|* Forage only or not? In my opinion forage only, in its purest sense, is just that. Animals grazing
native grasses and native bushes, with zero supplementation. We are not a forage only operation.
Forage based would be a better description.
* To feed or not to feed? Our goats are fed a small ration daily in the winter, along with improved
winter pastures and all the hay they can eat. Goats are not fed daily in the summer. Unless there is a
special situation, such as, allowing a pasture to rest and not having any other pasture to put them
on. Remember this is a small operation, approximately 20 acres under fence, however one must
still have separate pens for doelings, bucklings, Mature, bucks, etc. If that were the case, the
particular animals in that pen may be given supplements in the form of sack feed and hay. With all
that said, if we could afford it, I would probably feed everyday. I like a "finished" look to my goats.
Especially the ones I am fixing to pay $1000 -$1500. I also believe that a small ration levels out the
nutritional requirements for all of the goats.
* Goats are checked on every day.
* Free choice Sweetlix 16:8 Meatmaker mineral is available free choice at all times.
* Feed in a drum Goat Lic 20n is available free choice at all times.
* We utilize rotational grazing, at least as much as our pens allow.
* Winter pastures are planted each year. I prefer Marshall Rye grass.
* Improved summer pastures are also planted. This past year, a small patch of Pearl Millet was
planted. It has done well and the goats seem to do well on it. We will probably try it again next year.
We also planted some Sericea Lespedeza, it has not done as well, so the jury is still out.
* I do not like to catch goats! The very reason I began raising Kiko goats, was to minimize the time
spent handling goats. As important as performance data is, I am not catching goats every month.
Goats are caught once per quarter for routine inspection. Otherwise goats are handled by
exception. If an animal is exhibiting signs that indicate that there might be a problem, then that
animal would be caught, at that time.
* Performance data will be collected at Birth,150 days and on the quarterly inspections mentioned
above. ADG's will be adjusted.
* We believe that Performance Data is important, we have not always practiced that, but we know
that this is the way the industry is going.
* We do not wholesale drench our animals for worms, Famacha is used to determine the level of
worm load. No fecal samples yet, however we do believe that Famacha, in conjunction with fecal
samples, and strict culling is the best way to control the Barber pole worm.