Pellets VS Hay

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by powderhooves, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. powderhooves

    powderhooves New Member

    Jan 29, 2009
    I have 25 Angora goats. I spend a great deal of time cleaning fleeces. I have an option of feeding pellets VS hay. This would greatly eliminate much of the cleaning. Without the mess of hay I do have gorgeous fleeces. I just finished shearing my winter fleeces. Skirting is going well although I am disappointed with the hay factor. I'm still cleaning up the spring fleeces because of cockle burs. I carefully manage cockleburs in my enclosures but let the goats out to roam this past summer since my husband was out of town for a good deal of the summer and I didn't have the help I normally do.

    I'd like your thoughts. Someone told me they actually need the hay because of the way their digestive systems work.

    We also have very picky goats and lose a lot of hay which gets tossed in a compost pile and hauled off to a farmer for his fields. I think the pellets would greatly cut down on waste. I know having a llama would too but my husband doesn't want to hear about a llama....or another buck...or another goat.....a donkey..... :whatgoat: or another dog.........or a get the picture.

    I just want beautiful, clean fleeces without all the work twice a year.

    Any advice from other fiber producers would be greatly appreciated.

    PS Giving up the husband and getting a llama is not an option. The husband builds fence and I don't think a llama could do all the other work around here he does.
  2. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    I think the long fiber is the issue, they say that the goat needs long hay to digest everything right.

    but there are people who feed pellets, or chaffhaye, which is just chopped hay or alfalfa haylage.

  3. DebMc

    DebMc Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    I'm in the same boat as you. I feed my Angoras pellets only when they're heavy in fleece. After shearing, I switched them back over to baled alfalfa (mine won't eat grass hay) supplemented with timothy pellets, senior equine pellets, goat chow and BOSS.

    I've noticed their abdomens have really ballooned out since adding the alfalfa back in their diets last month and they're really not eating that much of it, 1 flake/day between 5 goats and there's always lots of leaves leftover. So I cut back on my pellet/grain mix as I don't want them getting any heavier. My standard doeling is getting FAT. <lol>

    The breeder of my newest doeling has a big fiber farm and pelletized alf/hay is all she feeds her Angoras. She's has her own processed fiber shop, does all the shows and has healthy, good quality stock.

    I should probably point out that when mine are on pellets only, I do give them about a bushel of freshly clipped Dodoneas (green, leafy shrub) daily. We can't turn our girls out to free range unsupervised as they get into all kinds of prickly sticker bushes and it gets tangled up in their fleeces and next thing you know I have goatie pincushions, big tangled wads of mohair- you know what a pain that is. <lol>

    Deb Mc
  4. powderhooves

    powderhooves New Member

    Jan 29, 2009
    I have been feeding grass hay and staying away from alfalfa because of my wethers. I've heard...and maybe I'm wrong so correct me if I am...that it can be a problem with UC with too much protein. We have a wonderful mill so I can take a load of hay and have them process my hay into pellets. I just want beautiful fleece with easy clean up after shearing. I'm having a bugger of a time with those spring fleeces. In the area they are enclosed there are wonderful trees and foliage they can eat...lots and lots of sarvis berry trees......they literally climb the trees...and that area I pick free of burrs. My entire 28 acres is like that but I can't walk 28 acres and pick through all of it.....I guess I could but it would take forever and forever. They were so happy last year but I sure wasn't when those fleeces came off. And...then after Christmas we would go to the recycling area and pick up discarded Christmas trees and haul them home...and then take back the ones they had eaten up. I'm sure people wondered about that......seeing those bare, bare naked trees in the piles. They sure did love them. I have pics of the before and after trees. Pretty funny. And.. last week when strawberries were $1 a carton I bought up a bunch for them. I had to reprimand my husband. He thought they were his!!! I have a nice mix of grain with black oil sunflower seeds and flax seed that add beautiful luster...a bit pricey but what the heck....beautiful fleeces in the end. It's just those nasty cockleburs. Oh...I have a funny story about those too. I got mad at the hubby once and put one in his underwear.......I know...a bit passive aggressive....took him until noon to figure it out....and weeks to figure out I put it there. I don't know .. must have been one of those days he told me I couldn't have another buck or something. So.....I guess I'll go to the mill and talk to the guy about the pellets. How do I know if they are getting enough??? ...and since I have so many wethers should I stick with grass or should I have some alfalfa grass mix pellets????