Changing diet to keep costs down.

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by jaytori220, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. jaytori220

    jaytori220 New Member

    175
    Mar 24, 2009
    Melbourne, Fl.
    Prices are going up here and my goats waste a TON of hay. I must clean up about 1/2 the bale a week that is wasted! I pay $18 a bale for alfalfa that lasts me 6 days. At the moment they get free choice alfalfa, loose mineral, and 1/4 cup grain a day. I have 2 does and 3 wethers that are pets only. Since its not winter anymore I dont think graining is needed now. Im thinking of going with coastal bermuda hay or timothy alfalfa mix hay with alf pellets and beet pulp and no grain. But if I feed the coastal dont I have to add alfalfa pellets to balance the cal-phos? So if I feed the reccommened amount of 3 pounds per goat thats a ton of pellets at about $13 a bag. I would go through about 2 bags a week! Alot more then alfalfa hay. Do I have to feed 3 lbs per goat? Can I feed 1 cup a day each with beet pulp? Otherwise I guess the best option would be T&A hay and loose minerals only. I read somewhere that some alfalfa is good and very beneficial to all classes of goats. How and what do you feed to keep costs down?
     
  2. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    For my goats right now I feed the bermuda blend(alfalfa) pellet mixed with beet pulp pellet about a 2 gallon container mixed about 60/40 berm/beet every other day. and for when they are out of their pen they graze and get either alfalfa or bermuda hay free choice. their free choice only lasts about 3-4 hours a day plus they graze my yard and eat from the plants. I only feed grain to my milker and the baby right now. so for 3 adult goats(1 nubian, 2 ND) and the baby my basic feed is about $26 per month. the grain is seperate for the milker.
     

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    what breed, ages and gender - any pregnant (if you have does)? that all makes a difference on what their feed needs are
     
  4. jaytori220

    jaytori220 New Member

    175
    Mar 24, 2009
    Melbourne, Fl.
    They are all pets. Does are dry and I dont plan to breed them. 2 wethers are 1 year, 1 wether is about 2, 1 doe is older I was told when I got her about 7 or 8 and the other doe I dont know but shes not older. She may be around 2-5ish. Is there a way to tell the age of a goat? Like horses you can get an apprx by their teeth. I just got back from TFS and their prices are so high! Beet Pulp was almost $17 a 50# bag and so was alfalfa pellets! But it would last awhile if I dont have to feed much of either. Coastal was $7.50 and canadian T&A was 11.90. They dont carry orchard grass or O&A hay or that would be my definate choice.
     
  5. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    she meant are they Nigerian dwarves, nubian, alpine, boer...... if you dont know some pics will work :greengrin:
     
  6. jaytori220

    jaytori220 New Member

    175
    Mar 24, 2009
    Melbourne, Fl.
    LOL! I knew that! My eyes must be skipping sentances again and reading words that arent there again!... :doh: They are Nigerian and one wether is a ND/cross with something with long legs....you can see pics on my blogspot. I think the link is below in my sig.
     
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    a couple cups of alfalfa pellets is all they need twice per day - plus a little hay for some roughage.

    You can cut out grain....and just feed hay.

    When my girls are out of hay I put about 1-2 cups of alfafa pellets in each dish and I let them all have at it. They prefer hay but will eat the pellets and it does satisfy them.

    NEver used beet pulp so I cant tell you how much of that.
     
  8. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Beet pulp around here is $18 for a 40 lbs bag of the shredded with molasses. I have given up to a cup before, but I don't right now since it is so expensive. I mostly give it to my milkers and any hard keepers.
     
  9. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    Like I said here I get the beet pulp pellet, but today i noticed they are eating around it :( the boogers. so i will be returning to the bermuda blend(this is what is on the bag) the blend is an alfalfa/bermuda mix no grain in it. cost for it is 14 for a 55# bag. I feed about 3-4 lb every other day. plus the yard grazing. Luna gets the purina nobel goat dairy parlor 2# per day. I put a bail of alfalfa in the yard so when we let em out they can get what ever they want from that. The chickens tend to clean-up the waste.
     
  10. bheila

    bheila New Member

    644
    Jan 9, 2009
    Kent, Wa
    I don't know about changing their diet but we buy our hay directly from the farmer and we could buy grain/feed directly from the mill too. We only pay about 1/3 of what we would pay for hay from the feed store.
     
  11. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    For pets, I wouldn't give them that much food. Free-choice, mixed grass hay and maybe a little grain or alfalfa pellets just as a treat. Our does that are not pregnant or lactating do not get alfalfa but a free-choice mixed hay and no more than 1/2 cup grain 1x a day - I might give them a small treat of alfalfa hay, maybe once a week. It works for us, might seem like not enough food to some, but they are good-sized, not thin at all. ;) A good quality grass hay is key. We feed orchard/timothy, 2nd cutting.

    Maybe you could check your hay feeders? Some hay feeders are soooo wasteful! One of ours is and I need to fix it soon. The holes are too big and most hay falls to the ground.
     
  12. jaytori220

    jaytori220 New Member

    175
    Mar 24, 2009
    Melbourne, Fl.
    My old doe seems to get really thin behind her ribs where all the other goats look really good. I did up her grain during the winter and she seemed to put on weight and looked alot better. They have all been on alfalfa free choice since I brought them home so I think she just needed extra calories. Now that Ill be nixing grain and either grass hay or tim/alf hay and giving alfalfa pellets maybe I should give her beet pulp or alittle calf manna.
     
  13. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I second getting the hay from the actual hay farmer. Thats what I do
     
  14. jaytori220

    jaytori220 New Member

    175
    Mar 24, 2009
    Melbourne, Fl.
    I can only get orchard alfalfa. The only grass hay we can get here is straight coastal bermuda or timothy....coastal is only $7.50 but the timothy is $20. I wish I could get straight orchard. Its hard to find that here cause noone sells it. Tim/alf is only $11.90 for the canadian which is about an 80-20 mix.
     
  15. jaytori220

    jaytori220 New Member

    175
    Mar 24, 2009
    Melbourne, Fl.
    Wish I could. There are no farmers here. I live where you can only get hay at the local feed stores and they buy hay and have it trucked in from other states. The only thing grown here that I can get from TFS is coastal. But they grow it at the farms about 8+ hours away. Most of you live in pretty rural areas. I live close to the beaches of Florida kinda semi city like. Wish we had farmers closer....

    Feeding coastal with the alf pellets will cost me the same as feeding only T&A hay.
     
  16. redneck_acres

    redneck_acres New Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    Idaho
    I dont know about the beet pulp-but I know that when we have extra grain that the milkers wont munch on we feed it to the steers or bucks and it saves from having wasted grain. We also have had luck feeding the extra to the doelings. With the hay-after the does eat what they want and basically leave the stems-we feed those to the steers and bucks.
     
  17. jaytori220

    jaytori220 New Member

    175
    Mar 24, 2009
    Melbourne, Fl.
    Ok..So I decided to go with the T&A hay. At least it will be cheaper every mo nth for me and a better hay then bermuda because it is a timothy hay. Will the hay alone with the loose minerals be cal-phos balenced enough for them not to add anything else. Im gonna see how they keep condition with the loose mineral and tim/alf hay. If they start losing condition Ill add maybe calf manna or something. I have a doe thats a rolli polli and the other is thinner. If they start losing condition what should I do or add to the diet?
     
  18. Dreamchaser

    Dreamchaser New Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    Camp Verde, AZ
    My goats are on pasture, but it's short, so I feed them alfalfa pellets and sweet feed to condition them. I too was giving them hay, and it just gets wasted, and the quality is always changing, and it is more expensive than pellets. ($20 a bale here) And, feeding the pellets is more convienient, and less messy for me.
     
  19. Nupine

    Nupine New Member

    329
    Nov 13, 2007
    South Eastern Ohio
    WOW $18! We recently bought 200 bales of alfalfa, like horse and goat quality green leafy alfalfa [mixed with some grass] never wet, huge bales, for $3 a bale. It must really depend where you live. I would recommend switching to grass hay with grain. Maybe a little beet pulp and alfalfa pellets, if they really need it.
     
  20. jaytori220

    jaytori220 New Member

    175
    Mar 24, 2009
    Melbourne, Fl.
    Grass hay with grain is bad because the grass hay is higher in phos as is grain. Cal in alf with phos in grain balence things out. The reason alfalfa hay is expensive is that it comes trucked in. Im in Florida so alfalfa doesnt grow here. Coastal Bermuda grows here as well as the lower states and here sells for $7.50 at the feed store. I remember 20 years ago coastal sold for $4.25 and thats the cheapest Ive ever seen grass hay. I wonder if a handful of Calf Manna if needed would throw the ratio off too much? My goats have a nice shiny coat and Id hate for them to lose it.