Feed Quantity, Goat Feed

How Much Cracked Corn To Feed Goats?

How Much Cracked Corn To Feed Goats?

Feeding cracked corn to goats should be done with moderation. As a general guideline, you can offer about 1/4 to 1/2 cups of cracked corn per goat per day. This amount can vary depending on the goat’s size, age, and overall diet. It’s important to balance their diet with hay, fresh water, and a mineral supplement to ensure proper nutrition.

When feeding cracked corn to goats based on body weight, a safe guideline is to provide up to 1% of the goat’s body weight in grains daily, which includes cracked corn. For example, for a 100-pound goat, you can feed up to 1 pound of grains daily, with cracked corn only a part of this grain ration.

Cracked Corn To Feed Goats

How to Add Cracked Corn to Goat Feed?

  • Assess Dietary Needs: Understand the nutritional requirements of your goats based on their age, weight, and purpose (dairy, meat, fiber, or pet). Pregnant or lactating does, and growing kids have higher nutritional needs.
  • Start Slowly: Introduce cracked corn gradually to allow the digestive system of the goats to adjust. Start with a small amount, like a handful per goat, and gradually increase over a week or two.
  • Proportion Control: Ensure that cracked corn is not the main component of the diet. It should supplement forage-based diets. Typically, cracked corn should not exceed 1% of the goat’s body weight as part of the total grain ration.
  • Mix with Other Feeds: Combine cracked corn with other grains or commercial goat feed to provide a more balanced range of nutrients. You can also mix it with forage to encourage better digestion.
  • Monitor Health and Condition: Keep an eye on the goats’ health, weight, and condition. Adjust the amount of cracked corn if you notice weight gain or digestive issues.
  • Access to Forage: Ensure that goats have continuous access to high-quality hay or pasture, which should form the majority of their diet.
  • Provide Fresh Water and Minerals: Always provide unlimited access to fresh, clean water and a goat-specific mineral supplement.

How to Add Cracked Corn to Goat Feed?

Nutritional Value of Cracked Corn

  • Crude Protein: 7-9%
  • Fat: 3-4%
  • Fiber: 2-3%
  • Carbohydrates: 70-75%
  • Calcium:02%
  • Phosphorus:28%
  • Metabolizable Energy: about 3,400 kcal/kg

Nutritional Value of Cracked Corn

Benefits of Cracked Corn in Goat Feed

Energy Source

Cracked corn is a high-energy feed due to its high carbohydrate content. This energy is vital for goats, especially for those in production phases such as lactation or growth. The readily available energy helps maintain body condition, supports milk production in dairy goats, and aids in the growth of young goats. It’s particularly beneficial when goats require extra energy to maintain body heat in colder weather.


Goats generally find cracked corn very palatable, which can be advantageous in encouraging them to consume their complete ration, especially when mixed with less palatable feeds or supplements. This palatability ensures that goats maintain a consistent intake of feed, which is crucial for their overall health and productivity. This is especially useful when introducing new feeds or medicated additives that goats might otherwise be hesitant to eat.


Cracked corn is processed in a way that increases its digestibility compared to whole corn. The cracking process breaks down the hard outer shell, making the nutrients more accessible to the goats’ digestive system. This improved digestibility ensures that goats can more efficiently utilize the nutrients in the corn, leading to better overall health and condition. It also reduces the risk of digestive upset with less digestible feeds.

Supplemental Nutrition

Cracked corn provides a supplemental source of essential nutrients. While it’s not a complete feed on its own, it contributes to the overall nutritional balance of a goat’s diet when combined with other feedstuffs. It offers modest amounts of protein and is a good source of certain vitamins and minerals. When used with a forage-based diet, it helps to round out the nutritional needs of the goats.

Affordability and Availability

Cracked corn is often readily available and more affordable than other grain-based feeds. This makes it an economical choice for many goat farmers. Its availability and cost-effectiveness are significant benefits, especially for larger herds or regions where other feed options might be limited or more expensive.

Benefits of Cracked Corn in Goat Feed

Drawbacks of Feeding Excessive Cracked Corn to Goats

  • Risk of Digestive Disorders: Excessive cracked corn can disrupt the delicate balance in a goat’s rumen, leading to disorders like acidosis, characterized by decreased pH levels in the rumen.
  • Obesity and Related Health Issues: Overfeeding cracked corn can lead to obesity in goats due to its high carbohydrate and energy content, potentially causing joint stress and other obesity-related health problems.
  • Nutritional Imbalance: Feeding too much cracked corn can lead to a nutritional imbalance, as it lacks certain essential nutrients and minerals crucial for a goat’s overall health.
  • Reduced Forage Intake: Excessive reliance on cracked corn can decrease the intake of forage, negatively impacting rumen health and fiber digestion, which are vital for goats.
  • Selective Feeding Behavior: When fed in excess, goats may develop a preference for cracked corn over other essential dietary components, leading to selective feeding and an unbalanced diet.
  • Risk of Mycotoxins: Cracked corn is susceptible to mold growth and mycotoxin contamination, which can be harmful to goats if ingested in large quantities.

Drawbacks of Feeding Excessive Cracked Corn to Goats

Can Goats Eat Corn: Different Forms Explained

Whole Corn

Goats can eat whole corn, but it’s less digestible than cracked or ground corn. Whole corn provides energy and some protein, but the kernels can pass through the digestive system partially undigested unless properly chewed.

Corn Husks

Corn husks are safe for goats in moderation. They are low in nutrients but can provide roughage. However, they should not replace the primary forage in the diet and should be free of pesticides and mold.

Corn on the Cob

Goats can eat corn on the cob, including the kernels and the cob. The cob provides fiber but should be fed in moderation as the kernels can contribute to excessive carbohydrate intake.

Corn Silage

Corn silage, if well-fermented and properly stored, can be a nutritious feed for goats, providing energy, some protein, and fiber. It’s important to ensure it’s free from mold and mycotoxins, as these can be harmful to goats.

Corn Leaves

Goats can eat corn leaves as part of their diet. These leaves are a good source of roughage and can be a healthy snack, but they should not replace high-quality hay or pasture.

Corn Plants

Goats can graze on corn plants, including the stalks and leaves, especially when they are green. However, it should be part of a varied diet, as exclusive feeding on corn plants can lead to nutritional imbalances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a pregnant or lactating goat have cracked corn?

Yes, pregnant or lactating goats can have cracked corn. It provides additional energy, which is beneficial during these stages. However, it should be fed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet to prevent obesity and ensure they receive all necessary nutrients.

Can a baby goat eat cracked corn?

Baby goats, or kids, can start to eat small amounts of cracked corn as they begin to wean and transition to solid food. It should be introduced slowly and in limited quantities to avoid digestive upset and to ensure a balanced diet.

Can bucks eat cracked corn?

Yes, bucks can eat cracked corn. It should be given in controlled amounts to prevent obesity, particularly in bucks that are not very active or during periods when they are not breeding.

Can sick goats eat cracked corn?

It depends on the illness. For certain conditions, like digestive upset, cracked corn might not be advisable as it can exacerbate the problem. Always consult a veterinarian for a diet plan for a sick goat.

Can goats eat corn tortillas?

Goats can eat corn tortillas in small quantities as a treat. However, since tortillas are processed and might contain additives, they should not be a regular part of a goat’s diet.

Can goats eat corn bread?

Goats can have corn bread occasionally as a treat. However, it should not be a staple in their diet as it lacks the necessary nutrients and can contribute to an unbalanced diet if fed in large quantities.

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