New feed plan...thoughts?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Faithful Crown Nubians, May 2, 2008.

  1. Well long story short. Kent dealer isn't a dealer any more and Im almost out of grain and cant get the kind I was getting with out driving quite a ways...So I've been reading and thinking. I need thoughts on this feed plan well there's two of them...depending on hay availability will decide which feed plan I use.

    Feed Plan #1

    3lbs Alfalfa Pellets per doe per day
    Oats and BOSS on the milkstand
    Free choice grass hay for extra roughage (My does will not have browse or pasture except for some grass.)
    Free choice mineral of course

    Feed Plan #2

    Alfalfa Hay (Almost free choice...very seldom do they have it all cleaned up by the next feeding.)
    Oats & BOSS on the milkstand
    Free choice mineral

    Is there anything missing from these plans? Using these feed plans, will I get all the milk my does are capable of producing? Should barley be fed with the Oats & BOSS?

    In the past I have used this grain mix. (Rolled Corn, Oats, Provider 38-dairy cow supplement)

    So thoughts on the feed plans??? Suggestions are welcome!!

    Thanks in advance!!
  2. Shykid Acres

    Shykid Acres Guest

    M&Ms... They can't have enough. ...Just joking! :rofl Both feed plans sound good to this newcomer. :D Is one more cost effective above the other, that is assuming all items are available?

  3. I would say feed plan #2 would be cheaper.... The place that has both alfalfa and grass bales are $6 each for both and bales are approx 70lbs. But thats only if its good alfalfa hay...
  4. Shykid Acres

    Shykid Acres Guest

    The quality is important. That is true. Hmmm. It's a toss up in my inexperienced mind. How much more expensive is Plan #1 over plan #2, because with the alfalfa hay there might be some waste. With the alfalfa pellets I wouldn't think you'd have any.

  5. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    Well I use plan 1 and my reason is that they waste alfalfa hay.
  6. Thanks for replying. Im glad Im thinking on the right track. Lol. :)

    I'll have to wait until I see this persons hay before deciding which plan to go with. :)
  7. New Member

    Up north I would be feeding the alfalfa hay, your keeping quality should be excellent, as long as you can find, purchase and store what you need so changes in the diet aren't needed. None of the above, are a strong young man to haul it for me, stack it for me, and clean the pens afterwards are available so I feed #2. You can further cut costs by going with another forum of fat. Vicki
  8. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    I have went to plan one with my a little less amounts than you. My feed dealer was acting a little weird with me about keeping this and that feeds, so I might as well get these Gal's switched now.
    My new mix looks like this
    100 lbs cleaned whole oats
    25 lbs BOSS
    25 lbs Beet pulp

    I'll be using Alf. pellets for now
    Minerals free choice
    ....and pretty much free choice on grass hay. I have a little bit of browse year around, but I really like these gal's to eat more grass hay than green browse, where I can get that natural Bi-Carb effect.
    There is no corn or molasses in this diet now, and thinking that maybe these little piggy's won't get so fat, and maybe it will lower these birth weights a bit next spring. Haven't been on this long enough yet to see how it will effect milk production through this lactation period.

  9. Thankyou for all the replies. I am going to be checking the hay this afternoon so we'll see what the alfalfa looks like. If its something the girls will like and eat and not waste much of we'll go with feed plan #2.

    Thanks again!!
  10. MysticHollowGoats

    MysticHollowGoats New Member

    I also use plan #1 for my ND's. Alfalfa hay is $15 a 100lb bale (which I cannot move) with approx. 1/3 wasted. The pellets I buy are 8.99 per 50lb bag, nice and green with almost no dust/waste. Plus I can move those all on my own.

    I did just add a small bit of calf manna to their milkstand grain about 3 weeks ago and am already seeing improvements =o)

    My only goat in milk is a ff and she is giving me 1 1/2 quarts a day which I consider pretty good for a ff Nigerian.
  11. Patty13637

    Patty13637 New Member

    I was going to mention calf the stuff and it smells good also .

  12. Rose

    Rose New Member

    I like the *thought* of alfalfa hay, but finding, handling, storing, and wasting are sending me closer to alfalfa in pellet form only.
  13. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

    I'm starting to think that pellets are the best way to go. If I can find a used creep feeder at a reasonable price, I'd love to switch to bulk alfalfa pellets. Right now I'm feeding mostly alfalfa hay, supplemented by the pellets, which I'm buying by the 50# bag for $5. The bulk pellets are cheaper. I am able to cut out the middle man and buy my pellets directly from the man who grows the hay. As noted, goats waste alot of hay and it's about time to dig out the goat yard again. I got a really great example of how feeding pellets instead of hay can improve herd health when I looked over my friend's herd yesterday. She has alot of goats - probably way more than most of us on this board have. She raises most dairy breeds as well as Boers. In the past, some of her Boers haven't looked as well as they should have and her Nubians haven't grown out as well as her other dairy breeds. Last year, the field she usually plants in alfalfa was planted with hay barley, so she ran out of alfalfa hay. Rather than buy the 1800# bales of hay like I did, she has been buying the bulk alfalfa pellets and free feeding them in the creep feeders she has in her goat pens. All her goats are looking just wonderful. Her yearling Nubians are growing, her kids from this year are doing great and even the bucks coming out of rut look sleek with good weight on them. I'd say go with the pellets. Kathie
  14. trnubian

    trnubian New Member

    I would be really interested to see the difference in milk production between your old feed ration and one of thes new ones. I have tried to feed just oats before with REALLY nice alfalfa hay and milk production dropped like a stone. BUT, it does work for other people so I would be really interested to see what happens.

    If I had to I would go with the option to feed alfalfa hay and add a little calf manna to their milk stand grain. Calf manna does wonders for milk production and make them look good too.
  15. That is my main concern. A drop in milk production.

    I found a couple of local KENT dealers so we'll see if they will carry what I need.

    Thanks for the replies.
  16. SherrieC

    SherrieC Active Member

    When I feed alfalfa Hay, instead of pellets there is definately a drop in prodution, by at least a lb a day on all my heavy milkers.
  17. Sherrie, I think Amanda was refering to taking away the provider 38 and feeding just the oats with the alfalfa. I could be wrong but I think that is what she ment.
  18. wheytogosaanens

    wheytogosaanens New Member

    Just thought I'd chime in here.:) We are currently feeding our Saanens alfalfa pellets with some Nice 2nd cutting alfalfa on the side, as well as some grass hay just for treats. Anyway, the only change is the introduction of the alfalfa pellets.
    Our milk production increased in less than one week.

    The girls love the alfalfa pellets. We are currently feeding it to them in a measured amount on troughs that hang from the fence. When you guys use self feeders, are you using what I think of as a pig feeder? Two-hole, or one of those giant 1 ton feeders with 16 holes? Or something entirely different?

  19. SherrieC

    SherrieC Active Member

    Yes, Amy I think that was what she was refering to , I don't have any point of reference on that though, as I've fed Oats Corn and Boss for Years, but I Know you can tell the difference adding or subtracting pellets PDQ! Or As Soon As Pellets! So I suppose you may see a difference with your grain ration as well. Only way to tell is , way your milk and keep track.