ALFALFA Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Jcran, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. Jcran

    Jcran Well-Known Member

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    My neighbor has been coming over at lunch and giving my polio/listeriosis buckling his noon penicillin which is very kind of her...however, she commented over the past two days that I shouldn't be feeding alfalfa as it's too "HOT" a feed for goats. Grass alfalfa is $240/ton, the girls waste more of the grass, and straight alfalfa is 200/ton and they clean up more of it, so I chose the less expensive hay-the quality of the alfalfa is good. My question to the group is: should I have gone with the more expensive hay? Am I hurting my goats in the long run by feeding them alfalfa? Do other folks out there feed alfalfa? My goats are fullblood and percentage boers.
     
  2. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    she doesnt know what she is talking about unless you had Hair Stock and wanted a FINE grade of cashmire or Mohair

    Alfalfa is the BEST thing you can feed them, they need the roughage and high protien, they are not naturally grass eaters like sheep, they are BROWSERS, and eat the rich weedy brushy stuff naturally and Alfalfa is the next best thing,

    now DONT feed the Fresh Cut alfalfa that is not dryed yet as that will make them sick, but Alfalfa hay is PERFECT
     

  3. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

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    I was just trying to think of any goat owners I know who DON'T feed at least some alfalfa - can't think of any. Neighbors raise boers and feed alfalfa exclusively, nicest looking herd I've ever seen, and it counts for them in the show ring. I feed alfalfa/grass mix, and if straight alfalfa were cheaper than that, I'd feed straight alfalfa in winter.
     
  4. Sweet Goats

    Sweet Goats Cashmere goats

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    I feed my cashmere alfalfa hay in the really colder days. I don't know of really anyone that does not feed alfalfa. You are doing just fine with yours.
     
  5. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    I feed it to my goats, all the time. always have.
     
  6. Jcran

    Jcran Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, my mind is at rest; I was starting to feel like the alfalfa might have helped set off my buckling on his trip down polio lane
     
  7. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    My does get timothy (often mixed with orchard/trefoil/ a bit of alfalfa) hay supplemented with alfalfa pellets. This is the combo that works for me. The bucks never get alfalfa, but just timothy/grass hay. They do fine on it. Never (knock on wood) have had any serious illness.
     
  8. okiemom

    okiemom Well-Known Member

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    I know of several people who free feed alfalfa pellets. The pellets have no waste and the goats get what they want and head butting pg does is reduced.

    don't feed alfalfa to horses in large amts, goats do great on it.
     
  9. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    i fed free choice Alfalfa to my whole herd buck does and weathers and NO BODY had problems,

    its all about what is affordable, that would be the only reason someone wouldnt feed alfalfa to goats, if its not available and/or too expencive.

    especially does produceing Milk they really need it for the added protien and other nutrients

    Horses are the only animal you dont really want to feed too much alfalfa hay too, everything else can have as much as they want
     
  10. copperpennykids

    copperpennykids Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you are feeding alfalfa to your buck, you need to feed some type of grain at the same time or he might get urinary claculi. All goats need a calcium/phosophorus balance of 2:1. Read more on nutrition on Dairygoatsinfo.com--see FAQ and read the article about hypocalceimia (sp) by Sue Reith.

    There is also a very article about feed, care, and management of bucks on there. In this regard, dairy bucks and Boer bucks are very similar.

    We do not feed alfalfa exclusively to our Boer goats, as they tend to get fat on it...:)
    but definitely when they are working (being bred, pregnant, kidding, nursing) and then switch them to grass hay about a month after kidding (no grain then either).
    Of course, we have some very nice grass hay, and it is a smidge less than the alfalfa.

    If your grass hay is expensive or poor in quality, then I would try to have grass hay just for the bucks, and mix it with the alfalfa without adding grain, in the off season (non breeding).

    P.S. The only way your feed could have got you into polio would be if it was moldy and got his rumen off.
     
  11. HappyFarmer

    HappyFarmer Well-Known Member

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    Horses, particularly Arabians, can get "Hot" on alfalfa. Perhaps that is where she got the idea.
    How I wish I could find some alfalfa close to me.
     
  12. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do you have any idea how jealous I am?????? :)
     
  13. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    too much grain will cause problems for bucks not too much alfalfa, a good balance of the two wont cause problems eather,

    also free feeding boers alfalfa wont cause them to be too fat eather as long as they have plenty of room to excersize and lots of browse to eat as well.

    they are SUPPOSED to be thicker built than dairy and Dairy Deffinatly need lots of alfalfa