I have an Alfalfa question

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by whimmididdle, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    Since the topic is hot, I need to ask an Alfalfa question too.

    I usually am going to free choice grass hay by this time of the year, no grain, and only alfalfa pellets twice a day. My ND's are always hay nibblers, and eat alf pellets well at each feeding time. Now, this one and only alpine here is a hay hog. She is stuffing herself so full of grass hay during the day, that she doesn't have much of an appetite for alf pellets in the evening. I have tested her with grain to see if its my pellets, and she just nibbled around at it too.

    So, I thought that this hog might level off on the grass hay, but hasn't yet . I'm a little concern, because I base my diet here around alfalfa. She is about 6 weeks bred now....and I really don't want to have to separate her from the rest of the girls (with the free choice hay).

    With very little browse now.....if this gal keeps this up, I'm gonna get concerned when she gets close to kidding time. Should I just leave her be at this....and should I limit her hay intake when we get closer to kidding here next spring ?
    I've never had this to happen like this before........they almost always leave enough room for the goody's.


    Got any suggestions or ideas ?

    WHIM

    *edited by BlissBerry - made title searchable
     
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    how abt only feeding grass hay at night with so many flakes instead of free choice. Other than moving her I have no other suggestions.
     

  3. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    Well....let me ask it this way. Can a doe eat (over eat) to much grass hay ? I mean that we've went from about 4 cups of alf pellets per feeding, down to about 2 cups in the morning, and maybe 1 cup in the evening.
    She still has a big appetite, but is satisfying it with grass hay.
    I have plenty of grass hay this time, so no problem with her eating all she wants......I just don't know if all she wants is that good for her to have.

    WHIM
     
  4. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Isn't going to hurt her I wouldn't think I would just worry that she gets enough calcium for the pregancy myself make sure you have injectable cmpk on hand.
     
  5. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    Thanks Sondra....that's about what I was thinking too about the calcium. Maybe before she gets close to kidding, I will be able to still find some alfalfa hay to feed her.......or maybe she will get "normal" like the rest of this bunch by then.

    WHIM
     
  6. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Whim honestly I would not have a clue who eats what here. Both are put out, and refreshed when needed, so no idea if one eats only grass hay and one only eats alfalfa pellets. Now I can tell you who eats alot of alfalfa pellets, Nic my buck, Ginger my alpine and Shoofly, Babs and Tater, the rest are normal eaters, they are hogs. Vicki
     
  7. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    Thanks V.

    I guess maybe I get to see who's the bigger eater of what, because I only have 6 doe's and 1 buck. I budget out feed cost about a month ahead, and purchase about a months worth of feed at a time. Thankfully, since we cut our own hay, I have plenty stored up this year. I had figured about 20 extra square bales for this alpine, but really didn't have a clue that once she got bred, and I dried her off, that she would turn into this hay hog that she has.
    I guess I should be thankful that she eats hay so well, because it is much cheaper for me to fill her up with hay, than the alfalfa pellets. I forgot to mention...that's she's breaking me up with my minerals too. Maybe the hay, the mins, and the alf that she is eating, is meeting her pregnancy, and birthing needs.
    I may call her breeder/previous owner, and see if this eating behavior is common with her herd. If it is, then I really shouldn't worry, because her alpines were pretty healthy.

    WHIM
     
  8. Caprine Beings

    Caprine Beings New Member

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    What Vicki says, some are more of a hog than others. I have two hogs and one nibbler on the alpine does, and bothe wether and buck are hogs. I just give a flake per animal, but they all get pellets AM and PM. If you remember my posted pics of the Alpines they look good, probably cause they get both alfalfa and pellets. If I was to give free choice, as I have done this costly experiment, the two alpine does would eat all the pellets or all the hay put out, while others suffered. So I stick with the way I do it. You'll just have to find a method that works for you. Tammy
     
  9. Bilrite Farms

    Bilrite Farms Guest

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    Whim - we feed our Alpines differently than we feed our NDs. Of course, we also keep them in different pens too but we separate out the kids that way too. The alpines, at least here, need a different level of nutrition and feeding than the NDs.
     
  10. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    Trish.......I truly believe that. My ND's get fat on anything they eat.....and they'll eat about anything offered to them. This is my first alpine, and I've already seen things through this last lactation that leads me to believe that things are just gonna be different with her.......I just couldn't picture this hay hog thing to be one of them.
    Back when I was milking her, she was a feed hog and nibbled on the hay....so this is just a reversal in her eating habits since she was dried off and bred. Although my ND's change a little bit through the seasons.....they never leave their basic eating habits very far.

    Well.....this whole getting an alpine thing was just kinda of an experiment here anyway. I really wanted to see if I would like them before I jumped in too deep. Can tell you this much......these Gal's can sure put out a lot of milk, and do it consistently. I can't wait to get these 2 mini alpine doelings ;) out of her next spring.

    WHIM
     
  11. Bilrite Farms

    Bilrite Farms Guest

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    LOL... apples and oranges yet at this stage of the game I'd say Whim. However, have you tried mixing the two milks. Ours probably ends up with a 2/3 alpine 1/3 ND mix and it is by far the best milk mixture we've had here for making cheese and ice cream.
     
  12. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    Or, just get a Nubian. That way you'll have the best of everything! Looks, personality, the best tasting milk for drinking, cheese and ice cream. ;)

    Sara
     
  13. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    NOPE have to disagree :) MM is the best of both worlds
     
  14. Bilrite Farms

    Bilrite Farms Guest

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    Ohhhh... tried that. Way too much personality for me and those looks they'd give if they ever ran out of hay (shudder). It will be those footloose and fancy free alpines and NDs for my barn :biggrin
     
  15. Caprine Beings

    Caprine Beings New Member

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    :rofl And thus began the milk wars! :rofl Me, I love all goats milk!Tammy
     
  16. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    Now yaw hush....Vicki's gonna accuse me of stirring the pot again. :crazy

    WHIM
     
  17. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    :yeahthat

    Well hopefully in March of 2010 I will have my first Nubian who milks as much as an Alpine :) but it will likely take me until 2014 or 2015 for my first American Nubian who milks as much as an Alpine with their rear udder and nubian feet and legs and flavor of milk :) Notice how I will only be getting the best of everything with each breeding :rofl
     
  18. Madfarmer

    Madfarmer New Member

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    My instinct would be to go on her condition, presuming your parasite & mineral programs are adequate. They can be contrary, and there's no accounting for taste. When I brought my kids home, they allegedly were still on milk and started on pellets. They wouldn't touch either! I gave up on milk, and wasted two bags of feed. So they grew up entirely on alfalfa, browse/pasture, & water. At seven months, they tape at just under 100lbs. Finally got them to nibble a LITTLE of the "Dumor" protien block from TSC, IF I crumble it up and moisten it slightly. I THINK they didn't like the smell of the tub I had been trying to get them to eat from. I think that's one of the most attractive things about having goats--they keep you on your toes.
     
  19. FRW

    FRW New Member

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    If you are still worried about her calcium intake from lack of alfalfa intake. You might try a bag of the chopped alfalfa .It comes in 50 lbs bags. I had a doe that had never ate alfalfa hay before and she would not eat the alfalfa pellet and I could not get any alfalfa hay. But she would eat this chopped alfalfa it is not that much more than the pellets are. If she is eating her minerals and she is in good flesh I would say she is OK. Their need for protein is allot lower when they are not milking. But if she is bred I would also be worried about her not getting enough calcium from the alfalfa hay.
    But with in a year she finally decided they were not that bad and would eat the pellets. My vet and I were discussing that some animals learn to not eat certain things because of the taste after they eat it. When it combines with the bacteria , stomach acid etc and then they have to chew it again there are some that produce different acids that cause the cud to taste different. He has a prize Boer doe who won't touch alfalfa hay at all. That is what he blames it on. The taste of the combined product the cud !!!!
     
  20. Kaye White

    Kaye White Guest

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    Alfalfa hay/pellets is where the calcium comes from, so why would you be worried about the calcium intake?

    Whim, I've never seen a goat die from grass hay overload. LOL...REALLY FULL RUMENS but not die! I've got a pen of "hogs" right now on alfalfa hay! Geez...get what you need and slow it down a little girls! Three days in a row, I've put out 200#'s of alfalfa hay! DH has finally shared one of his horse round bales (mixed grass hay) and they're slacking up a bit. But it's also been really cold here for this time of year and in their defense...some haven't grown a full hair coat from their last show in Oct. :/
    :lol...WELCOME to the world of full sized DG's!
    Kaye