Best equipment i ever bought (recently anyway ;-)

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by zoomom, May 21, 2010.

  1. zoomom

    zoomom New Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    I was watching DH mowing our 4+ acres, and seeing how much grass was left behind (due to rain, he couldn't mow as frequently as he wanted, and the grass was a bit long, approaching hayfield proportions) and I started raking it up for the goats. Hard work, so i started thinking about the old push-style grass sweeper we had as a kid, mentioned it to my dad, and he found one advertised in the local paper. (First he found one on craigslist but someone beat me to it - they are hard to find now b/c they are the latest 'green' product) My dad found one that hooks on the back of our mower - so now the goaties have tons of grass, and i have less work to do, and DH is happy that there are not piles of grass all over his precious lawn.

    Anyone try this - and should i let it dry, or feed it fresh? And how on earth did people used to store the hay they cut for their animals before baling machines?
  2. ZipperDoo

    ZipperDoo Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    Good question! I don't know, but I would like to know the answer. So consider this a shameless bump on your behalf. :)

  3. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    in small amounts fresh is fine... as long as its free of chemicals and junk... maybe do both
  4. ZipperDoo

    ZipperDoo Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    Just out of curiosity, how is offering them fresh clipped grass any different than allowing them to have free access to pasture..? Why only a small amount of the fresh clippings?
  5. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    I am thinking maybe because if they are not used to being on pasture it could upset their tummy?? Not sure --- when I am home F-Su, mine get turned loose and I feed nothing but fresh graze grass / weeds - but during the week they get grass/timothy/brome cross hay
  6. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I know you never give grass clippings to horses because it is full of moisture and very dangerous, can cause colic or other issues. That's why hay is left to dry for some time before baling. If gathered up fresh, it's wet and begins to rot and decompose very quickly.

    I personally would never give mowed clippings.
  7. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I have an area of the field that isn't fenced for the goats that gets pretty high, I use my grandpaps mowing scythe(picture the grim reaper), let it lay where it falls, turn it once to dry completely then rake it into "rows"...the area is too small to get any equipment into so after raking into rows I take those burlap type plastic feed sacks and start cramming them full, packing as I go, tie the end with twine and I have my own-made bale of mixed grass hay.

    As long as the mower doesn't have mulching blades...the kind that will sorta grind the grass clippings....Giving small amounts to the goats wouldn't be bad, but if yours are anything like mine, if it's right in front of their face they act like pigs, if they have to work for it they tend to pace themselves.
  8. K-Ro

    K-Ro New Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Like Liz, we have one small pasture that we mow, then I rake it into rows let it dry, turn it to dry again, then I bag it up and store it in the barn to feed to them.

    Now, the neighbors sometimes make fun of me or wander thru the pasture to talk and see exactly what I am doing, but I don't see them volunteering their hay equipment either, lol
  9. zoomom

    zoomom New Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    We had a scythe. The handle broke and we haven't been able to find one at a reasonable price. (i'm sure someone has an old one laying around in their barn that they have forgotten about, eventually we'll find another one)

    I will try drying it. I already gave DH heck for leaving a big pile on the lawn - the inside was burning hot. I told him two big armfuls for the goats and the chickens can have the rest - they scratch it around and their yard is bare anyway. I notice that the goats nibble on their pile, and when they are all done, they all roll around in it, spreading it out - and then of course they won't eat it b/c it is 'dirty'. I am still giving them hay, but they are eating less of it now.

    I was bringing them out on grass every day - started with 15 minutes, working up to an hour, so they are used to fresh grass. But i ran out of time to walk goats every day - at least until my garden is put in, and the raspberries trellised, and i have spent the last week trying to reclaim an old grape arbor, and planting a bunch of other trees - by the end of the day i am worn out, and in no mood to deal with goats trying to trip me up on leashes (i have great sympathy for dogwalkers now). When i did take them out, they kept going after the dried grass clumps anyway :) We don't use any pesticides or chemicals on the lawn. I think we do have a mulching mower, but when the grass is long, it doesn't really chop it up all that well.

    Just as a question, i thought the ruminants could have some moldy/fermented stuff (although i would avoid it) b/c isn't that what silage is? I know horses are sensitive to it, but i thought cows, goats, sheep could eat it. I have to say though, one of my daughters' friends has sheep and when i went to drop off my daughter one night for a sleepover (in early March), everyone was in the barn, so i went in an was horrified to see the sheep eating moldy (like black mold) hay. (also a bit taken aback that about 8 kids were wandering in and out of the sheep pens, a couple just wearing t-shirts and barefoot, picking up brand new lambs like they were stuffed toys.) And the parents were nowhere around. I already told my daughter that when my goats have kids, that will NOT be happening - baby animals are not toys. I doubt my goats would touch moldy hay - they wouldn't eat that other hay that I got last time around - just screamed for pellets every time i went in the barn. Luckily i was able to get the kind they liked from the farmer last week. I think goats are smarter than sheep. :laugh:
  10. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    No goats are just as sensitive to mold as horses. I know a gal who free choiced a moldy bale and came out to find several dead goats around the bail. So I definately don't feed any moldy or dirty hay to the goats. I hear that the white mold can kill them pretty easily if it's on the bails.

    For the grass clippings. They need to be fed right after they're cut or when they are fully dried. The grass starts to furment once cut and can cause illness or death if they eat to much.
  11. zoomom

    zoomom New Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    Thank you everyone for the advice. I (and the goats) really appreciate the help.