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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So just realizing that the recent fire hereabouts was... HAY millions of dollars of hay gone up in smoke... so sending a friend to pick up a few bales, but just curious if its the dead of winter and you "run out" of hay what do you do *guessing that goat chow is always available.... we should have some old browse under the snow etc.... but what do you do?
 

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So just realizing that the recent fire hereabouts was... HAY millions of dollars of hay gone up in smoke... so sending a friend to pick up a few bales, but just curious if its the dead of winter and you "run out" of hay what do you do *guessing that goat chow is always available.... we should have some old browse under the snow etc.... but what do you do?
If it were an emergency, nothing replaces forage. I would go for next best thing: alfalfa replacement. Like chaffe-hay, alfalfa pellets, alfalfa cubes. Something. Their rumens NEED that forage to keep a layer to prevent illness. I would also up their overall grain intake by small percentages to get additional nutrition out. Readily available nutrition such as BOSS, calf-manna (supplement), corn gluten, or distillers grains.
 

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I agree. In the winter especially it is best to give hay and lots of it. Hay digests slowly in their stomachs and keeps them warm longer, it also helps keep the rumen going. Grain is digested quickly and won't do much for keeping the goat warmed up, not to mention you can make them sick giving them too much grain when they aren't used to it. If you do run out, I would get alfalfa pellets, chaffehay or if you are really desperate you can pick up one or two of those "bales" that tractor supply sells (made by Standlee).
 

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How many goats do you have and can you buy some now to store for use in the winter. They need their hay for all the reasons said above in post. I would do everything in my power to get some stocked up for the winter
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How many goats do you have and can you buy some now to store for use in the winter. They need their hay for all the reasons said above in post. I would do everything in my power to get some stocked up for the winter
We have two mini Toggs they are 18 weeks old so like maybe 30 lbs tiny little goats, bring home a Nigie dwarf kid first week of November (he fits in a shoe box now, tiny) and probably one young 6 month old Nubian doeling ( I go out to see her Friday)....

No idea how to measure what/how much they will eat, so far the mini Toggs nibble at the orchard grass hay and Love browse (we have a lot of this, but depending on the weather not sure if they will be eager to be out foraging, these are goats that are perfectly content to snuggle up in the chicken coop/ suntan on the back porch ramp).. and are little hogs when it comes to the Sweet feed (we are trying to tame them)....

Well I will call the feedstore today and see if they will put some on hold for me (friend said he would load up his truck for me, just I am not sure if he understands how far outa the way our place is, its a bit of a haul-- I have known him 17 yrs but its a newish house, hes never been)...I am working in town and wont be driving back thru til 8 or 9pm at night tommorrow night....

Thx guys for the replies (I do have a big bag of alfalfa cubes... they nibble on those not too interested and I tried soaking them in water to soften up as well)... I think there is just too much food out for them right now, this first winter is going to be downright Educational.....
 

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They have to get some hay or forage in their diet. Feeding only grain could cause some severe issues or even death. If you can't get any hay over winter, you should be able to get alfalfa pellets or cubes. Though be careful with the cubes...easier to choke on than the pellets. It's not as ideal as feeding straight hay or pasture, but it's better than nothing at all. You can always place a large order through the feed store and likely save some money vs. buying by the bag.
 

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You're going to need about a ton of hay. A ton of hay stores in a 10x10x8 foot area. Hay not only gets scarce in the winter, it gets very expensive. It's well worth buying it now if at all possible.
 

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I was wondering if its possible to feed alfalfa hay as the only hay? :shrug: I'm not about to do it, just wondering what the chances are of that working? We can get fairly decent alfalfa hay here, but the regular hay is so so, and our goats don't even like it. Alfalfa seems more nutritious anyway, and they love it. Could it be fed free choice without any other hay?
Along with feeding %16 percent goat ration, in our case.
 

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I've been thinking about this all night...I also could suggest if absolutely necessary baleage may be fed out. They really like the sweet flavor. Corn silage or haylage as well, but I'd try baleage first.

Absolutely we like feeding alfalfa through the winter and during lactation!
 
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