Alfalfa Pellets...take two

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by pennylullabelle, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    Okay, so many people feed pellets because of cost of hay or to help increase milk production.

    Hay is pretty decent here. About $8.00 a bale. But I am wondering if I could add pellets to help with weight...

    I feel like my goats are loosing weight slowly. Everyone is on grain (about a cup each, I am working towards a 6:1 ratio of commercial grain to BOSS. I currently have Purina but want to try Dumor). They're hay feeders are never empty, though if you asked them they are starving because I leave the stems in the feeder for them to munch on after they've eaten all the leaves and flowers. And everyone is wormed and otherwise healthy...I just feet like they are slimming down :shrug:

    Would pellets help them maintain good weight? What if I switched from Alfalfa to mix, which I had planned on doing anyway. Will grass help them keep weigh ton better. I know my horses get fat from just smelling grass hay!

    No one is boney, I am just being an over careful mom. Let me know your opinions!
     
  2. GotmygoatMTJ

    GotmygoatMTJ New Member

    Purina doesn't really have a good reputation anymore. Its not as good for the goats as it says.
    What I think would be better for you, is to just try a feed mix that is not name brand. Something that you get the feed store to mix for you. Our feed store here mixes our feed mix for us, but we have to buy it in bulk(1000lbs). We do have the BOSS in ours also.

    Im not trying to market this product, but I have mentioned it on here before. Fastrack. It is a microbial feed supplement powder that you sprinkle on their feed. You WILL see a difference in your goats after it gets into their system after 2 weeks of using it. I have never been more proud to show off my goats since I used it. Goats could come to me skinny, not shiny and kind of scraggly and after a month with me and the Fastrack, they looked 100% better then when they first came. It isnt cheap, at first, but when your goats get it into their system, slowly they will cut back their feed intake and you will notice them feeling better and gaining weight. The Fastrack allows them to absorb more of the nutrients in the feed. If you want to, just PM me and I will give you the number of the distrubutor I get it from. :) She can tell you alot more about it. ;)
     

  3. DebMc

    DebMc Member

    845
    Dec 10, 2009
    I switched my Angoras over to tim pellets mixed w/a low protein senior equine feed and they are doing great and have put on a little needed weight. None of my goats will eat grass hay and alfalafa, I'm told, is too high in protein for them. I transitioned over to the pellets before Thanksgiving per the recommendation of the breeder of my doe kid and of a neighbor who raises Navajo Churros and Jacob's sheep. I give my goats each a cup of goat chow with each of their twice daily feedings, plus lots of treats (unsalted peanuts in the shell and carrots). In addition, they get a bushel or two of clippings every week, mainly dodoneas, mallow and other shrubs. We don't let the girls free browse because their fleeces tangle in the brush so easily, turning them in giant briars. The tim pellets are highly concentrated so a little goes a long way, and mixing it w/the low protein senior equine feed makes it palletable. Yes, my goats are finnicky eaters. :laugh:

    Deb Mc
     
  4. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    Just wanting to second the post about Fastrack. It is great stuff! Like mentioned, it takes a bit to get in their systems but when it does, your goats will not be eating as much but will look much better. Our Rosasharn girls were all scraggly with dull, course coats when we got them just over a month ago. They are now UTD on copper, selenium and all that other good goat stuff (so we'd see improvement anyways) but they are on Fastrack and their coats are becoming super soft, they are also putting on weight gradually. They also do not go through as much hay. Anyways, it's great stuff. I am able to get it at our local feed store now, thankfully. Used to have to order and have it shipped.

    Oh, forgot to say that if you can get your goats to eat the pellets, it's great. Some of ours love pellets, others will not touch them. We give a mix of timothy, orchard, and alfalfa pellets. I buy all three 50 lb. bags and mix them together, putting a large handful on their grain at least once a day. Then they get free-choice hay the rest of the day/night.
     
  5. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    The only time I feed my adult (over 1 yr) goats any grain is when they are lactating or in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy. All they are getting at the moment is good grass/alfalfa mix hay. Most non-producing goats should be able to maintain good body condition on quality hay alone.
     
  6. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    I think the weight thing is all in my head. It's cold, they are wasting less because the new hay feeders I built work so well (I feeding HALF as much hay...), and because I worry about my young girls being in with my seniors. As soon as it stops raining/snowing I plan to split my stalls up a bit to give the young-ins a pen of their own until they can hold their own against the seniors.
    All of my goats are on grain at the moment. My whethers are under a year. My buck is copper and selenium deficient (he was in a pet home before I got him, they didn't even know he required a mineral supplement) so I have him on grain that I dress with sweetlix, plus he has free choice minerals. Two of my seniors are due at the begining of March and one due in April. So, they are on a small amount of feed. Then my junior does are both under a year.
    I went out and bought a sack of pellets. It costs as much as the hay, but I wouldn't replace hay with pellets. They do need to have roughage in their rumen at all times. I filled some feeders in their stalls with the pellets and they all went for them. Each goat ate a few bites, but retired to the fresh alfalfa flakes in their feeders. I wasn't too worried about it. It's in there for the if they want it, and the young does are the ones who are the most interested - and probably need the pellets the most right now.
    The other thing I did was mix my grain up a bit. I mixed about 10 lbs of Purina Goat Chow - what I had left - with a bad of mare and foal 300 (again, Purina). After that I added a 6:1 ratio of BOSS. I combined it well and just gave everyone a handful. I will work them onto the new mix slowly. The reason I did this instead of keeping them on their current amount and introducing the new foods slowly is because I only have 4 grain containers - and the mice will inhale anything I don't put in a feed contained. But I only had 1 available...with 3 kinds of feed...so I did the mix, and now just need to give everyone time to get use to it.
    I don't plan on adding the goat chow anymore. Now even sure if I will use the mare and foal 300. Everyone who agrees Purina is not fantastic is right - it's like Pedigree dog food - that stuff is junk!! Just garbage for dogs. Sure, they can live off of it, but that doesn't mean it is good for them. I got the mare and foal because Purina is the only brand my feed store carries and I am not comfortable enough to mix my own feed - they don't mix feed there. Plus, I'd have to buy minimum 50lb sacs of a few different types of feed and my grain containers only hold 100 lbs of feed....you get the idea...
    I'm going to see how we do on this mix and consider using Dumor (nearest place that carries it is Tractor Supply 2 hrs away) possibly mixed with Manno Pro and BOSS. Or...the mare and foal mixed with Manna Pro and BOSS...I am still researching. Keeping in mind I am only feeding 8 head and so more then 100 lbs of feed at a time is a waste - I don't have the space for it either.

    As for the Fastrack...where do you buy it from? Feed store doesn't carry it. Tractor Supply? I can make a trip there once a month or so and stock up on what I need. Any alternatives? Goatzilla (Kentucky Performance Products) and Goat Balancer (Manna Pro) seem to be roughly the same thing. Or am I just reading labels wrong?
     
  7. RowdyKidz

    RowdyKidz Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    NW Ohio
    I LOVE Fastrack. It IS amazing! :greengrin: My local TSC has it, but I'm not sure about other locations. :? I'd *think* they have it where you are but, IDK.
     
  8. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    you need to be a distributor to sell Fastrack -- I happen to be a distributor of Fastrack -- I can give you some info on it if you like but what was posted is the basic info, I like it, regret taking my goats off it and will never be without it again!

    its 24.85 for a 5lb bag which for your goats should last you around 3 months or more.

    You feed it once a day mixed in with their grain.

    The benefits include: feeding less as the animal (horse, cow, goat, dog, cat etc) is able to absorb more of what it eats, their skin and coat are softer and healthier, they are over all much healthier, able to fight off disease as it aids their immune system. No its not a miracle but it certainly is helpful. It is all natural and safe for even you to eat
     
  9. Herebegoats

    Herebegoats New Member

    21
    Dec 29, 2009
    If they are dry and pregnant does and you are free choicing good quality hay I wouldn't think they need much grain at all? I feed mine 1lb/day when they are dry of Purina Noble Goat Dairy Parlor pellet. Remember you don't want them TOO Fat going into kidding or that can cause all sorts of metabolic problems. I supplement my goats hay with a 50/50 mix of beet pulp (dried) and alfalfa pellets once a day when they are dry and twice a day when they are milking. They get a measured amount though, that mix is too pricey to feed free choice! :roll: With the addition of beet pulp (goats LOVE IT) I also see an increase in milk production. BP is all fiber and energy.

    Kelley
     
  10. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    I have heard a lot about using beet pulp. I plan on trying it when the girls are in milk. I'll also add alfalfa pellets, wet it down, and feed it that way. Thanks for the tip!
     
  11. Dreamchaser

    Dreamchaser New Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    Camp Verde, AZ
    I feed mine alfalfa pellets. But I also live in a dry climate. I have spoken with someone who bought alfalfa pellets, and their goats would not eat them. After putting them under a black light, they noticed mold on the pellets. They live in a very moist climate though.

    I really like Farm Brothers pellets (I dunno if that is the exact brand). :ponder:

    Side note: I have to get some of that fast track stuff. Need more info! :D
     
  12. 3pygmymom

    3pygmymom New Member

    134
    Nov 16, 2009
    Lancaster, PA
    My girls I noticed are not eating as much hay, they get one cup of grain a day at their night feeding. We are using purina but I think I am going to switch back to Dumor and mix with a little bit of boss. Where can I find the beet pulp? Oh both are pregnant, i checked them and I could feel fluttering on the right side, I am excited but they are both under a year. Allis looks like a dwarf she is older than casey but is definitely smaller. They are half sisters, I got Allis at 9 weeks and when we picked her up casey had just been born the day before. Also I would like to try the alfalfa pellets, should they be available at the feed store? I get my feed at tractor supply. I'm still kind of new and working my way through this...........thanks!
     
  13. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    3pygmy - most of us are still hashing things out, even those of us with year of experience. I have been working with livestock my whole live and all of my education, yet I am still hashing out what is and isn't good for my goats. It took me years to get my horse nutrition down and even then I am still learning!

    The beet pulp and alfalfa pellets are usually available at most feed stores. I shop at a local store (I'm big on supporting local businesses and do so whenever I can). But I have seen both products at Tractor Supply.

    From what I have been able to gather it's a good idea to add BOSS no matter what feed you have. A ratio between 6:1 and 8:1 is a good idea (feed to BOSS). I am LOVING the Purina Mare and Foal 300 and definitely recommend it (yes, for goats lol). But from what I have been told and read Dumor is better then Purina in terms of goat feed.