk.
Goat milk is not only tasty, but it makes a gentle, mild soap. It is famous for those who have skin conditions or more sensitive skin.
- Fiber, tan and hide
Different breeds of goat produce different fibers that have a multitude of purposes. Pygora and Angora breeds offer mohair, while the Cashmere goats produce luxurious cashmere. Once again, this is an excellent opportunity for profit.
Goods like drums, rugs, and gloves are popular choices that come from goat hides.
- Clearing land
Goats love nothing more than munching on weeds. If you need to clear your land, turn them out for a few weeks, and they will take care of the hard work for you.
- Carry supplies
Goats are easy to train and can be taught to carry your gear on treks or hikes. Their agility makes them perfectly suited to steep or rocky trails. As an added bonus, they will be able to carry 20-30% of their total body weight without issue. Even better, they have a minimal environmental impact, eating weeds and shrubs they find en route.
- Generate fuel
Another unexpected benefit of goats is the ability to use their dung as fuel! This application is a common practice across the world, and again, can be great for those seeking self-sufficiency. Their manure can also be used to fertilize crops and fields. An average goat produces around a ton of dung a year, you can enjoy an almost permanent supply of nutrient-rich fertilizer.
- Sociable and easy to handle
An important consideration for show animals, goats are generally amiable and friendly. They can be handled and transported without issue, and this makes them perfect for showing.
What to Feed Goats To Get The Best Out of Them
Now that we have highlighted the value of goats, it is time to consider the best ways to care for them. Making just a few simple adjustments can really help you to get the best from your animal. This not only offers a range of health benefits but can bring you one step closer to that all-important blue ribbon.
One of the biggest considerations is the diet your animals follow. This is the area likely to make the most significant impact on your animal’s health and quality. As a result, it is well worth taking the time to research and source the best quality products.
Many farmers and livestock owners may be tempted to settle for cheap, bulked-out feed. This is usually designed to help your goat grow as large as possible in the shortest period of time. While this may offer short-term gains, it is not likely to grow you the kind of high-quality animal you need to win a blue ribbon. There are a few things you need to know about your goat before you start planning their feed, and these include:
This should be the starting point for determining feed. Based on parentage, and the performance of siblings, is your animal a fast grower? Are they likely to mature early, or will they need more time? Will they grow to a ripe size, or naturally stay small? Having this data to hand is an essential first step to optimal feeding practices for your animal.
- Previous feed
The next stage is to find out which type of feed your goat has been on before. This allows you to match smoothly, reducing the risk of digestive problems or an upset stomach. It also helps to reduce stress for the animal, keeping it calm and happy.
- Avoid textures
A textured feed is popular mainly due to its lower price, but this does not automatically make it the best option for your goat. It can result in inconsistencies, where goats will reach for the corn and fill up on this, avoiding the vitamins which are also mixed in.
Keep It Natural
When you’re determining what to feed goats, the best solution is to stick to natural products wherever possible. This offers your goat a diet closest to their natural preference. Such an option is most compatible with their systems, and massively reduces risks of inflammation, allergic reaction, or digestive discomfort.
Research also shows that using a plant-based food, mixed with blends of essential oils, can have other benefits. As well as increasing the growth of your animal, they also help to boost nutrient absorption. This ability is critical in helping your goat to receive every piece of goodness available from their feed. A plant-based, medicine-free option may also reduce dependence on antibiotic use and can support natural microbial balance in the body.
Additives derived from natural, rather than chemical, sources have also been proven to benefit goats. They contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, in addition to natural anti-bacterial features.
Let The New Heritage Feed Company Help You Determine What To Feed Your Goats
The New Heritage Feed Company are strong advocates of a plant-based, natural diet for your animals, and the benefits speak for themselves. This is a great way to keep your animal happy and healthy from within.
The advantages obtained are sure to show through during that all-important judging. Making the best feed decision allows you to get the best from your goat, while ensuring that they remain in tip-top health for the length of their lives.
Head over to the New Feed Heritage Company today, and start transforming your goats’ blue ribbon potential.