Feeding alfalfa pellets instead of hay....

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Faithful Crown Nubians, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Sorry, This has probably been asked before, I just cant find answers, even used the search option! :sigh

    I have read threads on here but the posts I have came across, people fed A.P. with grass hay which I have done before. But my problem is I cant find ANY grass hay, no one has it for sale. All I can get is Alfalfa but its $5 a bale for a 40lb bale and I know those goats waste ALOT of that hay. I bet they dont even consume 2/3 of a bale. So we are using approx 2 bales a day, sometimes a bit more sometimes a bit less, depending on what is left over from the other feeding.

    So can Alfalfa Pellets replace hay completely?
    If so, it is still the same 3-4lbs per goat, each day?

    Thankyou in advance!
     
  2. homeacremom

    homeacremom New Member

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    Free choice on the pellets is always a good option for the does. I don't find them overeating and consumption varies with whatever stage they are in - early pregnancy, late pregnancy, heavy lactation.... With a few mouthfuls of browse to complement the free choice pellets I would certainly stop feeding hay under your conditions. Maybe some hay if your browse is limited until the weather warms.
     

  3. pettigrewfarms

    pettigrewfarms New Member

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    I need to come to see you. :biggrin All we have here is grass hay, :sniffle and the alfalfa is $15.00 a bale and I have to go to Rett and then to Alabama to get that. I feed the pellets for it is easy to get.

    Deana
     
  4. Thanks for replying.

    Currently we don't have browse. Once it grows up most of the herd (Pygmys) will be moved to the hill side so they will have plenty to eat.

    Is it possible to feed just alfalfa pellets to the goats that wont have browse?

    I am feeding grain along with the hay they are getting.
    I have two pygmy does that have kids on them. Precious a first freshener, with a 9 week old kid. And Nica, 4th freshening, twins, that are a month old. Frostie is being dried up b/c I sold her kid.

    Hannah (nubian) is dry and due in May....

    So they wouldn't be on just alfalfa pellets.

    I would really like to be able to switch them over to A.P. It would save money and alot of work. All that hay they don't eat I have to pick up and that gets HEAVY after they pee on it.
     
  5. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    OK just to be real frank here they all need alfalfa either in pellets or hay otherwise you are going to have problems running out your ears. For a year and a half mine had no hay or browse because there wasn't any available and all my goats still look fine and none the worse for wear. But Alfalfa is a must one way or another.
    here bucks/ wethers/and dry does get hay (now) and alfalfa pellets
    those in milk get grain also and everyone gets free choice loose minerals.
     
  6. How much alfalfa pellets did you give when there wasn't hay available? Free choice?


    Thanks
     
  7. MayLOC

    MayLOC New Member

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    We have fed solely a. pellets going on two years now to most of ours. They are split by condition/need and fed by pound accordingly. Milkers/heavy bred and then yearlings and then kids seperate. Mostly the adult doe milkers will take around 3 lbs./day ea. I give them what they will clean up 2 x/day and adjust accordingly. The bred yearlings are just now reaching 3 lbs./day ea. One heavy milker is getting about 4 lbs./day by herself right now.
     
  8. Thankyou for posting.

    So how much do you think a pygmy goat would need? All these big girls seem to get around 3lbs... Seems like a lot for a pygmy....any ideas?
     
  9. MayLOC

    MayLOC New Member

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    Sorry I am not familiar w/pygmy's at all. Maybe a mini or pygmy breeder can chime in. But I imagine they would be easier keepers than minis since they aren't a dairy goat. I know that my spring kids are normally reaching about 2 lbs. pellets /day by fall and weighing 100 lbs. and they are now due in the next week and have hit the 3 lb.ea/day mark. I give them all they will clean completely up 2 x/day.
     
  10. Rose

    Rose New Member

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    Do you realize what that alfalfa is worth in other parts of the country???

    You could make a fortune buying and selling.
     
  11. Yes I know I could make money by buying it and then reselling but I will not do that. The person who we get this from is a family member who is giving us a break on the hay anyways and will let us take it even if we can't pay right away. There is no way I would ever do that to him. His regular price for the hay is over $8 a bale. He is too good of a guy to do that to.

    Kassi- Thanks. I think I'll use 1.5lbs for the pygmys and adjust if I need to. My heaviest pygmy weighs about 80lbs.
     
  12. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    I just paid $12 for a 40 pound bail that was yellow stems on the outside, some green leaves on the inside but it was like compressed...not sure baby goats will even be able to pull this sucker apart!

    The biggy with using alfalfa pellets succesfully is to not overfeed grain. If you are a grain for kids, grain for dry does, grain for treats, grain for unused bucks kind of person, you need hay or roughage in another forum that pellets. Vicki
     
  13. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    """"Kassi- Thanks. I think I'll use 1.5lbs for the pygmys and adjust if I need to. My heaviest pygmy weighs about 80lbs. """"

    My ND's are very much kin to the pygmy's.......and so the 1.5 lbs a day will be a close figure in my estimation. 3/4 lbs of Alf pellets is about what I feed all my goats 2 times per day, year around now. I do however have some browse year around....plenty of grass hay.....and my grain amounts are adjusted according to each goat and their present condition....... Such as pregnant, milking, to fat, loosing weight, or bucks that are working or not........In almost every case here, my goats get their alf. at every meal year around.....and I make any adjustments to be made, in the grain department.

    Whim
     
  14. Janelle

    Janelle New Member

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    I feed both hay & alfalfa pellets. When I fed hay only, we went through TONS of it. Then, I started feeding AP free choice, and hay free choice. My goats go through about a bale/a week, if that. So you can probably still offer the hay, they won't go through it near as fast. :)
     
  15. VickiLynne

    VickiLynne New Member

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    Do you all feed dry yearlings free choice or a limited amout of alfalfa pellets a day? Or do you just feed them hay free choice?
    Thanks,
    Vicki in NC
     
  16. Thanks for the replies!

    Vicki M- I am not a grain person at all. Lol. I prefer not to feed it most of the goats get approx hand ful (My hands are small) to keep them happy but since I'll be feeding the pellets everyone will think they are getting the same. Lol. I just didn't want to listen to Big mouth storm (NUBIAN) scream his head off while the mothers and two others ate their grain. He's the loudest goat I have ever owned and ever heard. Lol. He's so loud Im sure the neighbors think I'm trying to kill him or something when he starts screaming.

    You saying that about the grain and hay/pellets reminds me...I use to be on a forum, infact I think it was last year cant remember could have been in Jan. Anyways at that time I had a whole hay barn full of hay so all the goats was getting hay free choice. Everyone looked very good, healthy weight, healthy coat, bright eyes ectect. Well I posted on that forum about Hannah shivering (Remember this is back in the cold winter. Single digits - teens) So guess what Im told...."""GRAIN HER!!! Grain all of them. Those animals can not make it through winter being healthy with out grain."""

    So then when I said I wasn't going to grain them if they didn't need it I got bashed big time. Obviously I am doing something right because its spring....I think, I hope! And everyone is alive and well.... :lol Today doesn't feel like spring. Wont make it out of the 30's today. :sigh

    Thanks again for the replies!
     
  17. Grams

    Grams New Member

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    I decided yesterday we are going to switch to pellets too. I'm surrounded by alfalfa fields here where I live. I buy my *cow* hay straight from the farmers barn stored hay from last year for eight bucks a bale. The problem is I can't get alfalfa from the farmers because it is all sold before it's even baled. SOOOO I had to go to the feed store yesterday to get hay for the goats. I paid....are ya ready?.....ya better sit down.....16.99 a bale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I about fell out! I was so stunned I forgot to ask what pellets run. I am going to call today to find out and have the hubby run by there to pick some up while he's in town. It went up like 5 bucks in two weeks!
    Sorry had to vent!
    Have a Great Day!
     
  18. Wow thats alot. Its just getting more and more expensive to have animals. :(

    My alfalfa pellets went up but even with the price increase its still cheaper to buy them vs the hay.
    They are $20.10 for 100 pounds of Alfalfa pellets.
     
  19. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Vicki NC, what is a dry yearling??? :) Mine get grain and alfalfa pellets from brith till kidding because they kid at 12 and 13 months old, no dry yearling alowed!

    Amy if the hay is of really poor quality goats can't manage the ultra cold temps up north with just hay. You must have better quality hay than most. Because some grain will help stock keep wieght on during the winter with it's added fat and carbs...something we do not have to worry about here :) vicki
     
  20. VickiLynne

    VickiLynne New Member

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    Vicki, I hear ya. My bad that they didn't get bred last fall. Just out of curiosity what is your protocol for breeding? Age/Weight, etc?