Has anyone ever used oak leaves for bedding? Straw is almost $5 a bale here and we have a major cold front coming in and I cannot waste the hay on the bedding either. Usually I just use the hay from floor sweepings, but there isn't enough to do the job yet. Appreciate your opinions and experience!
I don't think oak leaves would work for my goats very well....they eat them like crazy. I'm not sure that they would still eat them if they were pooped upon.......I guess if I didn't have anything else to help keep them warm that I would try it though.
NO oak leaves in my opinion should now be used reasoning is that oak leaves are toxic to a certain extent and more so if damp or wilted. so I would not take that chance. Wish I could get straw for $5 a bale here
If your place is like mine Dreen they have acres and acres of oak leaves to chose from so I wouldn't worry about the toxicity, unless they were penned in an area with little else to eat. I just don't think they would soak up urine very well, and if you did they would get moldy if they didn't you would be dealing with a lot of crushed up leaves with dust and that would be a mess. Even if you could find some older square bales that were combined fescue straw that would be better. IMO
mine eat oat leaves all the time too, I just wouldn't like putting them in as bedding and they them eating it there.
Also check into rice hulls they are very inexspesive and make a wonderful bedding material
If you do use them, fluff them up daily, so they don't pack down and become slippery wet. Perhaps sprinkle lime between layers? I have used all sorts of things for bedding, free shredded paper, un kilned dried shavings, old hay, straw, shavings, wood chips. In the end it's all nasty, packs down and is a lot of work to dig out in the spring Vicki
Well we put it down, mixed with hay from the feeding side of the buck barn so that it isn't all oak leaves. It looks and feels really nice right now. I will lime before we load it up with something else. I have never heard of rice hulls anywhere around here, eo I'll have to look into it. And yeah, Chris, my place is loaded with oak, so they aren't really hungry for it at all. We don't have any pine. I just don't see why we should spend 20 bucks on goat toilet paper. We'll cover with floor sweeping hay, but instead of adding it every day I am going to pile it and lime in between.