Haylage for goats?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by kmorisett, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. kmorisett

    kmorisett New Member

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    I am wondering if anyone knows if goats do well on haylage. I can get wet bales of pure alfalfa, and I used to use them for my calves. I switched to dry grass hay when I got my goats because I was worried about the small amount of mold that you always have with haylage. What do you all think? Alfalfa haylage or grass hay and alfalfa pellets? If feeding haylage, will they eat around the mold, or does it depend on the goat? The last thing I want to do is make my girls sick!
     
  2. Ashley

    Ashley New Member

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    I definitely wouldn't do it. You don't want any mold at all in their feed. I would go with the grass hay and pellets.
     

  3. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Listerosis is much more of a problem with goats than with cows. Goats are much more sensitive to small amounts of mold. More so because a new person could be dragging a doe up onto the milkstand way before they note the tell tale symptoms of listerosis. With the neurological symptoms so close to milk fever or polio, it isn't worth it. Vicki
     
  4. kmorisett

    kmorisett New Member

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    That's pretty much what I was afraid of, but I just wondered if I was worrying too much. I guess I am adding equipment to move round bales and a big barn to store them in to my Christmas wish list - LOL! I guess I will have to stick with the grass hay for now, since my neighbor will store it and bring it over for me. I don't have a separate area for my goats, and I don't want to pay to feed my cows with square alfalfa bales.
     
  5. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Why not just feed the grass hay and improve your protein and calcium in the diet with alfalfa pellets like I do? You could also guild the lily by adding beet pulp to your grain mix for your milkers? Or set up a creep feeder so your goats have access to the alfalfa bales, but the cows do not.
     
  6. Squires

    Squires New Member

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    Baled hay silage is good food -- the leaves are supple and do not shatter. Even the stalks are tender and juicy. They tend to weigh about twice what normal hay bales weigh -- so make sure you have a heavy-duty tractor of your own, or have them placed exactly where you want to feed them. My hay bales weigh 800 lbs each, the baleage about 1600 lbs, so I have them delivered and placed exactly where they will be fed in the winter.

    If you are feeding baleage in winter, you may find that you don't need to provide as much water - in fact, when animals switch quickly from hay to silage, they may get diarrhea from the sudden increase in moisture-content.

    If properly made ( cut hay is slightly dried, but not too much, and baled tight before wrapping and sealing air-tight) the bales will ferment properly and preserve the right nutrients without spoiling or growing bad bacteria. Any punctures must be sealed up tight as soon as noticed to avoid growing listeriosis and other noxious things.

    Early in the winter, your summer-baled silage will smell fragrant with grass, wild-flowers, and alcohol when opened fresh. It can sometimes smell somewhat like sauerkraut. Later it will smell like barnyard odors and look like tobacco when opened -- the animals still love it! Use it up before warm weather, if possible.

    I only feed it to dairy animals in the winter, because I do not have a large herd or flock (dairy sheep) and it is best when fed fresh. Warm weather and air exposure encourage the growth of those bad bacteria and molds. At a grass-raised meat conference, a 70+ year old farmer mentioned that the white mold is not so bad, pink isn't bad, the colorful or dark molds are more troublesome. Only time he ever had trouble was when he let someone else pack his silo with hay and they left too much air in the mixture. Buy from someone who has experience making this type of silage, packs it air-tight, and uses it for dairy cows. Only feed it in cold weather, unless you have enough animals to eat it and dispose of it within 3 days of opening.

    Listeriosis bacteria is in the soil and air -- it happens to your animals when the bale contains too much air, not enough moisture, is punctured and not quickly re-sealed, or sits out in the open in warmer temperatures. In the North, feed it between October and March for best results. I've fed it earlier and later some years, but depending on temperatures and handling, that could be risky. You will notice your animals being "off" if they get listeriosis -- it happens very quickly, and then they usually die quickly. Pull any animal that acts "off" from your dairy line. Or just make sure you buy from a reliable bale-maker, and only feed the stuff in cold weather unless you have enough animals to finish it off quickly. Thousands of dairy farmers in the Great Lakes region can not be wrong. Ask you extension agent for advice if not sure.

    Best wishes.
     
  7. buckrun

    buckrun New Member

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    Pink is usually bacteria not mold. Serratia Marcescens
    Can be implicated in UTI.
     
  8. kmorisett

    kmorisett New Member

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    Hhhmmm, maybe there wouldn't be any mold if I was feeding haylage in the cold months. I only fed it this summer to my calves, and they took 1-2 weeks to finish the bale. I don't recall any mold when we opened it, only after it was getting old. It did smell sweet, and my cows loved it!
     
  9. kbdavies

    kbdavies New Member

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    "Chaffhaye" is a controlled haylage, the ph in the bag is below 5 meaning the environment is not suitable for mold, therefore, eliminating any chance of listerosis. The fermentation process increases the digestibility and absorption of nutrients. More affordable than baled alfalfa and pellets, especially when you factor in that they don't waste any of it.
     
  10. kmorisett

    kmorisett New Member

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    What exactly is "chaffhaye"? I have never heard of it or seen it advertised.
     
  11. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    there is an article in Goat 101 on chaffhaye do a search on the upper left side of this form
     
  12. kbdavies

    kbdavies New Member

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    I couldn't find that article in the search. Chaffhaye is a haylage that is packaged in a controlled environment 50# bags. It is mold/dust free. There is no waste with chaffhaye because it is chopped so the little guys can't pick out the leaves.www.chaffhaye.com
     
  13. Ziggy

    Ziggy Buck

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    I have 2 problems with this (although I do know people who feed it successfully). First their protein is only 9% (min) on their alfalfa, and secondly I have heard that if you get a hole in the bag it can mold.

    I prefer good quality hay and/or Alfalfa Pellets which give me a 17% protein guaranteed.
     
  14. kbdavies

    kbdavies New Member

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    This is true, 9% protein but as fed with the benefits of 19% thanks to a lengthened amino acid chain (due to the moisture content). With the higher absorption rate (fermented/ "predigested" state) you can actually know what your goats are getting. With hay and pellets the tdn fluctuates greatly, you can have all the protein in the world but if it is not readily absorbed it ends up as manure. That is why alot of deer breeders use it, and they are obessed with protein content. The bags are sturdy as long as you don't throw them around and when they do get punctured it is easy to tell the bag has turned and Chaffhaye usually replaces them.
     
  15. buckrun

    buckrun New Member

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    Welcome to the forum kbdavies. Please complete your profile information to include where you are located and what type of stock you are raising. It makes it easier to share relevant information if everyone can see this info at a glance.

    Please expound on your results with Chaffhaye. Production levels- reproduction rates- condition maintainence during lactation and why you prefer it to other feed regimens if you have compared. There have been problems in the hot and humid south with opening a bag and not using it immediately. The planned results in the anaerobic environ of the bag are negated once oxygen is re-introduced. Thanks for any info on this topic.
     
  16. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    KBdavies, is a distributor of Chaffehay in my state. If you click on your forum profile information you can put this into your signature. Then please start a new thread by clicking on new topic. I asked him to join our forum and talk about his product. I know most of the info is intially going to come from boer herds who use this, but with both alfalfa and grass hay varieties and a few dairies I know of using this and others thinking about it, I thought it would be great to respectfully pick his brain on this. I am also worried about small farms who can not use of a bail quickly having problems with mold/listerosis in our humid weather be it summer or winter...larger herds would use the bail quickly so this would not be a problem. Thanks K, Vicki
     
  17. kbdavies

    kbdavies New Member

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    Thanks Vicki, I will be sure to complete my page setup! Chaffhaye is coming out with a 25 lb bag this will be beneficial to smaller herds that can't quite feed out a 50lb bag.
     
  18. lorit

    lorit Senior Member

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    I know I am curious - saw the info at the feed store. Even though we live where we can get good alfalfa, the amount of waste kills me - and I use cattle panels to feed thru, etc. But I am small - three (soon to be 4) does on a regular basis with kids as they cycle thru. So the keeping factor once opened will be important info.

    Our winters are cool, so storage from Oct - April will be no problem, summers iffy. What kind of temps does one have to watch for?

    About how much does the average full size dairy goat eat per day? Is it kept out 24/7 like regular alfalfa?

    How long does a 50# bag last once opened?

    Thanx for all and any info.
     
  19. kbdavies

    kbdavies New Member

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    Hi Lori, here are the answers to your questions.
    Stored without opening Chaffhaye last 2 years regardless of temperature, once opened you have between 5-8 days to feed depending on humidity. The average dairy goat will eat about 3lbs per day or 2lbs per 100 weight. You are correct there is no waste with Chaffhaye. If you like we can send you sample bags and literature to try. Thanks for the questions!