Feed Quantity, Goat Feed

How Much Grain To Feed A Dairy Goat?

How Much Grain To Feed A Dairy Goat?

Feeding dairy goats the correct amount of grain is essential for their health and milk production. Generally, dairy goats should be fed approximately 1 to 2 pounds (0.45 to 0.9 kg) of grain daily for every 3 pounds (1.36 kg) of milk they produce.

However, this can vary depending on the goat’s size, age, stage of lactation, and overall health. It’s also important to balance their diet with good quality hay, fresh water, and necessary minerals. For precise feeding recommendations tailored to your specific goats, consulting with a veterinarian or a goat nutrition expert is advised.

Grain To Feed A Dairy Goat

Best Feed for Dairy Goats

Alfalfa Hay

Alfalfa hay is high in protein, calcium, and essential nutrients, making it an excellent choice for dairy goats, particularly those in milk production. It supports lactation and overall health but should be balanced with other feeds to prevent excessive protein intake.

Grain Mixes

Commercially available grain mixes for dairy goats are formulated to provide a balanced diet, including essential vitamins and minerals. These mixes often contain corn, barley, and oats, and are designed to supplement forage, especially during high-production periods.


Chaffhaye is a fermented alfalfa product that acts as both forage and supplement. It’s highly digestible, rich in probiotics, and supports the digestive health of goats, making it a good choice for sensitive or lactating animals.


Fresh pasture provides a natural and varied diet for dairy goats, offering essential nutrients and roughage. It’s beneficial for digestion and general health, but its nutritional value can vary with season and should be supplemented with hay or grains.

Mineral Supplements

Goats need minerals like selenium, copper, and zinc for optimal health and milk production. Loose mineral supplements specifically designed for goats should be provided to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients not fully covered by hay or grains.

Best Feed for Dairy Goats

Dairy Goats Feeding in Different Phases of Life

Soon After Birth: Immediately after birth, dairy goat kids should be fed colostrum, the first milk produced by the mother, which is rich in antibodies and nutrients essential for immunity and growth.

A Few Days Old: Within a few days, kids should start feeding on regular goat milk or a suitable milk replacer, ensuring they receive adequate nutrition for rapid early growth.

2 Weeks Old: At around two weeks, you can begin introducing a starter grain feed alongside milk to gradually acclimate their digestive systems to solid food while continuing with regular milk feedings.

3-6 Months: During this period, kids should be transitioned to a balanced diet of high-quality hay, grains, and continued access to milk or milk replacer, gradually weaning off milk around 8-10 weeks.

6 Months+: After six months, dairy goats should be on a diet primarily consisting of good quality hay, pasture, and a specially formulated grain mix, supplemented with necessary minerals and vitamins for maintenance and, if applicable, lactation.

Dairy Goats Feeding in Different Phases of Life

Can Dairy Goats eat the same grains as Dairy Cows?

Dairy goats can consume some of the same grains as dairy cows, such as corn, barley, and oats, which are common components in commercial grain mixes for both animals. However, the nutritional needs of goats and cows are different, so the proportions and formulations of these grains in their diets will vary. Goats, for instance, require higher levels of certain nutrients like copper, which can be toxic to cows in large amounts.

Therefore, while the basic grains might be similar, the specific grain mix formulations for dairy goats are typically different from those for dairy cows to cater to their unique dietary requirements. It’s important to use feeds specifically formulated for each species to ensure optimal health and productivity.

Also Read: How Much Grain To Feed Nigerian Dwarf Goats?

What is the Right Temperature for Feeding Dairy Goats?

The ideal temperature for feeding dairy goats doesn’t refer to the temperature of the feed itself but rather to the ambient environmental temperature in which the goats are kept. Goats are generally comfortable and can maintain optimal digestion and milk production in temperatures ranging from about 32°F to 75°F (0°C to 24°C). Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can stress goats and affect their feeding behavior and nutritional needs. In colder climates, they may require additional calories to maintain body heat, while in hotter conditions, ensuring adequate water and shade is crucial for their well-being.

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