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Old 08-07-2010, 07:04 PM   #1
rocky_ridge_goats
 
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Default Hay + Goat + Winter = How much?

How many pounds of quality hay should a goat be given over winter? Does anyone have any suggestions to what kinds of hay work best with their goats?

Thanks for all of the help!



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Old 08-07-2010, 08:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hay + Goat + Winter = How much?

I have only wethers and I feed my guys a mixed grass with just a bit of alfalfa in it and they do great, but they are only wethers......Mine are so spoiled rotten and don't really like to browse for their food, their browsing is more for their entertainment , but with 4 boys I go through about 2 of the small square bales a week....a bit more in the winter.....I also grain them a small amount in the winter......We have it figured that we buy about 120 or more square bales a year.....my boys will not eat first cut either.



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Old 08-07-2010, 09:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hay + Goat + Winter = How much?

Estimate about 5 lbs per goat per day. 50lb bale would feed one goat for around 10 days. If you have minis you could probably go with about 3lbs per goat per day.

I like Alfalfa/Grass mix best for goats. 30-40% alfalfa is good for mantainence for all goats. I like to feed milking does about 60%-80% alfalfa.

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Old 08-08-2010, 02:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Hay + Goat + Winter = How much?

I remember talking about this a while back, as I've thought a lot about winter as well. I keep telling my husband we need to start getting hay now before it gets really expensive.

We have 10 goats right now, and may have babies around Christmas <not really ideal....>. We'll buy about 4 large round bales, and as many square bales as we can fit in our sheds and the top of their barn.
The round bales are real nice to have, but you have to make sure they don't eat from the bottom and it fall over on them! We put ours on a pallet, cover it with a tarp, and my husband also put chicken wire around it so they are forced to eat from the top vs. eating from the bottom. When a bale gets broken down, we'll tear it apart and have pallets arranged like a box in our back stall, and all the loose hay from the round bales go in it, and that's what I fill up their hay rack with.
We don't have alfalfa right now, timmothy/mix is what we have, but we'll end up getting alfalfa to mix with the timmothy rolls and keep that in the hay racks. We figure this will give them plenty of nutrition from the hay.
Of course they'll all have their grain in the winter.

I am ready for the summer heat to go somewhere else, but admit, I am NOT ready for winter.

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Old 08-08-2010, 06:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hay + Goat + Winter = How much?

I have 9 mini goats of varying age....3 does are normally bred in October and my 3 boys get the same type of alfalfa/mixed grass hay.
I am fortunate enough to have storage for a winters supply so I start now getting it in. From May to September, all goats get hay in the morning...a flake for the boys and 2 flakes for the girls, they browse the rest of the day so a bale will last for about 6 days...when it's raining they get hay in the afternoon too. October to the end of November when the browse isn't as good they get hay 3 times a day( 2 flakes am/pm for does with 1 flake in the afternoon, bucks get 1 flake 3x a day in separate feeders) December to April I fill racks full in the morning and the late afternoon...I can go through 1 bale a day pretty quick in the winter months. I figured out that from late August to the end of April I use 175 bales, these are the small square bales that might go around 40-50 pounds.

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Old 08-08-2010, 11:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hay + Goat + Winter = How much?

Remember that each bale of hay can weigh different. I think it would help if instead of saying "one bale", add in how much that bales weighs. My bales can weigh anywhere from 40-70 pounds each depending on who baled it and what type of hay it is.

This winter I will find out how much my two adult goats will go through. I am feeding an alfalfa/grass mix. Alittle more grass in some, a little more alfalfa in others. My bales will weigh around 60lbs each. Also second cutting as his first cutting was thick stemmed. You will want 2nd or 3rd cutting hay as the stems are smaller and easier to eat. Horses will get round bales as they are in pasture, goats will get square bales as they will be penned up.

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Old 08-09-2010, 11:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Hay + Goat + Winter = How much?

Thanks so very much!

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Old 08-11-2010, 02:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: Hay + Goat + Winter = How much?

This is very good information. Thanks all for sharing.



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