Alfalfa Pellet Feeding Amounts

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by horsesandhoofprints, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. horsesandhoofprints

    horsesandhoofprints New Member

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    I have a few questions about feeding alfalfa pellets to different aged goats.

    I've read that you should feed 4.5lbs of hay a day, per head; is this accurate? If so, how much of that should be in the form alfalfa pellets? (I can't get good quality alfalfa hay here in Southeast Texas so my girls get all alfalfa pellets for calcium, and then pretty much free choice grass hay for the long-stemmed fiber they need for chewing, since they don't have a big pasture) I can't afford to feed free choice, but I want to give them what they need in order to be healthy and produce milk. I know that 1lb of pellets = 1lb of hay.

    How many pounds would you feed to growing goats?

    How about goats who are milking?

    How about Nigerian Dwarf goats?

    And one more question, I've read that several people give alfalfa 24/7/365 whether milking, dry, pregnant, etc. Does the amount of pellets change when the are dry, but pregnant? Do they need straight alfalfa before day 100 of their pregnancy? I have a ND goat who is about 2 months pregnant, but she's dried up. I just want to make sure to give her what she needs, but not enough to make her fat since she's not turning it into milk. Thanks!
     
  2. doublebowgoats

    doublebowgoats Active Member

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    We're in the same boat here about the alfalfa. I feed 2-3 lbs of alfalfa pellets per head for young stock/lactating/pregnant/in rut animals. For younger ones, I stick to the same amount, but make sure they are not bullied out of their portion by the bigger/dominant goats. For lactating goats that are thinner than I like, I give their grain while milking but also will give them as much alfalfa pellets as they can eat during milking in addition to the alfalfa pellets they get at feeding times. Of course there are lots of successful folks who so stuff differently, but this is how I do it. Not sure about nigies, but I would think at least a pound of alfalfa pellets a day.
     

  3. punchiepal

    punchiepal Member

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    For our nd's we usually don't add extra pellets till about 3-3.5 weeks prekidding unless they look really heavy with kids. (We have a few that always give 3+ kids) If they are really heavy with kids I figure they can't eat enough hay to get enough nutrition for all those kids. About 2 weeks out I add a smidge of grain, working up to about what they will get on the milkstand.

    On the milkstand our nd's only get about 1.5 c alfalfa pellets and 1/4 c grain 2x a day. For the 1/2 gal and plus milkers they might get a little more. We probably will cut the alfalfa pellets this year as we got, what looks like, some REALLY good alfalfa. :)