Alfalfa Pellets as primary feed

Rockin E

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I have a herd of 7 Nigerian Dwarfs. 2 kids, 4 does (1 still in milk) and a buck. All of them are 3 years old or less. We have had them on hay but want to switch to pellets because we are struggling to find good hay where we are at.

My questions are:
1. How much to feed per day, per goat?

2. Can pellets be used as their only source of food and provide them with all their nutritional needs?

3. If no, what else needs to be fed or offered?

4. Will this change when does are pregnant or milking?

Any other advice welcome!!
 

OneFineAcre

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I think you will find the general consensus is they need some hay because the alfalfa pellets do not have any long stemmed fiber.

I have heard however that some feed primarily alfalfa pellets.

Where are you located?
 

NH homesteader

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I feed hay, alfalfa pellets, and grain. With non-lactating adults I feed primarily alfalfa pellets and hay. I agree, they need the long stems in hay. I don't have a set amount I feed, I go by body condition.
 

Latestarter

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Greetings and welcome to BYH from NE Texas. From what I understand, they need some long fiber (hay) to prosper... Hope you find a solution that works for you and your goats. OFA already asked... Where are you at? Hope you'll stick around and maybe share some pics of your goats.
 

Southern by choice

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They must have the long fiber. Pellets do not provide that.
You may want to consider Chaffhaye if you cannot find a good source of hay. There can be some downsides to Chaffhaye. Storage and keeping it cool and mold free is critical.
 

babsbag

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I would agree about the long stem fiber. BUT....I have a friend that just got goats again after a 20 year break and she was not setup to store or carry hay so she fed nothing but pellets for a year. I argued with her, and she agreed with me, but her goats did great. They delivered good kids, gave good milk, and basically thrived. She has since added hay to their diet.
 

OneFineAcre

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I would agree about the long stem fiber. BUT....I have a friend that just got goats again after a 20 year break and she was not setup to store or carry hay so she fed nothing but pellets for a year. I argued with her, and she agreed with me, but her goats did great. They delivered good kids, gave good milk, and basically thrived. She has since added hay to their diet.

I have heard the same from others
 

babsbag

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I also have a friend that feeds only alfalfa cubes and has for years. Granted they are longer than pellets but still pretty darn short.
 

Southern by choice

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I have heard the same from others

I also have a friend that feeds only alfalfa cubes and has for years. Granted they are longer than pellets but still pretty darn short.

I would think if there is adequate forage it would be ok. Did they (y'alls friends) have any forage or were they completely dry lot?
 

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