I can sympathize with you on the feed costs and the amount of work! When my husband and I decided to move to the country, he said to me one day in the car, "I was thinking maybe we could get a few sheep to raise for meat. Why don't you do some research for me and see if we can do that." So I did some, and didn't really find any sheep available. We looked at a friend's new sheep that are a dairy breed, and then it dawned on me that we could get goats, and then we'd have both meat and milk. So, after much research and shopping around, we found some goats. We went to pick them up (a 14 hour drive ONE WAY!), and the owner ended up giving us an extra one for free. But of course it was a baby and we had to bottle feed it every two hours, day and night. And of course, I am the one who feeds, cleans the pens, milks the goats, and handles all the cheese making and milk processing.
I'm going to have to get my husband doing the evening milking for me when I start working again next week. It's too much for me, and I'm getting worn out milking only three goats right now!
We are spending about $80 a month on feed for six goats--not as bad as what you're spending, but we're on a very tight budget for a while, so it hurts to have to put out that much for hay! There is no hay grown in our area, and not even any grass, so all we get is alfalfa shipped in from California, at $12 per 100 pounds. We stretch it by feeding them half alfalfa and half oat straw, because the alfalfa is too rich for our horse anyway. And they each get one pound of corn in the evening. We have seven acres, but we can't really let our goats browse because there's no grass, no fencing, and lots of predators. We have to keep all the pets and baby goats supervised outside because of coyotes and mountain lions. They say a loose cat or dog lives an average of two months in our neighborhood! We tie the does out on tether ropes sometimes, but have to be careful because the things that do grow here are so delicate that a few hours' grazing on them can be devastating. The joys of farming in the desert...
We don't get any 'goaty' flavor in our milk or the few cheeses we've tried so far. We do have the occasional sanitation issue because we have one goat who is sort of grumpy and very cleverly likes to put her foot in my bucket to tell me she is done being milked! Our relatives and friends always decline when we offer them some goat milk to try, but once they get brave and taste it, they love it. There's so much fat in our milk that it tastes like drinking cream. My husband has to water his down to drink it.