Getting goats to eat the hay...

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by TheMixedBag, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. TheMixedBag

    TheMixedBag The Hoofcare and Repro specialist

    Oct 16, 2010
    Glencoe, OK
    They loved it the first day they got it, and now, they won't touch it unless they absolutely have to. There's virtually no browse left, so all they've really got left is the hay and the odd bit of oat/alfalfa pellet mixture I give them (I've stopped giving the does the grain mix, since both are pregnant, unless it's a good idea to give it to them?). I've caught them nibbling on it here and there, but certainly not enough to seem...adequate. They're both fat little pigs right now, though, so I don't know what they're eating.

    My buck, on the other hand, isn't thriving at all, so I put him back on grain today, wormed him with a dab of Zimectrin Gold, and will be buying them all a bale of alfalfa from the feed store....I'd have figured he'd start putting weight back on now that there aren't any does in heat, but he looks to have lost a fair bit instead.

    Would spritzing it down with sugar water work, or should I just mix it with alfalfa and hope they don't pick through it?
     
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Mine snub hay that ISN'T alfalfa...they've gotten clover and mixed grass/timothy but it will sit in the racks...give them alfalfa and it's literally inhaled!
    I give my bucks grain all fall/winter because they do stay in rut wether theres a willing doe or not.
    My preggy girls don't get grain til they hit their 60th day and then it's 1 cup once a day...after 120 days I cut it in half til they deliver.

    My goats may be spoiled but I do not give in to their pickiness...as long as the hay they won't touch is in the racks, dry and smells good, I only fluff it, they eat it when they realize I'm not giving in.
     

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    does do need grain while pregnant (usually best to give it in their mid pregnancy and little in the beginning). Bucks in rutt need grain and good quality hay - as liz said they will be in rutt till late winter even if there are no does in heat around them.

    Mine are spoiled - they only get alfalfa hay.

    What kind of hay are your does on? They may not like the hay so you may need to find a different kind of hay. Their main diet needs to be hay and grain is a supplement.
     
  4. TheMixedBag

    TheMixedBag The Hoofcare and Repro specialist

    Oct 16, 2010
    Glencoe, OK
    I already figured he was out of rut, considering he smells a LOT less, doesn't pee on himself anymore, and I can actually fit his neck in the stanchion. But he probably is still rutty, because he's still super-shiny, just way too skinny.

    They've got timothy/oat hay, and like I said, they loved it the first day. Then I guess they realized it wasn't alfalfa and decided it wasn't gonna happen. They'll eat a nibble here or too, they just don't like eating it like they're supposed to.
     
  5. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    then I suggest you get a new hay before they get malnourished further
     
  6. TheMixedBag

    TheMixedBag The Hoofcare and Repro specialist

    Oct 16, 2010
    Glencoe, OK
    Believe me, it's only the buck whose been getting skinny. The saanen has always been bony, but she's got a fairly thick fat layer going on right now, and the nubian...well, she's been a fatty since she got here.

    But, like I said, I'll be buying the alfalfa tomorrow, and I'll try and mix it. I haven't got room for more bales, and I don't know anyone else who's selling anything different...
     
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I agree....

    All goats love Alfalfa.... unless it is moldy ..... if it is real good leafy Alfalfa(Hot) you don't have to feed as much...be careful when introducing new feed ....do it gradually... to prevent scouring..... :wink: :thumb:
     
  8. TheMixedBag

    TheMixedBag The Hoofcare and Repro specialist

    Oct 16, 2010
    Glencoe, OK
    They've been on pellets and cubes, if that changes anything about introducing it to them...
     
  9. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    It is still basically the same.....with anything new..... feed gradualy..... I have tried the Alfalfa Pellets... and some of my goats... won't touch it..... but they all love ..the Alfalfa Hay....go figure......... :scratch: :doh: :help: :greengrin: :thumb:
     
  10. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    I agree with Pam, the alfalfa will give them the runs a few days if it's not introduced slowly.
    A couple of my does were in with the buck for a couple weeks. He gets good grass hay. After does went back to the straight alfalfa they had slight runs for a few days.
    Just a suggestion you might want to check for worms on your buck as well. Unless he's been working hard & not eating he shouldnt be skinny
     
  11. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Australia
    Just to throw a spanner in the works, my goats refuse to eat alfalfa - they are eating oaten hay
     
  12. melb1

    melb1 New Member

    87
    Sep 28, 2010
    Melbourne Australia
    Sorry to butt in, do goats have to have hay if they have lots of browse?
     
  13. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Depends on the time of year and quality of browse...I give hay year round, in the spring and summer it's just in the mornings before they go after the wet green stuff, the dry matter helps fill the gut so they don't over do the green...in fall/winter I go to 2x a day because the quality and quantity are poor.
     
  14. Myakkagoater

    Myakkagoater New Member

    109
    Apr 10, 2010
    I just got a 11 month old Reg. Boer Buck to be my new herd sire. The breeder that I got him from fed him straight coastal. When I got him home he would barely touch it. I have been feeding my does a second grade alfalfa that I got from Ky. They all love it and won't eat anything but it now. Cody, new sire, likes it as well. I am just worried about UC. He gets a free choice mineral that I got from TSC. The only thing is it doesn't show that it has AC in it. I am currently trying to find a good mineral supplement for the boys in the herd. Am I correct in this thinking???

    Tom
     
  15. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    My goats get alfalfa as well as clover hay and they get Manna Pro goat mineral from TSC, it has added AC.
    Wanting to provide a good mineral is a very good choice, so far I'm pleased with the Manna Pro.

    You can also purchase Ammonium Chloride from Hoeggars goat supply and mix it with the current mineral you have...1# per 25# of mineral.
     
  16. Myakkagoater

    Myakkagoater New Member

    109
    Apr 10, 2010
    Manna Pro from TSC. I will def check into that one.
     
  17. TheMixedBag

    TheMixedBag The Hoofcare and Repro specialist

    Oct 16, 2010
    Glencoe, OK
    He's not horribly skinny. I still can't see his ribs or the spinal processes, but I need to do a fecal for all 3 anyways, it's just been a waiting game. There's only just so long I'll sit outside and wait to play catch...