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Alfalfa Cubes for Goats...no hay?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I have a question about hay. We have some really bad hay around here! sad

Since its alfalfa hay that is needed for the goats, could I use alfalfa cubes (horse kind)
for the goats in lieu of hay?  They waste this hay which isn't much better than straw and I'm running out of the good stuff FAST.

How much would I give them?  Does anyone else give alfalfa cubes to their goats?

I also give sweet feed grain twice a day (morning and evening milking).

Any help out there?

Thanks big_smile

post #2 of 14

You can give them the cubes if you soak them for a few hours first.

Mama to a Bloodhound, a Labradork, a GSP, 2 Black Mouth Curs; a cat; Lav Silkies; Chocolate OEGBs; Pekin Ducks; Embden and American Blue Geese; Bourbon Red turkeys; guineas; dairy goats; and 4 Quarter Horses! 

Working on rebuilding my Orpingtons after a bobcat wipeout.
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Mama to a Bloodhound, a Labradork, a GSP, 2 Black Mouth Curs; a cat; Lav Silkies; Chocolate OEGBs; Pekin Ducks; Embden and American Blue Geese; Bourbon Red turkeys; guineas; dairy goats; and 4 Quarter Horses! 

Working on rebuilding my Orpingtons after a bobcat wipeout.
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post #3 of 14

the cubes are too much hassle as they cant eat them unless you soak them and mine wont eat anything thats wet. I feed the pellets and mine love them and there isnt any soaking and they are probably cheaper in the long run also. This is what I use and no soaking or wet feed. Pellets are the way to go other than hay.JMO

* And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens. * Proverbs 27:26-27
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* And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens. * Proverbs 27:26-27
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post #4 of 14

I've tried the cubes. Mine wont eat them soaked (ew, yuck! its all wet and yucky, mum!) and they are too hard for them to bite without soaking.

If I hit them with either a sledge hammer or an ax they break up into small enough pieces for the goats to eat, if you only have a few you can do that, but its not really practical in my situation (too many goats!)

You can use alfalfa pellets if you have them in your area (I dont sad)
Or alfalfa chaff if you are hell bent on feeding them alfalfa.

The only time mine taste it (the angoras and boers) is the first two weeks from when they kid, I dump a round bale in their yard and once its gone, thats it. The rest of the time (including when they are dry) they just get good cereal (wheat or oat) or grass hay.

The only exception to that rule is when I have dairy does in milk, 50% of my bail feed ration is alfalfa chaff, the rest is a combination of grains and then they just get the cereal or grass hay ad lib.

Bear in mind bucks and wethers shouldnt have alfalfa because of calculi problems.

post #5 of 14

We feed our goats rabbit food(those green pellets) made with timothy hay.  Our vet said they are fine to feed them as long as they will eat it.  Goats are very resourceful and can process the ingredients.  They also get 10% sweet feed and have grass in the pen to eat....But we never have fed them any hay....I tried giving them some cubes but like everyone has said...They can't eat them...They don't have top teeth to bit with.  Poor guys.  They LOVED the cubes when I picked them apart for them(NOT an easy task!!).

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

OK thanks soooo much for the info. I think I'd go with pellets (if I can find them...you're right...they might not sell them around here either).

I have two Nigerian does. One is a milker. She gets 2 cups of sweet feed in the morning and evening and then all the hay she wants (plus a few animal cracker cookies just because! big_smile).

So do you just give them a trough full of alfalfa pellets and let them have at it or do you ration it?

post #7 of 14

You can do either. Like with hay, you can either limit feed it, or let them have it ad lib.

I give the cereal hay ad lib but restrict the alfalfa, but I know people that feed alfalfa hay ad lib, and you could do the same with alfalfa pellets, too.

post #8 of 14

I would buy the cubes and try it.  I have been feeding mine alfalfa cubes for some time.  If any are too big I can easily break them in hand, but the goats can do it too.  Also the billy, there are no cubes that he will not demolish.  Works great for me.  You guys must have wimpy goats :)  I actually found this thread by searching how much I am supposed to feed them... still not really sure on this.

post #9 of 14

I read that goats need the roughage from hay to keep their rumen functioning properly. Our babies so far have nothing but alfalfa hay and their bottle, Around here it is up from $16 a bale 2 months a go to $22 a bale yesterday! I wish it wasn't so darn expensive, and grass hay is just as high. It's crazy. I thought pellets in addition to grass hay might be better for us since they waste so much of the alfalfa. I'm not sure yet though. 

 http://oakhollowranch.weebly.com 

 

-Home to Nubians, Alipnes, Lamanchas, and market Boers. 

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 http://oakhollowranch.weebly.com 

 

-Home to Nubians, Alipnes, Lamanchas, and market Boers. 

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post #10 of 14

have you thought about feeding browse? that is what they love the  most

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