Feeding Questions

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Terri-Lynn, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. Terri-Lynn

    Terri-Lynn New Member

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    I have a couple of questions
    1. Alfalfa pellets- Can they make themselves sick with these? How much should they be eating in a day?
    2. Sweet Feed- I see many of you are mixing your own grains. Is there a site I can read about this as I cannot get a goat ration here just a dairy cow ration.

    I have continued feeding my new goats (2 does - 1 bred, Alpines) what they were getting when I bought them... hay (plain mixed variety) and a sweet dairy ration. I also top dress with BOSS. I am not sure about the quality of hay I am getting, it's quite weedy, so I bought some alfalfa pellets after reading through these pages. I put out a small amount and they gobbled it like candy. I have been giving them a little more each day but I can't imagine letting them go at it free choice. Maybe they will settle down but I don't want them sick. I am currently giving them 2 cups of pellets each. I started out a week ago with 1/2 cup. They of course still have lots of hay available.
    Thanks.
     
  2. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

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    While it is good to let goats gradually get used to any new feed, they do not OD on alfalfa pellets like they will on grain. My friend has these big calf creep feeders that she fills with alfalfa pellets and the goats only eat what they need. Pregnant does need alfalfa, so if your hay is mainly grass, I'd increase the pellets to about 2# per goat per day. My goats get alfalfa hay, so I just add a few scoops of alfalfa pellets to the grain I feed. As for grain, I feed a mix of mainly dry COB with dairy goat pellets, a little sweet feed and BOSS mixed in. I used to mix in whole oats, but have heard that goats don't digest them as well as rolled COB.
     

  3. wheytogosaanens

    wheytogosaanens New Member

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    If you have poor quality alfalfa hay, then alfalfa pellets are definitely the way to go.

    We only supplement from time to time with them, but those who feed them exclusively report that at first they eat a lot of them, but then as they realize that they are always available, they eat just what they need.

    When we do feed the pellets, we do not add to the grain on the stand. The does are offended (what, this isn't grain! :O) and won't eat them....tend to spill and waste them.
    Plus it takes forever to get them off the stand...
    Instead we feed in long troughs out in the pen, and then they all gobble the pellets up like candy. :D

    As for grain, many folks on this forum mix their own. However, I also know many
    breeders (some have been raising goats for 20-30 years) who feed dairy cow grain to their goats. They will always pick dairy cow grain (and minerals for that matter) over dairy goat.
    Some do add rolled oats to the ration (better than whole, and usually cheaper) as well as BOSS. If you are trying to limit the amount of molasses in the grain, then adding oats or barley is a good way to go.

    The grain mixing has been discussed quite a bit on this forum, but I don't remember if it was on the "other" forum or this new version. Someone else may be able to point
    you in the direction of that discussion.

    Camille
     
  4. Truly

    Truly New Member

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    Terri-Lynn, where are you located? When we know, then ppl in your area can recommend specific brands, etc.

    I'm in Wyoming. I get Western Feeds alfalfa pellets. I've been real happy with that brand as there isn't a bunch of dust in them, just good pellets. I have ten goats that are eating about a bag a day. Of course, they have grass hay also available at all times.

    I have tried several different pelleted feeds to supplement the goats, but mine prefer straight grains. I have used straight oats but this last year added barley. They LOVE the barley. So I feed it about 50/50. I buy it whole, not rolled. It's much less dusty that way.
     
  5. prairiecomforts

    prairiecomforts New Member

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    I don't mean to highjack this thread - but I wanted to ask Lois how much she pays for barley. And are you having problems getting it in WY. Here in ND I can't much and what I did is so high it is laughable. Just wondering what your prices are over there.
     
  6. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Find a way to weigh your alfalfa pellets, your goal should be about 3 pounds per milker by 100 days pregnant and through lactation, you can move it down to 2 pounds when in late lactation and dry.

    Do you have an ingredients tag on the dairy cattle ration, as long it is not loaded with salt to discourage consumption when fed free choice (the only one we have here, or a lactation pellet full of nasties at the coop) than most dairy cattle rations are very good ideas. Have you seen any of the dairy cattle on the ration? Vicki
     
  7. Terri-Lynn

    Terri-Lynn New Member

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    Thanks for the replys. I can weigh it using my soap scales. I did give them quite a bit more today and they didn't eat it all, so it appears that they aren't complete pigs. They ate for a bit but then the evergreen cuttings became more interesting.
    I haven't seen any of the cattle on the ration. I will check the tags for salt. What do you mean by a "lactation pellet full of nasties..." ? I am inherently suspicious of processed foods in my own diet, and mystery stuff in a bag bothers me for me or my goats/ chickens etc. I am a little weird but the whole mad cow thing and the part feed mills played still bugs me, so if I can buy grains and put it together myself I will attempt it. I am going to go through this bag but start changing things by the time I am finished with it.
     
  8. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Here it's fish and feather meal and bakery byproducts, all listed under a byproducts feed tag.

    Anything really is fine for milkstand grain fed along with the best alfalfa hay or pellets you can find, it's when grass hay is added to these types of things that kill of your best producers, be it milk or kids or both. Vicki
     
  9. I mix my own grain. It has Oats, Corn, and KENT Provider 38.

    My girls are fed free choice grass hay. And will be getting alfalfa pellets and BOSS.

    Works great for us!