Stall feeding of goats is a process in which the animals are fed from a manufactured structure, such as a shed or barn, on pallets stacked three high. The goat is brought into the building through an open door and then moves around in an indoor pen to select one of the stacks of pallets to eat.
The animal will usually eat for about 20 minutes before moving on to another stack or going back outside. The process continues until the goat has visited all eight stacks. Stall feeding has benefits for both herders and goats.
It allows the goat to move about at will, allowing for intended movement patterns that would be less possible on open pasture, it can reduce trampling damage to plants and fields, and it allows for a more coordinated effort among herders. For example, The advantages of stall feeding are clear, but the process has some drawbacks.
What is stall feeding?
Stall feeding is a method used to provide goats with a way to efficiently get their feed in the barn or shed. It is a valuable tool for busy goat herders whose herds need to be fed seven days a week. In the field, this technique allows you to bring the goats into the barn in an orderly manner and ensure that they are being fed at all times.
Herders can then use this time to do the other necessary chores, such as mucking the barn, washing the milk pails, or grooming and medicating. Stall feeding is also an excellent choice for late fall and early winter when severe weather conditions. This technique allows you to get your goats fed and out of the elements if needed.
Why does stall feeding of goats?
There are many reasons why you might want to consider stall feeding. The most important is that it allows you to maintain an orderly feeding schedule with your goats. You will be able to maintain a constant amount of feed in the barn at all times so that when they arrive, they will have a full feeder and won’t have to wait for the next feeding.
Stall feeding also eliminates much of the waste that can accompany free-choice feeding. The goat can choose to run around the barn, but they will only be able to go to the stacks they have visited before. This helps eliminate lag times, as the goats will usually eat one stack and then move on.
In this way, feeders can avoid wasting a lot of feed by queueing up for each stack individually. Stall feeding allows you to get your goats into a building orderly and enable you to work with your goats in a more coordinated manner.
A little bit of history on the concept
The concept of stall feeding of goats dates back to the mid-1900s. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that this technique started to take off in the U.S. and became a famous feeding goat in barns or pastures. The first documented use of a stall feeder was by John S. Brown at his farm in West Virginia.
Brown decided to try using pallets as feeders for his over 300 goats on an experimental basis to make feeding them more accessible. The idea was to build a shed, put pallets and some feeders inside and let it go. Brown did this in 1982, and the rest is history.
To this day, stall feeding has evolved into a commonly used technique for feeding goats in barns or pastures. The advantages of using stall feeding are clear. It allows you to get your animals fed in the barn or shed efficiently.
How to feed goats in stables?
You should have at least 400 pounds of hay and grain in your stable at all times. Develop a feeding routine. Always put full feeders out first, then put the new ones out. This works well with kids because they like to hang out in the barn and take their time eating when they first arrive.
Because you put out the full feeders first and then bring out another stack after they are finished, you will ensure that there is always food available for them to eat whenever they arrive to feed. There are typically a lot of different kinds of food to choose from when it comes to stall feeding.
However, the number one choice for most goat herders is Timothy hay. When feeding young kids, you will typically mix the hay with some grain to help them grow. When feeding older goats, you may have more variety in your feed choices depending on what kind of diet the goats need.
How many goats can be kept in a stable at any one time?
Great question! When it comes to having a hundred goats or so stabled, there is no set length of time that you should keep them. The general rule of thumb is about 48 hours. This means that if you want to keep a herd stable for an entire day, you will need to have at least 2 feeders out and fed every two hours. For example, if you do this with five goats, you will need at least 10 total feeders.
How much space is needed?
Space will vary from person to person and from the herd to herd. However, a good rule of thumb for most people is that you should have about 3 square feet of headroom and 2 square feet of floor space per goat. If you have lots of goats, your space may be more significant if you are in a situation.
When, why, and where do you bring the goats when being fed?
You should not bring the goats out of the barn or stable unless necessary. This means that you should only feed open stalls. If you do bring them out, make sure that you take down all of the gates, fences, and other obstacles, so they don’t get away. Also, make sure that your feeders are completely closed up and locked.
If your goats are in a barn or shed, they will be fed through a feeder outside. This way, you can put the feeders out for them and close the door behind you. Most goat farmers have a schedule that they follow with their herd.
This means that if you are feeding them at 8:00 AM every morning, you should provide them at 8:00 AM every morning, regardless of what day it is or whether it is a holiday. If your goats are in a more extensive pasture, then you will need to decide if they can be fed there or if they will be fed in the barn or shed.
Best 10 advantages of stall feeding of goats.
Convenient: The wisest goats fed the best will grow faster, fatten up more, and be more profitable.
Easy to store: The food is easy to store and has a high nutritional content to grow locally.
Save time, work: Stall feeding of goats can save you time and labor for both the animals and those responsible for them.
The feeding area can be cleaned easily: Saves labor of having to clean the entire pen or barn after feeding. Eliminates the need for large quantities of grain, thus reducing waste
Waste is easier to handle and dispose of: Stall feeding of goats is the most prevalent method of feeding and managing livestock in both developed and developing countries. They can be easily kept close to humans in the case of an emergency or disaster.
Easily fed with high-quality supplement feed: Stall feeding goats is a way to keep goats healthy and happy. The animals are kept in enclosed areas with plenty of fresh hay, grain feed, and water with this method.
Feed not spilled out through fence or pen: Feed is continuous and abundant, even as the animal grows. Won’t need to add more feeders because goats will eat themselves out of the house too quickly (“running to the pen”).
Free from dust, dirty environment, vomit odor problem: Stall feeding is when an animal such as a goat is kept in a confined, often unhygienic space such as a stall or pen. This practice can be seen throughout many countries and cultures and has been used since the dawn of agriculture.
Less stressful for animals because animals are better protected from animal predators: Stall feeding of goats is less expensive because animals are not exposed to the elements in a stanchion or confined. Stall feeding of goats protects other animals from competition for feed, such as mating contests.
Easier to monitor animals that require special care: Easier to feed animals that require special consideration of stall feeding of goats. Less time and cost for the animal to starve and die due to lack of food due to the stall feeding of goats. Less risk of getting injured from aggressive animals that are starved from lack of food from the stall feeding of goats.
When you are feeding your animals using stall feeding, there are many advantages to you and your herd. However, just like everything else in life, some disadvantages might come with stall feeding. Some of the most significant disadvantages of this type of feeder system include:
The first step of any successful program is ensuring that all participants understand the new rules and expectations. This can be especially difficult when it comes to a group of goats. This is because their intelligence and ability to understand things can vary tremendously.
Some goats will pick up on training very quickly, while others will take a lot longer to know what you want them to do. An excellent way to start training your animals is with a reward-based system.
This system will show the goats that they will be rewarded for it by getting something like grain or hay when they do something correctly. It should work very well with young kids.
If you are a goat farmer looking for a new way to feed your animals, then stall feeding might be the perfect option for you. This method allows for easier management of your herd, and it helps to make sure that your animals are fed every day without fail. There are some disadvantages to using this system, but most can be worked around or overcome.