Rare Breed Goats - Our Blog

Blog

Blog: Goats - Feeding Preferences

Jun 05, 2014 Written by
Blog: Goats - Feeding Preferences

Goats - Feeding preferences

Goats do not eat everything!

Goats are highly responsive (opportunistic) in exploiting ephemeral types of feed. They are able to climb low branches of trees and are adept at covering steep rocky ground at speed.

They are very selective and able to target the leaves and flowering parts of herbaceous species including Orchids, Gorse flowers (which they are able to extract from amongst the spines of the leaves), ferns and fruits, including hazel nuts.

Goats greatly enjoy eating certain wild plants and hedgerow cuttings. Some are safe but others must absolutely be avoided, as they can cause fatal poisoning.

Do not feed: Alder, yew, rhododendron, laurel, privet, laburnum, honeysuckle, walnut, evergreen shrubs, green-stuff from flowers including delphiniums, hellebores, or any bulbous plants such as daffodils or tulips.

And Avoid at the utmost: hemlock, buttercup, bryony, dog’s mercury, ragwort, mayweed, foxglove, celandine, the nightshades and old man’s beard.

The golden rule is ‘when in doubt, don’t feed’. Owners should also take care not to leave clippings from poisonous plants/trees lying around. Over-feeding brassica plants like cabbage, cauliflower or brussel sprouts will affect the taste of the milk and meat but they are not poisonous to goats.

Rushes are targeted in the spring, soft rush may be effectively controlled at this time of the year by mob stocking at high densities of greater than 10 goats per hectare.

Blog: Goats - Foraging Characteristics

May 05, 2014 Written by
Blog: Goats - Foraging Characteristics

Goats - Foraging Characteristics

1. Impact on vegetation structure

Goats do best when they have access to a wide range of plant species and a structurally diverse habitat, as they can either graze or browse.

We find that allowing your goats this different type of grazing access will keep them under control so that the goat does not get 'bored'.

Goats have narrow muzzles and a flexible upper lip which allows them to be highly selective. In addition, they are agile and good climbers, allowing them to access a greater range of forage than sheep.

Goats graze a sward to a typical 6cm height (3cm for sheep), but browse and graze to approximately 2 m with ease, by going bipedal and climbing.

In grass, tall herb and scrub mosaics grazed by sheep, the first two are targeted; where just goats are kept, the grass layer is somewhat ignored but the scrub and tall herb layers are targeted instead.

However, as goats can be more selective than sheep, they often target grass seed heads (e.g. of wood false-brome) before they eat the leaves.

Blog: Goat Farming Diary

Apr 29, 2014
Blog: Goat Farming Diary

There are a lot of reasons why farmers are into goat raising apart from goats being a lot smaller to manage than that of cows ...


LATEST TWITTER UPDATES

Loading..

FOLLOW US

facebooktwitter

googlepluspinterest

Rare Breed Since 2007

rare-breed

OUR BLOG

  • Blog: Sensitivity
    Blog: Sensitivity Sensitivity   Goats and Sheep are gentle, sensitive animals who are emotionally complex and highly intelligent.   Like us, goats and sheep experience fear when they are separated from their…
    Written on 30 September 2016
  • Blog: How to keep pets cool
    Blog: How to keep pets cool For us here at Rare Breed Goats in the far north of Scotland, glorious weather is something we are just not accustomed to, and our pets are finding it just…
    Written on 24 August 2016
  • Blog: New Sheep Flock
    Blog: New Sheep Flock Say hi to our new flock of Oxford Down Sheep.  Britain probably has the largest range of native sheep breeds in the world and along with our Rare Breed Goats we…
    Written on 1 July 2016
view our blog