Purina® Goat Nutrition E—Newsletter

FEATURED STORY | Leading Through 4-H

Nancy Palmatier has been a goat owner for five years, and although she had to learn everything about it from scratch, she values the experiences she's had and enjoys sharing them with her 4-H club members.

"I was a youth member of 4-H and gained so much from the experience, that I felt it would definitely benefit my daughters," said Nancy, who now, along with her husband, Brad, is a leader of their local 4-H club. "As an adult, I went back to school to become a veterinary technician, and my husband and two daughters surprised me with 2-month-old Nubian doelings as my graduation present."

Over the past year, Nancy and Brad's 4-H club members participated with their goats and rabbits at the state level as well as the county level. At the 2010 county fair, club members received the award for club flock for their dairy goats. Prior to becoming club leaders, Nancy and Brad were project leaders for 4-H for seven years.

"Our members have a wide variety of animals, including goats, steers, horses, rabbits, poultry, dogs and cats," said Nancy. "We focus not only on animal projects, but a wide variety of other areas including crafts, welding, canning and food preservation, gardening and many more."

Nancy's oldest daughter, Cassie, 24, used her 4-H experience and love for animals to go to college and become a naturalist and now works for the Maui Ocean Center in Maui, Hawaii. Caitlyn, 16, is on the county 4-H council and on the 4-H youth leadership board for her county. In addition to showing goats, Caitlyn shows poultry and rabbits and participates in an array of projects ranging from baking to cross stitching.

Nancy now has seven Nubian goats, six does and one wether. She breeds her goats to increase her herd and also milks, keeping detailed milk records from every doe by weight. She pasteurizes the goat milk so she and her family are able to consume any that the baby goats do not. Brad also makes several types of cheese from the milk as well as yogurt, kefir and ice cream. You can find Nancy and Brad's ice cream recipe at the end of this story.

In addition to food products, Nancy also uses goat milk to make cold processed soap that she sells through word of mouth.

"It's very popular because the pH is the same as our skin, so it is very gentle and great for people with sensitive skin issues," said Nancy.

Nancy uses Purina® Coat Chow® Goat Mineral to supplement her goats' diet.

"I think it's best to feed a loose mineral salt free-choice to goats because mine have never shown interest in a block type mineral," said Nancy. "I like the Purina® Goat Chow® Goat Mineral because it contains a higher level of selenium. In Michigan, that's definitely something we are lacking."

When offering tips for goat owners, Nancy said that in the cold Michigan winters, her goats really benefit from warm water in their pails morning and night.

"This encourages adequate hydration and also helps to keep their body temperature elevated for warmth," she said.

2 1/2 C. Goat milk (pasteurized)
1/2 C. sugar
2 T. flour
2 eggs beaten well
2 t. vanilla


  • Heat milk in pot until steaming.
  • Whisk in flour and sugar.
  • When sugar and flour dissolve, remove from heat.
  • Put 2 eggs in a bowl, add 1 Tablespoon of heated mixture to eggs and whisk. Continue until 10 Tablespoons of mixture has been added.
  • While whisking milk mixture, slowly add egg mixture, mixing always.
  • Place pot back onto low heat and continue mixing.
  • Continue this until the mixture is thick and bubbly.
  • Remove from heat and cool 4 hours or overnight.
  • Before processing add 2 teaspoons vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  • Process in ice cream maker.
  • Place in freezer to finish freezing.

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GOAT TIPS | Feeding the Purina® Way

Goats are related to other ruminant cud-chewing animals such as cattle and sheep. For this reason, it was once believed that goats could be fed the same as their ruminant cousins. But goats are primarily browsers, selectively eating a wide variety of shrubs, woody plants, weeds, and briars. Unfortunately many goats, especially does (female goats), are unable to get enough nutrients from browse alone to meet their needs all the time. It is also important to realize that certain types of browse pose a danger including: wild cherry, hemlock, azaleas and species of the laurel family are all poisonous to goats. To provide the nutrition goats need to reach their full potential, supplemental feeding is needed.

The nutrient quality of forage can vary from season to season or even field to field. So, when you want your goats to thrive, you should consider adding a supplemental feed to their forage diet. Supplemental feeds, like Purina® Goat Chow® feed, provide the consistent nutrients not found in forage to ensure optimum nutrition. Supplemental feeds come in coarse grain mixtures or pelleted forms. Purina® Goat Chow® is a coarse grain mixture.

Roughage is an essential part of good goat nutrition. But many times good quality forage is not available to provide roughage. Complete feeds not only contain the built-in roughage goats need, but other important nutrients as well. So with a complete feed, like Purina® Meat Goat 16% or Purina® Show Chow® Goat formula, you know your goats are consistently receiving total nutrition in every bite. Complete feeds are convenient too, minimizing clean-up from wasted or uneaten forage.

In addition to choosing a supplemental or complete feed, you also have a choice of feed form. One choice is a sweet feed, a highly palatable, coarse grain mix that contains molasses. Almost all goats will eat sweet feeds, making it an excellent choice for even the most finicky eater. You may choose a pelleted feed. While many goat owners feel their goats may not prefer pelleted rations, they readily eat it when it is the only source of feed available and it offers several advantages. Pelleted feeds contain all the nutritious grains, vitamins and minerals your goat needs. Pellets eliminate sorting and help prevent waste that commonly occurs with coarse grain rations, making them very efficient in commercial operations. Convenient for you and good for your goat, Purina® goat diets are available as either a complete or supplemental feed form.

The productivity and well-being of your goats depends largely on the quality and quantity of the feeding program you provide. Balancing your goat's feeding program and providing the correct diet ensures your goats are receiving the total sum of the daily nutrients they need for optimal health.

Nutrient needs will vary depending on the goat's life stage and activity level. A feeding program balanced for maintenance, for example, will not be sufficient to meet the nutritional needs of growth, pregnancy, lactation, wool production or for developing body conditioning and coat quality for showing. As nutritional demands rise with increased production demands, it will be important to readjust your goat's diet and feeding program accordingly.

The Purina® brand has invested years of research and field-testing to produce a full line of feeds designed specifically for the unique nutritional requirements of goats. Purina® brand goat rations provide the proper balance of high quality proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients goats need to reach their full potential. Purina® brand goat products are developed as highly palatable supplemental and complete feeds in both sweet coarse and pelleted rations.

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GET TO KNOW | Noble Goat® Charge Concentrate

Noble Goat® Charge Concentrate is a 36% protein pellet designed to be mixed with local grains, so you can customize your goat's food during the growth, development, lactating or maintenance life stages. Mix at a rate of 20 percent to 35 percent along with ingredients like corn, oats, sunflower seeds and molasses to develop a diet that meets your goat's specific needs. The ingredients found in all Noble Goat® products are carefully selected based on Purina's expert research, so you know that you're getting quality, productivity, and value in each bag.

  • 36% protein formulation—provides flexibility in formulation and performance and is good for both meat and dairy goats
  • Proper Calcium to Phosphorous ratio—helps to maintain the exacting needs of goats
  • Palatable—consistent high quality ingredients support top performance and goat acceptability
  • Diamond V® Yeast Culture—helps maximize feed digestion and support rumen health
  • Availa-4® minerals—balanced combination of organic zinc, manganese, copper and cobalt optimizes growth and supports immune response
  • By-pass proteins—provide a controlled balance of amino acids for optimum muscle growth
  • Pelleted—Mixes easily with a variety of grains
  • Medicated Rumensin Option—for aid in the prevention of coccidiosis
Remember that feed consumption will vary with life stage, environment, and activity. Also, be sure adequate amounts of fresh, clean water are always available. This product is available regionally, so check with your local Purina dealer for ordering details.

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