1. BYH Official Poll: What are the things that you should consider before buying herds?
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  2. Bee Hives. Swarm information, history, lessons and more
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Dismiss Notice
  4. BYH Picture of the Week (POW) - Submit your Pics Now !!
    Click HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)
    Dismiss Notice

How much hay do I need?

Discussion in 'Feeding Time - Goats' started by WannaBeFarmR, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Oct 7, 2013
    WannaBeFarmR

    WannaBeFarmR Chillin' with the herd

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    44
    How much hay would 4 full sized dairy goat does eat in a year in a state with long cold snowy winters. They would also be fed grain ration 2x a day and have some browse for a few months of the year. Lets say they are either pregnant or milking since that is when they should be needing the most hay. I'm allergic to hay I didn't know that when I got goats and am unable to lift a lot do to other conditions. I'm trying to figure out a way to minimize hay exposure and excess lifting so I can keep my girls. So how much hay would they go through in a year? And is there any safe way/ healthy way to cut back on actual hay like another bagged product or something? It has really been a bad couple of years, and I love my goats I've already downsized by rehoming some of my goats and it was hard, I have 4 does I can't imagine parting with so I'm trying to work this out. Having an idea of the amount of hay they would eat would be a great start though. Thanks all.
     
  2. Oct 8, 2013
    SheepGirl

    SheepGirl Master of Sheep Golden Herd Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Messages:
    3,614
    Likes Received:
    846
    Trophy Points:
    293
    Location:
    Frederick, Maryland
    Take their weight and multiply it by 3% (goats require 3% of their body weight in DM daily). So if you have four 100 lb does, you are feeding 400 lbs. So 400 lbs x 3% = 12 lbs. Your goats will require 12 lbs of DM. Most hay is about 90% DM, so you would do 12 lbs divided by 90% and you get 13-1/3 lbs of hay. Then you need to account for about 10% of waste (hay pulled out of feeder and stomped on), so you would do 13.33 x 110% = 14-2/3 lbs. So each day to feed four 100 lb goats for maintenance level (not breeding, pregnant, lactating, or growing) you would need to put out 14-2/3 lbs of hay each day for them to eat. They will require more (either roughage or grain) if they are productive or weigh more.

    As a general rule of thumb, you can replace 1 lb of hay with 1/2 lb of grain.
     
    Hamza, Lereg, SherryV and 7 others like this.
  3. Oct 9, 2013
    WannaBeFarmR

    WannaBeFarmR Chillin' with the herd

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    44
    Wow! math ugh... thanks for doing my homework, I'm awful with numbers, lol. But seriously thanks that helps a lot SheepGirl.
     
    Alexz7272 likes this.
  4. Nov 13, 2013
    Catahoula

    Catahoula Overrun with beasties

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    933
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Location:
    Coal Creek Canyon, CO
  5. Nov 30, 2013
    Jered Norris

    Jered Norris Chillin' with the herd

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I usually use brome and alfalfa and then if I run out I have tons of chaffhaye packages which I feed them.
     
  6. Nov 30, 2013
    alsea1

    alsea1 True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Messages:
    1,679
    Likes Received:
    475
    Trophy Points:
    213
    Location:
    Alsea, Oregon
    I get as much as I can afford. You never have enough it seems
     
  7. Dec 1, 2013
    kstaven

    kstaven Purple Cow/Moderator Golden Herd Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,012
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    BC, Washington border
    We always figure 5lbs per dairy goat when buying for the winter. Hay loses moisture content and protein over the winter.
     
    Southern by choice likes this.
  8. Dec 1, 2013
    Jered Norris

    Jered Norris Chillin' with the herd

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Ain't that he truth!
     
  9. Dec 1, 2013
    kinder

    kinder Loving the herd life

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Messages:
    940
    Likes Received:
    229
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Vermont
    Thanks!!! I've been wondering that myself.:clap
     
  10. Mar 30, 2014
    Petty

    Petty Exploring the pasture

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    15
    Love this thread. Especially that answer by sheepgirl.
     
    SherryV likes this.