Packer Specific Nutrition

Packer Specific Nutrition

[video_embed url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp_MXyShXYw”]

Feeding Timeline

At 2 weeks of age, introduce grass hay at all times, fresh clean water and mineral for your area.  Orchard grass and Timothy hay provide a balanced Calcium:Phosphorus ratio of 1.5:1. You may choose to add a small amount of alfalfa mixed with grass hay for a higher amount of calcium.  However, it is important to test your water source for Calcium Carbonate or hard water.  If your water source is considered ‘hard” due to high levels of Calcium Carbonate, you will avoid feeding alfalfa.

We no longer suggest feeding grain to kids however, if you choose to feed grain to kids, it should be in a measured amount and fed only 1 time per day.  Kids should be fed no more than 8 oz (½ pound) of grain per day.  Be sure the grain includes 0.5% Ammonium Chloride.  You will also supply free choice Baking Soda when feeding grain to eliminate bloat.  Bloat can be life threatening to kids especially.


Goats may experience bloat for several reasons however, bloat is considered a rare occurrence.  It is important to treat bloat immediately, as it can cause death.  Bloat occurs from the fermentation of moist grasses, large amounts of milk consumption during intermittent bottle feeding or the blockage of large amounts of grain.  Prevention is key to avoiding bloat.

Goat owners may have additional livestock on the property that consume grain, such as chickens or cattle.  Grain must be kept inaccessible to goats to avoid free gas bloat; when the goat stops burping to release gases.  The consumption of lush or moist legumes such as clover or alfalfa and wet green pastures can cause frothy bloat.  Release goats on to dry pastures or for short periods of time on moist pastures and monitor.

Signs of bloat include: restlessness, abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite, increased salivation, distended left side, respiratory distress and death.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you see signs of bloat in your goat.  The use of a stomach tube is the most effective in treating bloat.  Some home remedies mix baking soda with water in a drench.  It may also be beneficial to supply dry baking soda in a free choice manner to goats.  These are only suggestions.

Be sure to control Coccidia up to 6 months old.  Symptoms will include persistent diarrhea.

Wethers 1-3 years old should be given free choice grass and mineral.  Small amounts of alfalfa can be feed if needed to balance the calcium:phosphorus ratio of 2:1 after testing the water source for Calcium Carbonate.

Wethers 3+ years old give each goat a  ½ flake 50/50 grass/alfalfa twice a day with free choice minerals and make them “finish their food” and use a good feeder to eliminate waste. 

** Special note** I typically feed 50/50 in the packing months and more percentage of grass than alfalfa in the winter for my wethers.

Additionally, always have clean water available.  Learn about testing your water and what your results mean by reading the Test Your Goats Water Source Guide.

Update: We encourage you to follow our most recent feeding guidelines by reading The Comprehensive Goat Nutrition Guide

Grass and Aflalfa

Buy grass from a grass field and buy alfalfa from an alfalfa field and mix them in the feeder

3rd or 4th cut straight alpha at 18% protein

3rd cut grass hay


A good feeder is a game changer. A properly designed and built feeder will help eliminate food waste ($$) and keep goats out to prevent them from peeing and pooping in their food. Check out our feeder designs.

Goat Feeder

Urinary Calculi 

Urinary Calculi is the buildup of either a phosphorous stone or calcium stone inside the bladder that comes down the urethra and plugs the penis of a goat. The bladder will essentially explode.

Urinary Calculi Prevention

You have to keep the phosphorous and calcium in balance.

  • Clean water ALWAYS (get it tested for the minerals)
  • Mineral (specific to your area and water)
    • You have to do the research for your location specifically
    • Ask the goat dairies in your area
  • Do not feed grain
  • Castrating/banding at 4-6 months

Disease and Testing [video_embed url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrmHhjoRcvM”]The diseases to test for:

  1. Jones
  2. CL
  3. CAE


You need to test for these diseases, so you have the security of having a healthy goat

You also need to test for parasites before you treat for them. You can take samples of your goats poop and send it in to get tested here at https://www.midamericaagresearch.net/instructions.php

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