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Dairy goat hay - what cutting?

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

  1. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    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 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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 Overrun With Chickens

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    With alfalfa, leafy is always better, since they often wont eat the stems
     
  4. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Thanks - I thought that dairy type hay was the leafy stuff...
     
  5. luvzmybabz

    luvzmybabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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

    Cara Chillin' With My Peeps

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

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    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

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    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 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  10. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    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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