Goats/Ponies and no hay

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Diana/KY, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. Diana/KY

    Diana/KY Well-Known Member

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    Hello, I have a neighbor that has recently (within the past 6 months) acquired some livestock. She has always kept packs of dogs running around, but this is the first time I've seen her have livestock. Her husband put up fence on approx. 1/3 acre lot and they put in a pony, which foaled this summer, and two large milking goats. To this day I have never seen them give these animals hay. During summer the field stayed in grass, but now that it's winter the whole field is mud. I still see no hay. I have been watching everyday as I drive by to go to work to see if the animals are keeping weight and so far they are, but the goats seem to vocalize a lot. I have a small herd of pygmy goats and they only holler at me at feeding time. These two goats of hers seem to cry off and on all day long. Like I said, all the animals seem to be in correct weight. Is it possible they are staying fit on only grain? Isn't it cruel not to offer grazers and browsers hay in winter months? I'm thinking about asking her some questions, but don't want to start anything with them. They can be defensive and argumentative. I thought about saying "Aren't you feeding hay? Did you know that this type of animal requires hay for digestion and well being? I have several bales I could sell you if you need until you can get some." Or maybe I should just continue to watch and keep my mouth shut unless I actually see skinny animals. Anyway, just had to get this off my chest. It is worrying me and my husband and everyday we wonder if we should approach them about it. I probably will.
     
  2. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    I would approach them in a nice way. Goats can not survive on just grain. They need roughage for their rumen to work properly. It also helps them stay warm. I have been feeding hay since the middle of October. You aren't all that far from me, so I am sure they need hay by now. Do not wait until they are skinny. It may be too late by then. Just go about it nicely. Like stop in & tell her you saw she had some goats & you just love goats. What kind are they, etc.. Gradually get around to asking what they feed them.
     

  3. Diana/KY

    Diana/KY Well-Known Member

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    Wendy, you are right, of course. I can not wait until they are skinny. That would be cruel in itself. I will have to get my nerve up and go talk to them. It irks me to no end when people get animals and don't do any research on how to care for them. Thanks, Diana
     
  4. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Could be they are feeding hay pellets/cubes?

    We feed both, but are planning on going to almost all pellets in the future.

    Tracy
     
  5. Diana/KY

    Diana/KY Well-Known Member

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    I thought about that Tracy. I suppose that could be possible. I still need to know. If I can catch her home tomorrow I will stop and ask her about her goats and ponies and what she feeds them. Thanks, Diana
     
  6. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    Diana,

    I would approach her and say...."I drive by on my way to work each day and notice that your goats look so much fatter then mine, what are you feeding them?"

    innocent enough. (and pellets or cubes are so easy to feed and no waste)
     
  7. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    Don't they still need some kind of roughage in the form of hay or straw even if they are getting pellets or cubes??
     
  8. Diana/KY

    Diana/KY Well-Known Member

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    Oh that might be a good way to go except for one important factor... she can see my goats from her house and my goats are fat little pygmy goats. Much fatter than her tall dairy goats. :)
    I thought about feeding hay pellets at one time. I get so sick of cleaning up wasted hay and finding a place to pile it. The goats are such wasters when it comes to hay. I thought it would be healthier for them to have the hay so they could eat on it all day long. Would hay pellets be able to be left out and fed free choice? Speaking of hay waste, my husband and I were in the barn today trying to fix up a type of hay feeder that wouldn't let them waste so much and would allow me to leave out more hay without it getting tromped on. We took two bed springs from old baby cribs, took the main metal frame off them and hooked them together. We nailed each end to the barn and nailed the middle of this section to a 2x4 that we also nailed to the barn. It holds four cubes of a hay bale nicely and the holes are the perfect size... too small to get heads caught in, but large enough that they won't have to tear the hair off the top of their noses trying to feed through the wire. Diana
     
  9. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    Wendy,

    Let's look at this logically... you feed hay, the goats chew it into tiny morsels and swallow.

    you feed cubes or pellets, the goats chew it into tiny morsels and swallow.

    *shrug* no difference.

    I like the way my goats look on pellets...they have been on pellets about 7 years. Though I do use cubes also. It depends on which is cheaper that week.

    Diana,

    I fill hog feeders with pellets and keep the feeders full. The goat free feed. Be prepared for the goats to go through lots of pellets the first week and walk around with hay belly's! but after they figure out the pellets are gonna be there all the time, they will slow down to a normal amount.

    Cubes can't be fed in any kind of feeder (or so I have found) as they are square and tend to get stuck. I use troughs to feed them.


    ok...so tell her what nice tone her goats have and yours are so fat and you are curious how she keeps her goats looking so nice! I know...you are thinking about getting her breed of goats...how does she like them and what does she feed them? (acting stupid) do they require more then just hay?
     
  10. dbarjacres

    dbarjacres Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ugh, some people!

    Okay, I would go by her place too. But don't say her goats look so nice. Cause if you say that, she may not be feeding them, and think hey, I don't have to feed my goats and people think they look nice. Please consider this! I would say you're just curious what breed they are, or it's nice to see some more goats in the neighborhood, or something like that, and then ask if they go thru lots of feed, cause your fat little pygmies eat soooo much. Okay?

    Also, please look out for the ponies. If she is feeding pellets, I'm guessing these would be alfalfa pellets? Which normally run, what, 17-18% protein? If so, these ponies will FOUNDER or COLIC by the time winter is thru for sure. Ponies can only tolerate about 7-10% protein. And if she is starving them or just feeding grain, they will colic for sure, and founder if they are being feed a high protein grain. Horses/Ponies/Donkeys NEED to have at the VERY minimum 1/2 pound of roughage per 100 pound of weight daily. Most people figure 1 1/2 - 2 pounds per 100 lbs, especially in winter.

    Thanks for looking out for them. I live by lots of old order amish, so I am faced with ignorance and uncaringness each and every day.
     
  11. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here's a good page on feeding pellets --
    http://www.nwinfo.net/~milkmaid/feeder.html

    And no, they can do just fine without any other roughage. Mine are just spoiled, lol. I think if and when I do go to all pellets, I probably will keep a cheap oat or rye grass hay for them to nibble on too.

    My all alfalfa pellets are 15-17% protein. BUT you can get half and half pellets -- half alfalfa and half timothy, alfalfa/oat, and all timothy or berumda pellets depending on what is available in your area. Those run considerably lower -- in the 11-12% range.

    Who knows, they may have it all figured out! Be interesting to hear what they are doing!

    Tracy
     
  12. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    .


    " keep my mouth shut "

    This would be the best thing to do.
    Because if some one tried to play this game with me.

    I would tell them to mind their own business and to get off of my property.

    You don't know what they are feeding.

    And being sneaky is not being a good neighbor.

    Why jump to conclusions and go into something half cocked just because someone does not do it the way you do.

    You said the livestock looked good,
    but not the way that you think it should be done,
    for not real reason.

    Good fences make good neighbors
    if people and livestock stay on their own side.

    But sticking ones nose in when not invited,
    in a sneaky wayto do things and will destroy
    all chances of a relationship.

    You will Only makes enemies ! ! !

    .
     
  13. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    I feed hay...but you would never know it by looking. I have indoor hanging feeders for my goats and they are free choice. We usually bring in hay only a few times a year and usually during the day when most people are at work. The hay never goes outside for anyone else to see. I personally would not say anything to my neighbor unless i though i could honestly help or if i could see a serious problem.

    Belinda
     
  14. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    These responses are really funny - here in Texas my neighbors and I talk about our animals, feeds, sharing shearers, the newest and best wormers, etc etc etc all the time and no one takes offense at one or another asking.

    Back East you must have some very unfriendly and distrusting neighbors - of course when I was in Newport RI for Navy Officer Candidate School I made the grave social mistake of saying "good afternoon" to an elderly couple walking on a sidewalk in town (was on my first liberty) and got the response back "what do you mean by that??" I guess little has changed.

    Of course I have trouble thinking of anyone as a neighbor that I am not on speaking terms with and who has not been invited to my home.
     
  15. Ark

    Ark Well-Known Member

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    Yucca Flats Ranch!
    Where are you located?
    We're in the Hill Country too! (Harper area)
    I know what you mean about the neighbors - :no:
    TEXAS is different, of course. :haha:
     
  16. Diana/KY

    Diana/KY Well-Known Member

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    UPDATE:

    First of all, Bumpus, that is exactly why I HAVE been keeping my mouth shut. Like I said, the animals look good. I had just never heard of goats and horses being able to survive on grain and mud. I drive right by their pasture on my way to and from work. I can see directly in their shelters. There is not one little straw of hay in there. I look closely each and every day to see if the animals are looking thin or sick. So far the only thing out of the ordinary is that they seem to cry all the time. Not normal. We have a pretty good relationship with these people. We aren't good friends or anything like that, but we do talk occasionally and we do get along. I'd like to keep it like that....but, if I see animals bones sticking out or even just getting thinner by the day, I will try to help. I would never outright acuse anyone of cruelty. If someone came on my farm and starting accusing me of animal cruelty, I would tell them to get get off my property too! Some are just ignorant and may need a little advice. And I'm not being sneaky. It's kind of hard not to notice things when you see them every single day. Coming here was a good way to get some advice and I've gotten some good advice.

    People do seem to be a little distrusting in this part of the country or kind of defensive. They have old fashioned set-in-stone ways that were passed down from generation to generation and some will not be convinced there are better ways to do things.

    Anyway, here's my update. My brother in law talked to them today. He asked if they'd gotten their hay in yet "cause you're going to need some for the winter". They told him they bought a few bales yesterday and had them in their building. They are planning to buy more. I feel much better now. I want to thank everyone for all your suggestions.
     
  17. Stacy Adams

    Stacy Adams Well-Known Member

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    I was just wondering why you hadn't been over there to see their new pets.. you could have had all these discussions long ago, offered them a hay source, a place to get cheap meds, maybe even take 'em a Jeffers Livestock catalog.. you know, the year's not over yet... :)
     
  18. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    if there is a good relationship with your neighbors there would be no problem in talking to them, in a nice manner and not sneaky. like bumpus said its not nice to sneak around at the neighbors place. could you imagin what they are thinking if they observed you? it is possible that they feed the animals when you are at work. also my understandig of goats is if they are in heat they are very vocal. this time of the year it is very easy to get a muddy pasture. almost nothing you can do about it. mine are all in the goat barn because of that. if nice and dry weather i go out with them. i got my little buck from a very muddy place and he had a bad foot because of that.
    unless you see animals realy starving it's not your buisness and you shouldn't do anything
    susanne
     
  19. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Are the goats Nubians? :rolleyes: I can tell you that if they are, it is not terribly unusual that they should fuss all day for no other reason than to hear themselves do it. With any luck, they'll outgrow it.
    Not all goats are normally quiet.
     
  20. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Anyway, here's my update. My brother in law talked to them today. He asked if they'd gotten their hay in yet "cause you're going to need some for the winter". They told him they bought a few bales yesterday and had them in their building. They are planning to buy more. I feel much better now. I want to thank everyone for all your suggestions.[/QUOTE]

    That is great Diana good to know they do have hay. Just for the record I give mine grass hay most of the time but not always. I do feed alfalfa pellets as is much easier and less wasteful, and have for 3yrs now. Also tho I don't feed it and really don't agree but some of the feeds like purina says that it is a complete feed and no hay is needed.
    Sondra also down in TX