Goat feeding in milk production

On average, the daily needs of bioavailable protein of an adult 60 kg goat are 50 g in maintenance, 110 g at the end of gestation, 95 g when it produces 1 liter, and 230 g when it produces 4 liters a day; 60-80% of the energy needs are to maintain milk production, depending on production.

The needs in bioavailable protein have to be covered with the by-pass protein that provides the food and with the microbial protein formed in the rumen, that is, the gross protein needs of the goats are the sum of the needs in degradable protein and the needs in protein by-pass. The daily needs in crude protein are about 80 g (of which about 20% have to be by-pass) in maintenance, almost 250 g (at least 35% by-pass) at the end of gestation, about 150 g (25% by-pass) when it is producing 1 liter, and almost 400 g (30% by-pass) when it is producing 4 liters.

Goats in maintenance have daily needs of about 4 g of calcium and about 3 g of phosphorus; the specific daily needs of gestation are about 3 g of calcium daily and 0.75 g of phosphorus at 3.5 months, and 6 g of calcium and 1.5 g of phosphorus at the end of pregnancy; finally, the specific needs of lactation of goats are similar to the case of cow's milk, that is, 4 g of calcium and 1.5 g of phosphorus per liter produced.

Water needs are estimated at 2-3 liters per kilo of dry matter ingested, and an additional liter for each liter of milk produced, so that the high production goats can drink more than 10 liters of water per day . In times of heat, these needs are 50% higher. The low ingestion of water leads to ruminal impaction, reduction of ingestion and reduction of milk production; in fact, sudden drops in production are usually related to the water supply.

The energy needs of lactating goats are very high given the mobilization of body fat (body lipomobilization) which is necessary to pay special attention to the energy density of the ration, this high energy intake should not be provided exclusively by carbohydrates of rapid degradation (starch) but by a combination of them with slow assimilation fats and the supply of fibers of excellent quality in its composition, in this case the use of alfalfa pellets plays a predominant role, to avoid a rumen imbalance ( especially acidosis) and provide adequate levels of NDF (neutral detergent fiber) and FDA (acid detergent fiber) necessary for a good production of volatile fatty acids, thus favoring the synthesis of butyric fat in milk.

Alfalfa pellets are an ingredient of choice, essential in dairy goat diets, especially for their contribution of essential quality proteins and fibers for an optimal ruminal balance.


  • Excellent source of essential nutrients for all stages of production and reproduction of the goat species.
  • Optimal contribution of fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins.
  • Essential ingredient in dairy goat diets to favor the production of volatile fatty acids.
  • Ideal fiber supply with an exact combination of NDF and ADF favoring the production of saliva and therefore generating excellent ruminal health.
  • Source of macro and micro minerals of high bioavailability.
  • Alfalfa flour is the fundamental ingredient in the diet of growing goats, fattening, milk production and reproduction.


RAW MATERIALS Maintenace Goat Dairy Goat Initiator Goat Fattening Goat
Ground corn/sorghum 370 400 520 400
Dehydrated alfalfa 600 330 205 455
Soy expeller 41 25 255 260 130
Premix Goat 5 15 15 15
Total in kilograms = 1000 1000 1000 1000

NUTRITIONAL VALUES Maintenace Goat Dairy Goat Initiator Goat Fattening Goat
Gross protein (minimum) 14% 19% 18% 16%
Fatty matter (minimum) 2.7% 4.3% 4.5% 3.4%
Metabolizable Energy 2500 kcal 2900 kcal 3000 kcal 2700 kcal
Total gross fiber 16% 12% 8% 13%
Total calcium (average) 0.7% 0.9% 0.8% 0.7%
Total phosphorus (average) 0.3% 0.6% 0.5% 0.4%
Total ash 6% 7% 6.5% 6%
Total digestive nutrients 80% 85.5% 86.5% 82.5%
Bovinos lecheros