Good hay vs bad hay

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by OHMYKIDS, May 26, 2009.


    OHMYKIDS Guest

    May 18, 2009
    Now that I'm feeding free choice hay, my boys are leaving the very hard stem behind in the feeder and they look like they are starving. They are even browsing. That's all good but they are young right now and they need their nutrition. They were calling for me most of the day, which is unusual. Do they not eat the hard stem? Is it bad hay? How do you know what is good hay? It's a orchard grass mix with alfalfa. When I went to their feeder it looked clogged with hard stems blocking anything good. Any ideas, thoughts? Should I get new hay, or pick through it. I do have straight alfalfa bales that don't look that stemmy.
  2. Crissa

    Crissa New Member

    Oct 7, 2007
    Cashion, Oklahoma
    Male goats aren't really supposed to have alfalfa regularly, it can give them urinary calculi, which is a stone that gets stuck in their penis and makes it to where they can't pee. I suggest getting a really nice green grass mix hay for them.

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    They are getting picky because it is now free choice ;) The alfafa first cutting will have lots of stems - if I dont feed as much they girls will eat it but if I feed more then they need they just eat the leafy stuff and leave the stems -- what a waste.

    The stems are not as nutritious but they are still good.

    A grass hay thought probably would be better for them since they are picky. Try a Timothy Orchard mix or just a grass mix.

    As long as the hay isnt moldy then it will be fine for your guys
  4. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    its not neccissarily bad hay. Goats just tend to not care for the stems. horses and other larger animals clean this part up.
    For your boys a good quality grass hay is all they really need.

    OHMYKIDS Guest

    May 18, 2009
    I thought this was good grass mix w/alfalfa, but this being my first time at this, I was wrong. It's extremely stemmy. I mean this hay really hurts my hands, the stems are really hard, can't bend easy at all. So should I not give any alfalfa to the boys even though they are about 4 months old?
  6. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    a mix alfafa isnt going to hurt them but since they dont like it, it hurts your hands and it just wasteful - I would find a differnet hay once you run out of what you have on hand. :)
  7. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    With what you've got you can always go out there & try to fluff it up but use gloves :wink: I always wear gloves while throwing hay.
    It seems we cant win on hay. Fine & fluffy it falls through the feeders & the stiff stuff gets packed. Arrg!!
  8. deenak

    deenak Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    Ames Iowa
    I have this problem with first cutting hay, my goats tend to waste alot of it. I try to get second or even third cutting and they eat alot more. They are also getting much pickier because they are eating more outside. I only need to fill hayracks once a day.