is not putting hay out at night okay?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by pokyone42, May 25, 2008.

  1. pokyone42

    pokyone42 New Member

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    I have a question...
    Our goats get grain and alfalfa pellets, AND, have been getting a good grass hay, 24/7, up until a few weeks ago, as the pasture is lush and green, and so we stopped putting hay out in the mornings.

    Here is my question. We lock them all up in the barn at night for safety. Do they NEED hay at night, or can they do fine without it, and just go out on pasture in the morning? We also let them out loose on the property usually at least daily.... They look fine, (well, fat, lol) except for 2 Alpine milkers who are milking like crazy....and so no matter HOW much they eat, they are skinny anyways....
    So, is it okay NOT to put hay out at night? (Other than in the creep for the kids.) Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Mine have done ok with no hay out when they have the pasture to eat the Alpines are going to stay that way until you dry them up and recondition for the next freshening. Heavy milkers just usually look like death warmed over.
     

  3. pokyone42

    pokyone42 New Member

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    Oh good! Thanks! :) Those heavy milkers sue do look awful at times, huh? I guess that means they are doing their job! :)
     
  4. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    keep them in alfalfa pellets for sure but if your weather is COLD then I think they need the hay at night to keep their rumens working and warm
     
  5. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature Active Member

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    We only have about 5 square bales left, and those are for the bucks. I am letting the death-warmed-over looking does out to browse after milking and then penning them after a few hours. No hay at all. They get beet pulp mixed into their alfalfa pellets to add more roughage.
     
  6. pokyone42

    pokyone42 New Member

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    good! I KNEW we were not starving them, but even years ago when I had goats, I would never let them run out of hay... (even tho they waste one heckuvalot of it!) It is good to know that I am not a "BAD" goat Mom by actually forcing them to wander outside to eat..instead of standing in front of a hayrack waiting for the "Hay Fairy" to arrive every few hours! lol! (As their pasture was growing 3 feet tall, and going to waste......)Now, they are eating it down, and it looks WONDERFUL to see them out there eating it! Amazing, isn't it? LOL!
     
  7. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature Active Member

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    We killed a 4 foot cottonmouth that was under the house this week so we are happy the goats are mowing down the weeds when we let them out to graze. they are eating up the poison ivy too.
     
  8. goatsareus

    goatsareus Guest

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    I personally have hay before the goats 24/7, 365 days a year. Just my personal, and strongly held, belief. They are ruminents and we make our own hay. We keep a baby monitor on all the time, and we can hear them munching on the hay at various times each night.
     
  9. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    I agree Beth if you have the hay, however last year we could find hay period except for imported and bad hay. So for over 8 mo no hay was fed here at all just more alfalfa pellets. But of course our winters are not all that cold. The goats did fine.
     
  10. pokyone42

    pokyone42 New Member

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    Yes.. we also make our own hay... however, we are running very low, and bought some hay this winter, which cost us ALOT! As I said, years ago, I had hay available 24/7, but with the feed prices and gas prices this year, we either have to sell most of the goats, or they need to eat mostly pasture grasses, if we are even close to breaking even.
    So far, they are doing just fine on pasture. I make sure to go to the barn and open it between 5 and 5:30 am, as it just gets light, and they are just hanging out in the barn chewing cud, and so I know they are okay...(we had hay before them 24/7 last year.. and we ended up buying hay this winter, and their pasture was 3 feet tall... Kind of silly, it seems to me! lol... If they eat pasture instead, during the nice weather, then we should be okay with hay this year.) Thanks guys!