In formulating a ration for dairy goats it is important to note the best way to feed goats and that the rations will be presented to the animals in the stalls. There are advantages of stall feeding because:-

  • You do not need a large amount of land or grazing pastures
  • You can use many farm products, banana leaves, maize, maize thinnings, bean husks, etc.
  • It saves time and labor, you do not have to take goats out of the shamba for grazing or spend time looking for them
  • There are less death amongst the kids and all goats because they can be easily looked after throughout the day
  • It is easier to plan and manage breeding
  • It keeps goats from eating crops and damaging the shamba
  • It makes collecting manure very easy
  • It helps in controlling pests and diseases.

 

Common dairy goat feeds

Pasture & Fodder
  • Napier grass - ¼ acre per goat per year
  • desmodium – interplanted with Napier grass or pure stand
  • Calliandra – Feed green or hay, 20 trees per goat
  • Leucaenia spp
  • Sweet potato vines
  • Sesbania spp
  • Pigeon peas plant
  • Natural grass

 

Crops residues
  • Maize stover
  • Rice bran
  • Sorghum stover
  • Bean straws
  • Ground nut straws

Concentrates

  • Dairy meal
  • Jassey sugar
  • Cakes e.g. sunflower cake

 

Minerals

Maclick super

Unga high phosphorous (powder 20g per day)

Water

At least 8 liters of clean water

A sample ration

Dairy goats rations are formulated from roughages mainly sourced from forages, water, minerals and concentrates. Dairy goats should be fed according to body weight and physiological requirements.  Dry matter amount is critical in feeding dairy goats.  The dry matter requirement is 6% of the body weight.

A goat weighing 30Kg will require 1.8Kg of dry matter (DM). Here is an example of an ideal daily ration for dairy goat

  • 5Kg of Napier
  • 0.5Kg sweet potato vines
  • 0.7 kg of Calliandra
  • 0.5kg of Desmodium
  • 40g of very high phosphorous
  • 8 liters of clean water
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