Storing hay that’s been rained on or baled before being thoroughly dried causes most barn fires. During this time switch the doe to a grassy hay (10-12% protein) as this will help to reduce milk production. Hay is particularly important if milk production is the main purpose of your goats. The author, Suzanne Gasparotto, hereby grants to local goat publications and club newsletters, permission to reprint articles published on the Onion Creek Ranch website under these conditions: THE ARTICLE MUST BE REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY AND THE AUTHOR'S NAME, ADDRESS, AND CONTACT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE REPRINT. Often, one or two goats drive others away from a feeding area, so you may want to make hay available in at least two locations in each goat area. Browse plants include brambles, shrubs, trees, and vines with woody stems. A goat feed with 12% - 18% protein is a good choice for milking Nigerian dwarf goats. International Subscribers - Click Here Very coarse hay or forage is not readily digestible by goats, so they prefer not to eat them. The goat's total diet should be 14-16% protein. For making a nutritious winter feed for your goats, you can cut ryegrass for hay and mix with red clover or other grasses. Straw . As long as it is digestible, a wide variety of plants and hays will be consumed. Like to read more content, Join the Mother Earth News Community Today! • Home Page • Email Us • SALE BARN • Present and Future • GoatCamp™ • Myotonic Goats • Tennessee Meat Goats™ • TexMaster™ Goats • Which breed is right for you? Hay is sold as first, second, or third cutting. (A copy of the newsletter or publication would also be a welcome addition to our growing library of goat related information! The hay will supply a lot of their nutrients and they will get the rest or fill up on the rest through the loose minerals you provide. First cut alfalfa hay has the reputation of having large tough stems, but this is only true if the hay was too mature when cut. They show their food preferences for grasses over clovers, fence lines and steep lands over flat, open areas and will eat the best in a wide area before covering the … We should have trusted our instincts when the small square bales were so heavy we could barely lift them into the truck bed, but deferred to the farmer we were buying from. Chaffhaye Chaffhaye is made by cutting early alfalfa or grass, chopping it, mixing it with molasses and a probiotic culture called bacillus subtilis and vacuum-packing it. Bottom line, this is a good sturdy goat hay feeder that holds up well with my bigger bucks or goats with horns intact. We’ve found the same to be true of hay, and it’s important to consider whether your hay has enough of the plant material goats will want. Overall hay quality is much more important than the specific type of hay. However, the producer must carefully and slowly increase the protein intake of a pregnant doe, gradually adding appropriate feed to her diet as her pregnancy progresses. For that reason, Alfalfa hay is a … account? Inadequate intake of water, along with overfeeding of grain, particularly regarding male goats, are the likely culprits in causing urinary calculi. Be prepared for hay waste -- goats like to eat some parts of the hay and let the rest drop out of their mouths. Goats require additional hay, which is roughage, for their rumen to function properly. over the summer. Buying from the local farmer, second cutting orchard hay runs about $7.50 a bale where I’m at. Browse that helps to be advanced in protein than general pasture during the early part of grazing season. ADF is a laboratory analysis that measures the cellulose and lignin levels in plants, and lignin is not digestible, so an acid detergent fiber measure that is low - below 35% - is preferable for goats. Straw, by contrast, tends to be the cut & dried stem material of harvested grains (such as oats or wheat) which aren’t particularly palatable. Lesson learned. Ammonium chloride should always be added to feed to guard against urinary calculi. If goats browse freely, they will remain free from internal parasites. The first cuts here in New Brunswick is crapy hay only good for summer hay with all day grazing but the 3,4,5 few cuts are best for vitimans because it's mostly grass. If you have to cut corners, save your highest quality hay for your gestating does, as their systems will need the biggest boost. Goats will eat a wide variety of plants so long as they are readily digestible. All information and photos copyright © Onion Creek Ranch and may not be used without express written permission of Onion Creek Ranch. We grew up in gardening families, without livestock. Each goat had gained 10 - 20 lbs. We raise as much of it ourselves as possible (through good pasture management), and work to buy the rest from a known, reliable source we trust. This helped prevent the stems … And once their hay hits the ground, they're not going to touch it. The first cuts here in New Brunswick is crapy hay only good for summer hay with all day grazing but the 3,4,5 few cuts are best for vitimans because it's mostly grass. This steel hay rack that clips to the fence with spring clips - or you can screw it into a wooden wall - holds two flakes of hay … We would appreciate notification from any clubs or publications when the articles are used. With this in mind, we’ve created our goat blends with the proper balance of forbs, legumes and grasses. Our team of rangeland experts has designed a goat pasture seed mix … Canadian Subscribers - Click Here It’ll give you the best chance to inspect the hay and understand where it came from (for example, you can try to collect bales from area furthest from neighboring spray-happy commodity fields), and the price will be lower because the grower didn’t have to collect and store it. You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues. A hay’s protein content and Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) should be below 35% for goats. When our farm was certified organic, this fit right into the required documentation of off-farm sourcing, but we also found it was a good way to initiate the conversation with a grower about how the hay was managed. Read all of Eric's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here. This varies depending on the maturity of the hay or alfalfa and the way that its cured and stored. Hay is the main source of nutrients for goats in non-grazing seasons, or all the time if they dont have access to browse. I hit upon the idea when one of our nannies presented us with four bouncing baby kids. There is no straightforward answer to this; it depends on your breed(s), climate, pasture quality, etc. Rapid increases in nutritional intake can also cause another serious problem . Small square bales: Traditional rectangular-shaped, string- or wire-tied bales are generally 2x2x4 feet and weigh between 40 and 100 pounds. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only). Grasses are the third link in this chain, but the key to grasses maintaining good nutritional levels is to graze them when they are young, succulent, and very digestible. Time and observation will help you learn the nuances of your own herd and location, but the questions and principles above will help guide your choices. Using alfalfa as a primary roughage should keep the protein level up. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. The narrow slats allow for easy access to the hay without goats feeling the need to put their entire head inside. In addition, goats selectively graze unwanted vegetation in pastures and forests, thus providing biological control which will reduce dependence on certain pesticides. A 14 to 18 percent protein concentrate should be fed to lactating does as well. The rumen is the first stomach compartment (rich in live bacteria) that begins to digest the fiber. The simple feeder shown here is easy to make, easy to use, and holds enough hay to feed 8 to 15 goats … . And a huge part, actually the most important part of your goat’s diet, is their hay. First cutting often has dry, overwintered weeds and grasses, may be coarser-stemmed, and is less likely to be fertilized. Water that is high in calcium and magnesium salts may also increase the probability of urinary calculi. Hay should be analyzed for protein content and acid detergent fiber (ADF). Today we are going to talk about the best antibiotics for goats, as well as the best pain medication for goats. Goats consume only the most nutritious parts of a wide range of grasses, legumes, and browse plants. Feeding Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats Forage. Hay is grass that has been cut and dried, then baled or collected to use as animal feed. An added benefit will be reduced expenses and more money in your pocket. Mature sheep can get by on good-quality grass hay, but lambs do better with a legume—harvested while still growing so that it … Sell the hay. For a farm like ours, which collects and composts its animal bedding for vegetable fertility, this is a serious concern, and we were writing about “killer hay” on our own site way back in 2008. Their growing season is longer than browse or forbs. Much of the nutrition in the grass is preserved in the hay, and it makes great feed for goats. Laminitis/founder often become chronic in goats who have been subjected to excessive feeding of grain and sudden ration changes. Again, try to learn as much as you can about your hay’s source and handling. Our team of rangeland experts has designed a goat pasture seed mix … If fiber levels are high, digestibility will be low, even if the protein level is high. The type of hay will directly affect the amount and quality of milk along with the percentages of butterfat found within. Then they add a culture of Bacillus Subtillis and vacuum seal it into a 50-pound bag. Immature grass hay or leafy alfalfa is usually the best feed for sheep. When we began raising dairy goats, we barely knew hay from straw. Goat are very selective, "picky" eaters, choosing only those hays and forages which will give them the nutrients they need. The long fiber lengths are necessary for this. Feed grassy hay to dry goats in good condition. A perfect diet for goats includes browse, forage, and grazing grasses, along with the necessary minerals designed for your area . Dry adult does, bucks and wethers can wind up with zinc deficiency if they get too much alfalfa. Thus you want your hay to have lots of leafy material in it compared to the amount of mature seed stalks and stems; a really bristly, stemmy hay is probably not going to be as good as a younger, softer-feeling hay. Goats were made to bro… Some growers test their own hay and have that information on hand for buyers, a good sign of a competent source. Poisonous plants that sneak into a batch of hay can have serious implications for herd health. Access to adequate amounts of browse and weeds ("forbs") is complicated by the fact that most are annuals, which grow from seed each year, live for a short time, flower, and die. The only goats that should have alfalfa are milkers or does that are nursing kids, as well as kids themselves and does in late pregnancy because they need lots of protein and calcium. good hay is limited. Since dietary needs vary from goat to goat and from season to season, when it comes to concentrates, the eye of the master fattens the goat. 12 Best Goat Feeds (Reviews) in 2020 . All artwork and graphics © DTP, Ink and Onion Creek Ranch. Grass Hay: 50%; Pasture: 25%; Grain: 20%; Treats: 5% or less; Hay. Timothy grass is a good alternative of alfalfa. I often hear the terms “hay” … Hi, thanks for stopping by. To dry the doe off it is best to reduce her production by withholding grain about one week prior to dry-off. Hay also needs to be dried properly in the field; hay that’s been baled too soon, while still moist, may start to hot-compost when stacked in a barn. Eric and his wife, Joanna, founded their homestead farm in 2006, within a narrow Ozark-style valley with diverse landscapes and ecosystems. Cattle and goats love pigeon pea, and the goats particularly like the bark of older plants, which suggests that this may be a good source of minerals for them. Some hay may have chemicals applied in the field or to the bale. Make certain the feed does not contain urea because it is toxic to goats. Your Copper Guide. Hot and cold: The rye is good in the early spring and the late cold season for the goat’s pastures. Since hay is not cheap, it is important to find a hay feeder that will cut down on waste. Buying from the local farmer, second cutting orchard hay runs about $7.50 a bale where I’m at. The products you are about to see have garnered positive customer feedback and offer great quality and reliability. With this in mind, we’ve created our goat blends with the proper balance of forbs, legumes and grasses. The milk molecule is built around protein. Goats require additional hay, which is roughage, for their rumen to function properly. Short an animal on protein and milk production declines, regardless of energy intake. During this time switch the doe to a grassy hay (10-12% protein) as this will help to reduce milk production. A leafy legume type hay is recommended for goats. Some people associate alfalfa hay with urinary calculi in bucks. They then cut it up into smaller chunks and spray it with molasses. . Milo, shell corn, and "sweet feed" (horse and mule) should not be exclusively used as goat feed. While alfalfa is high in its calcium to phosphorus ratio (from 3:1 to 5:1), this should not prove troublesome; a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of at least 2:1 is desirable. Hay for sheep and goats should contain more protein and be more digestible than hay produced for the dry, pregnant cow. And a huge part, actually the most important part of your goat’s diet, is their hay. Browse plants include brambles, shrubs, trees, and vines with woody stems. My question is if it's ok for them to just have the whole oats as their feed and if so how much is enough for them. The goats have gotten a taste of the oats and now pretty much pick the oats out of the goat chow and leave the pellets. Hay is the main source of nutrients for goats in non-grazing seasons, or all the time if they dont have access to browse. Wasted hay is wasted money on the farm and our goal is to waste as little money and hay for that matter as possible. If fiber levels are high, digestibility will be low , even if the protein level is high. Already a Member? If you go with alfalfa hay, often necessary for pregnant or milking does, it costs even more. They grow rapidly in the spring, but when mid-summer arrives, their growth slows; they can be grazed faster than they grow. We developed a relationship with a trusted grower who called us every year when baling season started, to arrange our usual pickup of hay on baling day. We’ve learned the hard way that not all hay growers are very biologically aware, and don’t always know what’s in their fields or why anyone would care. Not what your neighbors have or the guy in an article you read has, your goats. . don't have an online Suzanne Gasparotto is not a veterinarian.Neither tennesseemeatgoats.com nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein. They then cut it up into smaller chunks and spray it with molasses. It adds good bacteria to … THE ARTICLE MUST BE REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY AND THE AUTHOR'S NAME, ADDRESS, AND CONTACT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE REPRINT. They use their flexible tongues to strip the leaves off desirable plants, or the freshest tips of grass blades, but generally leave the stems or stalks of plants alone. Access to outside vegetation can reduce the amount of hay that it’s necessary to feed goats and the exercise is good for them. It has less weeds, is finer-stemmed, fertilized, and grown during the optimal growing season. The hay will supply a lot of their nutrients and they will get the rest or fill up on the rest through the loose minerals you provide. Ideally, you should buy hay freshly baled from the field in early summer. For example, we’ve been wary of introducing Johnson grass to our farm; this plant is common in our region, but we have so far avoided it. Rye can be applied without tilling in existing stubble grass and … good hay is limited. Hay quality relates to when it’s cut; most hay will contain the most nutrients when the plants are young and still growing. When lactation starts, the protein requirement of a goat more than doubles. Cows do best with longer stems....it makes the rumen function more optionally, but the shorter stuff will work. Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST). Second cutting is generally the preferred hay for goats. Producers having problems with urinary calculi may be feeding the wrong mix of grains to goats. As a working definition, hay is the cut & dried stem/leaf material of non-grain livestock-edible plants such as grasses and legumes. Chert Hollow Farm seeks to integrate food and farming into the ecosystem. Legume hays, such as clover and alfalfa, usually have more protein, vitamins, and minerals, particularly calcium, than grass hays. Because they are more digestible, browse and weeds are preferred by goats over grasses. Survival Skills, Garden Planning, Seed Saving, Food Preservation, Natural Health – Dozens of courses, 100+ workshops, and interactive Q&As. When given the chance, goats prefer to browse on shrub-like, broadleaf forbs over traditional pasture grasses. Then they add a culture of Bacillus Subtillis and vacuum seal it into a 50-pound bag. Feed grassy hay to dry goats in good condition. How Your Water is Affecting Your Goats. Many areas have poor quality or brackish water. What kind of hay is best for goats? Knew a farmer who took the side panel off the bush hog, so the hay would fly out the side as soon as the blades cut it. Moldy hay can make a goat sick and is also a fire hazard. This varies depending on the maturity of the hay or alfalfa and the way that its cured and stored. Our best supplier in terms of hay quality switched entirely to the GMO variety; in 2014 we didn’t buy alfalfa hay at all as we couldn’t find an acceptable source. We try to hot-compost all waste hay and animal bedding to minimize the risk of viable seeds getting through, but it’s best not to introduce them in the first place. A good hayfield, like a good pasture, may have enough grasses and legumes mixed together to provide an ideal hay in one package, but we’ve tended to buy alfalfa hay separately to ensure our dairy animals get enough nutrition during the winter. Watch them in a brushy pasture, and you’ll see that they don’t eat everything. That way everyone gets to eat. All information and photos copyright © Onion Creek Ranch and may not be used without express written permission of Onion Creek Ranch. Learn to adapt your feeding program to fit the locale where you are raising goats and the particular breed which you are raising. Grass hays with low ADF must be cut early, while the leaves are immature and the stems are very small. Does the hay have unwanted chemicals in it? If you can work ahead of time to identify a known source, all the better. Well, here's a simple solution to the expensive problem: try feeding goats from a horse's hay net! Proactive avoidance is important, as it’s not always possible to establish a direct link between bad hay and goat health. For making a nutritious winter feed for your goats, you can cut ryegrass for hay and mix with red clover or other grasses. Already a Member but Indeed, over-grazing can occur and actually cause them to disappear. It’s better to err toward too much than too little. Alfalfa is very high in protein relative to other hays. Humid summer weather conditions in some years encourage the growth of the toxic fungus ergot on grass seed heads. Goats are aggressive and agile feeders looking for the most nutritious fodder first, which they seem to recognize. Goats love to strew hay around, sleep in it, poop on it... in other words, they like to waste hay. The long fiber lengths are necessary for this. And for what it’s worth, goats generally will not eat hay off the ground. Bahia grass, Sudan grass, millet, a mixture of a grain grass, sorghum, grass and clover are the most pasture of goats. Like other livestock, the nutrient needs of these animals will vary, so match the hay you feed to their nutrient requirements. This steel hay rack that clips to the fence with spring clips - or you can screw it into a wooden wall - holds two flakes of hay … Hay should be analyzed for protein content and acid detergent fiber (ADF). Intrepid International Hay Rack-Wall Mounted This rack is a heavy-duty structure consisting of half … Goat Mineral Guide. laminitis . Weeds do tend to appear in first-cut hay. Here are some things we’ve learned to consider when sourcing hay for our herd. The main point here is to provide hay (and possibly grain) to best care for the individual goats that you have. Providing goats with a combination of alfalfa and grass hays along with the proper grain mix will bring the protein level up and insure that there is adequate roughage in the diet to stimulate the digestive action of the goat's rumen. Nutritionally alfalfa is the same regardless of whether it is pellets, cubes, or hay, but goats really need the long stem forage, such as hay, to keep their rumen working. • Health & Management ArticlesChevonTalk Discussion Group • Links • Registration • Meat Goat Mania •. Goat Mineral Guide. Even if hay is free of poisonous plants, it could introduce seeds of undesirable plants onto your farm. All artwork and graphics ©, Registry of Myotonics, Tennessee Meat Goats™ and TexMasters™. Ryegrass has many varieties. When given the chance, goats prefer to browse on shrub-like, broadleaf forbs over traditional pasture grasses. [Ranch History] [The Present & Future] [Meat Goat Mania][Registry of Myotonics, Tennessee Meat Goats™ and TexMasters™] [News & Events] [Health and Management Articles] [Links] [ChevonTalk Discussion List] [E-Mail] [Home]. , climate, pasture quality, etc ( and possibly grain ) to best care for the goat.... Goat Mania • nutritious fodder first, which they seem to recognize not readily digestible by goats, we alfalfa! To start buying hay for Sheep and goats should contain more protein and milk production guide... You go with alfalfa hay with enough protein to meet the needs these! Between bad hay and mix with red clover or other grasses possibly grain ) to care. Are the likely culprits in causing urinary calculi browse that helps to be fertilized in years... Canadian subscriptions: 1 year ( includes postage & GST ) only hay with urinary calculi requirements! Than too little typically thrive on a legume style of hay dry, pregnant cow © DTP, and. 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Consider when sourcing hay for our goats, so they prefer not to eat them hays include canary. The long run presented us with four bouncing baby kids Subscribers - Click here International Subscribers Click! Spring, but can mold easily in hay, as well as their nursing mommas typically on! And more created our goat blends with the percentages of butterfat found within Join the MOTHER NEWS... Forages which will reduce dependence on certain pesticides years encourage the growth of the information provided these... Own hay and have that information on hand for buyers, a good move on their part a diet. Goats with horns intact, trees, and browse plants include brambles, shrubs, trees, browse... Are raising goats and the nutritive value will be low, even if the protein level is high also a... Present when hay is not the best for all animals slashing heating bills growing... In most climates up into smaller chunks and spray it with molasses time switch the off! 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