Should goats eat corn?

I know using corn as animal feed isn’t good for cattle. That is why I don’t feed corn to Happy, our milk cow or the steer we are raising.  But what about goats? They are ruminants too, I know. By nature they are made to digest more than just grass. Goats are considered browsers, like deer and enjoy a variety of plants, leaves and bark included in their diet. But corn?

We offer our goats lots of hay and a supplement from the feed store that is a specific grain mix just for goats. One of the things in the mix is cracked corn. So yes, in small amounts, I offer corn to my goats. Back to my original question. Should goats eat corn?

I had that question answered by the goats themselves one morning as I was going out to feed them…

Daisy waiting to be fed.

Point taken.

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday blog hop hosted by GNOWFGLINS, Culinary Bliss, and A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa.

Farm Fashion Finery

HO12897

HO12895

New this fall, is this lovely, stylish horn apparel.  Our model, Miss Hope, is showing us this fall’s newest release, straight from the district of Manitoba,  the goat fashion capital of Canada.  It’s made from 100% wool and comes in natural grey and beige.  It’s versatile in that it can be worn on the left or right side.  A must for every fashion conscious goat.

More winter prep

It’s been an exceptionally nice October 31st but there’s still so much to do before snow comes.  Some years we’ve had a snowstorm on this day! Today I worked on cleaning out the goats. (finally!)  I think it got overlooked last year because Oy! what a  job it was!  I thought I’d be working until sunset but it really wasn’t that bad, only a couple hours.  My back is feeling it, though ~ 12 wheelbarrows full!  But it’s looking good.  The goats are acting like their salt block is new…??  It’s always been there.  I moved it outside while I worked and they were all licking it.  They also kept sneaking out of the gate.  Too many times I was shooing them back in, I had to get my son to man the gate for me.  Such trouble-makers they are! 😉

I’m feeling good… this is the kind of work that is very satisfying for me. There’s a couple more things I want to do but I know the goats will be able to bed down and be warm.

Fay the goat

SDC12797

Fay

Fay was giving me some concerns for the past 5 days or so.  I noticed she was doing a lot of mouth movements the first day.  I thought she might be chewing her cud.  The next day the movements were more exaggerated and there was a lot more licking.  She was off her food that day but she was still drinking.  The third day I tried feeding her, she’d take a bit of sweet feed, roll it around in her mouth and then shake her head.  She wouldn’t take anymore.  I am convinced something was wrong with her mouth.  If it was her throat or stomach(s) she wouldn’t be drinking, right? She was interested in food so she was obviously hungry. I tried giving her cooked oatmeal with a little molasses.  I thought she might take it because it’s soft.  She licked it a bit but didn’t want any more than that.  By yesterday I was really getting concerned!  I tried looking in her mouth a few times.  Not an easy task, I can tell you!  I couldn’t see or feel anything. I was beginning to think I might need to get my family in on this, hold her down and really get a good look inside her mouth. 

It doesn’t look like any of that is going to be necessary because she’s doing so much better today!  No licking and she’s eating again!  If you asked me what I thought it was, I would say it was probably a sliver and it worked itself out, like slivers usually do.

As a side note, I got Fay from a neighbour and never really knew how old she was.  Looking inside her mouth and seeing her teeth, I think she’s a lot older than I thought!  Or maybe time flies quicker than I think…  probably the latter.

Turkey freedom!

turkeys_out

Well, not complete freedom, but they now have access to the great outdoors.  We moved them from the turkey tractor to the coop before we left on vacation.  Now that we are back, we secured the pen around the coop so they can’t fly out. Since I haven’t raised turkeys before, I don’t know that they will fly out but have read they will.  How high can they jump/fly? Well, we put a net over anyway. They were so happy to stretch their (huge) wings, I didn’t want to find out the hard way!  You can just picture us trying to catch them.   Anyway, they are very happy turkeys, making happy turkey sounds.  I hope they are smart enough to go back inside when the sun goes down. I wouldn’t want them outside after dark with predators around.

Checking out the new neighbours

Checking out the new neighbours

The goats have never seen turkeys before. I wonder what they were thinking?

Critters

Never a dull moment when you have animals. 😉

turkeysLast week we had coyotes trying to get at my turkeys!  We woke up at 3 am to the sound of their ‘yipping’ just outside our bedroom window.  Luckily hubby chased them off and they haven’t been back since.

We have a mouse (or two) in the house!  They have been difficult to catch, despite our best efforts.  Finally caught one in a trap this morning!  I’m hoping Pixie learns to be a good mouser.

LucyandPixiePixie is very rambunctious!  She goes from one trouble to the next.  Climbing inside the dishwasher, hanging on the window screen, eating the dog food, chewing on cables… it’s like having a toddler in the house again!  I’m thankful when she finally falls asleep.

 

 

BuddyThe dogs have been leaving the property.  Lucy took off the other evening and was gone for a few hours.  I know if she is in ear-shot, she comes and she won’t ‘run away’ but still not acceptable.  Before a thunderstorm, Buddy took off.  He’s afraid of thunder. He was found a mile and a half away! Hence the leash.  Too nice outside for them to be in but I don’t need them wandering off again.

 

nestMy layers have access to a chicken yard.  It is full of thistle and other tall growth.  They’ve taken to laying their eggs in the tall grass.  I didn’t find where they were laying until there was a clutch of about 6 or 8 eggs.  Those ones got thrown out.  It’s interesting trying to find that spot every morning.

 

 

chickensThe meat birds are ravenous every feeding.  I guess that is the nature of the breed.  But it makes it hard to fill the troughs when they are all diving in at once.  We’re going through a lot of feed. They are just about ready to butcher.  The black ones are layers. I’ll mix them with the others when they get a little bigger.

 

 

The goats have been doing fine.  I put up a temporary fence so they have access to graze.  They don’t wander far from their pen, but the fence keeps them from things they shouldn’t get into. 😉

Goat scratcher

I’ve been collecting bottle caps for years to finally make this for the goats.  I have enough caps, I could make another one!  I used roofing nails on a 2×6 plank.  Then fastened it to the fence at the right height for them.

I’m still waiting for them to figure out what it’s for. 😀

Zoe

Zoe

Zoe

I had to share this picture with you! She’s so cute! I get such a kick out of the teeth! She was right down on her front knees trying to get the bits of alfalfa from the bottom. If there was a thought-bubble over her head, what would she be thinking? Please post your comments. 🙂

Trimming hooves

Clipping Cap's hooves

Clipping Cap's hooves

The goats are overdue for a hoof trimming. I’ve been doing it a few hooves at a time this week. 😉  When I have 24 hooves to do, it’s very tiring work!  The trimming itself isn’t tiring, it’s fighting with the goat to hold still. 😆  This picture is me and Cap. She was pretty well behaved except when the rest of the herd got out of the gate, following hubby.  She thought she was missing something and I struggled to get her to stay still.  14 hooves down, 10 to go. Like my hat? 😀

What is it to you?

It’s many things to many people. But what is it to you? To me it is more than just waste or ‘poop’. When I am planting my garden and working the soil, it is fertilizer; life giving food to the soil. When I track it in the house on the bottom of my boot, it is a goat berry; one single, round, little find. (kinda cute, really) When I forgot to change my shoes before leaving for town and the smell sweeps through the car, it is manure. Really, it’s nothing more than recycled hay, pretty much a part of life around here. So never mind what you’re stepping in, just be careful you don’t slip on the marbles now that it’s freezing outside! 😆