Alf Alfa vs Grass vs Oat etc hay

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Daniel Babcock, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. Daniel Babcock

    Daniel Babcock Member

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    With my recent decision to feed Alf alfa hay over pellets, I have been scouring the local farms for best quality hay at the most economical prices. I am happy to say, I will be right around $150 for an excellent quality alf alfa hay. :biggrin :biggrin

    I have been feeding grass hay to my bucks, as I understand it is the most complete food that does not increase risks of u.c.

    I also understand that alf alfa hay is best for growing kids and milking does because of its high protein, calcium and phosphorus content.

    Would there ever be a need to feed oat or barley hay?

    Thanks to the great advice and help of many on this board I will soon start building my hay feeders for the barn and also the pasture.

    I currently have 3 mini mancha does and 2 bucks, I am looking to pick up two more FB Lamancha does in milk in the spring. How much hay should I plan to feed each day, per MM; per FB Lamancha?

    Thanks again for the help.
     
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    I disagree, alfalfa is a complete feed and my bucks only get alfalfa hay or alfalfa pellets they only get grain when in rutt and abt 1 mo after at which time either they get AC added to their diet by hand or in the prepared feed.

    I leave out my grass hay (as I feed alfalfa pellets) 24/7 so can't help you with how much.
     

  3. stoneyheightsfarm

    stoneyheightsfarm New Member

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    I give alfalfa to everyone, too. My grain mix has AC added. I feed grain AM & PM to everyone (all mine are still growing) and hay is out free choice. I change it out when it gets down to the thicker stems that they don't like as much. I have 3 Nubian does (2 Feb doelings and a June doeling) and 2 bucks (both born in May). I bought 60 bales for the year, and it looks like that will cover it. Will see this winter, as they will probably go through it faster w/o all the forage they're getting, but when I counted it up, it looks like I'll have some extra in the spring if they don't go through it any faster than they have been.
     
  4. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

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    I give alfalfa hay to my does and kids. The bucks get alfalfa in the morning and grass at night. I've never fed oat hay. My friend has barley hay the years she needs to do crop rotation in her fields. She feeds it to the bucks, Boers and dry dairy goats, but feeds alfalfa to her milkers as she says it doesn't have enough protein for good milk production. Kathie
     
  5. mamatomany

    mamatomany New Member

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    I just followed the Tim Pruitt article on Buck Management in Goatkeeping 101: Bucks are fed once a day a 16% goat pellet with 1 TBSP. of mineral salt and a 12 inch wedge of quality grass hay. One thing I have learned is to keep it simple.
     
  6. Daniel Babcock

    Daniel Babcock Member

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    It would be easier for me if I were to feed only alf alfa hay to everyone. I thought I read a thread that concluded that the make up of grass hay, calcium phosphorus etc, is better for the bucks and would eliminate uc.

    If this is not the case I will just feed alf alfa hay!

    I spent some time this morning looking for AC would you buy it from Hoeggers?

    http://hoeggergoatsupply.com/xcart/product.php?productid=3485&cat=0&page=1

    How do you feed it to the bucks?

    How do you feed
     
  7. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Re: Alfalfa vs Grass vs Oat etc hay

    If you feed bucks grain and it is a pelleted grain then get it with the AC in it. If you do like I do and feed my milk house grain to the buck in rutt then put a little oil over the grain and sprinkle some on top and if you want a small batch of AC to do this then pm me I have some extra. It only take a tiny bit for a short period of time. I have been feeding my Alfalfa pellets to my bucks for over 10 yrs now and have never had to use any AC tho I have it on hand now in case anyone should get UC
     
  8. stoneyheightsfarm

    stoneyheightsfarm New Member

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    Re: Alfalfa vs Grass vs Oat etc hay

    My AC is mixed in with my grains. Unfortunately, it's a sweet feed, so the molasses keeps the AC and other minerals suspended/distributed evenly. I'm trying to switch to a pelleted feed for my bucks that has a different cocci med in it, but it doesn't taste as good to them...
     
  9. Haglerfarm

    Haglerfarm New Member

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    Re: Alfalfa vs Grass vs Oat etc hay

    This is a common misconception that keeps going around. Most UC are caused by too much phosphorus in the diet. Not from too much calcium. If you are feeding grass hay, which is high in phosphorus, then you need to have a mineral that is higher in calcium and definately use AC.
    That is why all my bucks feed has added alfalfa to it. since I feed grass hay. The only time I ever had UC was when I did not do this. It was in an aged Pygmy wether. I was trying to save money at a time when it was tight. He stayed with my girls and ate with them. They were dry at the time. He got stones. Thankfully we were able to fix him up. I started adding alfalfa pellets and he had no more problems.
    A friend had 3 different bucks of different breeding. She kept having problems with stones. She was feeding grass hay and Purina Goat Chow. The vet took them off the Goat Chow because of all the molasses and had her feed them the grass hay and alfalfa pellets. No more problems.
    Yes, I also understand there will be some individuals prone to them, just as in people.
    But, I am a firm believer in my bucks getting enough calcium in their diets.
    Les
     
  10. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Re: Alfalfa vs Grass vs Oat etc hay

    right it is an old wives tale that alfalfa of any sort is bad for bucks and wethers.
     
  11. Daniel Babcock

    Daniel Babcock Member

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    Re: Alfalfa vs Grass vs Oat etc hay

    Thanks! My management is becomming easier and easier, I will feed alf-alfa and supplement with grain and ac during the rut.