Goats won't eat hay, ever!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Granolamom, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2008
    Dallas
    The man I purchased them from told me, that my 2-year old Alpine/Pygmy momma and her 5-month old twins didn't eat hay, but I did not believe him, and was going to prove him wrong.
    4 weeks later, my lovely trio still has not touched the expensive, green, yummy-smelling Alfalfa hay I bought for them.
    They get Dumor pellets twice a day, and I take them down to the (not yet fenced) pasture to browse and graze 3x a day. They also get free-choice loose minerals, and some oats.
    I really want them to eat hay, like every other goat in this world, and so my question is: how do I get them to do that?
    They were really skinny when I got them, and so I hesitate to force them to eat hay, by not letting them have anything else. Any other suggestions?
     
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Goats will do much better on a fiber based diet, than a grain/pellet diet. Try cutting way back on the pellets. They will eat just like a child, candy first, food later.

    Actually, unless the doe is either milking or pregnant, she doesn't need alfalfa hay anyway. And all the extra calcium in alfalfa may not be good for male goats, either. (You don't mention if either of the kids is a male or not.) Too much calcium will cause urinary calculi, or in other words kidney stones.
     
  3. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yup, one of the kids actually is a little wether, and yup, I found out about Alfalfa causing calculi in wethers AFTER I purchased it from TSC. I only bought one bale, but would like to use it up, and then get a more suitable grass hay for them. So, you're saying, cut down big-time on the pellets, offer hay instead, and see what happens? The reason I have not done that yet, is because all three were so scrawny when I got them (and the mom is still nursing them). They have put on some weight in the last 4 weeks, and perhaps I'll give that a try now. I'm only worried about the little female, because she's tiny, and her coat still looks dull and feels like cotton candy, unlike the other 2.
     
  4. PhlyinPheBee

    PhlyinPheBee Poodles, Chicken, Goats--OH MY!!

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    I have 2 pygmy and 1 nubian/pygmy cross. They did not eat hay good until their yard did not have anything to eat. Now they LOVE the hay. I get the top of the line hay from my vet and only used it for bedding for them, the rabbits and the chickens. Rabbits eat it, chickens love to scratch it around and goats eat it. Yours just may just not be hungry enough for it. Try not letting them graze for a few days and see if they do not change their minds.

    Rene'
     
  5. agnes_day

    agnes_day Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2008
    oklahoma
    i posted on here after i got my goats because they wouldnt touch their hay..now they chomp on it all day long. [​IMG]
     
  6. Goattalker

    Goattalker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2009
    I would take away their grain or greatly reduce the amount they are getting and provide fresh hay daily. They will learn to eat hay, and like everyone has said, they will be much healthier once they make the switch.
     
  7. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Another small piece of advice.....

    Take a fresh manure sample to your vet and have him do a fecal sample. Then he will advise you about what to worm them with. If their coats are not shiny and smooth - even winter coats, suspect that they have worms.

    After you worm them, step back and watch them become beautiful.

    I miss my dairy goats [​IMG]
     
  8. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dallas
    Quote:Thank you for the advice! I actually did worm them when I first got them. The mom and the little wether have made an amazing turnaround, they look soooo much better, than when I first got them. Only the little girl is giving me a headache, because she still looks like a runt, sweet as she may be.
     
  9. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I forgot to say that even if they are scrawny, they will still do better with a diet of mostly hay, not a diet of super concentrates. The last thing you want is a fat goat. Goats are not meant to be FAT.

    If these 3 goats were mine, I would probably continue to give the doe goat some Dairy goat pellets, since she is still nursing the kids. And maybe even a small amount of the oats.

    But, the kids should do very well on good quality hay and a small portion of oats.

    You may have to separate them at feeding time to accomplish this.

    You did not tell us what kind of pellets you are presently feeding them. I am curious to know....

    You don't mention if they have had CDT vaccinations yet either.
     
  10. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2008
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    Quote:Okay, so how did YOU get them to like their hay? Did the previous owner have them on junk food, too? (Mine got mostly corn...)
     

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