No hay till next week!

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Idahoe, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    It won't stop raining
    So we gritted our teeth and bought two bales of alfalfa hay at the feedstore at a ridiculous price. We live in hay country, so we thought "no problem!", only to find out everyone is sold out. We ordered 40 tons but it won't be baled till Tuesday.

    Being new at goats, I don't know if they should have free access to alfalfa hay or if it should be rationed to prevent digestive problems. I seem to have read something about alfalfa in excess making goats ill. I can't find specific info online, so here I am asking you all.

    Each milker gets a pound of concentrate in the evening, and during the day they are foraging as I have no more hay. There is more clover etc than they'll ever be able to eat.

    So should I ration the alfalfa hay or can they free feed on it? Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

    Messages:
    8,821
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Location:
    S.E.Alabama
    hay of any kind is provided free choice to help balance the rumin if need be, when they are eating alot of brows they wont normally eat hay unless they need some to help ballance them self, which if its offerd free choice they will do,

    Alfalfa HAY wont hurt a goat in the least, its the best thing for them, GREEN FREAH alfalfa in large amounts can cause some problems but not like it would with horses and cattle,
    but once its dry and in hay form they cant eat too much
     

  3. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    It won't stop raining
    OK, I get it. Thanks so much for the quick reply. The plan is to allow them to browse the property during the day and return for concentrate in their pen at night. The fence is not finished around the perimeter of the property, but they stay very close (a bit too close) to the house, including coming in the front door.
     
  4. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

    Messages:
    8,821
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Location:
    S.E.Alabama
    sounds like a plan, are you milking them now? if there not in production a lb is alot to feed a goat of concentrait, but if they are milking heavy thats fine
     
  5. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,133
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    Montana
    I'd be careful feeding that newly baled hay at first. I've been told that alfalfa hay should be allowed to cure for 30 days before feeding it to goats. The nitrogen level is high until it's cured and the goats could bloat from it. After it's cured, they can eat it free choice.
     
  6. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,715
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Location:
    N. TX/ S. OK
    Is 40 tons a year's supply? How many goats does that feed?
     
  7. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    It won't stop raining
    Two are milking, three have 8 wk olds nursing, due to be separated next week at least at night. I read the "pound" amount in Storey's. THey recommended a pound and a half if they are heavy milkers.
     
  8. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    It won't stop raining
    Wow, 40 is an awful lot! I reviewed the numbers with DH and must admit I am rummy from all this being new. He ordered 7 tons, and we don't know how long it will last with them foraging for the rest of the summer. We have 10 goats total, five being 8 wk olds.

    I'd hate to find a place to put 40 tons of hay . . .
     
  9. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,715
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Location:
    N. TX/ S. OK
    LOL you said 40 tons in your first post and I was trying to picture how big a barn it would take to store that much. I'm having trouble even picturing 40 tons.

    I thought you must have a few hundred goats :p
     
  10. wooly1s

    wooly1s Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    403
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Location:
    North Idaho
    I'm having trouble even picturing 40 tons.
    I thought you must have a few hundred goats


    Me too! =) We pasture in the spring/summer/fall, and feed in the winter. Last year I think we used 4 or 5 tons for four llamas, and seven goats (4 of which were expecting.)

    I'd hate to find a place to put 40 tons of hay . . .
    Oh- just the thought! We've got a ton and a half in already this year - maybe two...It occupies some space!

    Feeling rummy...
    That's just the blush of pride and fulfillment - kind of dizzying euphoria when you look out into the pasture and see YOUR goats there.

    Best of luck to you, welcome to the herd, and may your goats always remain in your pasture, on the right side of the fence!
     
  11. wooly1s

    wooly1s Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    403
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Location:
    North Idaho
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So we gritted our teeth and bought two bales of alfalfa hay at the feedstore at a ridiculous price.


    PS 7 tons sounds great, they'll be spoiled...if you have some extra towards the end, then you can sell at ridiculous prices, too!
     
  12. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

    Messages:
    8,821
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Location:
    S.E.Alabama
    i had it all pictured in big round bales =ing about some where between 40 and 80 big rounds scatterd all over the fence line lol

    as to letting the hay cure you can feed it directly after its been baled, the best hay i ever got for the goats was right out of the field, as long as its not fresh Green alfalfa just cut that day your fine
     
  13. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    It won't stop raining
    Thanks! Not only are the goats new, I am brooding 7 toulouse goslings in the house, have 24 juvenile chickens (six cockerels extra) I brooded in the house in April and May, and now the older cockerels are trying to figure out how to get the ladies to hold still long enough for some, er, "lovin". They don't care if it is an 18 wk pullet or a 10 week pullet. All pullets run like heck and scream. In all this, we've been fencing the whole property, built a goat pen, chicken yard and coops, and are trying to figure out where to put 7 tons of hay. Makes me grateful I DON"T have 100 goats! At least the exhaustion is pleasant and satisfying. I haven't slept so well in years I think.
     
  14. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

    Messages:
    2,045
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    It won't stop raining
    Yeah, what we have now (alfalfa) is from a feed store, so it's very dry/cured but aromatic. What we are getting baled on Tues is your basic pasture mix.

    It's good to know 7 tons will take care of a whole year of goat munching and then some! We got it for 70 bucks a ton, which I think is decent for around here.
     
  15. bare

    bare Head Muderator

    Messages:
    1,857
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Ya had me going with the 40 tons too! Even seven tons sounds like overkill. Typical Idaho alfalfa will run 20 to 27 bales per ton.

    You really want to look for second or third cutting though if you can find it. It is much leafier than first cutting. Your goats will end up wasting a lot of hay if you just feed regular hay. Remember, they are browsers, not grazers.