Alfafa Pellets

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by GSFarm, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. GSFarm

    GSFarm New Member

    312
    Oct 6, 2007
    Fairview, TN
    To make a long story short -

    I have had the WORST luck with hay the past two winters. Last winter it caused three of my does to abort. This year it's all moldy, low quality hay. With the drought we really can't afford to buy anymore hay because it's sooo expensive.

    I have heard of people supplementing alfalfa pellets for hay. Everyone I've heard of that does it has good luck. I've done some research. I found out it would be about half as much as hay - money wise. It also leaves a smaller chance of mold and no waste. Does anyone have any hints or feeding suggestions? Does anyone know how many lbs of alfalfa pellets = hay lbs?
    Has anyone had any problems with it?

    Thanks
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  2. fritzie

    fritzie New Member

    751
    Oct 6, 2007
    TENN
    i know in tn there is a lot of fescue hay & that can cause a doe to aport or have very thick sacs. it also can cause them to dry up. so far i have been able to get hay around here. i feed the pelletts but only as a top dressing for the does.
     

  3. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    I'm not sure, but isn't there a hay replacer called Chaffaye? or chaffhaye? I forget what its called. It's like alfalfa chaff with molasses on it and they say it makes a really good hay replacer.
     
  4. enjoytheride

    enjoytheride New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Humboldt Co Ca
    I have fed alfalfa pellets to my two boer does without any other hay for periods of time- they did fine on it especially while their was forage for them too. When the forage stopped, I cut the pellets back and used hay again.
    I fed them three pounds of pellets each day in two seperate feedings which was actually less that the pounds of alfalfa hay I was feeding. Since alfalfa is just compressed hay, I would think that whatever pounds of hay they were eating would be the same (or a little less) for pellets. The one thing I did find out is that they liked smaller pellets best- the larger ones where spit out more often than not.
    I heard that you need to be careful to use true hay pellets ofs things like rabbit pellets have bad things in them for goats. Also there are two brands of pellets here- both say just alfalfa on them but they love one brand and are much more reluctant to eat the other- they like the more expensive one of course. So I would try a bit first. Also here you can get timothy hay pellets too and orchard grass pellets.
    I also add a small bit of wholeoats to the pellets as it helps with the phospherous/calcium ratio. They have done fine on this but like all changes I do it slow.
     
  5. GSFarm

    GSFarm New Member

    312
    Oct 6, 2007
    Fairview, TN
    The local co-op sell a very good brand of alfalfa pellets as well as some sort of grass hay pellet. I'll check it out
     
  6. Sweet Gum Minis

    Sweet Gum Minis New Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Easley, SC
    Last winter we ran out of hay so we switched to a all in one horse pellet for the goats main grain and alfalfa pellets to replace the hay. My goats did great on it! This year we have a little hay (and we only feed coastal burmuda) so we've already switched to alfalfa pellets as well. Goats love them and they do very well on them.

    We also have a dry lot, no real roughage so this is what they get. Right now since we have hay I have been giving about a cup per doe. If the time comes to switch completely without hay then I'll up it a little, probably 1.5 cups per doe unless she's nursing. I'll adjust it as needed by the does conditions.
     
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I found that if I switched over to quickly they got soft stools so introduce the pellets into their diet just like you would anything else - slowly.
     
  8. alyssa_romine

    alyssa_romine Breaking Dawn Ranch

    Oct 4, 2007
    arkansas
    I feed fescue hay and don't have any problems. As long as you have a mineral that is high in selenium and copper, then you should be fine feeding fescue hay.
     
  9. GSFarm

    GSFarm New Member

    312
    Oct 6, 2007
    Fairview, TN
    You're in the same boat I am. My pens are just dirt and rock. Over the next few years I want to do all I can to get enough money to get a few acres on the edge of town of just grassy hills.
     
  10. Muddy Creek Farm

    Muddy Creek Farm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Keokuk, Iowa
    I have a large wooded pasture - so they get some forage. Although I wouldn't count it as part of their diet. That is good to know that I could use Pellets in a crunch.
     
  11. goatstafson

    goatstafson New Member

    34
    Nov 19, 2007
    I am seriously thinking about switching over to pellets too. I have enough hay to make it through the winter, it I am extremely careful and our grass starts growing quickly. But if things don't go just perfectly, I will be in trouble!

    I am really tired of paying an arm and a leg for hay and then at least half of it being wasted on the ground. I have nice hay racks, but it still gets wasted. Seems like it would be mush more cost effective to buy the pellets.
     
  12. fritzie

    fritzie New Member

    751
    Oct 6, 2007
    TENN
    alyssa when i first came to tn my does had trouble kidding that year & there sacks were so thick that you could not see what was in it. the vet said it was from the fescue & that once they got use to it they would be fine. i do have a high quality minerals out free choice alonge with free choise baking soda.
    when i was in TX's there where alot of the breeders that feed the chaff hay. i tried it but mine didn't care for it. i have been lucky finding hay here. i just found a guy that has it shipped in from NY & he isn't to far away. it is alot easier for me with the square bales & he will have them all the time. he is getting $5.50 a bale(not bad for this area) & the goats love it.