Question on feed

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Oregonian Chick, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. Oregonian Chick

    Oregonian Chick New Member

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    OK right now I have been feeding alfalfa pellets 24/7 to everyone along with grass hay once a day. This goes for bucks, does, and kids right now. But right now with hay prices up so much and alfalfa pellets I found a place (still need to go look at the stuff) that is selling alfalfa hay for $90 a ton which for the next two months would be GREAT to use. I know some of you feed just alfalfa hay and am curious do you supplement with hay or anything to up protein for pregnant does/growing kids?

    Before I started feeding the alfalfa pellets I did hay and alfalfa hay with grain for the kids/bucks (during breeding season for the bucks). The pregnant girls range from 3 months pregnant at the most to just over a month pregnant. Will I be OK in just feeding alfalfa hay as their sole feed? Or am I asking for trouble? I would only do this for maybe 2-3 months until they start milking as I prefer alfalfa pellets to alfalfa hay myself. I am just looking for options right now as I am spending $284 for a ton of alfalfa and maybe more for a ton of hay (OOOOOUCH!!!!). So if I could go with the alfalfa hay it would be great.

    Thanks!

    Justine
     
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Think you can but I find they waste so much of the alfalfa hay here that it isn't worth it and have gone to straight alfalfa pellets plus the burmuda grass that they graze on some. Have been doing this since last fall when we couldn't get any hay. They all still look great. am just now adding burmuda grass hay back into thier diets. Then at 100 days bred with start adding grain back
     

  3. Oregonian Chick

    Oregonian Chick New Member

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    I agree they waste the alfalfa but right now I don't have much as far as brush goes so for roughage they would have none if I just did alfalfa pellets. So I am thinking...right now $90 a ton is the cheapest thing around so if they waste some oh well...it wouldn't be for ever. Thats why I am trying to find out if I am just asking for trouble by just feeding straight alfalfa hay to everyone and nothing else.

    Justine
     
  4. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    It might throw the phosphorus to calcium ratio off a bit for a while. I don't know a soul who feeds only alfalfa hay and nothing else........I'm not to sure how you actually wind up with "hyper" calcemia in a goat, but I would think that a diet of this nature might help that condition manifest itself. Hoping some old timers will post in here......would love to hear some experience talk about this.
     
  5. Truly

    Truly New Member

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    I fed straight alfalfa all last winter. Everyone was fine and no milk fever.

    I started at about a month early on my first doe feeding small amounts of grain, to work up to milking time grain amounts.
     
  6. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Alfalfa has the correct calcium to phos ratio
    I fed all alfalfa pellets now for over 1 yr to babies and bucks and now to dry milkers no problem what so ever. and no hay until just the last 10 days as can now get it cheap enough that I can afford.
     
  7. Oregonian Chick

    Oregonian Chick New Member

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    Ok phew guys! I am so stoked about getting it this cheap:). I will probably end up getting 5 tons as it is such a good price (if it is nice that is)

    Soooo....it IS safe to feed to growing kids/bucks correct? (I am more worried bout the bucks).

    Justine
     
  8. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    That's what I would do Justine, get the hay to feed out all your kids. I purchased alfalfa hay here to feed to my infant goatlings. I know you have to go with the flow and all, but unless the alfalfa hay is significantly cheaper, like by half as much as your alfalfa pellets than I wouldn't switch, because when you really add getting it, stacking it, worrying about it, then picking up all the spent hay, especially if you don't have another speices to eat the spent hay...is it really cheaper? OK if it is switch. Alfalfa pellets are just dehydrated alfalfa hay. Goats thrive on consistancy first and foremost. Vicki
     
  9. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    Uh oh.....I was under the impression that when I dropped my grain (phosphorus) off this Fall, and went to alfalfa (calcium), that I would need the grass hay (phosphorus) to help keep the proper ratio of calcium to phosphorus maintained in their diet.
    I'll change what I said just a bit next time.......I do know folks who feed only alfalfa, but just don't know any around here.
     
  10. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Whim your adding grain to increase the protein not phos.

    Justin just be careful if you make this switch because depending on the cut of alfalfa goats can get quite bloated at first so add it slowly to thier diet , don't just give it free choice.
     
  11. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    This was part of a conversation that I had with Vicki this Fall, as she was helping me make adjustments in what I was feeding both bucks and doe's

    """"Whim..you want more calcium in the diet of all your goats than phosphorus. So grain, grass hay, and all pasture grass and weeds and browse is phosphorus...so the buck needs to eat twice as much alfalfa hay or alfalfa pellets or lepesidea on pasture or clover than they eat grass hay, grain or pasture.""""

    Many other folks had help with input to that kinda went along these same lines......I guess that I came to the conclusion that alfalfa by itself would not hit that 2 to 1 ratio that is preferred.
    As I described my diet of alfalfa pellets, grass hay, little browse, loose minerals....it was suggested that I would be getting very close to providing a good balance of nutrition for most goats at this season that we are now in.

    I guess that I should have looked into what the natural calcium to phosphorus ratio would be in alfalfa standing alone within itself.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention......Whim