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Goats are natural browsers but they do also graze. They are however selective in their feeding behaviour and they do well where they feed on a variety of feeds. Their main feed is shrubs, bushes (and wild fruit/pods) and grass.

Digestive system

To understand the feeding of goats one has to know their digestive system. The goat like any other ruminant (cattle, sheep) has four stomachs which are; rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasums.

Feed requirements

The quantity of feed consumed by a goat depends on: age; breed; sex, size and physiological status (pregnant /lactating.)

  • Goats will consume about 3-5% of their own body weight in dry matter daily
  • Young goats will consume relatively more than mature goats
  • Pregnant and lactating animals will need more feed to produce milk and to enable the foetus to grow.


Goats need a balanced diet comprising of water, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre. The table below shows the nutrients and some of the feeds from which the nutrients can be obtained.


Protein Leguminous plants, Poultry litter, Cotton seed cakes,
Carbohydrates Cereals(maize, sorghum, millet, corn),molasses
Vitamins Vegetables, green forage
Minerals Agro-industrial residue, limestone flour
Water Water bodies, succulents(water melons, cacti, etc)
Fibre Crop residues, hay


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