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Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by NyGoatMom, Jan 28, 2013.
Well you all can have our rain I wish it would stop!!
Crocee -- how many goats do you have? Just curious because we don't have much more land than you do.
We have a little over an acre fenced in for the goats - mostly woods.
We have 7 does, and this past month we had 9 kids. So... 16 goats.
They don't go back in the woods much at all since most of the babies aren't wanting to venture too far from the barn just yet.
Our goats definitely love leaves more than weeds and grass. They are always looking for a tree they can reach lol
We go through a LOT of feed and hay this time of year & in the spring/summer when our kids are doing 4-H.
Feed is $9.75 for 50lb. bag, and we can get decent alfalfa for $5.25. We buy a clover/grass hay from a farmer up the road for $4.00 a bale. It's good hay IMO, and I love the fact we can go get it as we need it. We can buy 6 bales, or 15 bales.
I'm going to look for more alfalfa hay soon, and just found some for $3.50 & $5.00! So I'm going to call. One said theirs was stemmy <cheaper one>, it's very nearby, and most of our goats prefer the stemmy stuff anyway, we have some that will eat all the stems and leave the leaves lol dummies <haha>.
Grass hay runs about $3-6.00 a bale. Usually I see it listed as timmothy, orchid & fescue. That's the most popular hay around this area other than alfalfa and then clover/grass.
Anything else like the coastal hays I'm not sure on price, you have to get those from the feed stores, and I know they are not inexpensive.
We're in North Texas, so the drought has hit us these past 2 years but not as badly as other parts of the state. I get costal bermuda from a friend for 7.00 a bale--which is what it costs her. It's more at the feed stores.
We're fortunate that we have 7.9 acres, mostly trees, brush, briar and grapevines--which is WHY we got the goats. I can't clear the damn stuff before it grows right back. So we're using the goats to help clear it. About 2-3 acres is grass and field, but the rest...well, in the spring/summer you need a machete to walk through it.
We have a few small areas fenced in for nightime confinement from coyotes, and a smaller area (little over an acre for our buck and weather) but the 11 girls roam most of the rest of the property at large.
I mostly pasture/browse from March-October and start adding hay bales in October until we are strictly grain/hay this time of year.
The grain has gone up to, I am buying it from the feed mill at 12.10 a 50# bag, which is way less than what I'd buy it for at the feed store.
sigh...here's hoping we have some nice registered kids to sell this spring and fall. that would help the goats cover their own expenses!
I just did the same thing because I'm paying $15/3-string bale of grass hay and $18/50lb bag of alfalfa pellets. I've got four pregnant(i hope does) and the hay is costing me more than our people food does.
Wow, that sounds so nice....your goats must be very happy to have all that room!
Sounds like goat heaven!
They can definitely do a good job cleaning up brush. I always look at the before/after pictures of our place, and think wow....
I used to go back in the woods and the brush would be so thick you'd get lost! Now, that's not an issue at all. There is even grass coming up in the very back part where we opened it up enough to allow some sunlight in!
We live right on a very busy road, so no chance of taking the goats for walks
When we wean the kids 4-H goats, they will be in a pen, somewhat dry lotted, because after a couple of weeks they get picky about grazing in there no matter how tall the grass is allowed to grow.
When the kids work with them in the front or back yard, then afterwards we typically turn them loose to graze out there. They aren't allowed to go into the main pen because they would just try to nurse off of their mama's.
This will be the kids first year doing market wethers <they usually show a doe>, so the pens will be good for them.
Sounds like you have a good program going on.... the busy road thing stinks though!
Our road is rural and dirt but sometimes the teens in the area fly down through...:hair:
We have a good amount of land, so the goats are pastured and come into the barn for grain at night. Unfortunately, we don't have too much left in the pastures, as (when we're not being hit by hurricanes and completely flooded) we are having an awful drought. The weather this year has been crazy.
Here, I feed coastal hay sparingly. It is roughly $6.50 a bale, and alfalfa is something like 18 or 21! :shocked:
Adrihart, I buy some alfalfa pellets as well, I believe they are $16.50 here for a 50# bag.
This is from our very reasonably priced feed store.
I have 3 bred doe's, 1 yearling mini Saanen doe, 1 yearling mini Saanen buckling? and a 2.5 year old Nigerian buck. Along with these 6 I have 3 Barbados hair sheep to keep the grass down.
The ONLY hay around here is Bermuda grass hay and while they goats will eat it, they don't really like it. Our hay prices are high because most of what's grown here is shipped out to those in the drought areas. I sure wish they would get some substantial rain so prices would go back down to the $3-4 I was paying 2 years ago. Feed is also pretty high at $16 for alfalfa pellets 40lbs and $22 for goat feed40lbs. Even 16% sweet feed is $15/40lbs. Minerals at $20/4lbs
Does anybody use orchard or crabgrass? Our goats won't eat bermuda or rye which usually runs about 3-5 a bale. Alfalfa here is about 20 a bale but they get fat on it. So we switched to an orchard/crabgrass mix at 5 a bale for winter and they absolutely love it! We also use a big round of peanut or wheat hay when available at 35 a bale but that's for a 5x5 big round.
Here in so cal I have 11 boer goats all does and 1 buck. They are separated in two big pens. For the last year they have been dry-lotted. Not making any money for sure! Grain is $14+ a bag and the show goats get feed thats $22 a bag. Then i feed alfalfa thats $18 for a 109# bale. I feed some great grass mix when i can but thats from my grandmas farm in north idaho so feed that slowly to make it last. I also have a freedom mineral tub available free choice that cost about 40$. But we have decided we have to change something so we are workin on some pasture. But thats expensive to because we have to water it and water is really high right now.
It does make you have to change things up, I'm sure....I can only afford to have a half dozen tops and my prices right now are good!
Hope you can come up with something that helps.