. Planting oat in a mixture with ryegrass and/or a winter annual legume will produce more total forage over a longer grazing season than oat alone. One disadvantage of ryegrass is that growth occurs quickly in the spring and it is easy for ryegrass to get over mature. If goats are fed coarse hay, they may eat the leaves but not the stems. By licking the mineral blocks a goat can help infuse more calcium, potassium, sulfur, copper, sodium, manganese, iron, iodine, and zinc into their system. This site may earn commissions when you click on certain links. This type of hay is usually comprised of alfalfa, soybeans, vetch, and clover. Wet grain must be thrown out, but wet bales of hay can be broken and aired out until thoroughly dry, then used as goat feed . With alternative feeds, we recommend wet chemistry analysis to determine nutrient content. Forage can be a grass, or a legume such as alfalfa. Orchard grass and bluegrass are a good combination, along with red clover or hairy vetch-like legumes. Annual ryegrass is used primarily for grazing. And rabbits especially should not be eating alfalfa hay all the time. Donkeys with access to grass all year round won’t require much hay, even during the winter months. Poisonous Plants for Goats This results in a desirable quality hay. Their small mouths are not well equipped to eat such a coarse variety of hay. use your best judgement and try not to plant fescue if you can help it, that's our plan anyway. Never feed your goats hay, grain rations, supplements, or healthy snacks on the ground – especially not inside their pen. Tree prunings are great, as are kitchen scraps and produce leftovers. For people growing rye grasses in pasture, horses can also get perennial rye grass staggers as well. © 2020 New Life On A Homestead | Homesteading Blog, The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Own Mushrooms, How to Identify, Treat and Get Rid of Leaf Miners, Garlic – in very small amounts and to help naturally prevent worms, Bananas – some goats prefer only the peels. Hay is another important source of goat nutrition, especially in winter seasons. her homesteading skills are unmatched, she raises chickens, goats, horses, a wide variety of vegetables, not to mention she’s an expert is all sorts of homesteading skills such as hide tanning, doll making, tree tapping and many, many more. Alfalfa Hay The herbs that I have been feeding my goats have been quite expensive, nearly $1 a day so I am looking forward to find out what I can stop feeding them by giving them the barley grass. Luginbuhl, J-M. 2006. You can also feed your goats weedy hay because it is very cheap and contain a large amount of necessary nutrition. This legume style hay boats a high protein, fiber, vitamin A and calcium percentage. Hope I've helped some. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Not only are some kitchen scraps or store bought food stuffs not safe for your goats to eat, some naturally growing matter that could be in the browsing area of pen can even be dangerous to deadly. Make sure the feed comes from a clean source and shows no signs of mold or spoilage. You can plant many of these healthy treats in the goat herd browsing area, or inside their pen as a free choice snack. Do NOT ever feed wet or moldy hay or grain to goats. Rye hay loses palatability and protein content rapidly after flowering. Never give off treats before the goats have eaten their daily ration of hay. In a three-year study conducted in North Carolina with replacement doelings control-grazed on annual ryegrass, cereal rye and triticale, annual ryegrass weight gains per acre were superior to those obtained with cereal rye or triticale. There are various types of hays are available. Learn What A Rewarding Experience Raising Goats Can Be! Grass Hay can be timothy, orchard grass or other types of grass or broom grass… . Dairy goats are sometimes given more grain than meat and fiber goats in an attempt to enhance milk production. Merkel, K. Williams, and T. Sahlu, Langston University, ISBN 1-880667-04-5. It's important to find hay in a close to the vegetative state as possible. Although an annual, ranchers in the southeast U.S. depend on it for its reseeding ability, resulting in "volunteer" stands of annual ryegrass from year to year once the seed bank is established. Also, sheep mineral blocks do not typically contain copper, which is a superb supplement for goats. Usually the best forage hay is locally grown and is not overly irrigated so it does not develop large stems. Its peak season of growth is later in spring than cereal rye, and it suppresses early summer growth of bermudagrass more than cereal rye. Pastures for Meat Goats. The closer you can keep to the traditional browsing habits of goats, the better the odds are that the animals will remain healthy. Grain feed should be only a small part – if at all, of the goat’s diet. And rabbits especially should not be eating alfalfa hay all the time. Mixes here include fescue but I don't want to use fescue. If feeding grain to goats it should account for no more than 10% of their overall daily food intake. Alfalfa hay is comprised of roughly 15% to 22% crude protein, and 32% crude fiber. If you have to cut corners, save your highest quality hay for your gestating does, as their systems will need the biggest boost. For goats and rabbits both I would feed the Orchard grass, not the alfalfa. Sometimes hay contains dried toxic weeds which can poison a goat. Smaller animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs also eat hay. A cereal or oat type of hay is lower in protein than either alfalfa or orchard grass hay but is comprised of a higher carbohydrate and fiber percentage. Feed your goats mold free qualified grasses based hay. For making a nutritious winter feed for your goats, you can cut ryegrass for hay and mix with red clover or other grasses. You should assume any link is an affiliate link. Many of the alternative feeds vary widely in nutrient content, making an analysis or some assessment of the feed value necessary. But, if you go this route, expect the herd to devour all of the treats quickly – often before the plant matures and produces the produce is yields that they would most enjoy. Goats don’t need grain in their diets. Young alpacas seem to be more susceptible to the staggers than other animals. But you can feed your goats … SLCG PRO TIP: Straw is great to use for goat bedding. Goats are often used in the clearing of woodlands and wetlands, thus exposing them to casual ingestion of plants that are toxic to goats. Each goat needs about two to four pounds of hay per day (3-4% of body weight in pounds), which can be fed free choice or twice a day. A 14 to 18 percent protein concentrate should be fed to lactating does as well. . Treats should only be given as a training aid or in small amounts on any type of a regular basis. To keep the ruminant stomach chamber healthy and fully functional, a goat must eat enough roughage and avoid ingesting too much rich grain feed. A goat that consumes too much grain is at increased risk of health issues – like bloat. The best diet for your goat (or any livestock) is the most natural one you can provide. My goats are eating it very well.....I also have a small patch of rye grass growing right now that is about 8 inch high, and am letting my goats on it around noon everyday for a little mid day snack. Come winter, you may find they are more willing to eat the stemmier stuff, the fiber will be important, but you may have to supplement more for nutrients. This type of Rye is an annual, meaning it will grow once this year and not come back next year. This work is supported by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Goat kids as well as their nursing mommas typically thrive on a legume style of hay. Poisonous plants for goats may also be eaten when they are allowed to feed on landscape or garden plants. Suffice it to say that all hay is not created equal. Do NOT ever feed wet or moldy hay or grain to goats. Forage hay analysis - … Since goats will not eat straw because they prefer hay, you can keep bedding intact. Timothy hay is comprised of approximately 7% crude protein, and 32% crude fiber. Small-grain Hay. Hay is another important source of goat nutrition, especially in winter seasons. The quality and type of the hay provided to the goat herd matters a great deal from a rumen health and nutrient intake perspective. Timothy. That's the only time we fed a little alfalfa was to milking goats, otherwise a good grass hay only. Try to get the endophyte free rye grass if you are planting new pastures. When goats in early lactation graze leafy cereal grains, annual ryegrass or grass and legume pastures which have been fertilized with nitrogen on soils low in phosphorous but high in potassium, some of the higher producing females can be at risk for grass tetany. Apparently this is a very good growing grass in this region where temperatures get down to as low as … It's what they eat in the winter when they don't have access to grazing ground. 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