Hay advice needed please.

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by jay13, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. jay13

    jay13 New Member

    417
    Apr 12, 2009
    Central NC
    The hay topic has been a dilemma for me as well. When I raised goats as a teen, we had a virtually unlimited source of sweet alfalfa hay in NM that we grew ourselves. I think we had something like 25 acres in alfalfa fields. But here in NC they want $8-10 per BALE for those little square alfalfa bales. What I wouldn't give to be able to move some of those big round ones..... We finally found a guy selling orchard grass hay for about $2/bale, but we had an hour and half drive to go get it and could only really get about 20 bales on the trailer.... Wound up stacking it in our barn but it is also the stall that the goats live in... so its getting pulled down and used for bedding instead of being eaten... grrrrr We have 3 large dogs and no place else that I can think of to store the hay except in the goat's enclosure. Any ideas?

    Do you think the orchard grass will be ok for our goats? They are yearling alpine does, and will be bred this fall for the first time. If I can manage to get the timing right with the buck we are borrowing.
     
  2. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    you could get some pallets and cover the hay with a tarp or lean-to.
     

  3. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Is there any way, you could put up some sort of partition between the goats and the hay? I'm afraid I don't have much advice on that one. :shrug:

    As far as feeding orchard grass hay--yeah that's completely fine. I usually feed grass hay because, although I can get alfalfa here, the quality of it is variable. In the last month of pregnancy and during lactation I use alfalfa pellets in addition to the grass hay. I like the pellets because they don't waste any of them.
     
  4. jay13

    jay13 New Member

    417
    Apr 12, 2009
    Central NC
    I don't think I can separate them from the hay..., will they eat too much and get sick? I was going to provide them as much as they wanted but I don't want them to over do it.... I'm concerned about putting it out on pallets under a tarp because I don't want them to decide it is something fun to jump on and they have been pulling at the stack of bales from the bottom causing part of the stack to start to collapse and I am afraid this will happen outside, just before it rains, ect, ect and we get a lot of wind with our rain and I don't want the bales to get wet.
     
  5. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    They won't overeat hay, but they will waste a lot of it if they have free access. They pick and choose the best pieces and leave the rest on the ground...little boogers...LOL...
     
  6. jay13

    jay13 New Member

    417
    Apr 12, 2009
    Central NC
    I noticed that part about leaving it on the ground... little boogers is right. I hate the wastage, Have been picking it back up and piling it on top again every day or so.
     
  7. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Do you know anyone nearby (friends/neighbors/relatives) that might have a corner of a barn or shed to spare? If you could find someplace else to store it and just keep a weeks worth or so at home you'd probably be a lot happier. And you wouldn't run the risk of having all the hay ruined by the goats if they decided to climb on it or something.

    For a long term solution, you might want to consider putting up some kind of simple shelter to store hay in.
     
  8. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Australia
    get a wooden pallet, put it outside somewhere the goats dont get to, stack the bales up and cover with a cheap tarp. Simple, cheap, effective, your hay wont get wet, your goats wont get to the hay.

    grass hay is fine, you might want to include some alfalfa pellets or chaff in their bail feed when they are in milk.

    if you have a large enough trailer, what I do is get two big squares of hay (1/3 tonne each) from a local farmer, he lifts it onto the trailer for me with the tractor (one bale on top of the other). I go home, back up to a sturdy fence post, put a rope around the bale and tie to the sturdy fence post, put pallets underneath the trailer then drive off, the bales slide off and onto the pallets (remember to drop the tailgate! lol)

    I cut the strings and feed out a set amount with the wheelbarrow each day. It is cheaper to buy it in the big squares than it is in the small squares and I restrict how much they eat so they dont waste it. I chuck a big tarp over the hay so it doesnt get wet. When I am going away, I do the same thing but unload it in the paddock so they have free choice hay, that way I dont have to pay anyone to come and feed them, just to pop their head in once a day to make sure everyone is still alive
     
  9. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Australia
    forgot to say, it costs $26 - 28 for a small square of alfalfa here :shocked: which is why my goats dont often get alfalfa
     
  10. jay13

    jay13 New Member

    417
    Apr 12, 2009
    Central NC
    Holy smokes and I thought it was bad here.... In NM the people thought we were ripping them off charging 4.50/bale even though we had to truck it into the city from our farm 90 miles away!

    Here they don't really "do" the large square bales, just small square and the big rounds.... I have been trying to figure out how I might use the rounds since it is a lot cheaper to buy it that way than in the smaller amounts. I hate the idea of re-stacking the stuff, but hate the idea of having it wasted even more.
     
  11. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Australia
    lol I know how much fun it is to move a haystack.

    you can do the same thing I do with the squares, with the rounds. Either get the farmer to lay it on your trailer on the flat side, and use the rope to pull it off, or get him to sit it on the round side and push it to roll it off your trailer. If you do that you will want to tip it over onto its flat side, because it makes it so much easier to peel off and feed out.

    We have the rounds here too but there's not as much in them as the squares, which is why I go for the squares.

    My goats get wheaten hay all year, the dairy does get alfalfa chaff in their bail feed during lactation, the angoras and boers get 1 round of alfalfa when they start kidding - I back the ute up to their paddock and roll it in, so they get free choice alfalfa along with their wheaten hay - I usually put it in about a week before their due date - and once they have eaten all that they are back to just wheaten hay. Its just too expensive to feed them the alfalfa all the time and they do brilliantly on the wheaten.
     
  12. jay13

    jay13 New Member

    417
    Apr 12, 2009
    Central NC
    Looks like I will have to look into putting up a "pole barn" type of structure.... Maybe I will cover one side or something, the wind here is something awful...
     
  13. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    that is a wonderful idea...... :wink: :greengrin:
     
  14. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    when I had no place for hay I put it on a pallet outside the goats pen and then covered it with a tarp - worked just fine