bedding question

Discussion in 'Goats' started by rootsandwings, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. rootsandwings

    rootsandwings Well-Known Member Supporter

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    near me (about 60 cents in gas round trip) is the place I buy hay. also "near me" (about $2.50 in gas) is the place I get straw.

    straw just went up to $3.50 a bale. Hay is only $2.75. I can load 6 bales in my car, so if I'm doing the math right, straw is now just over $3.91 a bale and hay is $2.85. Same size bales.

    So can I just bed my goats on hay? Some of it ends up in their bedding anyway, goats being messy eaters. And I'm wondering why I'm paying the extra dollar for straw.

    Any thoughts? I have a kid due in a month if that matters.
     
  2. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Hi, I raise goats and have never bought a bale of straw what's the point? What I do and maybe you should look into is buying round bales of worthless hay, lets say five years old. Lots of farmers are looking for a way to get rid of these worthless mounds. The goats tear them apart by climbing on them and all you have to do is pitch the debris into a holding area or directly into the pens. A typical 4 x 5 foot round bale holds approx. 15 bales of hay and even if you spend $10.00 each including delivery you are undoubtly still making out. Just my simple thoughts...Tennessee John
     

  3. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    With old bales like that I would worry about mold on them. Mold is very bad for goaties. They will usually eat or at least nibble on anything new in thier area, so be careful with it.
     
  4. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've always used hay for bedding. So much gets wasted from the feeder to the floor anyways......
     
  5. Blue Oak Ranch

    Blue Oak Ranch Well-Known Member

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    Goodness, I'd LOVE to be paying what you're paying!

    Straw here is $8.50 per three string bale - alfalfa is $16.99!

    I don't like hay for bedding much, because I've found that it makes a stinky mess because of the nitrogen in the leaves. Straw holds nitrogen better - but it's still a bit messy.

    Cheers!

    Katherine
     
  6. rootsandwings

    rootsandwings Well-Known Member Supporter

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    blue oak, these are square bales - you're not paying that for square bales are you? I'd have to get rid of the goats!

    I thought about possibly having to change it more often, but they're on a sloped dirt floor, so I get run off/absorption of liqiuds from that, and it takes two bales to fill their pen nice and cozy - so 6 bales is 3 full changes (and I tend to layer in cooler months) , for the same price I get 4 changes of hay. I don't mind the extra work, because it all ends up in the garden eventually, but I don't think I'd have to change it that much more often? And the hay smells better at the beginning.

    So, nobody sees another down side?
     
  7. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I'd use the hay. I use some of my hay for bedding (the stems from the alfalfa that the goats leave in their manger), and I don't think it makes any difference. I use maybe a quarter to a third of a bale of straw every couple of days --- they have deep bedding and that's all that's needed to keep the surface clean and dry. (If I didn't use deep bedding, they'd be standing in a lake -- I'm going to move all the pens soon, and hope the new location doesn't collect quite so much water.)


    I have some moldy hay (wasn't supposed to be moldy -- won't buy any from that guy again), and I won't use it for goat bedding, or even for the poultry. It's okay to mulch the garden, or I've been using a lot of it to put down where I have to walk around the pens, because the mud is so deep and nasty. The flakes of moldy hay act like 'snowshoes' in the mud, but they do sink after a while, and I have to add some more on top. I'm wondering just how deep my layers of moldy hay are now!

    Kathleen

    Edited to add: I'm paying $14.85 now for square bales (three strings, weigh over a hundred pounds each). I'm going to make a serious effort this year to get a small patch of alfalfa started here. Even if I can only get a couple of tons a year (lots of people around here get six tons to the acre), it will help a lot with the feed bill.
     
  8. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    If anyone considers my money saving idea then first peel off the outer potions of a round bale, this layer is just junk and would never be useful for anything except compost. The remaining hay is usually in perfect shape for bedding purposes. Give it a try 1000 pound bales are cost effective and can be stored outdoors. Good luck.
     
  9. mberryrfd

    mberryrfd Well-Known Member

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    If i were to use hay my goats would just eat it. I have been using straw but I had to block the stall with a top half door to keep the horse from eating the straw
     
  10. Jcran

    Jcran Well-Known Member

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    hahahahaha!!!! My goats tend to turn their hay into bedding anyway; they eat the choice yummies then pull the rest out of their feeders and stomp on it anyway!
     
  11. rootsandwings

    rootsandwings Well-Known Member Supporter

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    well, yeah. So that layer of straw I've been putting down under the hay - totally uneccessary? straw is just usually cheaper. so, hay is cheaper, guess I go with hay.

    mine are unlikely to eat up the "bedding" they won't even eat the hay that falls out and is nice and clean and untouched if I put it back up in the feeder. they look at me like "what's this? we threw this on the floor already. What? we gotta do it again?"
     
  12. daytrader

    daytrader Well-Known Member

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    I have never used bedding for my goats. I only have one now, and have only had a max of 3 at one time.

    I put straw in their goat house (dog house type deal). I have a bale in the barn incase of VERY bad weather. They lay on the full bale.

    In the pen. It is bare dirt. With weeds and vines growing in it.

    Its easy to rake out and they have never seemed to have a problem with it.

    She will be going out to pasture once the sheep get here. I figure she can pasture with them.
     
  13. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Goats can pasture with sheep, just make sure, 1. you keep the ram away from her (the two species will cross-breed, but have early abortions as the fetus isn't viable). And 2. goats NEED a level of copper in their minerals that is toxic to sheep, so they need to get their minerals separately.

    Kathleen
     
  14. daytrader

    daytrader Well-Known Member

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    I have been told that sheep need a diff mineral block then cattle. The blocks I purchased say goats and sheep on them.

    I figure they are fine for the both?
     
  15. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hay tends to hold ammonia odor more than straw does. Where I live, hay costs more than straw. When the weather is not cold, I prefer to use pine shavings for bedding in the goat houses. It keeps the ammonia down and doesn't wick up liquids the way straw does.
     
  16. witchysharon

    witchysharon Well-Known Member

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    No. The goats should have their own mineral. The blocks that are for 'sheep & goats' are basically designed FOR sheep and do NOT contain enough copper to meet a goats copper requirement.
     
  17. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    No, you definitely need different minerals for your goats. Any mineral that is ok for sheep doesn't contain copper, which goats definitely need. If you can figure a way to get the copper into their feed, in a way that the sheep won't get it, you might be ok. But goat minerals are not good for sheep, so I would think it difficult to keep them together.