Hay vs browsing

Ninjafarmer

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We are getting a family of four Nigerian Dwarf Goats for milking.

I'd like to see comments about pros and cons of goats eating more from browsing vs from hay.

I've heard its best for them to feed browsing as much as possible.

We have pasture with limited browsing.

Thanks!!
 

Hens and Roos

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We have to feed a combination of hay and browse as we just set up our pasture this spring- they all like the hay we feed but we noticed with the browse they each have their favorites to eat. So far it is working out for us. Hopefully others will post and give you some more information!
 

OneFineAcre

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If goats have browse they have less of an issue with worms than they do on pasture
When we got our first goats they lived in a wooded area with plenty of browse that's why we got them to begin with to keep the gum saplings eaten back
As our heard grew they basically killed all of the browse and just had hay
That's called a "dry lot"
We fed ours the best quality hay available and offered a variety when possible
And we had 0 worms and fat healthy goats
We moved and now have some wooded but more grass but not really enough grass and fencing to rotate
We had a lot of rain at the beginning of the summer and had an issue with worms
I think we have gotten past it for now and we still have fat healthy goats but it has taken more effort
Mine were better when dry lotted
But you live in a different climate than the hot wet southeast
Really browse is their more natural food than eating from the ground but most goats are on pasture so you should be fine
 
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Ferguson K

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Mine turn their noses at pine needles. Although most of their browse is stinkweed, yaupon, and a bunch of shrubs and bushes I can't identify. They LOVE fall, crunchy leaves are the best.

During the spring that get access to all the wild berries. Blackberries, dewberries, etc. Then comes plum season. Fermented wild plums from the tree that shades them during the summer.

They absolutely go bonkers when they start falling from the trees. We collect some for us, but, the goats and chickens get everything else.

We offer free choice Bermuda during spring and summer to the boys. Alfalfa all year to the does with free choice coastal bales as well. They go through about 3-4lbs of roughage ( that I know of ) even with access to all of this brush.

For me, it's easier to do both.
 

OneFineAcre

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Mine love pine needles
Cedar too
Good thing cause we got bunch of it
Gum leaves I think are their favorite
 

goatgurl

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my girls have 60 acres, well about 58 when you take away the area around the house, of browse to wander over. both open pasture and woodlands. i only put hay out for them if it is raining, we all know they melt, or in the winter when things are pretty sparse. they still go out and nibble on tree tips and things in the cold but i keep hay in front of them pretty much all the time also. the bucks are a whole different ball game. because i am a firm believer in planned pregnancy not surprises they are kept separated all the time and have hay in front of them all the time. the only browse they get is when i trim things and toss them over the fence, i know... poor babies.
 
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