How much does it cost to feed goats?
It is important to know what the cost to feed goats is if you are thinking about getting goats. I mean, you can’t really add something to your life without knowing what the cost will be.
When we first were looking to add a few goats, it was really hard to find out exactly how much a goat costs. Finding the costs to buy the goat and to get the goats supplies were pretty easy.
However, trying to find out how much it costs to feed goats was difficult. Sure, we could look up the cost of goat feed at the local farm store. But how much do they eat? We couldn’t seem to find this out anywhere.
So, how much does it cost to feed goats?
While I cannot tell you the EXACT amount it will cost to feed YOUR goats as there will be varying prices and other factors, I can give you a solid way to figure out what the cost to feed your goats will be. Some of it will depend on what your goats eat.
First, you will need to take some time choosing hay. it will be important to research and find out what the cost of hay in your area will be. Hay, obviously is going to be a large part of the goats diet.
It can also vary greatly in price from area to area. We are lucky and can get pretty nice square bales of alfalfa locally for $7/bale.
If your local hay is hard to find or outrageously priced, try using Chaffhaye.
The amount of hay your goats go through will vary some based on how much pasture/browse they have as well as time of year (rainy and wet season they will stay in the stall and go through it quicker).
How much food do goats eat?
Keep in mind that the amounts below will change for you based on things like how much pasture your goats have access to. Our goats will eat more hay than some others as they do not have a significantly large pasture area. Also, they do not have much browse (trees, leaves, bushes) in their pasture.
If your goats have more pasture and browse available, the cost to feed your goats will go down dramatically. And likewise, if they have less pasture, the cost to feed goats will increase.
Our goats average about 230 – 260 bales of hay per year (that’s for a total of 20 goats). Therefore, each goat is eating about 13 bales per year.
We also feed Chaffhaye as a supplement. Each goat eats about 8 bags/year. Chaffhaye cost will vary based on the dealer. Prices usually vary (in our experience) from $12 – $16 per bag. We buy in bulk to decrease costs.
We also feed Alfalfa Pellets as a morning and night treat as well as when girls are on the milk stand. Each goat usually eats a total of about 3.5 bags of alfalfa per year. You can find 40lb bags of pellets for around $12 – $15 at your local farm store.
As part of their treats, we also provide them with a handful of BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds). Each goat goes through about 1/3rd of a bag per year. You can get them for $15 – 20 per bag usually.
What is the final cost to feed goats per year?
Ok, how much does it cost to feed a goat per year? Based on our hay costs we spend about $240 per year per goat. This rounds up to factor in their minerals and baking soda also.
To figure out your approximate cost to feed goats per year, you can substitute your hay prices in to the figures above. As well as add or subtract amount of hay based on the pasture your goats will have available.