alfalfa pellets or plastic baled hay?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by outofmire, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    Is there any difference in the quality between pellets and the plastic covered alfalfa bales.....packaged like peat moss?
     
  2. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

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    Can't say as I've ever seen alfalfa packaged like you mentioned...I prefer pellets simply because there is so much less waste with them, with alfalfa baled there are always stems that the goats don't want to eat that end up all over the ground.I biult a hay feeder that I ended up adapting by putting an underbed storage box in it as a tray that I pour pellets into as they are in their holding pen....they have a good chance to eat their fill twice a day.
     

  3. dbarjacres

    dbarjacres Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm in Wisconsin, so dairy country. If this is the same kind of plastic covered bales, they are like that so they are a sort of "baled silage". It's not plain old hay, it's baled wet.
     
  4. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    Hi outofmire,
    We can get chopped dehydrated alfalfa hay here packed in 45lb plastic sacks. It is advertised as horse feed. Ours is shipped in from Kansas. The pellets here also come from Kansas. Both are supposed to be 100% alfalfa and have 17% protein, but the pellets are a lot less expensive.

    The bag I got had a consistency similar to cornmeal with lots of short 1"-2" stems. Would think it is *at least* as good as alfalfa pellets. Some would say better because of the stems.

    But if it says 100% alfalfa, and 17% protein, and they eat it all, it should be the same, by weight.

    We got one bag last year to nurse a sick kid back to health, but he didn't like the meal-like consistency of it, so we mixed it with watered down bananas, and he wolfed it down. But we can't justify the cost for 14 goats, so we do the pellets in the winter.

    Hope this helps,

    Nancy
    Northeast Georgia
     
  5. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Nancy, that's the same stuff we have here. I've tried both alfalfa pellets and that hay with my goats. They seem to like the hay better, but they leave the 2" stems behind. I don't mind so much though because I use it as mulch. Anyway, I just wondered mostly if the alfalfa loses any quality when made into pellets. I just wondered how in the world they compress the stuff into pellets.

    The cubes had bentonite clay, so I assume that's how they are held together. I found some pellets with animal fat, but I didn't like the sound of that, so we haven't bought those again. Now I've found some that only contain alfalfa, but if that's so, what is the binding material?
     
  6. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    If you and your goats are happy with the bagged hay, I vote for sticking with the hay.

    The difference in the price *could* be just because it is advertized as horse feed, but I doubt it. I'd be willing to bet the pellets are mostly ground up stems with just enough leaves to make the min 17% protein. BTW, I still have the bag this hay came in and they have a web site on it http://www.usalfalfa.net.

    If you need to keep track of protein in their diet, it would probably be above 17% if they don't eat the stems, so may be a little rich to feed only this free choice.

    Don't know what binding is used in pellets.

    Nancy
    NE GA