Hay change = loose stools

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by nagismom, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. nagismom

    nagismom New Member

    Sep 25, 2010
    northern ohio
    I decided that I wanted to add alfalfa hay to our feeding. I've been feeding clover/orchard grass hay which is really nice green. I had to change places I got hay from to get alfalfa. Switched on Tuesday and now half my herd has diarhea. The hay I bought was pretty yellow 40% alfalfa/grass cross first cutting 2010. What can I do to help bind their stool until they adjust to the switch. I've heard old fashioned oats will help but do I feed it cooked or dry??
  2. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    get some oat hay... or straw type hay...say you feed them that...then the next meal feed some of your new hay...do it gradual.....don't feed alot of it at a time...do this for a few days and you should see their stool firm up... if some are really watery you can give pepto to those.... If it doesn't clear up in a couple of days get a fecal done for worms and cocci.... don't give any grain while scouring....

    Not sure about the cooked oats...never tried that... :wink:

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Well do you have any of your old hay? If so I would give that for a day and then add in some of the new stuff mixed in.

    For those who are real bad off some probios and pepto (as mentioned) will help. Standards I would give 10-20cc for minis I would give 6-10cc every 6-12 hours depending on how severe the runs are.

    Pull grain and don't feed for 24 hours then introduce slowly once stools are firm.

    If this doesn't work then run a fecal for internal parasites
  4. nagismom

    nagismom New Member

    Sep 25, 2010
    northern ohio
    Nope we're out of the old stuff. I cleaned and refilled their baking soda bins and gave probios and antacids to the ones with diarrhea. After our incident with polio I'm afraid to give pepto. I did check temps and they're fine. No ones stargazing either.
  5. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    If your alfalfa is yellow then it probably wasn't stored or cut/cured properly. Mold can also cause hay to yellow and can also cause digestive problems so make sure you smell for any musty odors.

    How bad is the diarrhea? I find it a little strange that they got diarrhea from first cutting hay that's less than 1/2 alfalfa...but then again, some goats are just very sensitive. I know it probably would not have caused more than a day or two of slight poo clumping in my goats...if that.

    I would just examine the hay carefully for mold and if there is none just procede and give them a few more days to get used to it. If the diarrhea is very watery you might need to give kaopectate or pepto to keep them from becoming dehydrated. I also agree with doing a fecal exam on at least one of the goats with diarrhea.

    It is okay to feed the hay as long as it is not moldy but they probably will waste more than usual...especially 1st cut. Also probably won't provide all the nutrients you were expecting it to so you may need to supplement more with minerals and/or grain. When you stock up on hay this summer/fall look for 3rd cutting alfalfa and alfalfa grass mix and make sure that it is bright green and smells fresh...it will cost more but it is worth it because the goats will waste very little of it.
  6. firelight27

    firelight27 Hopelessly Addicted

    Apr 24, 2009
    Southern Oregon
    I had the same problem feeding alfalfa in the spring when everyone was out on pasture and it was really lush. Only the kids scoured but the adults were fine. The lush field plus mom's milk, plus the alfalfa was just too rich for their little systems. In my case I couldn't feed alfalfa unless I penned them so they couldn't browse....so I just switched to giving the does alfalfa pellets mixed in with their grain. It worked really well, provided the calcium they needed, and didn't cause any diarrhea.

    I would do what everyone else is saying and make a feed change slowly. Their systems probably simply didn't have time to adjust. I would stop their grain entirely, try and buy a single bail of grass hay from a feed store, and feed that with a few handfuls of the alfalfa, and then more alfalfa, etc. until you are completely switched to pure alfalfa (over the course of a whole week.) Only once this change has been successful should you reintroduce any grain. I just don't deal with pure alfalfa period. Even if the does are fine with I have all sorts of issues when their kids are born. Mom's milk alone can get too rich and give me issues.