Alfalfa Pellets

Discussion in 'Goats' started by trnubian, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. trnubian

    trnubian Twin-Reflection Nubians

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    OK, I have heard a lot of people talking about alfalfa pellets and how that is all they feed to their goats hay wise.

    I live in Indiana and our season was really dry therefore, our field didn't do well. I don't know how much extra hay we are going to need, but what we have now will only get us through to January. I will buy more hay as need be, but it can get pretty expensive in the winter.

    I have a 1/2 bag of alfalfa pellets that we add to the grain (a handful to bring up the protein level before shows). Other than that, i don't use them.

    I don't remember how much the bag cost, what is the average cost of a bag?
    I was really wanting to supplement my current hay in order to make it last longer or stretch farther. Do you give the does free choice alfalfa pellets? If not, how much per doe? I don't know why I just feel bad putting pellets in front of them when I'm used to them munching on hay all day long.

    The only animal that gets grain right now is our buck who is being pretty heavily used. If it gets really cold I will give the does a handfull of grain in the morning and at night.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    I also have a question :
    Are alfalfa pellets shaped like pelleted food? I have never seen pelleted form, only cubes
    Thanks
    ~Dona~
     

  3. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    We do mostly free-choice alfalfa pellets. I don't keep the feeders full all day, but fill them morning and evening. They also have grass hay for roughage, but they don't eat nearly as much hay as they did before we added the pellets. The two milkers also get grain on the milk stand, but that's it.

    If you are going to do free choice, go about it slowly. It took at least a month before we got up to our semi-free choice routine. They really scarfed the pellets down the first few weeks, like they were such a treat. Now they nibble at them now and again, but they don't scarf them down.

    And yes, they are pellet shaped. You want the ones that are 17% protein. We pay about $8.00 for a 50 lb. bag here.
     
  4. trnubian

    trnubian Twin-Reflection Nubians

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    OK thanks. I didn't know there were different protein percentage pellets. Hhhmm good thing you mentioned that! We don't have grass hay just alfalfa. Could I cut back on the hay once they are on a semi-free choice diet? About how much pellets should i expect to feed to one doe? i am trying to figure out if it would be more economical for me to use bot pellets and hay or to just buy more hay as i need it. I pay about $3 a bale here.

    I would say that some of our bales equal about 50lb and some more some less. I wouldn't be feeding like 1/2 a bag of pellets a day to seven animals would I?
     
  5. paperboy-7

    paperboy-7 Well-Known Member

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    hi thats a good price on your af hay. is there much of that hay in your area? where are you located. if your goats are kept in good shape the hay would seem to be your best bet. good luck p
     
  6. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I keep asking my feed store to carry alfalfa pellets and they wil not do it....they offer me rabbit food :rolleyes:

    Curious about what the brand name is for you folks on the East coast???
     
  7. trnubian

    trnubian Twin-Reflection Nubians

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    We live in Norht Central Indiana. i'll have to look and see what the brand name of alfalfa pellets is. I don't remember.
     
  8. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    That seems like a good price for alfalfa hay. I'm not sure it would be more economical for you. It will depend on how much pellets are. The one thing to consider though, with pellets, there is almost no waste, compared to hay.

    How much you'll use... We have 6 goats (2 are milkers and 4 are fainters), and we go through about a 50 lb. bag a week.

    As for brand names, all the feed stores here carry the pellets. Blue Seal is the brand I often use, just because that's what the place carries. But they're usually a little more expensive then the co-op.
     
  9. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just a note on the pellets.

    I ran out of hay last February. I was down to 2 bales to last until April, so I started supplementing the pellets until my pregnant doe was getting mostly the pellets & just a little hay.

    About 3 or 4 days after she kidding she got laminitis. Not pleasent for her & luckily someone on this board pointed me to that diagnosis. The vet just thought she didn't like being a mom. After quickly weaning off of the pellets & begging for at least 6 more bales of hay, she did recover.

    My doe is a pygmy/alpine cross, but pygmy size. She was getting about half a large coffee can a day of pellets(can't remember the weight right now).

    Maybe if I could've had both hay & the pellets free choice she wouldn't have foundered, but hay was in very short supply around here last year.

    Tricia
     
  10. Petsguy

    Petsguy Well-Known Member

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    I am curious about the alfalfa pellets as well. Are they just that, or are they horese feed or something like that? I haven't seen just alfalfa pellets. The closest thing in our feed stores is rabbit food (I think) and I am concerned about the copper content in the rabbit food and/or the horse feed. Please advise. Thanks.

    Take Care,
    Jeff Port
    Smallville Miniatures and Exotics
    Peoria, IL
     
  11. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Angora goats and sheep are copper intolerant......some copper is a good thing but excess is bad....not sure what rabbit content is....horse feed is acceptable for goats. The calcium content in alfalfa is particularly beneficial for dairy goats.
     
  12. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    They are just straight alfalfa pellets. Nothing added. I think people do use them for horses, which is why most feed stores carry them. But they're just big green pellets of alfalfa.

     
  13. Starsmom

    Starsmom Well-Known Member

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    Do you have any bulk feed operations or co-ops? I get my alfalfa pellets through a bulk grain operation and it costs about $100 per ton, alot cheaper than $8 per 50lb bag. I will supplement the pellets with hay, but in the dead of winter when hay is in short supply I will give pellets only, to my horses and goats. They love them. BTW, a full large metal coffee can of pellets weighs 4.2 lbs.
     
  14. Croenan

    Croenan Well-Known Member

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    I feed my goats alfalfa pellets because of impending hay shortages as well. I can only store so much and I usually run out early.

    I feed 10 small goats (5 are babies) about 3 small coffee cans a day, sometimes a little more as a treat. It cuts back on my hay a little and as my hay gets thinner, I will up the quanity. It costs me about 8.00 a bag for pellets, not cubes and a bag will last about 1.5 - 2 weeks. The one thing you have to be careful about is choking, especailly with the little guys. If they are eating it quickly, like grain, one is bound to choke every now and then. Usually they can clear themselves up but I have given the hymlich manuver equivalant to a couple over the year. If you worry about it, just hang out while they eat and feed it after grain and/or hay so they don't scarf! I can't remember the kind we use here because I am actually out at the moment, I do know the bag is green and white.

    If you do start feeding them the pellets, just be sure to introduced them slowly. They are hard on their systems and are hard to learn to eat.
     
  15. trnubian

    trnubian Twin-Reflection Nubians

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    I looked at the bag i have and it is the ARCO brand.

    I think I will stick with hay for the winter. I might buy a bag or two of the pellets but it looks like it will be cheaper to just buy hay.

    Thanks
     
  16. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    We feed alfalfa hay and pellets too. Pellets are almost $10 per 80 lb bag and they are made locally. Hay was $6 for a 80 lb bale but now $8.50. Pellets are easier to feed than hay but goats prefer a variety.
     
  17. Debi

    Debi Active Member

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    With alfalfa pellets, there is no waste.

    Debi
    Kaufman TX
     
  18. T Lynn

    T Lynn Well-Known Member

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    I feed alfalfa pellets and hay. The goats love the pellets. A 50lb bag last about 1 week for me with 11 goats (4 are babies.) I do not feed free choice but give about 2-3lbs per goat daily. Here the pellets are about $7.50 for 50lbs. Alfalfa hay is about $15 a bale. And there is no waste with the pellets. The goats eat all of them, even the ones that they have knocked out of the feeder!!
     
  19. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I need to move to where they grow alfalfa!

    A bale (40 pound) of alfalfa here costs about $12. A 50 pound bag of pellets costs me $10.50.

    I would like to be able to have it out free choice, but I can't afford it. What I do, though, is mix it into their grain they get on the milking stand, which means I can feed those fast eating pigs more without foundering them. I also pen up anyone under the weather, and give them as much as they can tolerate until they're back in condition. Sometimes they'll just get separated at feeding time for that.

    One day.......

    Meg
     
  20. GOATDADDY

    GOATDADDY Well-Known Member

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    I can find alfalfa pellets for $150.00 a ton. I am wondering where you can buy it for $100.00 a ton. At $100.00 a ton, no waste, it seems like this would be a very economical way to feed goats. I get round bales for about $60.00 a ton. They waste more than half of it, I think.