How much can your goats eat?

July 27, 2019

One of the most frequent questions I get is how much do the goats eat?  Like any answer involving unpredictable goats, the answer is usually "It depends".  


  • It depends on how hungry they are - if they had a big buffet the day before they may not start the day as hungry.

  • It depends on how hot it is - like us, they metabolize faster in cooler weather, so tend to eat more on cooler days.

  • It depends on what there is to eat - they will absolutely stuff themselves if there are grape leaves or roses and take their time with English Ivy (think ice cream vs. peas)

Of course that isn't very scientific.  The science says they can eat up to 25% of their body weight each day.  OK - so how much do they weigh?  Simple question should have a simple answer, right?  Except their weight changes dramatically pre and post-buffet.  And there is the challenge of weighing a goat that does not necessarily like to be picked up.  Who am I kidding?   I cannot pick up a goat that weighs more than 55 pounds!  


So how much do they eat?  

Julia and I decided to use a proxy for weight - circumference.  We took pre and post-circumference measurements for the goats on a gig on June 12.  Nice weather, no buffet the day before, LOTS of knotweed, bittersweet and roses to eat.  


The picture on the right shows the results:

Mac gained 3 inches

Louie gained 3.5 inches

Ivy gained 3 inches

Thelma gained 4 inches









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