rachels.haven's Journal

Ridgetop

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Also, we're still low on selenium and copper
Talk to your vet about giving Bo-Se injections before breeding. Both does and bucks should get it for fertility and strength. Copper is the only thing you need to worry about and you can either give a copper bolus, or supplement by using a high copper dairy cow grain when they are milking.
The alfalfas are 18 and 19% protein and the 80 bales of luscious, sweet grass hay I picked up for the bucks when they refuse to eat the alfalfa due to doe in heat is only 5% protein.
just supplement bucks with the high protein feeds. It's really expensive BUT they only need like 1/2 cup a day.
Feeding with alfalfa you do not need to supplement until the does are milking. You know that. The bucks can be fed a lower protein diet when they are not rutting. Like Mini Horses says, supplement the bucks and feed the does the alfalfa. If you decide to feed the lower protein hay to everyone, you will have to feed a supplement to all of them.
 

farmerjan

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If the bucks are done "working" they do not need the high protein alfalfa anyway. As suggested, supplement with just a little feed, and watch their condition. Honestly, 5% protein is pretty low for any hay unless it is way over mature or water/rain damaged. I cannot imagine any good late cutting grass/orchard grass hay testing that low... Most grass hay will average in the 8-12 % protein if it is made right and not way over mature...
 

rachels.haven

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It is local drought hay. And it is over mature crabgrass. We had issues this year with getting enough water at the right times locally and we are still short on rainfall for the year. Not like last year, but still pretty bad. Driving an hour north puts us in a different rainfall pattern, I think. Weather here tends to be heavily localized. I'm going to keep trying to push alfalfa on the bucks, but still offer this stuff while supplementing their normal feed with a ration balancer.

The does seem to be eating the 5% protein grass hay for entertainment. Idk why they are enjoying it so much. Their alfalfa feeders are kept full because i don't want to supplement with grain. (The year I did feed them grain I wound up with litters of 11+ pound triplets.) I may stop offering the grass to them. Or I may just let them party with full alfalfa feeders with optional hay baskets on the side. Not sure at this point.

I feel bad I wasted money on the grass. I probably should have just gone to the co-op or Doris milling and bought probably first cut probably fescue bales from them as we needed them for the bucks. It would be higher protein. It rubbed me the wrong way that they wouldn't tell you what cutting or what kind of grass though.

Oh well. I got the ration balancer.
 

Mini Horses

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I can buy from one supplier who posts test results on the sample bales in their showroom. But that's their business, hay! Of course prime $$...and a lot of "expensive horse" customers. While I use a good grass hay from another place, it's satisfying to them and their condition is good. I can supply more quantity for the cost and goats are huge eaters. The prime is used for milking does on stand, new meat goat moms bonding, etc., with the other available to them. We do what we can 🤷. Body condition is key. I use a balancer for top dress, low performers, etc. you're fine, let them choose.

Those who think "goats eat anything" just have no idea! 🤣
 

rachels.haven

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PXL_20231129_153931442.jpg

My grass hay. I'm surprised it came in so low. It has seedheads but doesn't look like straw.
 
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farmerjan

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It looks pretty decent. A good amount of green color, and looks like it was well made. Low protein might have to do with the variety... doesn't look like straight orchard grass... seedheads do drop the protein because they have already "expended" their energy doing what nature says... reproduce....
If the goats eat it good, then I would feed it to the bucks and supplement them if they seem to need it. The bulk in their diet keeps their rumens' working real good... that makes body heat also...
 

Baymule

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Nah, the goats are just being brats to confuse you! Hahaha!

The hay probably is better than you think. I got hay that is uglier than a road killed skunk, but the sheep eat the heck out of it. Hard drought, 100+ degrees for 2 months, I took what I could get. Might not last the winter.
 
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