My Goats won't eat Hay?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by tduerson, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. tduerson

    tduerson Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 Pygmy's Does and 1 Boer Doe. I keep Hay for them at all times. it is in a feeder off the ground and where they can not jump in it and soil it. This is my first winter with goats and i bought 20 bails to start with. A month went by and they had not even eat 1 bail. I have used more for bedding than they have eat. What is wrong with my goats. Do some goats just not eat as much as others. I have read so many things from other's saying they feed 1 bail a day for 4 goats. There is NO way mine would eat that. They are very healthy looking. Not skinny at all. Any advise would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Tina
     
  2. chma4

    chma4 Wolverton Family Farm Supporter

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    If they have lots to graze on they may not like the dry hay. In the summer I go through almost no hay, but with snow on the ground its just going like mad. As long as they look healthy and act healthy, I wouldnt worry too much. That is unless of coarse they have no grazing area. I dont know, prehaps someone more experienced should answer.
     

  3. CountryFried

    CountryFried Well-Known Member

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    I found out this year (after stocking with lots of hay !) , that sheep and goats like leafy types of hay, not grass types. Alfalfa and Timothy for example. They tear that stuff up ! I've had to find other uses for my hay. Bedding, chicken coop, etc..
    We also extended our pastures by using electric fencing , and they prefered the fresh grass to the hay I first bought. Electric fencing is not too expensive as well.
    Sherry
     
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    How much else do your goats have to eat? Mine eat their grass hay really well, but that's all they get to chew on during the day. In the evening they get their alfalfa pellets.

    Also, my hay comes from a neighbor. So it's the same basic grass mixture they're used to eating here when the ground isn't frozen. Once the grass starts growing, though, you can bet they won't be interested in the hay anymore except as something to toss around and play with. For that matter, they won't be eating nearly as much alfalfa pellets.
     
  5. tduerson

    tduerson Well-Known Member

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    I feed Grain 2 times a day, they ahve free choice Minerals and have room to graze. We have not a very bad winter at all this year and they still graze out in their feild. I jsut did not figure there would be enough for them to graze on in the winter. I guess they are satisfied with what they have and just dont want the hay. Thanks for everyones input.
    Tina
     
  6. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    make sure that your hay, is not molded, they will not eat it. also make sure it is alfalfa hay, or most won't eat it. Horse hay is not good hay for goats.
    go to the farm store, and buy a bag of alfalfa pellets, if they like and eat those, then you know your hay isn't any good.
     
  7. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I didn't know that other peoples goats were picky about hay....my goaties browse 13 acres of pasture and woods during the day, and when they come in at night to find that *dear momma* has pulled them off a flake of the horses hay, they jump right in and start eating it like it's a treat.... ONE strand at at time, with little goatie smiles on their faces, like spaghetti! It's just Texas Coastal Hay... pretty bland as far as I can tell; my horses all relocated down here with me from Wisconsin (Alfalfa hay country) about 1 year ago and are are STILL un-impressed with the top-quality Coastal Hay I give them......they always crane their necks to look behind me to see if the Alfalfa Fairy has found them yet.....
     
  8. burfer

    burfer Well-Known Member

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    Wow, you guys that have alfalfa hay are lucky! A bale will cost me between $7.00-$12.00 a bale!! We use alfalfa pellets and also coastal bermuda hay. My goats love the coastal! :D
     
  9. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    My goats eat Native grass hay (bluestem, indiangrass mostly) and they love it. They get other feed too, but tear up that hay.

    My guess would be that something may be wrong with your hay. Goats can be picky about how clean their hay is. Mine won't eat it after it's been on the ground for more than a few minutes. And the silly things will waste it. Boss doe will keep everybody away from it while she's eating, then she'll urinate in it and lay down on it. Then nobody else will eat it. Goats are great hay wasters, if you have no hay feeder.
     
  10. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Are you milking them? I'm wondering about the two feedings of grain a day. Are they small amounts? I don't think dry does need much in the way of grain.
     
  11. tduerson

    tduerson Well-Known Member

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    Iam not Milky any of them, they are just pets. I do give small amounts. I usually hand feed them, so they really dont get that much at each feeding.

    They hay was fresh hay, just cut and bailed. It was fine in the begining, but know it is molded and taking up room in my shed. I have not give them any since I found the first signs of mold. I had a goat farmer down the road give me 3 bails of his hay to see if my goats would eat it and I got the same results. they just do not want the hay. I can not figure them out.

    Tina
     
  12. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    Mine are the same way, but are probably spoiled since this is the first year I've had goats, and I was so afraid of doing something wrong.

    I've put out coastal bermuda and grass hay since early fall. Won't touch either. Spent $9.50 for one bale of beautiful leafy alfalfa hay from a feed store, just to see if they would eat that, and they DID, but not much enthusiasm. So I went to alfalfa pellets for the winter. That seems to work well.

    Don't know how much land you have, but you might be surprised what they find out there to eat. We have 14 goats (dry does and wethers) on about 70 acres in NE Georgia, mostly woods, but they are still finding privet hedge, tough old honeysuckle vines, wild onions, fescue, and of course dead poplar leaves off the ground. They come in with onion breath every day.

    The pines, cedars, and maple trees near the barn have taken a severe hit this winter. Bark stripped off about 6 feet high, small ones pushed over and stripped. They sure have nice white teeth this winter though.
     
  13. loveMYanimals

    loveMYanimals New Member

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