Feed pasture when available and free choice hay when pasture is not available. We recommend alfalfa or a high percentage alfalfa with grass hay. Goats need a calcium:phosphorous ratio of about 2:1. Very generally, alfalfa is high in calcium while grass and grains are high in phosphorous. A higher amount of calcium is acceptable, but phosphorous needs to stay low relative to calcium.
No grain for wethers, though a small amount is acceptable when feeding alfalfa hay. Does in milk get grain when on the stand and bucks if needed during rut. We feed a mix of roughly 2 parts barley, 2 parts oats and 1 part peas from Kaniksu Feeds in Deer Park.
Free choice loose minerals—not blocks—should be available at all times. There is no better mineral solution than the 20-choice mineral buffet that allows goats to select exactly what they need. We carry the 20-choice system on our website at littleavalonfarm.com/shop/. If mineral buffet is not an option, these are loose mineral recommendations: New Country Organics Goat Mineral, followed by Thorvin kelp or Sweetlix Meat Maker. Redmond Salt is a good companion to Thorvin kelp.
A three-sided shelter in winter is ideal with deep straw bedding. Goats need well ventilated shelters that are protected from wind, rain and snow. In summer, shade and protection from rain is essential. We get straw from Kaniksu Feeds as well; conventional wheat is often sprayed before harvest.
Our essential oil parasite formula dosed when FAMACHA is low will handle internal parasites. For external parasites, MSM powder given free choice as a mineral during times of infestation along with yellow “sulphur fungicide” for plants mixed 50/50 with diatomaceous earth applied topically along the topline is effective. Mineral buffet contains sulfur, so you can eliminate MSM if using mineral buffet.
Hooves need to be trimmed every few weeks. Standard hoof trimmers are too large for Nigerians, but will work. I prefer spring loaded straight blade pruning shears; spring assisted ones are great for reducing hand strain.