Goats and Types of Hay

TXMissy

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Hello Ya'll!
I recently read an article about different types of hay for goats however, I am in TX and the most common type of hay is Coastal. Does anyone out there feed their goats coastal hay? Right now I am paying a lot on compressed Timothy hay. I would like to switch to Coastal. Any advice? I only have 2 goats, one is a pregnant female and they are pets. We are not eating them or using them for milk. Just using them as weed wackers. 😁

Thanks!
 

Mini Horses

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Neither type is extremely high with proteins or sugars. So it's roughage, just not high nutrition. If they get any supplements toss in some alfalfa pellets. Doe will need good nutrition to maintain self, fetus and milk once she kids or she will loose condition and kids will not grow well. Keep good loose minerals out for them.
 

TXMissy

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Neither type is extremely high with proteins or sugars. So it's roughage, just not high nutrition. If they get any supplements toss in some alfalfa pellets. Doe will need good nutrition to maintain self, fetus and milk once she kids or she will loose condition and kids will not grow well. Keep good loose minerals out for them.
Thank you. They get pellets in the evening. I also have alfalfa pellets that I will give her. They have access to minerals at all times. 😁
 

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I just made this post on a different thread, it applies here too.

The link on the bottom is to a Texas extension site on Texas hays.

How much you want to buy ....

Depends on how easily you can store the hay, and how easy it is to buy hay in your area. Storing hay in that loafing shed, I would be a bit worried about long term storage. (I am a HUGE worrier about hay stocks. So I love my elevated hay loft in the barn. Great ventilation, no sunlight, low moisture. In a situation like that hay keeps its nutrition for a long time. I would buy enough hay for about 1.5 years at a time, all directly from the field since that was least expensive).

Ok... so.... not sure how long I would be comfortable storing hay in that shed. Depends on how much the sun hits your stack, and how often rain will blow in and hit the hay. If you figure out how to block out all rain and sun from the hay... then I would buy enough for a year... if it fits(not fully dry and stacked tight can cause a fire).

A quick Google gave me 4 pounds of hay per sheep per day... you have 3, with maybe lambs, but also pasture... so I would pick 4x4 then x3 months for your "winter" x30 for days in a month, and get just under 2,000 pounds. If you aren't as easily freaked out as I am, and have easy access to hay, or just aren't so sure about your storage, then cut that number way down. Buy 4 small squares and see how it goes.

But on to prices and info:

Cow hay = lower quality since cows are EXCELLENT at turning low quality feeds into nutrition.

Horses have an inferior digestive tract and as a result need feed that is much higher in nutrition than cows. Horse hay= better quality, more nutritious hay.

Sheep and goats have great digestive tracts, set up like a cow, not a horse. However, being smaller than cattle, their rumen is not as large so not as efficient. As a result they do need better quality feed than cattle, but are not as troublesome as horses.

Prices for bales vary as to:
-How weedy is the field
-How much dirt or sand was kicked up into the bale
-was the field fertilized, so had greener, leafier, younger, more nutritious growth
-how well was the hay dried before being baled (is the bale green or brown)
-how good was the timing of the cutting? (You want to cut the hay before the seeds shatter, right when they pop out)
-and yes, the weight, how much you are buying
-if you pick it up in the field, if it has been stored, and for how long it has been stored.

Guides for how heavy a bale should weigh, mean almost nothing.. it varies from producer to producer (what equipment they are using) as well as what they are growing (some hay is just heavier), and how much moisture is still in the bale (water weighs a bunch). So, you need to ask what the weight is each time you are looking at a set of hay.

Round bales (if you are talking big rounds) are hard to handle without machinery of some kind. Also, if they weren't perfectly dry, you don't know until you finally get to the now moldy core.

I like small squares since you can easily stack them by hand. You can easily crack one open to see if it is full of sand, dirt, or mold, before buying a huge load.

The things like coastal, Sudan, pasture is WHAT was bailed, the kind of plant. "Pasture" isn't a specific plant, and usually means a mix of stuff growing out there, that just got cut for hay.

"Coastal" is a kind of Bermuda grass, coastal Bermuda. Sudan is different grass.

Here is a great article that goes through all the stuff grown in Texas and pros and cons.

 

Alaskan

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Hi,
Try buying a bale and seeing if your girls like it. Then stock up and store it on pallets under cover.
True, animals can be picky... no reason to buy a bunch if they won't eat it.

Also.... if you can buy just one to start, you can see how clean the hay is (nasty weeds, sandy, dirty), or of it is moldy in the middle.

Then you know if you want to buy more of that same lot.
 
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