We are going to talk about goat feed right now. Specifically, how much hay a year you’ll need for your goats. Below you will find a FREE Hay Cost Calculator for Goats. This will help you make a plan and to know how much hay to buy per year for your herd.
This is one post of many from our Raising Goats resources.
I hope you are fortunate enough to own goats (presently or in the near future)! They are such a blessing! Not only are they good friends, but they provide delicious milk and the cutest kids!
But that doesn’t mean they don’t come without cost.
Although I haven’t done thorough research on this for our own family, my suspicion is that we actually would save money if we bought milk from the store.
But I have a firm belief it is worth it in every way to own goats!
In order to have healthy milk, you have to have healthy goats, right? Well, here are a few sicknesses that can run through your herd:
If you follow those links, you will see that goats can get sick very easily. And it all, usually, comes down to nutrition. Feeding your goats every day is really important but even more important is giving them the vitamins and minerals they really need in their diet. You can read more about the importance of goat nutrition in the links below:
And a huge part, actually the most important part of your goat’s diet, is their hay. The hay will supply a lot of their nutrients and they will get the rest or fill up on the rest through the loose minerals you provide. If the hay is low quality, moldy or very stemy and they don’t eat it, they will suffer in their health. And a sick goat goes downhill very quickly.
But it’s also not fun to be hunting hay all year either. Up north, haying is done in the summer and then it’s stored for the rest of the year and it’s hard to get to or buy in the winter months. Knowing how much you need to feed your goats and getting it in a barn for the year will really make you feel quite pleased with yourself when those dark and cold days of winter sneak up on you.
You can find a lot of articles here on A Life of Heritage that will teach you about goat care and be sure to check out The Goat Health, and Information Bundle--it’s full of to-do lists, checklists, record keeping sheets, and resource pages that will get your new (or old) goat herd off to a terrific start!
And you can also sign up for a really cool (free) class to help you prepare for goats: Prepare for Goats
And one of the important first steps is to have goat feed in place before you bring home your first goats!
The first step is getting the goat binder linked above mailed to your doorstep. Do that first. And then start looking into hay for your area.
And if you already own goats, this calculator will help you figure out how many ton of hay you will need to get your goats through the year.
Fill in the blanks and it will give you the answer! Easy peasy!
The fill in the blank for “# of Goats” is just to help you take an honest assessment of how many goats you own. It’s easy to “forget” how many there really are, right? 😉 (Hide the screen from your husband if he walks by!)
Then fill in the approximate total weight of all of your goats. Not sure how to find out what your goats weigh? Go here: How to figure out how much my goat weighs: Goat Weight Calculator.
And you can watch a video about how to weigh a goat here: How to Weigh a Goat
Now, here’s the deal, as you can see, this is an average for what non-milking goats and milking goats eat on a daily basis. It’s an average. These formulas have used the middle of the averages. It is so important that an assessment on each goat be made on a regular basis to ensure that they are receiving the necessary nutrients and enough feed or maybe, they are receiving too much feed and you need to cut back on how much you are feeding.
We can’t let a formula take away our ability to honestly and regularly assess the health of our goats.
This calculator will probably work best on a computer but if you double-tap your finger or your mouse in the box labeled: Approximate Total Weight x 6% Body, it will allow you to type in your numbers and will automatically give the answer in the boxes below.
Hay Cost Calculator for Goats
When you know how many ton of hay you will need for the year, find out what a ton is selling for in your area and multiply that by how many ton you need. That’s an easy way to know how many ton you need AND how much it will cost.
If you don’t own goats yet, I hope that this calculator helps you get an idea of what you will need to plan for in hay to be ready for your goat feed.
And if you already own goats, this is an easy way to get an estimate of how much hay you will need each year.
But what else can you expect to feed your goats? Read more about what you need to feed your goats here: What Do Goats Eat? It will include all of the really important foods and nutrition that they need regularly and all the treats you can give them too!
Milking goats will require a bit more care and attention and again, it will be important to really watch the health of your goats. They always need minerals out and during pregnancy, they need more hay and higher quality hay provided for them. This goat gestation calculator will help you know when your goats will kid.
So now you are set. Set to be prepared to have a whole year of hay stocked up for your lovely goats.
Enjoy those goats!
Do you like FREE information to help you homestead? Check it out below.
I also would love to know what would help you. What can we add to our resource page to make your life that much easier? Email me your ideas: delci @alifeofheritage.com