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Author Topic: Pasture for goats
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  wi wormfarmer
  Plymouth, WI
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Pasture for goats    (Posted Sat, Dec 27 '08 at 04:19 UTC)

One of my wife's clients may be giving us a few of her goats in the spring. I will be turning part of a corn field into their pasture. What I would like to know from some of you seasoned goat raisers is: Will native Wisconsin grasses be enough forage for the goats, or will they need more specific grains? I am sorry I do not know yet what type of goats, my wife does not even know if they are meat or dairy. I will post more info when I know more. In the mean time would native grasses be enough or do they need specific grains or legumes in their pasture?

Thanks for any help!

 wi wormfarmer
 Plymouth, WI
Re: Pasture for goats    (Posted Tue, Dec 30 '08 at 09:33 UTC)

Lots of views but no replies, maybe I need to rephrase the question for clarity!

This spring I will be turning part of what is currently an FFA corn field into pasture for goats. What is best to start a new pasture out with; alfalfa, timothy, clover, generic feed store/farm store pasture mix, what would be good to establish in a "virgin" pasture/poddock?

Would some native/prairie grasses mixed in with the pasture mix work well?

 Ashland, Ohio
Re: Pasture for goats    (Posted Thu, Jan 1 '09 at 07:15 UTC)

I wouldn't consider myself a goat expert by any means; I did have dairy goats for a few years.

Most likely the goats would do "okay" at least for a while, probably gradually declining over time, but supplementing grass with grains, etc and alfalpha would be desireable for their long term health, particularly if they are dairy goats. Additionally, the soil in your area may or may not contain (or contain too much of) certain things goats need to do well, such as selenium. I would recommend that you find someone LOCAL who raises goats (your county extension agent may have info too) to get a better feel for the local needs.

Goats are quite different than sheep; they prefer to browse and I found that pasture grasses was about the last thing they reached for.

It would be worthwhile to get a good goat how-to book to understand their requirements and talk to a local to see how your area meets/doesn't meet the requirements.

Good luck, they are a lot of fun. I had a fallen tree for a while at the same time I had some kids. Talk about a hoot watching them play king of the tree! And you'll need a good fence!


Re: Pasture for goats    (Posted Sun, Jan 4 '09 at 11:12 UTC)

Generally speaking dairy goats don't do well on pasture. I know people that raise them that way, but it's certainly not the best. Most people who raise Boers do seem to pasture them.
Any good horse pasture mix will work for a goat pasture. You'll have to add a good goat mineral mix and probably suppliment with extra copper and selenium.
If given the choice my goats prefer a weedy overgrow area to the type of pasture I'd have for my horses but my goats also have hay in front of them 24/7.
Goat farmers are usually more than willing to help out a novice. Do a search for what ever type of goats you get and Wisconsin and I'm sure you'll turn up someone local that will help you out.

Re: Pasture for goats    (Posted Tue, Jan 13 '09 at 08:59 UTC)

Goats are in the deer family and prefer browse and small trees the most. In lew of that, provide timothy,parsley, turnips, and any deer plot seeding.
search the web for goat info and you will find alot of info.
Visit Norm

 echo park farm
Re: Pasture for goats    (Posted Sat, Apr 4 '09 at 05:20 UTC)

A great site to learn about goats is

Family Farm
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