Dairy goat hay - what cutting?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by BeardedChick, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. Do I buy leafy 2nd or 3rd cutting alfalfa, or stemmier 1st cutting?

    I found a source for some really nice leafy 3rd cutting alfalfa.
  2. azelgin

    azelgin Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    I had always heard 1st cutting had more nutritional value, even though it was more stems, because it had a slower growth rate before cutting and absorbed more nutrients. Sounds reasonable to me.
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    With alfalfa, leafy is always better, since they often wont eat the stems
  4. Quote:Thanks - I thought that dairy type hay was the leafy stuff...
  5. luvzmybabz

    luvzmybabz Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    My girls will literally stip the leaves off the stem and leave the stems of course they are a smidgen spoiled.
  6. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    Yep, mine go nuts for the leaves!
  7. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    This last bale I bought, is much more stemmy than what I have gotten previously, and they waste a lot more of it. I'm going back to my old supplier when this bale is gone.
  8. ()relics

    ()relics horse/dog shrink

    Jan 4, 2009
    IMO it depends on what other feeds are available to the goat. While its true late cutting alfalfa is much leafier and has more nutrients...A goat is a ruminant and needs roughage to keep its digestive system working properly. It is able like a cow to utilize a poorer grade hay...because of its multi-chambered stomach.

    The better the hay you buy the more it is going to cost and if you are already feeding a ration you really don't need the extra good "horse" hay. I like a good grass-mix hay. I save the alfalfa for the horses.
  9. azelgin

    azelgin Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
  10. thank you for the feedback, everyone! [​IMG]

    azelgin, Interestingly, dairy goat protein requirements are 16%, which corresponds with the amount in 2nd cutting alfalfa.

    relics, I have super-easy-keeper horses and this year, they are eating the cow's hay (decent wheat hay with a bit of alfalfa) and the preggo cow is eating the horses' grass-alfalfa. [​IMG] We're all topsy turvy here. I couldn't feed my ponies alfalfa - it's just wayyyy too much for them. I am certain the Icelandic would do fine on just straw. [​IMG] (not that I'd try it, of course!)

    The dairy animals will get alfalfa if I am going to milk them... I don't mind feeding productive animals well - and we are in an area where the alfalfa hay is really nice.

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