Animal Enrichment and Welfare

Can You Ferment Goat Feed?

Goats need more than just goat feed. Even fermented goat feed. Goats also need roughage, hay, free-choice minerals, and in some cases grains. Not all goats need grain. Goats can easily survive without it. They really only need browse, and hay to survive. With female goats it’s good to give grains when they are pregnant or lactating as it will give them extra minerals and vitamins, as well as extra protein. With male goats there is a big controversy over whether or not to feed them grains. Watch this video if you are interested more about that:

Anyways if for whatever reason your goat needs to be eating grain to get more protein and minerals, the next question is whether of not to ferment your goat’s grains. As many of you already know fermenting makes things easier to digest. It also makes things more nutrient dense, and with goat feed it will expand so you won’t have to feed your goats as much.

So, yes this can be a great option for those of you with goats! When first getting started it’s important to mix some fermented feed with dried food, and keep increasing the amount of fermented food each day until they are completely switched over. Some goats can be picky eaters and won’t take to the fermented feed right away so it’s important to be patient about the whole process.

So let’s get started! This process is very similar to the process in this video by Chickenlandia, except you will need a much larger container! For a herd of 4+ goats it’s probably best to use a 5 gallon bucket!

Day 1

  1. Fill your bucket with the correct amount of grains for your goats
  2. Add enough water to cover the grains by about 4 in.
  3. Stir the grains to make sure all of the grain is wet
  4. Cover the top of your fermenting bucket with a towel to allow the gases to release.
  5. Make sure all of the grains are covered at all times to prevent any issues with mold.

Day 2

  1. Stir the grains again.

Day 3

  1. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the feed into your goat bowls. If your goat likes the liquid you can add some, but most goats don’t.

Things to be kept in mind:

  1. A good fermenting temperature is 68-72 degrees
  2. Don’t let your grains ferment longer than 3 days as it will get too sour and become unappealing to the goats.
  3. Discard all leftover feed at the end of the day and adjust how much to ferment next time so you reduce waste.
Image from afarmgirlinthemaking.com

That’s all for today’s post! Let me know if any of you guys have goats, and want more goat posts! Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!

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