Pasture question

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by nesluopetan, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. nesluopetan

    nesluopetan New Member

    93
    Feb 16, 2010
    Utah
    do you need to limit the time goats spend out in the pasture during the summer? the reason I ask is obviously goats eat all day and last summer my goats started getting diarreah because of all the green grass they were constantly eating. it seems like everywhere I look people have goats out in the pasture and they let them free roam.. so i am just curious what you all think of this. should I keep them in a fenced area most of the day then let them " browse and eat " a couple hours a day? or should I just let them roam the pasture all day and stuff their faces full? I just don't want them to get sick.. Just curious what you all recommend with this. Thanks!

    nathan


    p.s. i hope you don't mind all my questions.. I want to do things right and I am still a newb with goats so I have lots to learn.
     
  2. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    What I do is at the beginning of spring, is make sure they fill up on hay inside before letting them out in the late morning.....I do limit how long they are out at the first of spring when every thing is so lush and then lengthen their time out as days go by until they finally reach the point where they can be out all day.....this is just what works for me, I am at home all day and can do this. I always worry about bloating.....but I am a real worry wart!

    I always make sure they fill up on hay in the mornings before letting them out anytime of the year. My guys go right out to pasture when letting them out, I unfortunatly do not have a dry lot with no grass.
     

  3. Personally, goats are foragers. What I feed is for a boost or hay when the foraging has passed. Bottom line is this is the true diet of a goat to forage and eat pastures and tree lines and then some. LOL Sure a little too much of anything can give a loose stool, but it usually will pass and if it does not, chances are you are dealing with something other then an over grazed goat.

    Truth be told a perfect farm in a perfect world, has enough foraging where little to no feed or hay is ever needed. Boy if only there were that many acres for us goat lovers. And now back to reality. LOL
     
  4. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    An abundance of very green grasses will give them a loose stool and yes, it's super hard to trust a goat to not over indulge when given the opportunity to free range. I do as Denise does, I give hay in the morning before work then when I get home I open the gate to the pasture, my girls are in an electric fenced pasture with alot of tall weedy type grasses....my boys free range and have access to trees as well as the field grasses. Letting your goats access the grasses freechoice will allow their system to acclimate to the fresh stuff. Offering a dish of baking soda with their minerals will help too. Gradually increase the amount of time they are browsing and always give them a bit of hay before you let them out, will fill their bellies enough so they aren't starting out starved....which I think you know how goats act, you know they aren't hungry but they still act like they are :wink:
     
  5. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
     
  6. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Yep...I do rember that. :ROFL: Works great doesn't it?
     
  7. nesluopetan

    nesluopetan New Member

    93
    Feb 16, 2010
    Utah
    I work from 9am-6:30pm.. What would you suggest?

    Right now all the snow is starting to melt.. It's almost gone. All that's left in my pasture is tons of mud with grass starting to grow through it. There is like 1/4" tall pieces of grass and the babies are trying to eat it.. It's fun to watch actually get down that close with their teeth. lol.

    What I am doing right now is when I leave for work I give them some hay to eat and let them roam the pasture.. Then I go to work, come home and give them a little more hay.. But I know they are going to start eating all day too once this grass starts coming in.. Do you guys feed the goats hay all summer long too? If so, that's fine I will just have to buy more.. I only bought a 5 month supply to get through the winter because I thought it's ok for them to eat the grass all summer..
     
  8. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I work 5am til 2pm, I feed hay and milk at 4 30am and this is year round, not as much hay in the spring, summer or fall.....for 6 does they get 2 flakes at breakfast and my boys get 1 flake(I have 3 boys) at 2:30 I will take a half flake and just fluff it a bit for the girls to pick through while I go open the gate to the pasture, since I milk 2x a day it's easy for me to get them home again because they know it's feeding time at 4 30pm, then they have free access to the pasture til bedtime at 9pm. If my boys don;t get chance to get out to browse, they get a flake at 2:30 as well.

    Your boys should have hay if they aren't getting out to pasture, even in the warmer months. This could be the reason why they scour on the grasses...not enough dry fiber in their bellies.
     
  9. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    once they are use to the grass they wont need to have the hay (or as much hay). Since the grass is being introduced to them slowly now (due to the fact that it is still growing and the snow is slowly going away) this is a good transition for them.