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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!

We didn't realize our goats had such discerning tastes and are now stuck with quite a few bales of hay that seem too coarse or too dry, or too hot, too cold, or what have you.....none of which seem "just right" :(

Any quick fix for "softening" the hay?
What do people normally do when the goats don't seem to like the hay?

Our goats eat the fine/dust-type leavings of the hay that collect underneath...they even dig through to get at them, often throwing the actual hay stems out :(

We're using alfalfa hay...most likely, and unfortunately enough, 1st cuttings
 

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Goats usually don't like first cutting hay. You need 2nd, 3rd or 4th cutting.

Your first cutting hay will make great bedding.

There is no way to make them eat the stemmy stuff.
 

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Goats usually don't like first cutting hay. You need 2nd, 3rd or 4th cutting.

Your first cutting hay will make great bedding.

There is no way to make them eat the stemmy stuff.
We had a stack of first cutting and the goats loved it. Now we have a second cutting i think but ours arnt to picky with alfalfa.
 

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We didn't realize our goats had such discerning tastes and are now stuck with quite a few bales of hay that seem too coarse or too dry, or too hot, too cold, or what have you.....none of which seem "just right" :(

Any quick fix for "softening" the hay?
What do people normally do when the goats don't seem to like the hay?

Our goats eat the fine/dust-type leavings of the hay that collect underneath...they even dig through to get at them, often throwing the actual hay stems out :(

We're using alfalfa hay...most likely, and unfortunately enough, 1st cuttings
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for softening stemmy hay. You are pretty much stuck with it. If you have horses, I would suggest feeding it to them. Yes, that is typical goat behavior as they don't like stemmy hay. Although 1st cutting has a tendency to stemmier than 3rd or 4th, that is not always the case. You might want to look around for another hay producer that knows how to raise alfalfa. As for the stems, rake them up and throw them under their shed/barn for bedding.
 

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I think you guys would all turn me into animal control lol. I put hay out they get no more till most of its gone, they dont like it tuff. I for sure dont put up with the stemmy stuff since I have seen them eat on trees and they will eat a twig the size of my finger and I know they hay has got to be softer then that. Now Im sure your totally against what Im saying :) so what one guy did and I guess its a good idea was he got some molasses and put on the stuff that they left behind and cried about not wanting to eat. He said after he did that there was nothing left.
 

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Jessica84, truth be told, I've been known to do the same thing on occasion as long as the girls are not heavy bred. I try not to feed stemmy hay, but circumstances dictate otherwise on occasion. Stemmy hay is better than no hay. ;)

PS I applaud your honesty! Thanks. :)
 

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Our have learned to nibble at the stems, and they are mostly gone by the end of the day. A little tough love might help. Of course, I would probably break down and feed them more the second I saw their sad little eyes. :)
 

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Jessica84, truth be told, I've been known to do the same thing on occasion as long as the girls are not heavy bred. I try not to feed stemmy hay, but circumstances dictate otherwise on occasion. Stemmy hay is better than no hay. ;)

PS I applaud your honesty! Thanks. :)
lol, my friend who has VERY FAT SPOILED goats thinks i have no heart :) No I do agree though on the some circumstances, I have a doeling that I purchased that is young and surprise bred!!! so she does get spoiled, I get the stems she does not eat and feed to the others during feeding time lol.
 

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I know a lady in the area that raises Saanen goats and she rakes up the stems and feeds them to her horses. I support what works! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you can find a cattle rancher or dairyman that has a grinder. They may eat it ground.
I don't think we have ranchers/dairymen nearby, but we have tried using a shrub cutter and a blender ...it's generally worked in terms of grinding up the hay, but it takes foreverrrr to do a small batch....with 5 goats, each 'serving' is gone before we have a chance to walk back to the machine!
conclusion: not practical for us :(

I think you guys would all turn me into animal control lol. I put hay out they get no more till most of its gone, they dont like it tuff. I for sure dont put up with the stemmy stuff since I have seen them eat on trees and they will eat a twig the size of my finger and I know they hay has got to be softer then that. Now Im sure your totally against what Im saying :) so what one guy did and I guess its a good idea was he got some molasses and put on the stuff that they left behind and cried about not wanting to eat. He said after he did that there was nothing left.
Some of the goats do end up nibbling on the tougher stems if we leave them alone long enough, but I have a mother-daughter pair that will not stop crying, because oh the horror of having to put up with substandard hayyy! :hammer:

:cool: I will try the molasses!
...especially since we're not there yet with our budgeting that we can just throw the hay down for bedding :eek:

THank you, ALL, for your suggestions/input!

:book:
 

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Best thing you can do to save money and have less waste is to go with...ideally...a 3rd or 4th cutting alfalfa and get it from a farmer that knows what they're doing. If it's too dry and stemmy, the goats will waste a lot. I won't touch 1st cutting hay if I can help it...unless it's a baby hay field.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Best thing you can do to save money and have less waste is to go with...ideally...a 3rd or 4th cutting alfalfa and get it from a farmer that knows what they're doing. If it's too dry and stemmy, the goats will waste a lot. I won't touch 1st cutting hay if I can help it...unless it's a baby hay field.
We've absolutely learned our lesson this time!
 
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