Items you will need
Plastic trash can with cover
Soybean or cottonseed meal
Goat mineral mix
Hand trowel or grain scoop
Commercial grain rations often command high prices, so some goat owners opt to create their own goat feed grain mix, which serves the purpose of supplementing goats’ hay- and pasture-based forage diets. The main components of any goat grain concentrate include high-energy foods and protein; in general, a basic, all-purpose goat grain typically contains 16 to 18 percent protein. Readily available, low-cost sources of energy typically include cereal grains, such as corn, oats, barley and rye, while potential protein sources include soybean, cottonseed and peanut meal. All of the ingredients you need to produce your own goat feed mix should be available for purchase at a grain mill, feed store or livestock supply center.
Weigh your measuring bucket on a scale to verify its empty weight; you’ll need to add this amount to the desired weight of each grain ingredient that you put in the bucket to determine the total bucket weight. For example, if the empty bucket weight 2 lbs. and you need 10 lbs. of cracked corn, then you’ll want the total bucket weight to be 12 lbs. (10 lbs. grain ingredient + 2 lbs. bucket weight).
Measure out 19 lbs. of cracked or rolled corn into the bucket. Pour this corn into the plastic trashcan. Measure out 14 lbs. of whole or rolled oats into the bucket and pour it into the trashcan. Add to the trashcan 7 lbs. each of beet pulp (which increases the grain’s roughage or fiber content) and wet molasses (which binds the dry ingredients together and makes the entire grain mixture more palatable for your goats).
Fill the measuring bucket with 21 lbs. of soybean or cottonseed meal to serve as your grain’s main protein source. Pour the protein meal into the trashcan. Top the grain mixture with 2 lbs. of a pre-mixed goat mineral mix (which includes multiple vitamins and minerals, such as copper, selenium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins A, D and E that are essential for goat health).
Blend the grain ingredients together with a trowel or grain scoop to ensure that they’re completely mixed. Secure the lid tightly on the trashcan and store the goat feed mix, which should be approximately 70 lbs., in a dry, protected location that is safely out of reach of your goats.
This blend of ingredients produces a goat grain mix that contains 18 percent protein, and is acceptable for use with both adult and kid goats. If you’d rather have a lower protein mixture, simply decrease the amount of soybean meal and increase the amount of corn in your goat grain.
If you plan to feed homemade goat grain to adult male goats, always supplement it with ammonium chloride, which helps prevent potentially deadly urinary calculi or kidney stones. As a rule, provide 1 level tsp. of ammonium chloride once daily for a 150-lb. male goat, recommends Maggie Sayer, author of “Storey’s Guide to Raising Meat Goats.” Mix the ammonium chloride thoroughly into the grain to help ensure that the goat consumes it.
- “Sheep and Goat Medicine”; D.G. Pugh, DVM; 2002
- “Storey’s Guide to Raising Meat Goats”; Maggie Sayer; 2010
- Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images