Can You Feed Sheep and Goats the Same Diet?
Raising livestock is not always an easy feat! Even if you only own a few animals, you need to become an expert on what they need to grow and flourish. Beginner hobby farmers sometimes ask, "can you feed sheep and goats the same diet?" If the genetic makeup is similar, it may be worth researching if you can feed them identical diets. In this article, we will explore sheep and goats' diets to dig deep into what each animal needs nutritionally. New Heritage Feed Co. offers high-quality animal food for various birds and mammals commonly found on both hobby and commercial farms. Our organic natural feed is blended with essential oils to bring a healthy yet unique twist to other traditional farm animal food on the market. We value honesty, integrity, and sustainability which is why we know you want education to feed your animals to be happy and healthy. Let's look further into if you can feed sheep and goats the same diet if you happen to be raising both on your farm.
Can You Feed Sheep and Goats the Same Diet? The diversity between goats and sheepGoats and sheep can serve different purposes. You can use both for meat, milk, companionship, commercial production, or even for animal therapy. There are differences within each species. Goats used for dairy production differ from those grown for meat. You can find the same within the sheep family. What is best for the animals on your farm varies based on the end-goal. The animals do best if fed the correct diet for their purpose. Goats are foragers meaning they eat roughage and woody plants to intake up to 5% of their body weight daily. Quality forage should be available to them as much as possible. Sheep are considered grazers who enjoy grass and other greens available in a quality pasture. A good grass hay is a wonderful supplemental feeding option for sheep.
What are the nutritional requirements of goats?Goats all share the same basic nutritional needs, which include:
- Roughage or grains
What are the nutritional requirements for sheep?Just as with goats, the nutrition requirements vary based on where they are in the reproductive cycle. All sheep need to have access to quality mineral salt and plenty of water. Generally, early in the pregnancy, the sheep need access to good green grass and good legume hay. Later in the pregnancy, you can add a small amount of grain to their diet. Nursing lambs also require access to plenty of green grass, legume hay, or grass hay. Young lambs are okay with a small amount of grain added to their daily feed. Early weaned lambs may need a vitamin supplement that may help prevent stiff lamb issues early in their lives. Growing lambs do need a diet with 15% protein. Once weaned, the lambs can continue to the same diet mix as they mature.
Other significant differences between sheep and goatsThough you cannot feed sheep and goats the same diet, both animals benefit from eating from the right feeder. Those designed for horses and cows are too large for the animals. Different goat and sheep feeders available to farmers are:
- Small bale feeders
- Basket feeders
- Bunk feeders
- Collapsible feeders
- Round feeders
- Walkthrough feeders