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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been offered a nice field of hay ... mixed grass types, mostly Rye and Timothy... and quite a bit of red clover. Is red clover considered a legume like alfalfa ? Any concerns in feeding hay with red clover mixed in to my wethers ? I'd think they like the taste and it might add a bit more protien ... what say you ?


Mike
 

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Clover is a legume hay, like alfalfa. It's perfectly safe to feed red or white clovers, but they do have a lot of estrogen in them which can do some funny things to milk goats. But as a mix it should be fine.

Alsike clover is toxic, however. It's white and has a pointed leaf, unlike the typical "clover leaf" shape.

See http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/forage/alsike/alsike.htm for drawings of all three clovers. Alsike is really easy to tell apart from the others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's not Alsike... it's definitely red clover. I thought it was a legume... so it's not as risky to feed goats like alfalfa ? I suspect it would increase the protien in the hay some which isn't all together bad. And I suspect that although there appears to be quite a bit of clover in the field it just stands out more with all the color etc. ... I know the boys sure like it.

I didn't want to get into gray areas like feeding the boys alfalfa/hay mix... which I was told isn't always a good idea as it may boost the Cal/Phos level out of whack.

Thanks for the answer...
 

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Unfortunately, legume hay is legume hay, whether it's clover or alfalfa and as a legume is subject to the cal:phos ratio issues.

So, it will need to be fed mixed with some grass hay and some grain to balance out all the ratios. It's not a simple thing, like we'd all like it to be.
But if you are feeding kids and you feed all three items you will probably be fine. It's the adults that need less protein but they are still subject to the laws of cal:phos. ;)
 
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