How much Alfalfa Pellets and BOSS

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by MellonFriend, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    I have recently added alfalfa pellets and black oil sunflower seeds to my grain ration. The question is how much of each should I be feeding? My does are four and five months old now (kinders if you don't know) and they are on forage (when they will venture into the woods), some sort of hay, (I need to ask my feed store what it is, but I think it is not very high quality as it is not extremely green), and they are getting half a cup of blue seal goat food. My bucks are on the same hay and forage, but their pasture is smaller and it's not going to take them but a couple of weeks before they have eaten it all, although I will be cutting them a large amount of brush each day. My bucks are also still in the midst of transitioning off of the mix their previous owner had them on to the blue seal stuff I am feeding.
     
  2. Dwarf Dad

    Dwarf Dad Well-Known Member

    I feed my little Nigis about 1/4 cup of a 12% protien allstock feed, 1/4 cup of alfalfa pellets and about 2 tablespoons of BOSS. The feed is just to keep somethimg steady in their diet, since they graze grass and get batches of different forages.
     

  3. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    So nobody else has any opinion.
     
  4. NigerianNewbie

    NigerianNewbie Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2018
    Central NC
    The way I have determined amounts to feed has been based on age, the amount depends on the body score condition, current weight, type of hay first, amount of forage second. I gave more pellet feed when they were younger for the needed protein levels than they receive now.

    Since my herd are males, I pay particular attention to the calcium to phosphorus ratio and feed accordingly.

    From reading other posts, does need more calcium during certain times, lactation being one of them.

    There just isn't a one size fits all answer. I only know what works well with my herd, probably it is the same way for other owners as well. If a handful of people told you they feed x amount of feed (grain) and x amount of alfalfa pellets, the amounts would be completely different more than likely.
     
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  5. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    Approximately to give you a quick sense:

    50/50 alfalfa to grain usually. 1/4 -1/2 cup. Feed no more than a tablespoon or two of boss.
     
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  6. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the help. I just have absolutely nothing to go on since the alfalfa pellets I buy are marked for horses and their is no indication how much I should give. So I guess I will just adjust it based on how they look and what not.
     
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  7. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    Start with 1/4 alfalfa and a TBSP of BOSS.
     
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  8. NigerianNewbie

    NigerianNewbie Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2018
    Central NC
    Never realized Blue Seal had so many different formulations. I picked the Caprine Challenger to use as an example. 18% protein: .75%-1.25% calcium (1.0% average) and .60% phosphorus

    Alfalfa (average) 16% protein: 1.19%-1.41% calcium (average 1.28%) and .24% average phosphorus. 5.3:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio.

    I have noticed the half and half (50/50) mixture primarily used when feeding straight oats solely. Oats are 11% protein: 1.1% calcium and 3.6% phosphorus.

    I do not know your hay type, so this can't be calculated into the total diet. Hay varies in protein, calcium and phosphorus according to type.

    Caprine Challenger and alfalfa together is roughly 17% protein: 1.54% calcium and 42% phosphorus. A 3.8:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio.

    Would your goats at their current stage of growth and age need these higher levels of calcium and 1% reduction in protein.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
  9. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    I was trying to figure this out myself, but I am too confused about math to figure it out. I would be interested in knowing how you calculate these kind of things

    I use Blue Seal Home Fresh 16 Goat Grow & Finish it has 16.0% protein, 0.8%-1.3% calcium, and 0.45% min. phosphorus. So that's a ratio of basically 2:1? Then how do i add the alfalfa to that? :shrug:

    I really don't know what type of hay it is. I am going to have to ask my feed store, but I suspect it to not be very high quality. It's not extremely green, and my goats don't love eating it, but it's all i can get my hands on right now. I've been trying to find another supplier, but it so far hasn't been working out.
     
  10. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    I'm not telling you what to do. But I'd rather up my zinc, than to lower my alfalfa. But you are the one there, seeing your boys. I'm sure if you are happy, they are well.

    Keep in mind that fiber goats need plenty of alfalfa's protein for their fiber, and male goats need plenty of alfalfa's calcium for their UC risk.
     
  11. NigerianNewbie

    NigerianNewbie Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2018
    Central NC
    16% protein * .80-1.30% calcium (1.05% average) * .45% phosphorus is 2.3:1 calcium phosphorus ratio. Math used .80+1.30=210÷2=1.05 * 1.05÷.45=2.3 calcium to 1 phosphorus.

    Adding alfalfa 16% protein 5.3 calcium to 1 phosphorus would be 2.3+5.3÷2=3.8 calcium to 1 phosphorus with 16% protein

    In my opinion, the loose minerals provide extra nutrients that may be missing from a goat's diet more so than anything else I personally know of. Ran into the same problem with low quality hay because I ran out of winter hay and had to purchase more bales to last through.

    I live in basically the piedmont area of North Carolina and would be more than glad to provide hay suppliers information for you if we live close by. Please feel free to PM me if I can assist you with this. Another resource for hay may possibly be the website NC Hay, a lot of hay suppliers advertise on this site.
     
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  12. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    You are awesome!
     
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  13. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    I'm in what is considered Western NC to the west of Asheville, so I think I am a bit to far away from you, but thank you so very much for the offer.
     
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  14. NigerianNewbie

    NigerianNewbie Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2018
    Central NC
    (blush) Thank you mariarose.
     
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  15. NigerianNewbie

    NigerianNewbie Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2018
    Central NC
    My goodness, yep, that's quite a distance apart. The Blue Ridge is one of the most beautiful places in North Carolina. Lucky you.

    Maybe soon you can find different hay. Still waiting on 2nd cut myself and it shouldn't be much longer before I have better quality hay as well. Poor quality hay is a tough situation, there isn't a whole lot that can be done feed wise to correct it. Well, maybe, I've known some people to increase the amount of grain (feed).... too much grain (feed) has it's on set of problems and I would never recommend doing that. In your case, adding alfalfa raises the calcium amount possibly higher than would be needed or you're wanting to be feeding them. I understand the dilemma and frustration.
     
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  16. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    All true. However — lets not put out solely that all males need alfalfa or that it is right for all of them. Plenty of alfalfa will be a downfall in goats on calcium heavy well water. Most goats need plenty of alfalfa’s calcium, but I try not to make statements of what male goats need or do not need in terms of food instead of speaking only in mineral terms, because again — alfalfa for some males is not right.

    You are absolutely right, just noting the form of which you are bringing this up. Calcium = always necessary. Alfalfa = sometimes necessary.

    That’s all — carry on :):)
     
  17. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Thank you. Perhaps I shall.

    @elvis&oliver if you feel I don't know your circumstances, please feel free to ignore me.
     
  18. NigerianNewbie

    NigerianNewbie Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2018
    Central NC
    MelonFriend has a herd of 2 does and ? # of bucks that will be sharing the same feeding schedule. 50/50 alfalfa/pellet feed was your recommendation. Did you overlook the males in her herd?
     
  19. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    My warning was specifically and only to @elvis&oliver and no one else. I'm sorry I'm confused the advice here on someone else's post. I'll be more careful from now on.

    I'm very sorry, @MellonFriend My bad.