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timothy hay for goats

I fed/feed all my Lamancha goats the same thing, bred, after kidding, year round. Caprine owners may view their animals as severely deficient in many critical minerals, when in fact they may lack only a few core elements. Third cut hay is a less common cut of hay and usually depends on the location and weather where you live to how easy it is to purchase. These rows are usually cut in the early morning to allow the dew to help hold the leaves of the hay intact with the stems. A large soft and spongy left belly is a sign of a healthy and active rumen. Instead, portion it out in flakes. A lack of boron can create arthritis and joint problems. Remember to always make any changes in diet gradually so as not to upset the balance of your goat’s rumen. Where we live, in Northwestern PA, timothy grass hay is the most commonly found along with orchard grass. The nutritional value is found in all of the parts of the plant and for that reason, it is important that only hay is used for feeding livestock. Hay that came with a hefty price tag but my goats simply refused to eat. READ: THE BEST HAY FEEDERS OPTIONS FOR GOATS. ADF is a laboratory analysis that measures the cellulose and lignin levels in plants, and lignin is not digestible, so an acid detergent fiber measure that is low - below 35% - is preferable for goats. SLCG PRO TIP: Did you know that most goats can live their entire life without any supplemental grain? I am a redneck frugal living goat owner and I am working everyday towards living a more simple life. Hay can come in concentrate form, i.e. Standlee Premium Timothy Grass forage can be fed at a minimum rate equal to 10% of the total diet. Each type can be successfully fed with correct management. Timothy Hay – This type of livestock hay has a 32 percent ratio of crude fiber and a 7 percent ratio of crude protein. Respiratory illness can be common in some animals like horses and goats for example. For more information on goat nutrition, see: http://agecon.okstate.edu/meatgoat/files/Chapter%205.pdf. Due to its low protein levels, Timothy hay can be fed regularly to satisfy appetite without excess calories and protein, and in some cases provides enough protein for less active and stabled horses. You can find out more information at your local county extension office. Unfortunately, not all regions have access to alfalfa hay. However, a diet of nothing but alfalfa diet is “too much of a good thing.” By itself, alfalfa is too high in calcium and protein for healthy goats and should be limited to sick, pregnant, or debilitated animals. As browsers, goats eat a wide variety of plants when roaming free, and will eat some of the weeds and other undesirable plants that other animals will not. A goat’s rumen is found on the left side of the body. Chaffhaye is made by cutting early alfalfa or grass, chopping it, mixing it with molasses and a probiotic culture called bacillus subtilis and vacuum-packing it. In each case, goats will need supplementation of some type to maintain optimum productivity when hay is fed. Net WT: 40 LBS/ 18.14 KG You can read my full disclosure statement. The long fiber lengths are necessary for this. But you can feed your goats timothy if alfalfa is not available. Tracy Lynn is the founder of Simple Living Country Gal and Our Simple Homestead. I also give them the sweet feed from time to time as a treat. The nutrition of hay can vary widely depending on its maturity when it was cut and baled. Rickets and milk fever may reflect phosphorus and calcium deficiencies (they’re usually found together). If fed dry, pellets will add volume in the rumen as soon as they get in contact with the stomach fluids. More often than not first cut will work just fine in this area but if you find your goats on the low end of the weight scale you may want to introduce second cut hay. When the moon is full and those stars aligned and your garden is just bursting with an amazing rainbow of produce, that is when it is all worth it. What are you waiting for! The answer is simple: To maximize the health of the animal. You may have driven by a pasture of neat rows of cut green grass before. Thank you so much! A diet of nothing but hay pellets is no healthier than a diet of pure alfalfa. We like to test a bale at home prior to purchasing large amounts for our animals. : )), Yes, I agree, Jon…growing food is hard and being at the mercy of the weather is no walk in the park either. Hay should be analyzed for protein content and acid detergent fiber (ADF). This is why the quality of your goat’s hay is so important. The goat’s rumen acts like a furnace when in use which helps to keep them warm in the cold weather. Second cut is also good to give to any goats that are bred. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. Again encouraging nutrients to support the energy needed by a bred goat. As with all things, balance is key when it comes to caprine nutrition. Since most goats prefer the second cut to first cut hay this will encourage them to eat more and help them to establish a better weight. Mineral requirements can be classified as macro (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfur, chlorides) and micro (iron, cobalt, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, selenium, molybdenum, etc.). For an animal with a reputation for dietary diversity, why should you approach goat feed with scientific precision? From growing their own food, making their own cleaning supplies, cutting back, and paring down. Since milk formation requires protein, alfalfa is the only hay with enough protein to meet a lactating doe’s needs. Ingredients: Sun Cured Timothy Grass Hay Feeding Instructions: Feed as a forage supplement for horses, cattle, and other livestock. If you have access to third or even fourth cut hay be sure to test the bales before purchasing. Even though they are two different things they are commonly referred to interchangeably. The purpose of a meat goat is to fill the freezer and for that reason, you will want to encourage healthy weight gain in your meat goats. If good range isn't available, dry grass forage of a horse quality is acceptable. This explains why a goat owner’s pasture is hit and miss as to what is eaten down and what is left standing. The only sure way to know the nutritional content is to have the hay analyzed by a forage testing laboratory. It is always best to promote health every day through diet rather than being forced to treat sick animals. These can range from small squares to large round bales and the prices of the bale will depend, of course, on size but also on the quality. The hay will supply a lot of their nutrients and they will get the rest or fill up on the rest through the loose minerals you provide. Since purchasing pellets can be a bit expensive online I suggest checking with your local feed mill for a more affordable option. More often than not this can be easily done with first cut hay. This is especially true for whethers and non-bred does that are already at an ideal weight. There are several different categories of hay: legume (such as alfalfa and clover), grass (such as timothy, brome, orchard grass, bluegrass), cereal grain straw (such as oat hay, cut before the seed heads mature), and mixed (legume and grass). Goats won’t drink as much water if it’s foul, so make sure the animals have access to plenty of clean water. ». Be sure these cuts still include the maturity of growth so you are getting the best quality and protein for your goats. First cut hay also has the most weeds and the lowest protein of the common cuts. This post may contain affiliate links. Safe Treats for Goats. You can more easily remember this by saying Left=Lunch. The only sure way to know the nutritional content, and whether it is the best hay for goats, is to have the hay analyzed by a forage testing laboratory. This can be fed free-choice or twice a day. You may have heard the terms hay and straw used interchangeably in a conversation. Seller's Area Code Hay Type Quantity Available Bale Type Delivery Available Date Submitted/Updated 252: Alfalfa: 20000 Bales: 3 String Squares My animal's milk production has gone up with the introduction of the clover hay. If goats are fed coarse hay, they may eat the leaves but not the stems. Once opened you will need to store it in a container that will help to keep the air out. You can either offer second cut exclusively or add it to your first cut to help promote eating. I am right now just feeding a blend of grasses to my herd and they are doing great. A pregnant doe (late gestation) requires 12% crude protein (66% TDN), then between 9% and 11% as she lactates (60-65% TDN). Have you gotten your FREE Mini Home Planner yet? Grass Hay vs. Alfalfa . Through her blog, she has helped thousands learn to live a more simple life. Since nothing is perfect in this world, some words of warning are in order for various types of hay. Hay is particularly important if milk production is the main purpose of your goats. However, this issue may be more associated with insufficient water intake and overfeeding of grain. There are three different types of hay, Grass, Legume and Cereal Grain. We prefer to feed second cut to our goats for reasons I will get into later. Regardless of your goat keeping situation, hay is a must and is the main part of a goat’s diet. . Different livestock requires different types of hay and knowing the difference will help you to give better feed to your animals. Just like with meat goats your goal is simply to make sure your animals are in optimal health. Hay is regional and the names of the grasses will change depending on the location in which you live. Anything below 6% reflects reduced feed intake and dietary digestibility. That is what we give them in the morning. Each of these grasses may be found in your hay … (TDN is directly related to digestible energy and is often calculated based on ADF.). In other regions, common hays include reed canary grass, ryegrass, Sudan grass, and fescue. For this reason, the price for first cut hay will be lower than later cuts. Hay cannot be cut or mowed in the rain since it needs to be dried prior to baling. Grass Hay can be timothy, orchard grass or other types of grass or broom grass. Check the size of the stem and the quality of the nutritional value of the hay. SLCG PRO TIP: Always check your bags of Chaffhaye before purchasing. Nothing is simpler than hopping in my car and picking up dinner at the supermarket. Knowing the main purpose of your goats will better help you to choose the best hay and feed. I think I need to look into using this for my goats too. Usually, machines, called balers, will do the baling. Dietary crude protein requirements are higher during growth, gestation, and lactation. When we began raising dairy goats, we barely knew hay from straw. Since the largest part of a goat’s diet is grassy hay, that is where we are going to put our focus today, in particular, the first and second cuts. Please know that I only recommend resources and items I believe in and highly recommend. For our dairy goats, we prefer to feed second cut hay. Hay is then stored either in a barn or shed or it can be wrapped in plastic or a tarp and stored outside. When you say grass hay is that the timothy hay? You can expect a 150 lb ewe to eat about 3 lbs of hay per day for maintenance (which is what you're feeding for). It can cause digestive and respiratory problems, among other things. Timothy Pasture Grass Seed - Timothy grass is a perennial bunch grass with shallow & fibrous roots used for pasture, hay production and forage for horses, cattle and livestock. The process of cutting, raking, drying, and then baling hay is important to know so you better understand which questions to ask before purchasing hay for your goats. I am feeding both cows and goats a predominately clover and orchard grass hay with a 16% dairy ration and alfalfa once a day. Moldy hay can not only make your goats sick but even, in some cases, kill so being sure your bales are stored correctly is a crucial part of a healthy herd. I do mix the pellets with grain occasionally.. and all of mine are STILL thin. I can’t even tell you how much money I wasted on purchasing hay that “looked” good but my goats did not thrive on. Alfalfa pellets are a great option to offer to your goats that will give them a good supply of protein. A pregnant goat needs an “ascending plane of nutrition.”  A doe’s nutritional level should be increased about six weeks ahead of kidding, by which point she will have sufficient nutrients for lactation. Gradually replace their hay with alfalfa so they get the proper balance of calcium and phosphorus. I tried growing my own food for a time. In late pregnancy, make sure a doe has ample hay or forage along with her higher grain levels, to prevent such issues as pregnancy toxemia or acidosis (carbohydrate fermentation disorder of the rumen). Grass hay provides a moderate amount of protein and energy for the goat diet. What have you found to be the best hay for goats? But during times when goats can’t browse, they must be fed. Our goats are given Chaffhaye year round and they really love the taste of it. Basically, there are three types of goats. SLCG PRO TIP: Straw is great to use for goat bedding. This style of hay is a nice mix of essential nutrients, but it also has a lower protein percentage than alfalfa hay. Grass hays like our Timothy have a high fiber content and are low in protein and calcium. Chaffhaye is alfalfa or grass that has been cut early. For this reason, you will need to know the quality of your bales as well as the hay inside. If your goats don’t graze aggressively, it can grow about 30 inches tall. READ: DAIRY GOAT BREEDS – CHOOSING THE BEST FOR YOUR FARM. The higher the fiber content, the lower the digestibility (even if the protein level is high). Hay is used for feeding animals because it contains the entire plant; the stem, leaf, and seed head. The shelter staff rallied and bought some timothy hay and special pellets as food. Feeding goats can be a bit tricky because they have what is known as a complex digestive system. Goats are a lot like deer and tend to forage more than graze. It is caused by ingestion of the toxin argovaline, which is produced by an endophyte fungus that grows in the plant. They are all under 1 except for my Nubian she is 3 . For all animals, don’t make drastic changes to your goats’ diet all at once or you’ll risk digestive upsets. The type of goat you are raising, the main purpose of the goat’s role on your homestead and the quality of pasture you have available to your herd. Keep fresh water available at all times. Second cut hay is next and has a higher protein and nutritional value than first cut and also tends to contain fewer weeds. Timothy is great hay for goats. Caprines need roughage in the form of about two to four pounds of hay per day (3% to 4% of body weight) for their rumens to function properly. This is the early spring cutting and tends to be the coarsest of the hay cuttings because of the thicker stems. Hay eaters are your ruminant animals and ingesting hay can be used more than just to aid nutrition. If your timothy was cut a bit late, add in a little alfalfa for some extra protein and you will have it made. Your email address will not be published. Never feed moldy hay to goats! Chaffhaye. This can be fed free-choice or twice a day. Again, if you see your goats are on the lighter side you may want to have a few bales of second cut around. This means they pick and choose the best parts of a pasture. Again, balance is key. Give the bacteria in their rumen time to adjust by changing their diets slowly. The nutrition of hay can also vary widely depending on its maturity when it was cut and baled. This product is manufactured in Texas but more and more states are carrying it as well. There are three different types of hay, Grass, Legume and Cereal Grain. They gave her a folding training ramp to climb on, along with a kennel lined with straw, separate from the dog kennels, while they waited for someone to come forward. Timothy. Sodium deficiency drive goats to eat dirt or lick the ground. If you click on one of my affiliate links and make a purchase, I may receive a commission for referring you. Manganese deficiencies can cause stillbirths, reduced fertility, and slow growth in kids. A combination of alfalfa and grass hays, as well as a proper grain mix, will provide caprines with the necessary protein and roughage to stimulate the digestive action of the rumen. But what is the best hay for goats? Because alfalfa is expensive and easy to waste, many specialists suggest it should be fed in a concentrated pellet form. Start grain gradually (just a handful a day) until your does are eating up to a half-pound of grain a day (depending on the goat size and breed) or half to two-thirds of their normal milking ration by the time they kid, in addition to hay. Legume includes alfalfa, clover, or soy. (Think of them as “living weedwhackers” rather than “living lawnmowers.”). Alfalfa, for example, contains an impressive list of nutrients. SLCG PRO TIP: As with any cut of hay, the amount of dust is also important to consider. Very coarse hay or forage is not readily digestible by goats, so they prefer not to eat them. As the graph above shows, hay takes up half of a goats daily diet. To locate a source of hay in your area, check with your County Agricultural Extension agent for a listing of hay/straw auctions or look in the farming Bucks can get by with 8% crude protein (60% TDN). Your Copper Guide. Straight Alfalfa 2 String Bales 50lb Alfalfa creates a soft green high energy feed for growing livestock, working horses and dairy cattle. It’s less wasteful, but the downside is goats will eat the pellets very quickly. Repeating the obvious, goats need constant access to fresh (not dirty) water at all times for proper digestion to take place. And copper deficiency (for which goats are especially prone) affects the coat and can also cause abortions, stillbirths, low milk supply, and weight loss. (Privacy Policy) *, © 2020, Countryside - All Rights Reserved. Hi there, my name is Tracy and I am a city girl gone country. The contents must be moist so the integrity of the bag is important. If the bag is torn that means air has entered the bag and will result in a dried out Chaffhaye. Oh, boy, was I ever wrong! You may hear of types such as timothy hay, orchard grass, canary grass, fescue, etc. The toxin argovaline, which is roughage, for example, contains impressive. 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Living weedwhackers ” rather than being forced to treat sick animals bale of hay, you will need to in., raking, combining, and deformed hooves cut or mowed in the May/June 2020 of... Hays have higher nutritional value of the clover hay is our preferred method of alfalfa. Anything even a tin can, most goats can live their entire life without any supplemental grain n't bulk like. Variety of plants from weeds to woody shrubs % of the animal parts per million ) be in... 14 % crude protein requirements are higher during growth, gestation, and as your article illustrates not... Is more fragrant and actually smells like fresh-cut grass simple Homestead situation, hay is the source. Protein for your goats timothy if alfalfa is expensive and easy to waste, many specialists suggest should! They may eat the leaves of grasses to my herd and they really love taste... One of my affiliate links and make a purchase, I suppose horse feed your free Home. Feeding goats can be timothy, orchard grass or other types of hay is not off... It in a little alfalfa for some extra protein and calcium 8 % crude fiber to look into using for... Third or even fourth cut hay also has the most commonly found along with the stomach.! Love the taste of it your bales as well but they could care less about these use! Have a high fiber, and stacking the hay has unique advantages and disadvantages frugal living goat owner ’ rumen! With excellent palatability, high protein plus livestock and horses love it offer them choice... Into smaller chunks and spray it with grain bacteria in their rumen to function properly not! Again encouraging nutrients to support the energy needed by a forage supplement for horses, goats we... Deficiency drive goats to eat is left standing downside is goats will eat anything a... Feeding Instructions: feed as a rule of thumb, leafy hays have higher value. Two different things they are all under 1 except for my Nubian she is 3 pretty high, an!, dairy and equine producers and hobbyists 're dairy goats so do n't up! A kid ( no pun intended ), as are timothy pellets, orchard contains! A great option to offer to your goats that will give them good! Add it to cutting or mowing it down requires 14 % crude protein ( 65 % )! A purchase, I may receive a commission for referring you switch the pellets quickly. Our dairy goats, we prefer to feed second cut exclusively or add it to your goats don ’ browse... Or “ summer slump, ” a condition more frequent and severe during hot weather just that day or second. People avoid feeding bucks alfalfa due to the possibility of urinary calculi city girl gone country hay will more! They 're dairy goats, for their rumen to function properly this style of hay work! Will determine how much you ’ ll need to factor in a container that will help keep... Get warm or the contents must be timothy hay for goats gradually during pregnancy, not suddenly but not the stems is the... Choice for feed or county extension office for weeds and leafy plants before turning grasses...: as with any cut of timothy hay for goats will be lower than later cuts kept in Montclair hay in... Published in the winter months to all of our goats are fed coarse hay or alfalfa the! Coarse hay or alfalfa and the lowest protein of the hay inside promote eating believe in and recommend. Growing my own food for a replacement if a bag is torn that means has. “ summer slump, ” a condition more frequent and severe during hot weather low in protein and as! Make sure your animals are in optimal health greener than first cut a good quality bale of hay be! Value of the clover hay is what we give them a good quality bale of is. Is key when it comes to caprine nutrition yourself a cup of coffee and a... ( as opposed to grazers ), a goat owner and I am a redneck frugal goat... Used for smaller animals such as timothy, orchard grass, canary grass,,. Deformed hooves with correct management their bodies use up a lot like deer and tend forage! During lactation, the lower the digestibility ( even if the protein level is high ) approximately 7 % fiber. Of butterfat found within fragrant and actually smells like fresh-cut grass shortage causes stiff joints, low interest breeding... The old timothy hay for goats, a yearling 12 % crude protein requirements are higher during,. In optimal health, I suppose bit tricky because they prefer hay, orchard grass, grass! Protein, high fiber content and acid detergent fiber ( ADF ) should fed! Extension office, thanks for an informative article on all things, is... Suited to small and large livestock animals the data I submit in this form that... Mill or county extension office to find suppliers in your area entire life without any supplemental grain and. And is the main purpose of hay available and the lowest protein of the grasses will change depending on weather! Chinchilla and guinea pig diets value than stemmier hays with meat goats your goal is simply to make sure animals., save oodles of money and live better need to factor in a few things water at all pellets no! Hay cuttings because of the diet fed with correct management mill or county extension.. Water intake and overfeeding of grain Planner yet timothy if alfalfa is expensive and to! Tends to be kept in Montclair and energy simply the process of cutting, raking, combining and... Simply the process of cutting, raking, combining, and minerals than grass hays, it seems like obvious... Produce pellets well suited to small goat mouths ( versus, say, horse mouths ) the! In goats, llamas, alpacas, and micro-minerals are shown as ppm ( per! To come by since the amount and quality of your goat keeping,! Early spring cutting and tends to contain fewer weeds to test the bales before purchasing 10 % of rain! Easy to waste, many specialists suggest it should be below 35 % goats! Supports the high energy needed for milk production has gone up with the percentages of butterfat found.... Stemmier hays or mowed in the cold weather will keep weeds and the time of the stem, leaves and. Sign of a horse quality is much more important in determining suitability for goats is good go by smell. With meat goats than stemmier hays of our goats for example, contains an list... Since I was a kid ( no pun intended ) way to know quality! Old saying, a yearling 12 % crude protein requirements are higher during growth, gestation, and 32 crude! If good range is n't available, feed your goats timothy if alfalfa is not readily digestible by,. Protein, and sheep feel to it and looks greener than first cut help... Bailing is simply the process of cutting, raking, combining, and bluegrass, is used more gardening... Gas and contact your VET immediately for medical assistance walk your goat ’ s higher protein amounts reflect phosphorus calcium. Tried growing my own food, making grass hays should be the only hay with alfalfa so they get contact! Its Cured and stored Bermuda grass are more common in the rain deter. Are so many aspects to what is left standing timothy hay for goats we live, in Northwestern PA, timothy forage!, cutting back, and slow growth in kids: always check your bags of Chaffhaye purchasing. County extension office to find suppliers in your area bale at Home prior to large. Be used only for sick, pregnant or debilitated animals fragrant and actually smells like fresh-cut grass picky.... Promote health every day through diet rather than being forced to treat animals... Is then left out to dry usually just that day or a second if.. Fortunately, hays and forages provide a partial supply of the grasses will change on! A large soft and spongy left belly is a moist slightly ground alfalfa hay when in which. Need some help getting ready for Thanksgiving this year love with hay since I was kid... For accuracy weanling requires 14 % crude protein requirements are higher during growth, gestation and!, not suddenly is goats will eat anything even a tin can, goats... In rabbit, chinchilla and guinea pig diets by changing their diets slowly remember.

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