How many goats and how much hay

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by liz, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Just wondering the average amount of hay you all go thru.

    I am currently feeding 11 nigis and pygmys and am going thru a minimum of 12 ,30 lb square bales in about 2 weeks.

    I fill hay racks at nite and refill the next afternoon, almost an entire bale is sectioned and the flakes placed in the wall racks as well as milk crates set on the floor.....this is for the 8 does, the 3 bucks get 2 sections in racks.

    Is this an appropriate amount in that time or too much/not enough? I am fortunate enough to be able to get the hay at $2.00 a bale but after figuring the cost per month my DH turned a bit "red under the collar" includig the cost of grain, my "goat budget" is around $60.00 a month....I would rather feed more hay than not enough and they all currently get a full cup of feed once a day, with the exception of Bootsie who gets 2 cups as she is STILL in milk at 11 months fresh.

    I would be interested to see how much hay you all use in 2 weeks and for how many goats.
  2. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    It is really really hard for me to break it down - as DH HAD to have round bales this year, and I am hating life! I go through a 600 # bale of hay a week between 6 sheep, 20 goats, and 2 horses. (at $60.00 a bale)

    Next year I am SOOOOO getting squares - I don't care what he says!!!!

    Now, I don't give grain or anything unless a specific animal has to have it, but not for everyone. When on the milk stand or after birth - they get it, but that is it!

  3. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Allison....I'm thinking the breakdown for that size roll is equal to 30 square bales.
  4. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    I have 3 full-sized dairy goats (two does and one wether).

    During the summer I had them on strait alfalfa plus unlimited browse and one 80# square bale lasted around two weeks.

    Now, for the winter, they're getting strait alfalfa in the morning and grass mix in the evening. I ration the alfalfa, but the grass mix is fed free choice. I haven't been paying really close attention, but I'm going to say that they're going through around two 40ish # bales a in week...give or take a little. I give them more/less depending on how they look. My does do get a bit of grain in the morning.

    I pretty much base my rations on the goat's set amount. I'd say if all your goats are healthy and keeping weight on you're probably on the right track.
  5. DopeyOpie

    DopeyOpie New Member

    Jan 4, 2009
    My two boys eat one 40 lb square bale each week on average. Both of them get some grain in the mornings, and a few fresh scraps from the kitchen (vegetable ends, peels, etc). That's for in the winter. In the summer they get staked on long chains in the fields to eat grass/weeds, and get put back in the pen overnight where they still have hay available but don't eat too much of it.
  6. trob1

    trob1 New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Middle TN
    I go through half a 50 lb bale of alfalfa in a days time and I had to pay $9.00 a bale. They also have a round bale of grass hay to munch on between feedings. Each goat gets one cup of grain daily if not nursing and the nursing does get one cup grain twice a day. I have 17 does, 1 buck and 8 kids.
  7. Pam B

    Pam B New Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    Southern Michigan
    The rule for hay is 3 to 5 lbs of hay per goat per day for a full-sized goat. If a square bale weighs around 50 lbs then one bale should feed one goat for 10 to 16 days.

    Liz, since you are feeding smaller sized goats I would go with the smaller weight to figure what is reasonable for them to be eating. (Who said you wouldn't need algebra in real life? :shrug: )
    So, if you are feeding 11 goats at 3 lbs of hay each that would be 33lbs per day, which if you are using 30lb bales equals 1 bale per day. If you are going through 12 bales in 14 days then you are actually coming out a little bit ahead of the game.

    I also analyzed the fact that you are only getting 30lb bales for your $2 per to see if you might be paying too much, but determined that you are actually getting a pretty good deal. The last batch of pure alfalfa that I bought was $5 per for a 50-60 lb bale and I felt fortunate to find it at that price at the end of the summer when we were coming off a second poor hay growing season in a row. The price is coming down a bit now, but still runs $4 per 50lb bale locally. So I think you are doing just fine on what you are feeding and paying.

    Are you milking these goats or are they just pets? If you are milking them and making cheese and soap you should do some cost accounting to figure out how much money those things are worth so you can show your husband that the goats are paying for themselves. However, if they are just pets then this is a very expensive habit!
  8. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I'm getting the milk from one doe currently and have 2 due to kid in march...this is a mixed grass timothy hay and they all seem to be in good condition...with pygmies though it's hard to tell sometimes if they are too

    If they were out browsing, which they do of course from April to October, I provide hay but not as much, they do well on the pasture...but in winter I don't want to "deprive" them of the "browse" time they would normally have.....and it's discouraging to see the pile UNDER the hay racks that they waste daily! Even though I put that in the baskets if it is un soiled, it still seems lik alot of waste! So I'm obviously giving them enough, I was just wondering if it was too much?

    This is the second year that all my does have been "together" in a "common stall", before that I had 3 does in separate stalls and each got a flake a well as the 1 buck, I could moniter their intake, now with more goats and all "sharing" it's hard to determine if they are all getting their share of hay, I don't have the space to keep each separatly so I have to go by their condition.
  9. deenak

    deenak Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    Ames Iowa
    My bales weigh about 75 pounds. I have 5 nigerian dwarf goats and they go through 1 1/2 bales per week, now alot of that ends up on the ground but then we just use that for bedding.
  10. nhsmallfarmer

    nhsmallfarmer New Member

    Apr 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I am feeding 2 does (4 yrs old) and and year old doe, all 3 should be bred(still questioning one of them) anyways, I have found I am going through 2 bails a week now these square bales are anywhere from 25 - 45 pounds and go in price SIT DOWN FOR THIS :doh: $6.50 - $8.25 :hair: the only reason I am going through so much hay is I had been giving the girls 3 flakes in the am, noon and pm. well my biggest doe decided it wasnt enough and insisted on escaping her pen on a nightly basis and was helping herself so now i just fill the hay rack as tight as i can twice a day and she stays in.
    DH and I have decided to look into a round bail (700# average) for about $45.00 that should take my girls a month I will let you know
  11. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    well this 2008 i used around 150 bales, at around 65-70lbs each. between 17-10 goats. (most of it is winter feed). in the summer they go out of their pens and eat on runs (buck and herdqueen get staked out), and i dont really need to feed hay. running back and forth from their pens and 'pasture' keeps them in condition too! lol.

    and i dont feed grain unless they have kidded, going to kid, or are trying to build weight to show or which ever, so i only buy around 4-6 bags a year. (or something like that)
  12. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    I am feeding out a ton (100kg or 2204.6lbs) per week at the moment, to approximately 50 hd (mixed ages, some adults, some kids, some yearlings, some sheep).
  13. Amos

    Amos New Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    During winter months, we use one square bale of alfalfa (40-60lb) a day between our ten goats.
    We have ten.. Three are pregnant, two of which are in milk (soon to dry off), four doelings, one wether, and two bucks.
    Our first winter supply costed us $3 a bale, and then we purchased 20 bales last week for 2.50 ea.

    Keren, what kind of bales do you use, and what is the weight of each on average?
  14. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Amos, I use large square and there are roughly three squares to the ton.
  15. Sweet Gum Minis

    Sweet Gum Minis New Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Easley, SC
    Right now I'm feeding orchard grass/timothy hay to my goats. I give about 2/3 or 3/4 a bale a day to my does. A fleck and a half to 2 flecks to my 3 bucks. The bucks waste a lot so a hay wrack is in their future. The does have a wrack. Anyway, I do feed pellet along side my does hay twice a day. I was just figuring up my plans for kiddings that are coming soon so I have worked it all out. I give a 1/2 cup per goat per feeding. So 1 cup per doe per day. I also however, give alfalfa pellets. I'm working my way back up on that. We hadn't been feeding it, but started them back on it a few weeks ago. Anyway, right now they get 1/2 cup per doe per day. As we near our kidding dates I will be upping pellet and probably slowing working on my mix. I have been giving strait pellet up till now. I will also be upping the alfalfa pellet all the way up to kidding.

    My goats have been doing extremely well on this regiment. I've not had a snotty nose one, all are round and healthy and all are thriving very well.

    I give my bucks a pellet as well. Probably a 1/4 cup per buck twice a day. They're butterballs so I guess they are doing well too. Haha No issues with them either. I'm very pleased.

    I do have square bales of 40-50lbs each. I will most definitely be doing that again this year. I have been very happy with the way this is working for our goats.

    PS forgot to add that I'm feeding 16 does. That is 3 Lamancha juniors, 5 mature does and several bred yearlings and juniors. 3 bucks.
  16. fcnubian

    fcnubian New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    WAY TOOOOOO MUCH! Lol. :roll:

    I dont know for sure how much we go through. I am feeding 10 goats and 4 horses though...So we go through alot unfortunately.
  17. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    It seems like a lot. :sigh: I guess for eight goats and two babies we are going through a 100 lb. bale about every 10-12 days. I just bought some new hay that are smaller bales, maybe about 60 lbs. Got the bales on Sunday and opened one up right away. We're about halfway through it now but we've been using up the rest of the 100 lb. bale too. . . .

    At the farm, we go through about three-four 70 lb. bales of grass hay a week (for 12 goats and four babies) and about one 80 lb. bale of alfalfa. These are just rough estimates. All goats get a 14% grain at least once a day (milking does twice a day). We give grass hay in the morning and alfalfa at night.
  18. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I was just curious,. I mean I do leave it free choice in the racks but my goats won't leave those racks till all the hay is gone :?

    It's a given that goats will waste hay and I seriously thot of geting one of those big round bales and putting it under cover out in their yard...just to see how long that would last....I can get a 500lb bale for $35....and it would be cheaper than the 30-40 lb bales I'm getting at $2 each.....I may just try that one just to see.

    I even tried putting out freechoice goodness, they inhale them! So to avoid over conditioned goats I obviously can't do that anymore :wink:
  19. BeeLady

    BeeLady New Member

    I am feeding my two doelings off of square bales. We grow are own so I have to take what we get. They went through a very stemmy, 60# bale in two weeks, leaving most of it on the ground, but are not eating as much of the new leafy bale. I don't want them to be too fat when they kid so they are getting a lot of excercise every day, and the opportunity to browse on the dead leaves and the grass that's left when I turn them out of the shed. I am giving them less than 1/2 cup of grain a day each; I won't really start feeding them more grain until they are close to kidding. They also like the organic alfalfa pellets that my grass-fed calves eat, so I will be mixing that with the grain as they get closer to kidding.

    I think it would be hard to keep different classes of goats together (dry, lactating, pregnant/dry, etc) as they all have different nutritional requirements, but I've never met a hayburner yet that's going to turn away from feed when "everybody else" is eating, no matter what their "requirements" are. I just hope both my goats kid at the same time and stay "feeding twins" for awhile. My headaches will come when I add wethers and other classes.
  20. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    It is quite difficult. Which is why I love having smaller stalls that I can separate does with those different needs to eat by themselves. We have two 4x5 stalls in each barn that I can separate out does. :greengrin: