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House training a 1 month old Pygmy goat? - Page 3

post #21 of 23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepBeep View Post


I would avoid a pure alfalfa hay bales but I have no reservations using a mixed alfalfa and grass bale, in fact that is what I use exclusively for my llamas and goats... The pasture has alfalfa and clover growing so hay of a similar mix is a natural winter transition for them... Grain and limited access to water are far more likely to cause urinary issues vs moderate amounts of alfalfa...

As for being finicky, you will never win with goats, they will eat what they want when they want, and in many cases once the hay hits the ground they no longer consider it acceptable food...

If you pay attention to how they eat and what they eat and what they toss to the ground you can shop around for hay from a particular harvest and field that fits the bill just like many horse owners do... Most of this winter I fed a 3rd crop mixed alfalfa that got wet prior to baling so it was slightly dusty (but not moldy at all) it was cheap and they loved it, I just had to restock for spring as I wait for the pasture to mature, and had to get 2nd crop from the same field and they don't like it nearly as much and are tossing a lot of it to the ground as waste... I'm lucky enough to have many hay options direct from the local farmers that allows me to go and see it, touch it and select what I need vs just getting some random hay...


I will see if my local feed store will let me collect some remnants from the bales they have, that will allow me to sample what they have with what the goat might prefer. I wish i had a wide variety of choices, but feed stores are far between here. 

post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaLoTu View Post

I will see if my local feed store will let me collect some remnants from the bales they have, that will allow me to sample what they have with what the goat might prefer. I wish i had a wide variety of choices, but feed stores are far between here. 

I don't know your location but have you browsed Craigslist for local hay suppliers? Obviously it's going to vary by location, but if hay is grown locally many farmers now sell direct on Craigslist thus cutting out the middle many... Hay at the local feed store is nearly twice what I pay farmer direct...

Also to check hay you really need to plunge you hand into the middle of the bale and pull out a big chuck or cut the bale upon to see what is inside, this also allows your noise to get a whiff of what it smells like...

You are going to need hay either way so buy the entire bale vs getting a sample, this allows you to see how much they eat over several days and better judge what they like and don't like... Worst case it ends up as bedding, or for me I will rotate the less desirable stuff every other day in the middle of winter as the stuff they ignore in the nice weather is fully welcomed when there is a foot of snow on the ground...
post #23 of 23
I agree that alfalfa is not a bad thing for goats in moderation. It has a lot of protein in it which can be good or bad depending on the weight of your goats. Some people finds it helps keep weight on their boys when they don't feed grain. Definitely agree that withholding water and grain (especially a sweet feed) are the biggest culprits in urolithiasis).

I also agree that goats are picky. Your best bet is to invest in a hay feeder that is off the ground (and SAFE for goats). As the other poster mentioned, they usually won't eat hay after it has been on the ground and they also won't usually drink if even just one poop pellet ends up in the water.

Definitely look for farmers to buy hay from. Many will have grass mixtures. Around here I find alfalfa is more expensive but that is area dependent.
Edited by Chickerdoodle13 - 3/9/16 at 4:33am
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"If we long for our planet to be important, there is something we can do about it. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers." ~Carl Sagan

"We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem." ~Douglas Adams
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