Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE03-492
The goal of this project was to compare the economics of raising meat goats on pasture alone or with grain supplementation. Two groups of animal were used, housed on different farms. All animals were placed on pasture in the fall of 2002 and spring of 2003. The animals receiving no grain were also given woods to graze in.
The goats were sold in November of 2003. Overall weight gain between the two groups was not different and averaged 16 pounds per goat. There was no difference in Fecal Egg Counts but goats on pasture alone did require deworming more than those that were on pasture and also received grain.
Kurt felt that although there was no improvement in weight gain from supplemental feeding, there were some intangible advantages to feeding. He felt that observing the animals more closely by feeding them each day probably helped save some of them by treating them earlier for parasites. The grain fed goats were also calmer from being in closer proximity to people on a daily basis.
In the future Kurt will change his feeding plan so that he feeds a very small amount of grain daily or every other day for observation and calming purposes. Economically, there was no positive return when feeding the goats at 2% body weight daily, so Kurt will be able to improve his bottom line.