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Just visited a horse barn where they feed oat hay exclusively. No grass or alfalfa, just free choice oat Hsy and the horses were nice and fat. Foes anyone use oat Hsy got their dairy goats? It's priced about the same as grass hay where I live and that about 40% less than alfalfa.
 

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I just started feeding my goats oat hay. I was reading on line that there is not much protein, so I don't know what else to feed them. I would like to get away from alfalfa. I live in the Pacific northwest, I think that would make a difference on what is available to purchase.
 

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^^^ put proteine tubs out ;) The only ones that get alfalfa are does getting ready to kid, nursing and growing kids, the rest when i do feed hay get oat hay. I get the tubs from tractor supply for $60 for 250lbs and right now it lasts 60 does and 43 kids 2 weeks, and I dont think my goats are lard butts, well a few are lol, but I think they are nice and healthy.
 

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I've fed oat hay to my goats, but I've found that they don't like it and won't eat it if it's stemmy. I would suggest making sure the hay you are considering does not have a lot of big stems. Bear in mind that oats only have about 11% protein and very little energy. They are more fiber, so you will need to supplement heavy bred/nursing/milking does with a higher protein feed or protein tubs.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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It takes a good knowledgeable grower to produce a quality oat hay. Harvested to early to late and its no better then feeding straw. Its lower in protein for sure. We feed nothing but dairy quality alfalfa year round. But that because we have high production does averaging 1 1/2 to 2 gallons a day. This kinda production needs a high quality high protein hay to back it. AND then after they are dried off, we continue to feed the same alfalfa as it helps to get them back into condition to breed and then to grow babies :) So for us, there isnt a time during the year our does dont need it.

So if you do try the oat hay, buy a few bales and see how your animals like it, how you like, is it to dry or dirty? Does it look more like bedding then feed? If say after a week everything is all good, then maybe decide then.
 

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My goats as far as I know has been the only ones known to man kind that love their oat hay over alfalfa lol. But Im telling you right now if you change from alfalfa even if its awsome oat hay they are going to act like you cut their throat. Another hay you could look into that might be cheaper then alfalfa, its not here but maybe for your guys is wheat, it is better then oat hay. And if you guys just have a few goats a, I belive its called a fodder, basically its like a rack that you grow grow hay on then pull it off and feed it to them green. It doesnt look all that hard to make and I tried to cut down those protein tubs I talked about and plant some in those, but the chickens found it :(
I know Im way off topic but some ideas for you guys :)
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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but im telling you right now if you change from alfalfa even if its awsome oat hay they are going to act like you cut their throat. S :)
lol :) totally agree. If I ever dared to put something other in alfalfa in the feeders I am pretty sure I would end up with pee in my shoes everyday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I 'll go buy a few bales and see how they like it . I do remember them eating dome of the wheat straw I bought for bedding last year but when the novelty wore off they left it alone. I 'll also check out the wheat hay before I decide. My goats are do wasteful I figured it would be better to but a less expensive hay that also makes a decent bedding once its been thrown all over the place. They went through a ton of alfalfa in a month and I swear half went on to the floor... Alfalfa makes a lousy bedding. What are these protein tubs anyway? How do you keep them from overrating it?
 
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