Moldy Hay

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Croenan, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. Croenan

    Croenan Well-Known Member

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    Ok....I know that you aren't supposed to feed your goats moldy hay, but I have a few questions.

    Is it moldy if when you pull it apart its dusty? I don't see any mold growing on it but I think I have one bad bale.

    Next question....can I feed it to them if I get desperate? What might happen to them? I ask because I have 2.5 bales left!! and there won't be new hay for almost a month! 2.5 would get me through but 1.5 won't.

    I started incorporating alfalfa pellets slowly into their diet last week. I figured that that would help me get through. Any other ideas? I am still looking for hay and have a couple of leads.
     
  2. animal_kingdom

    animal_kingdom Well-Known Member

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  3. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Does the dust smell "mushroomey" or moldy? The mold I get is black and powdery, but it does have a definite mushroom smell. The dusty bales I get occasionally just smell dusty.

    Dusty hay will make your goats sneeze, but that's about it. Moldy hay can give them listeria - usually by the time they show symptoms, they're pretty close to death.

    To get you through, can you watch them as they graze your lawn? Any weed patches around your area you can put a temporary electric fence around for the goats? Do you have any hedges getting out of bounds or light pruning the goats can help you with? Goats are also really good at eating up the last of the saved over vegetables - soft winter squash, iffy apples, and withered cabbages regularly make their way into my goat's diet.
     
  4. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I don't feed dusty or moldy hay, period. The risk is just too great. Not only can the goats get sick, if you're milking them, you can get sick too. And not just a little sick. Look up Listeriosis. If that doesn't scare the pants off you, nothing will. I mean, I really like my brain just the way it is, thanks!
     
  5. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    I don't even give it to my chickens to scratch around in...it goes directly to the compost pile!
     
  6. Croenan

    Croenan Well-Known Member

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    Ok..Ok...they starve before they get moldy hay! I heard of some people putting it in the goat houses for them to lay on....but wouldn't that be about as bad as them eating it? I did feed them one slab, but it was after they had already eaten grain and alfalfa, so they didn't eat much of it. Hopefully they will be ok. At least if it was moldy..it wasn't very bad.

    Sigh...I'd pay 10$ a bale if I could find any.
     
  7. boren

    boren Well-Known Member

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    If you're out of hay why not just feed alfalfa pellets from the feed store?
     
  8. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Yeah, I've heard of people using moldy hay for bedding and winding up with dead goats. Are there any feed stores in your area? They generally have non-moldy hay. Or maybe a dairy farmer will sell you a bale or two?
     
  9. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Go to the feed store -- buy alfalfa pellets for them to eat, and a bale of shavings for bedding. That's what I've had to do, after most of the two tons of hay I bought a few months ago turned out to be moldy. It isn't good for anything but compost -- thankfully, we needed compost, but this is an expensive way to get it!

    Kathleen
     
  10. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    if you dont want to start out buying a wholenew herd, toss the hay to the strawberries, dont use it for bedding

    mold is serious !!!!!
    its to the poin wherethe man i buy hay from is used to me now, even though i buy hay from him all year i always check the bales, he understands, of course it helps that his wife buys veggiesfrom me , but still
    its a big deal , tkae it serious, if you cant find hay, then buy the pellets, its worth the extra to not have to worry about sick/dead goats .
    period
    sorry, but i agree, theres no wiggle room on this one