feeding goats alfalfa pellets?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by peakfarms, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. peakfarms

    peakfarms Member

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    Ok, I bought some alfalfa pellets today. Does anyone else feed thier goats these pellets? They normally free range, but I have a doe in a pen with babies, so I thought I would try the pellets.
    How much do you feed?
    THis is a large doe.
    Any opinions or advice would be appreciatted.
    Regina Peak
     
  2. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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  3. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    Don't feed to much to start or they will get sick.
     
  4. peakfarms

    peakfarms Member

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    How much is "too much"?
    My doe is well over 100 lbs, I started with two large cups. The cups were about a 32 oz ish.
    She ate them like shes been starving for weeks, so I am just looking for where to start with her.
     
  5. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    I would start with a small had full in the morning and small in the evening and after a couple of days add a few more. watch her sides of her stomach to see if she bloats which can kill her, and her stool to see if she gets diarrhea.

    There is no need to get in a hurry because alfalfa is very powerful compared to other feeds and grasses.

    .
     
  6. peakfarms

    peakfarms Member

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    Yikes, looks like I gave her too much to start with. Thanks for the info.
    Shes a big girl , I will keep an eye on her. I hope she'll be ok.
    Any othe signs of bloat to watch for?

    Sounds like a little goes a long way, I like to hear that.
     
  7. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

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    if she appears ok don't worry too much about it because alpha pellets won't hurt her like grain will.
    If you are worried then just get some probios and give her a couple of inches of that. My goats love that stuff and try to eat tube and all so I give it to them anytime I think they are a little off. It is not a cure all so keep an eye on her anyway.
    I started mine off with just a little at a time but increased it faster than I would have done with grain.
    I feed about half a bucket morning and night now but have been given a calf creep feeder that I am going to use for the pellets and I will just set a bag full in there and cut a hole in the bottom and let them have at it now.
    I only have 8 goats at this time so a half a bucket of pellets at a time along with free choice grass hay is a lot.
    I have been feeding the pellets in the tray of their hay feeder. I have noticed that they clean up the tray of spilled hay much better as they are rooting for lost pellets. When I put the pellets in a separate feeder that will stop but the pellets will be cleaner.
     
  8. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    they over eat because it is there! like a kid in a candy store and no owner present.
    Once they have it in front of them all the time they regulate themselves.
     
  9. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    I feed coastal hay first thing in the morning to fill my goats up. Then in an hour, I go back out there anf feed them their grain mixture which is very heavy on the alfalfa pellets. Later I give them more alfalfa pellets as long as they still have hay. Once they are used to them and have coastal hay, I give them all they want. I would give them more, but it gets expensive for me. I would just get your goat used to them and not be too worried as long as she has roughage. My grain mixture is mostly alfalfa pettlets with 16% horse sweet feed, a bit of oats and chorn chops and black oil sunflower seeds. As long as their bellies are full of roughage first, they seem to do fine. I give them about a small coffe can per feeding each. Twice a day if it is cold or if i am trying to make them gain weight. But i try to keep it on a dependable schedule for them. It has been in the upper 70's and low 80's, so I have not had to feed as much. Next week a possible light freeze. Texas winter weather.
     
  10. Barb Marks

    Barb Marks Active Member

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    We feed all our goats alfalfa pellets,including our pregnant does. 3 pounds a day is about what they need for an adult doe. but we give then about 2 pounds each then the rest we supplement with grass hay for the roughage.They definitely love it and thrive on it. We buy it by the ton so the cost is better than bales of alfalfa right now.Of course hay and all feed here is expensive due to the drought,
    chet
     
  11. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    keep baking soda out free choice and you shouldn't have to worry goats will eat all the alfalfa pellets they can the first day or two but after that will slack off . I would be feeding this doe grass hay free choice and gradually add in the pellets up to free choice over a week or two. I personally feed grain also to any freshened doe which I start abt 30 days prior to kidding. Oh and free choice loose goat or dairy cattle minerals.
     
  12. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

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    My goats were put on alpha pellets free chioce yesterday.
    Not my doing. I got a free calf creep feeder and my DH and DS had to repair it so they did that yesterday and filled it with pellets for me. They are soooooo helpful.!

    Thank goodness I had been feeding them quite a bit of pellets everyday anyway so they will be just fine I think.
    I do have to fill the soda feeder though. I noticed yesterday that it was empty.

    I am worried about my alpaca though. He also has access to this feeder.
    This will make chore time a breeze! Free choice hay,pellets,soda,and minerals.
    All we have to do is keep everything filled and keep the water unfrozen.
    Haulling warm water twice a day is a pain but that is the only hard part now.
    YEA!!
     
  13. Aquila Ranch

    Aquila Ranch New Member

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    Hello Regina
    I have fed 1/4 inch pellets for years. Depending on how much hay you are feeding, I would guess you will need to feed her about 2 pounds. My goats free range through the day. I feed approximatley 1-2 pounds of pellets each (depending on size), in the evening, followed by good quality grass hay.

    There is no waste with the pellets, a very economical way to get good protein and bulk.

    Linda
    Aquila Ranch
    PO Box 2567
    Gearhart, Oregon 97138