Do you really expect us to go out when it’s wet? Buffy (on left) and Biscuit didn’t like the weather today, it was too wet and muddy underfoot and they hate the rain. They picked their way through the grass and wanted to stay close to their shed, even though the forage is lush and tempting in these almost tropical conditions.
These Anglo-Nubian goats are of desert origin and their perfect day is when it’s dry and hot. The past summer has suited them. Most of all they like to keep their hooves dry and can be seen picking their way to stony ground. Goats left out in the rain may get chilled and develop pneumonia, they are nesh creatures and need to have shelter that is warm and dry.
It’s difficult weather for goats because lush grass can cause problems for their digestion. They have to have a gut full of hay before they can be offered the opportunity to go outside. Otherwise they will almost certainly get a tummy upset. Hay is the most important feeding stuff for goats and it has to be good quality or they won’t eat it at all. At the same time, a rack full of crisp oat straw is well liked. They won’t eat it all but will pick through it and it has the same ‘bulking’ action as hay.
If we can’t get good hay for the goats we substitute with Alfa-A – which is lucerne and very palatable to goats. It’s also high in protein and fibre so it’s good for them. Another bought in feed is Molichop, which is hay and straw cut up fine, the goats don’t like it as much but they will eat it and it has the same fibrous benefits as hay.
You might think goats are tough creatures who eat anything. Nothing could be further from the truth!