Alfalfa pellets?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Kass, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. Kass

    Kass Well-Known Member

    267
    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    I have a 4 month old ND doe, and a 6 wk old Saanen/ND doe. Both are on free choice hay (not alfalfa hay) and a cup of grain each per day. This summer they will have some access to forage. I'm thinking of adding alfalfa pellets to their diets soon? Maybe half a cup alfalfa, half a cup grain, per day , each?
    How does that sound?
     
    Carl47 likes this.
  2. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    Alfalfa pellets are good. As they grow, you will add and change their diets based on what they are eating, development and whether they are preg. etc. I feed alfalfa pellets to all my lactating does as we can't get alfalfa hay.
     

  3. lada823

    lada823 Active Member

    209
    Apr 1, 2018
    Ohio
    I feed alfalfa pellets to all my goats. I have access to free grass hay (we just have to help bale it :D) so I supplement with alfalfa. Some people will tell you that bucks and wethers shouldn't have it but mine do and I've never had a problem. I feed the alfalfa in the evening and grain in the morning.
     
  4. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Is your 6 week old doe still on a bottle?

    I would leave the alfalfa pellets out "free choice" for them all the time. It's a great source of calcium and protein for them to grow. Keep good quality grass hay out free choice and the alfalfa pellets (plus loose minerals too).

    I wouldn't cut down their grain at all, they need a lot of protein for growing.
     
    Kass likes this.
  5. Kass

    Kass Well-Known Member

    267
    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    The breeder I got the 6 wk old from said that she was big for her age and didn't need to be on the bottle. I haven't seen her eat more than a dozen mouth fulls of hay/grass since she got here, and I haven't seen her touch the water at all. I would be willing to try a bottle, with whole cows milk, for a couple weeks. What do you think? Would she take it? Is cows milk fine? ( just a jug from the store) How much per feeding? I thought she would be fine without, but if it'll make a big difference I can try.
    Ill see what I can do about the alfalfa pellets. We bought a 50 lb bag of 12% sweet feed, just to find out it wasn't good for them, so a week later we got a 50lb bag of Dumor goat feed (for dairy goats and kids) which is I think the best we can get around here. Now we've got to get alfalfa pellets! The costs can add up fast! but it should last them a while...
     
  6. Kass

    Kass Well-Known Member

    267
    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    Also, I just got the 6 wk old yesterday. I think she was on 1 cup of grain a day at the breeders, but both times I fed her she only at a quarter of a cup.

    EDIT: I was just out with the goats for a while... the 6 wk old was eating hay, chewing her cud, and drank some water too! Not sure if this affects if she still needs be on a bottle or not...
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
    toth boer goats likes this.
  7. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Was the 6 week old dam raise or bottle raised prior to purchase?
     
  8. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Sweet feed may not be the very best super choice, but there is no reason not to feed it to them if you already bought it. Mix it half and half with the Dumor and use it up!
     
    ksalvagno, Iluvlilly! and lada823 like this.
  9. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
  10. Kass

    Kass Well-Known Member

    267
    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    she was dam raised, although the breeder said she wasn't drinking much anyway
     
  11. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Well that breeder must be watching her goats 24/7 then, impressive...

    Sarcasm aside, the breeder did you no favors. It's worth a try for the bottle, but I would just try it like 3-4 times over a couple days then quit if she won't take it. No need to add more stress as this time in her life. Get a Pritchard teat and use the whole cows milk heated to 102*F (hotter than for humans).

    In the future, 6 weeks is FAR too young to wean any goat, especially larger breeds. I wouldn't recommend buying from breeders that do that.

    If she takes the bottle that would be super great! I would offer 8 ounces twice a day for now until her body adjusts to cows milk. Then maybe you could weigh her to get a better quantity? You can hold her on your bathroom scale then subtract your own weight.
     
  12. 21goaties

    21goaties Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2018
    Southern GA
    :lolgoat:
     
  13. Angel A

    Angel A Active Member

    126
    Apr 4, 2020
    North Idaho
    Make sure when trying to get them to take the bottle you turn their head upright and you have to kind of cradle the bottle in their mouth. If they are not in the normal position for nursing it’s usually harder to get them To take the bottle.
    Once they get the hang of it they will usually mow you over to get that bottle.
    I would also mix the sweet feed into the grain, and black oil sunflower seeds as well. They need loose minerals and baking soda too.
    We always search Craigslist and buy our feed from businesses on there. Ours is a 6 grain non gmo blend.
    Good Luck!
     
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  14. goathiker

    goathiker I'm watching you Staff Member Supporting Member

    According to the National Dairy Association any goat kid weaned under 4 months of age has been weaned early and needs superior supplementary feeding.
     
    ksalvagno, Angel A and Iluvlilly! like this.
  15. Kass

    Kass Well-Known Member

    267
    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    Wow! I didn't know that!
     
  16. Angel A

    Angel A Active Member

    126
    Apr 4, 2020
    North Idaho
    Don’t feel bad, I’ve sold kids before than too, not realizing this. They weren’t dairy goats, but I’m definitely going to look into this because I don’t want anyone thinking I’m a bad breeder. There is so much to know and learn about goats, and it constantly changes too.