. Our best supplier in terms of hay quality switched entirely to the GMO variety; in 2014 we didn’t buy alfalfa hay at all as we couldn’t find an acceptable source. [Ranch History] [The Present & Future] [Meat Goat Mania][Registry of Myotonics, Tennessee Meat Goats™ and TexMasters™] [News & Events] [Health and Management Articles] [Links] [ChevonTalk Discussion List] [E-Mail] [Home]. All information and photos copyright © Onion Creek Ranch and may not be used without express written permission of Onion Creek Ranch. The kidding rate of each doe doubled from 1.2 kids in 2009 to 2.1 kids per doe in the fall of 2010. If you buy at the wrong time of year, it’ll cost more. First cut alfalfa hay has the reputation of having large tough stems, but this is only true if the hay was too mature when cut. The only goats that should have alfalfa are milkers or does that are nursing kids, as well as kids themselves and does in late pregnancy because they need lots of protein and calcium. Alfalfa is very high in protein relative to other hays. The first cuts here in New Brunswick is crapy hay only good for summer hay with all day grazing but the 3,4,5 few cuts are best for vitimans because it's mostly grass. If you can’t transport your own hay, you’ll still likely get a better deal if you can arrange to have it delivered during baling season rather than stored in someone else’s barn. When our farm was certified organic, this fit right into the required documentation of off-farm sourcing, but we also found it was a good way to initiate the conversation with a grower about how the hay was managed. Some hay may have chemicals applied in the field or to the bale. If ergot is present when hay is made, it’ll be incorporated into the hay and lurk there as a threat. Indeed, over-grazing can occur and actually cause them to disappear. Lesson learned. Here again, it is easy to over-graze and lose this nutritional resource. First cutting often has dry, overwintered weeds and grasses, may be coarser-stemmed, and is less likely to be fertilized. In other regions, common hays include reed canary grass, ryegrass, Sudan grass, and fescue. Chaffhaye is alfalfa or grass that has been cut early. The goats have gotten a taste of the oats and now pretty much pick the oats out of the goat chow and leave the pellets. Neither of these definitions are perfect; straw can also be considered any plant material used for mulching (like pine straw made of needles), but when considering animal feed,  you’re looking for cut and dried edible plants. Timothy. This varies depending on the maturity of the hay or alfalfa and the way that its cured and stored. And a huge part, actually the most important part of your goat’s diet, is their hay. Goats consume only the most nutritious parts of a wide range of grasses, legumes, and browse plants. A goat feed with 12% - 18% protein is a good choice for milking Nigerian dwarf goats. You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues. A hay’s protein content and Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) should be below 35% for goats. Rye can be applied without tilling in existing stubble grass and … Does the hay have unwanted chemicals in it? During droughts, there won't be enough rain to germinate the seeds, thereby reducing or eliminating this source of nutrition for goats. Grass hay provides a moderate amount of protein and energy for the goat diet. Hay also needs to be dried properly in the field; hay that’s been baled too soon, while still moist, may start to hot-compost when stacked in a barn. For example, long-lived herbicides are sometimes used to select for certain kinds of plants in the field, and these can remain on the hay and kill broad-leafed plants a year or more later, even through the composting process. Documentation and observations from two veterinarians proclaimed the goat herd on sunn hemp to out perform the goat herd on full feed but no sunn hemp. The narrow slats allow for easy access to the hay without goats feeling the need to put their entire head inside. Intrepid International Hay Rack-Wall Mounted This rack is a heavy-duty structure consisting of half … If you have to cut corners, save your highest quality hay for your gestating does, as their systems will need the biggest boost. Hay should be analyzed for protein content and acid detergent fiber (ADF). Using alfalfa as a primary roughage should keep the protein level up. They then cut it up into smaller chunks and spray it with molasses. In addition, goats selectively graze unwanted vegetation in pastures and forests, thus providing biological control which will reduce dependence on certain pesticides. All artwork and graphics © DTP, Ink and Onion Creek Ranch. Dry adult does, bucks and wethers can wind up with zinc deficiency if they get too much alfalfa. Begin increasing the nutritional level of a pregnant doe's diet about six weeks before kidding, so that by the time kidding occurs, she is at the level of nutrition that she needs for lactation. Weeds do tend to appear in first-cut hay. Already a Member? Dry adult does, bucks and wethers can wind up with zinc deficiency if they get too much alfalfa. If fiber levels are high, digestibility will be low , even if the protein level is high. Since dietary needs vary from goat to goat and from season to season, when it comes to concentrates, the eye of the master fattens the goat. • Health & Management ArticlesChevonTalk Discussion Group • Links • Registration • Meat Goat Mania •. Wasted hay is wasted money on the farm and our goal is to waste as little money and hay for that matter as possible. A 14 to 18 percent protein concentrate should be fed to lactating does as well. Rapid increases in nutritional intake can also cause another serious problem . I hit upon the idea when one of our nannies presented us with four bouncing baby kids. An added benefit will be reduced expenses and more money in your pocket. Broad-leafed woody plants, commonly called "browse," have the same drawback as "forbs," in that they are slow-growers in relation to grazing rates, resulting in their also being over-grazed. Small square bales: Traditional rectangular-shaped, string- or wire-tied bales are generally 2x2x4 feet and weigh between 40 and 100 pounds. Keep in mind that a 16% protein supplement fed along with an 8% protein forage will reduce the overall protein level below the percentage needed. For that reason, Alfalfa hay is a … Fatten Your Goats. Be prepared for hay waste -- goats like to eat some parts of the hay and let the rest drop out of their mouths. May - cut in the milk stage as hay for the goats What we have found locally is usually relegated to the category of "antique", meaning, it is assumed the buyer will be willing to pay a lot of money for something to simply look at as a decorative item. Despite their reputation, goats are actually finicky eaters, and this fact should guide you when choosing hay. The Chaffhaye will ferment while in the bag. ... cut the hay with brush hog. The rumen is the first stomach compartment (rich in live bacteria) that begins to digest the fiber. In addition, goats selectively graze unwanted vegetation in pastures and forests, thus providing biological control which will reduce dependence on certain pesticides. Browse plants include brambles, shrubs, trees, and vines with woody stems. Knew a farmer who took the side panel off the bush hog, so the hay would fly out the side as soon as the blades cut it. The products you are about to see have garnered positive customer feedback and offer great quality and reliability. Hay quality relates to when it’s cut; most hay will contain the most nutrients when the plants are young and still growing. Storey's Guide To Raising Poultry, 4Th Edition, Mother Earth News: Build It Yourself E-Book, Pre-Fabricated, Gambrel Roof A-Frame Plan, Natural Cold Storage: Fresh Food in Winter, Keeping Crops Cool During Hot Weather: 13 Ways to Beat the Heat, Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price. The hay will supply a lot of their nutrients and they will get the rest or fill up on the rest through the loose minerals you provide. As long as it is digestible, a wide variety of plants and hays will be consumed. Sell the hay. Goats require additional hay, which is roughage, for their rumen to function properly. . Your Copper Guide. Much of the nutrition in the grass is preserved in the hay, and it makes great feed for goats. Read all of Eric's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here. This type of hay is usually comprised of alfalfa, soybeans, vetch, and clover. With this in mind, we’ve created our goat blends with the proper balance of forbs, legumes and grasses. and founder can occur. When lactation starts, the protein requirement of a goat more than doubles. Goats were made to bro… If first cut hay is mowed at the pre-bloom stage, the stems will not be coarse and the nutritive value will be high. Producers having problems with urinary calculi may be feeding the wrong mix of grains to goats. Hay is sold as first, second, or third cutting. Learn What A Rewarding Experience Raising Goats Can Be! The main point here is to provide hay (and possibly grain) to best care for the individual goats that you have. Goats, being ruminants, thrive on forages. This steel hay rack that clips to the fence with spring clips - or you can screw it into a wooden wall - holds two flakes of hay … Alfalfa hay is really ideal. Hay should be analyzed for protein content and acid detergent fiber (ADF). Very coarse hay or forage is not readily digestible by goats, so they prefer not to eat them. Make certain the feed does not contain urea because it is toxic to goats. don't have an online Very coarse hay or forage is not readily digestible by goats, so they prefer not to eat them. As a working definition, hay is the cut & dried stem/leaf material of non-grain livestock-edible plants such as grasses and legumes. Bahia grass, Sudan grass, millet, a mixture of a grain grass, sorghum, grass and clover are the most pasture of goats. Moldy hay can make a goat sick and is also a fire hazard. If you go with alfalfa hay, often necessary for pregnant or milking does, it costs even more. Goats consume only the most nutritious parts of a wide range of grasses, legumes, and browse plants. Supplement with a grain mix of at least 16% protein when does are pregnant or are nursing kids and when climatic conditions are stressed. Hay is particularly important if milk production is the main purpose of your goats. TENNESSEE MEAT GOAT ™ and TEXMASTER™ are Trademarks of Onion Creek Ranch . Much of the nutrition in the grass is preserved in the hay, and it makes great feed for goats. Here are some things we’ve learned to consider when sourcing hay for our herd. Legume hays, such as clover and alfalfa, usually have more protein, vitamins, and minerals, particularly calcium, than grass hays. To make it easier for you to select the best feed for goats for your needs, we have selected some of the critically acclaimed products and presented them below. This is actually a good move on their part. Sure enough, the stack heated up in our barn and we had to spread the bales out to avoid a compost fire. Not what your neighbors have or the guy in an article you read has, your goats. Laminitis/founder often become chronic in goats who have been subjected to excessive feeding of grain and sudden ration changes. Nutrient and mineral requirements vary from location to location. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page. Trademarks of Onion Creek Ranch and may not find it as tasty as other grasses it... other. On a legume style of hay will directly affect the amount and quality hay... And dried, then baled or collected to use as animal feed, dairy and dairy-cross animals focus. Around, sleep in it, poop on it... in other words, they 're not going touch. An online account is fine for fresh grazing, but can mold easily in and... Contact other goat farmers will only get confusing in the spring, but when mid-summer arrives their! M at to establish a direct link between bad hay and goat what cut of hay is best for goats good for.... As long as it ’ ll be incorporated into the ecosystem have horns this. 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