Hay Question

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by hprice3920, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. hprice3920

    hprice3920 New Member

    Nov 21, 2007
    My land is mostly wooded and no grass since the drought last year and it looks like this year too. :hair:
    I have alway feed just grain since I could not get hay last year and that was the first year I had goats and did not know how bad grain only was for them. :oops:
    I have been finding hay this year at a high price, but wonder what is the best type of hay to feed?
    Here are the costs I am finding:
    Fescue-weedy- $4.00
    Orchard grass-$10.25

    They love the orchard grass, but it's really pricey and the place I get it is 30 miles away. :GAAH:

    Some of my wethers look fat/bloated so I am trying to feed more hay, but they seem to prefer to pull it out of the hay feeder and roll around in it like a cat with catnip. :(
  2. hprice3920

    hprice3920 New Member

    Nov 21, 2007
    Tractor Supply has something called Hay Stretcher. It is 12% Protein, 1.5% Fat, and 32% Fiber. Anyone used that before and is it almost as good as feeding hay or just like feeding grain?

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    THe fescue isn't good for pregnant goats that I do know

    THe bermuda would be a good choice based on price and I like bermuda hay as well

    reminds me I have to call about hay! I am bracing myself for the price
  4. all1965

    all1965 New Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    I'm very lucky and I get a mixed grass hay (bermuda, lesbedeza, orchard, etc.) and the goats absaloutly love it. I pay $2.50 a bale for it. It is great hay.

    My goats don't care that much for just bermuda hay. I mean they will eat it but it's not their favorite and they waste a lot.
  5. enjoytheride

    enjoytheride New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Humboldt Co Ca
    The first thing I would do is make feeders that minimize hay loss. If they can only get their noses through the openings, they can only pull out a mouthful at a time so don't drop as much. Once on the ground as you noted they usually don't eat it. The feeders need lids too that keep them from going in over the top.
    If you're breeding, fescue can cause a problem due to a toxin created by fungus on that kind of grass but weedy hay is sometime just what goats like- my girls go for the weeds in any hay first. It just needs to be OK weeds as some will really be harmful.
    I've never fed bermuda or used the hay stretcher. I would just want to know what's in it first. I think others here have used it.
    Browse in the woods may be just what they want. Anyway to encourage this? I know if some trees are cut back they will sucker like mad and maybe make more goatie food? If they get enough from the woods you may need little hay.
  6. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    The orchard mix and alfalfa/orchard would be the best to give due to it's nutritional value....all grain diet isn't the best for a goat at all...it's like you eating nothing but peanut butter sandwiches...fills you for a minute and puts fat on you that you don't need.....hay is a beneficial filler and adds fiber and nutrients....goats are just notorious for wasting hay, and since it is really expensive for you either try a keyhole type feeder or a ration for each goat and give it am and pm. I have used the hay stretcher, it is a pelleted form of hay by products and I fed it like grain...it's down fall is that it is like grain...they eat it all at once and have nothing to pick at like a flake of hay. You can get the cheaper hay and get the alfalfa cubes that TSC carries, they are a pain to break into pieces that a goat can manage but a 50# sack lasts me 2 months, I break them up and store them in lidded 5 gallon buckets, each goat gets a cup full mixed with their grain ration when I have to feed less quality hay.

    One type of hay racks that I improvised is great for limiting wasted hay....I take old oven racks and secure them to the wall at the bottom and sort of cage in the sides or attach at a corner...the spaces provide enough room to get their noses in and they can only pull out what their mouth will hold...works very well for minis.
  7. hprice3920

    hprice3920 New Member

    Nov 21, 2007
    I did not know fescue was so bad and I do have one doe expecting too :(
    I like the idea of the alfalfa cubes. I think I need to give more variety and maybe they will stop screaming everytime they seem me.
    I live in the country so you would think I could find hay closer to home. Maybe I should check the local feed stores to see if they can help me locate some hay closer to home.
    Thanks Everyone :stars:
  8. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    With the alfalfa cubes,they are sectioned almost like a bale of hay, you can separate them easily if you have tough fingers :ROFL: ...I started out with channel lock pliers to separate til I got calluses then it was easy to do from there, I usually get a sack in Novenber and use the short days and wet weather as an excuse to sit and break them up....if you do start them on these, I learned thru trial and error to give them a small piece at a time til they know how to eat them without filling their mouth and choking. :greengrin:
  9. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    I feed a local grass hay with a little bit of alfalfa for a treat in it twice a day - then what ever bread and veggie peels that need to go.

    We have moved from buying small sqare bales to round bales. These are ALOT cheaper. Not neccessarily easier (I personally would rather have squares) but if you lay it on its side, and keep enough space around it - you can unwind it and it is super easy to feed.

    My hubby just (like on his way back now) picked up 5 rounds for me. They are alfalfa / grass mix and he said they are gorgeous and that he has reserved us 8 more. We paid 70 a bale for them and each are weighing in at 800-900 pounds each. I just paid 100 for a pure alfalfa and 75 for the grass - so I am real happy about these!

    How much do you all recommend per head of mini goat per animal per day? I was telling hubby that I think that we are not feeding them quite enough (i am peranoid with them being pregnant). I do not give any thing other then the hay twice a day and treats here and there. There is not much foraging at the moment either.

  10. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Can I please see a picture?? My little brats wasted the heck out of the last hay I bought, and at NINE dollars for a square, can't do it! This sounds perfect, and inexpensive too!
  11. PACE

    PACE New Member

    Oct 8, 2007
    I must admit, that I am doing it "wrong" this summer by not feeding hay to my wethers. Around April I switched to alfalfa pellets. I tried the cubes and liked them, but it was a hassel to break them apart. Each day I fill up two two gallon buckets with them and the goats eat them throughout the day. Depending on how hungry they get, sometimes they eat all of it, but more often there is a gallon's worth left. I also feed grain, and have upped that amount a bit since I don't feel the pellets have tons of nutrients. The imprtant thing for me though is they graze and brows every day. If they didn't have stemmy things available, I would be feeding hay too. However, I am quite happy with the results of the pellets. My goats have remained plump and healthy with shiney coats, and they have plenty of energy. In the fall I will go back to hay, but I will keep the pellets available, as there is no waste to speak of and they help "stretch" the hay.

    Though I must say that I do have wethers. For pregnant does or milking does or any producing animal, really, I would deffinitely have good quality hay available if at all possible.
  12. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    a lady that I know feeds nothing but grass pellets made locally from local grass crops and she really likes it. I have personally thought about it - but now that I have the horses and sheep - every little bit gets eaten with no waste!

    As long as nutrients are there and they are getting some browse - I don't see an issue. The lady that I know - her goats do not get much browse if any.
  13. all1965

    all1965 New Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    wow that seems high for hay but it just shows how much hay prices vary
    You can get mixed grass hay in round bales for $30 here. they weigh around 700-800 lbs.
    For pure bermuda you can get it for $45-$50

    Arkansas is a great location to grow hay. we never really have weather that prevents us from growing hay at all and each year either TX or TN has a drought or other surrounding states flood, etc. so there is always a market for hay.
    Some of the hay farmers here were shipping hay to TX and getting $100+ per bale for crappy hay!