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geese, alfalfa, and eggs?

post #1 of 2
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Last year I took one of our geese to the vet (who is a bird specialty vet and also works at our zoo) and I had asked, among other things, what would be a good way of providing forage for them over the winter when there was no grass available. I wanted something that would be able to be out 24/7 for them to nibble on at their choosing. The vet said to get them alfalfa hay. I thought that sounded a little strange:hu, but I decided to go with what the vet said and got them some alfalfa hay and have had it available for them to eat for the past 8 months or so. There are some days where they will eat quite a bit of it and some days where they won't touch it at all. They seemed to be doing well over the winter, but now that it is egg laying season I am having concerns. They have been laying, about once or twice per week (among 9 females, but I don't know if it just one or more than one of them doing it), an egg without a shell. They also seem to be laying fewer eggs then they have in the past. They have had access to oyster shell the whole time and I have seen them go eat it. I am starting to think that it is the alfalfa hay causing the problems. Does anyone have any experience with this or know of a better forage type that they could be having? Now that it is spring they are back out on pasture during the day but still have access to all their food inside if they want it. I have 3 and a half bales of alfalfa left since I had to buy a minimum of six last summer to get any, but if it is what is causing the problem it looks like the horses will be getting little alfalfa snacks until it is goneĀ :)

post #2 of 2
Were they eating a layer feed as well?
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