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  #1  
Old 12/31/04, 06:19 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ohio
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Oat hay?

Has any one ever used oat hay for goats? The farmer down the road knows I have dairy goats,(his son has 2 wethers) and stoped my husband the other day and wanted to give him a bale to try on the goats. He sells it for 3 dollars a bale,He says he waits till the milk is high and then cuts it.What benifits would the hay have? Thank you.

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Old 12/31/04, 06:37 AM
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I don't know if you mean oat 'hay' with the oat seeds still in it? Hay is usually a grass or legume like timothy or alfalfa, isn't it?
but, Oats usually are harvested like wheat, and what is baled is actuall straw. I don't keep goats so I don't know if you feed goats straw, but around here oats are grown more than wheat. It just grows better, I guess. So, the straw available is nealy always oat straw that is used for bedding. I've used oat straw for litter and bedding layer in the chicken coop, nests and the turkeys.

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Old 12/31/04, 06:51 AM
 
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We have used oat hay for years. Mostly for cattle, but when I got goats I started giving them some too. If it is cut when the grain is in the 'boot' i.e. just before it heads out (I think this is the same thing as when the milk is high?) then it makes very high quality hay.

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Old 12/31/04, 03:46 PM
JAS JAS is offline
 
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I use oat straw for bedding and my goats usually eat half of it--they love it. My chickens love it, my rabbits love it . . . .

According to my "Feeds and Feeding" book there is both oat hay and straw. The hay is better with about 8.2% protein, 2.7% fat, 28.1% fiber, .21 calcium and .19 phosphorus...

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  #5  
Old 12/31/04, 04:21 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I have fed oats hay before and always had a tremendous amount of waste. The goats only picked through it and left most of it to become litter.
Just recently I read that oats hay looses its nutritional value 4-6 weeks after its cut, then it becomes just plain straw. No wonder my goats didn't like it much!

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Old 12/31/04, 05:51 PM
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I've only fed Oat Hay to Cows.I would think you would be better with a Legume Hay.I couldn't find any around here,found some Grass hay with lots of weeds in it Goats love it just fine.

big rockpile

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  #7  
Old 12/31/04, 06:48 PM
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I guess there must be lots of different types of oat hay then. Mom feeds oathay, it's beautiful to her La-ti-da national show Arabians, she is in San Diego. She snickers at the hay we have available here, teasing that they have better bedding than we have hay! I would kill for their big bales of oat hay. Vicki

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  #8  
Old 12/31/04, 09:14 PM
 
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I think I will try the oat hay,I just didnt want to cause any problems.I know what you mean about the oat straw my goats eat the bedding when we put in the barn.This is before it reaches straw stage,I buy my hay from a cattle man that says this field is his junk field.The goats love it, so they cut this field for me every year in square bales.The oat hay is only amile away,my usual is 30 miles away.

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  #9  
Old 12/31/04, 09:35 PM
 
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hay

Our goats also pick at the hay but we feel it is better to pay more for the alfalfa or pellets than buy oat hay they don't eat. We do use the straw for bedding though. Even the buck won't eat bermuda or oat hay unless it has lots of oats left in it.

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Old 01/01/05, 09:59 PM
 
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If I can find it next year, I might just feed it myself. I am planning to go to free choice pellets for the whole herd. Even with pellets at $190 a ton versus alfalfa hay at $85, one look at the amount we waste makes me think it will work out.

Friend of mine bought some rye grass (straw?) this year that was what was left in the field after the grain was cut off of it. The goats seem to like it and it was cheap -- something like $50 a ton delivered. I think something like that just to chew on and their pellets ought to do it.

Tracy

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  #11  
Old 01/02/05, 10:19 AM
 
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Just be careful feeding the oat hay to any wethers or bucks you have. Bought some triticale hay two years ago, and the goats loved it (as did the flies, they seemed to flock to those bales). That year, we lost two bucks and a ram to urinary calculi--I'm sure due to the high protein content of that hay. Jan in Co

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Old 01/03/05, 08:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan in CO
Just be careful feeding the oat hay to any wethers or bucks you have. Bought some triticale hay two years ago, and the goats loved it (as did the flies, they seemed to flock to those bales). That year, we lost two bucks and a ram to urinary calculi--I'm sure due to the high protein content of that hay. Jan in Co
I'm not familiar with triticale? I know the oat hay around here is very low protein -- in the 8-9% range at best.

Tracy
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