Need help with Goats : )

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by birdnerd99, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. birdnerd99

    birdnerd99 Out Of The Brooder

    73
    0
    41
    Nov 13, 2013
    Hay everyone I a"m thinking of getting some goats and need to know what breed is best for milking. And I would like to know what kind of hay they can eat. I only want to feed them hay. I really could use all the help I can get please
     
  2. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,406
    55
    216
    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    Hey there, I know saanen's, toggenburgs and nubians are all great milking goats. The nubians are great if you want to make cheese's.

    A mixed grass hay is best for goats. Alfalfa is too rich and can cause health problems and diarrhea. During severe cold weather, feed the poorest hay you have this stimulates the rumen, which acts as the goats "furnace".
     
  3. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,793
    387
    281
    Mar 19, 2009
    Excuse me? Alfalfa is just fine for dairy goats. I had a commercial goat dairy for many years. Guess what the goats got fed? Alfalfa. If you go to any of the commercial goat dairies in California the goats are fed alfalfa. The same is true for any hobby farms you care to visit there also. In fact, in just about every area of the country I have been, alfalfa is the hay of choice for dairy goats. It wasn't until I visited some farms in New England that I saw grass hay being fed. Whether grass hay or alfalfa is fed depend on what kind of good quality hay is available where you happen to be.
     
  4. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,793
    387
    281
    Mar 19, 2009
    If you are planning on milking them, they really need to get some grain too. Go to adga.org. You can get some information there. Also the agricultural extension office in your area should have some publications on dairy goats.
     
  5. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,406
    55
    216
    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    That's what I was told by a local goat farmer and looked it up online and in numerous places it said it was bad for male goats too much phosphorus. If that is wrong then I was mislead and I am sorry. I have always fed grass hay myself anyway.
     
  6. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,793
    387
    281
    Mar 19, 2009
    I shouldn't have been quite so tactless in my reply. I realized that right after I hit "submit". Sorry.

    It has been quite a while since I have had to balance a ration, but if memory serves, alfalfa is high in calcium and grass hays and grains are higher in phosphorous. One way to balance the calcium phosphorous ratio is by feeding a mineral mix based on what you are feeding. I can tell you this. Goats fed on alfalfa without a proper mineral mix will eat the barn. Wood contains phosphorous. Goats fed grass hay don't do this, but I think with grass hays you have to make sure they get enough calcium. I haven't had much experience feeding grass hays. I have always fed alfalfa.
     
  7. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,793
    387
    281
    Mar 19, 2009
    Just a comment on alfalfa for bucks and the incidence of urinary calculi. I have read that too but I haven't seen it and I have raised a lot of bucks and I fed them almost exclusively alfalfa hay. In 40 years I had only one buck kid that was affected with UC and that was during a time when we were having trouble with the water lines and, unbeknownst to us, the bucks would periodically be out of water. I knew a lot of goat dairymen and breeders and they never had any trouble with UC either and their animals were fed almost exclusively alfalfa too. This may not be true in other parts of the country. Personally, I suspect it is the composition of the water in combination with the diet that may be the determining factor.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by