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Advice on Picking the Better Hay

Discussion in 'Feeding Time - Goats' started by rachels.haven, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. Feb 21, 2019
    rachels.haven

    rachels.haven Loving the herd life Golden Herd Member

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    Hello out there!
    I'm stuck buying hay in late February after a move. It's very expensive ($37/100lbs!!!). I have one doe freshening in March and it looks like my other two does are open. I also have 2 bucklings. I get to choose between straight alfalfa and orchard-alfalfa mix. Because of the price of the hay, I'd like to get the most cost effective option while not putting my one milking doe on a low protein or calcium diet.

    I was a little dismayed when looking at the alfalfa that it appeared to be a little stemmy-very green, just looks kind of like something the goats would enjoy wasting. The orchard mix was amazingly green, but it's not alfalfa and is lower in calcium. I do have access to 20% protein alfalfa pellets ($20/50lbs) and some very soft, brown, second cut $10/bale grass hay. Everyone is also getting a balanced goat ration (either purina or dumor, I dumped them in the same can before the move for simplicity sake). I'm not sure if the feed store that carries these will eventually run out of hay though, is the problem and I don't want to be up against that wall.

    What would you do? Other than get annoyed about hay price and the predicament you're in, of course.

    ETA, attached thumbnail on accident. Wrong file. Please ignore.

    Orchard Alfalfa
    Orchard Alfalfa analysis.jpg
     

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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
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  2. Feb 21, 2019
    rachels.haven

    rachels.haven Loving the herd life Golden Herd Member

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    Other Page of Orchard-Alfalfa if I didn't mess it up this time.
    Orchard alfalfa22222.jpg
     
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  3. Feb 21, 2019
    rachels.haven

    rachels.haven Loving the herd life Golden Herd Member

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  4. Feb 22, 2019
    Senile_Texas_Aggie

    Senile_Texas_Aggie True BYH Addict

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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
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  5. Feb 22, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Good morning, how is Massachusetts living working for you ? Thats where I grew up....beautiful historic New England, i hope the cold weather isn t getting to you ....it sure is pretty there....
    just my thoughts, how about using alpha pellets and find a locally grown hay ? The pellets would be a consistant source of nutritional value along with your pellet feed, the hay quality will be harder to find a source that is affordable....are ther any Tractor Suppyls near you or call local county extension for information. Sorry I can't help you more, but , that is what I would use....love the alpha pellets, mixeds with feed pellets, a little BOSS and top dress minerals.....we have very content girls eating that and chopmin on costal hay here in Florida.....:hu:highfive:
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  6. Feb 22, 2019
    rachels.haven

    rachels.haven Loving the herd life Golden Herd Member

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    Hi,
    I'm not finding the weather too bad. We're enjoying it actually. It seems to be a lot warmer and much sunnier than the Detroit area and the kids are playing outside every day as long as it's above 20 degrees. So far so good.

    The problem is there isn't a lot of local hay right now, and the brown stuff from my local feed store is supposed to be the "good" stuff. It's just the wrong time during the wrong year. According to locals it was very wet all the way through cutting time so there wasn't a lot of hay period and what was cut mostly wound up as baleage. All the alfalfa baleage on CL is comforting though because next year there's a good chance at least some of it will be baled alfalfa hay.
    I should definitely keep checking CL though, and maybe go out to see some new hays if any come up.

    The pellets at my local store are $20/bag (at least 20% protein though, which is nice), and my TSC is a bit on the far side for planning regular trips. I could save $4/bag by going there though (15% protein pellets). But the pellets with whatever hay I can find until first cutting time are my fall back plan this point. I'm trying to avoid that due to bad quality and the fact that it wouldn't be that much cheaper.
     
  7. Feb 22, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Understand that one, are you near Sterling Mass. Or any New Hampshire areas, hay will be more available and cheaper in N.H. ???
     
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  8. Feb 22, 2019
    rachels.haven

    rachels.haven Loving the herd life Golden Herd Member

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    I'm 8 miles from the NH border and I've been checking there too. This is how I'm winding up with expensive hay. I'm considering plain mix grass hay as long as it's soft now. Not sure how I feel about it. Also not sure I can find good hay. Things were wet.

    I can afford annoying expensive hay-I've put money aside for it-but DANG, that's really expensive. Plus, I'm not sure which one is better to boot and I'm not sure I want to mess things up on that $cale. Currently I'm leaning toward the orchard mix. The calcium:phosphorus is the right ratio for bucks, and I can alfalfa pellet my milking doe in the stand.

    On the plus side, I don't know what it is, but as long as I feed really soft hay my goats waste almost nothing. I'm not sure what the deal with that is or if it will change if herd dynamics change or something but it's nice right now.
     
  9. Feb 22, 2019
    rachels.haven

    rachels.haven Loving the herd life Golden Herd Member

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    Calcium : Phosphorus, lol.
     
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  10. Feb 22, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Well thats good you are close to the NH border, come hay time you will find better prices there.....hope you are enjoying your new experiences in the land of yankee and history, it is a great place to grow up for sure....and when you get older and tired, there is always the warm south, lol....:frow
     
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