The leaf-to-stem ratio is the most important criteria. Below that, the rumen is compromised as ruminal microbes require protein. hay good orchard grass great horses, cows, goats, sheep hauling Whatsapp +27631521991. Nutritional needs are not determined by your region, they are determined by your feed. Timothy is great hay for goats. Moldy hay can not only make your goats sick but even, in some cases, kill so being sure your bales are stored correctly is a crucial part of a healthy herd. It can be a good choice for feeding milking goats as it has more protein, energy and calcium. No hay is perfect, which is why nutritional analysis is critical. If hay feeding is warranted, forage availability is limiting, stocking rate is too high and a reduction in the number of goats is probably in order. The cost of chemical analysis in this case would be cost saving. Nothing is simpler than hopping in my car and picking up dinner at the supermarket. You can more easily remember this by saying Left=Lunch. The treated hay ferments in the bag, adding good bacteria that’s easy for goats to digest. If the copper were available, over supplementation could result in toxicity. This hay is richer and more nutrient-dense that supports the high energy needed for milk production. Once you get past the learning curve, goats are easy to care for. Hay that came with a hefty price tag but my goats simply refused to eat. If you do not have an analyst in your area, the tools required for sampling are a hay borer and a sealable plastic bag. I feed mostly alfalfa hay which I get delivered in 5 - 10 ton lots at a time. hay for sale good quality lucerne and alfalfa grass. These rows are usually cut in the early morning to allow the dew to help hold the leaves of the hay intact with the stems. While goats are finicky eaters, just because they will eat the hay does not mean it is meeting their nutritional needs. Depending on how big your goats I would sort of measure it by that. This is usually cut fresh and bailed; giving it the most nutritional value. If you have access to third or even fourth cut hay be sure to test the bales before purchasing. Orchardgrass makes a better hay, has more summer growth than tall fescue, and is easier to manage than tall fescue in mixture with ladino in the upper Piedmont and mountains. It is also a bit hard to come by since the amount of second cut hay all depends on the weather. It’s all about making more of what we need so we spend less, save oodles of money and live better! The short answer is GOOD hay. They should replace it without question. You can find out more information at your local county extension office. If your animal doesn’t care for Timothy hay, you might try Orchard Grass or Bermuda Grass as an alternative. Forage (hay/pasture) makes up 60-100% of the diet for horses, depending on their function and activity. I am feeding both cows and goats a predominately clover and orchard grass hay with a 16% dairy ration and alfalfa once a day. It has less weeds, is finer-stemmed, fertilized, and grown during the optimal growing season. To increase the growth weight farmer should provide creep feeding and complementary feeding of kids to goat. Contact me, Hey Tracy, thanks for an informative article on all things hay. Most goat producers will find the roughest land to graze goats on. They like to graze often throughout the day going for weeds and leafy plants before turning to grasses. SLCG PRO TIP: Hay must be kept out of the rain to deter spoiling of the hay bale. Even more important than choosing the right brand of pellets to feed your rabbit’s, is the vitality of knowing the true value of providing them with hay. Barriers to testing range from costs to lack of availability of analysts or labs. Coastal Hay is normally Alicia grass which is very similar to bermuda. Most farmers will allow you to purchase a sample bale before committing to tonnage. We feed an orchard/fescue mix, but during the drought a few years back, we fed timothy trucked in from up north in the fall/winter and our mares did well/liked it just fine. When I first starting raising goats I thought all hay was alike. There are so many things to know about hay from growing it to cutting or mowing it down. Mature sheep can get by on good-quality grass hay, but lambs do better with a legume—harvested while … It provides more energy, vitamins, and minerals than dried hay. Good hay should bend easily; if it snaps, it has high fiber and low digestibility. The stems become courser and more fibrous, so the values are highest when the plant is young. It is important to know the best hay for your specific animals in order to ensure their overall health, growth, and milk production. Tall Fescue, whether it is growing in the pasture or baled into hay, contains an alkaloid toxin that is trapped between the cells in the seeds of the plant. Legume hay (like alfafa) contains more protein and calcium than grass hay. Basically whatever we grow or the neighbors have for sale. Now I am teaching others how to do the same. If your timothy was cut a bit late, add in a little alfalfa for some extra protein and you will have it made. Feeding goats can be a bit tricky because they have what is known as a complex digestive system. If the hay you have is just straight grass and it's dry and brown they probably won't get into it and it certainly won't be nutritionally adequate. This point will vary based upon your situation. Because, unlike other ruminating animals, goats will eat 60% browse/shrubs in their diet. There are two types of analysis — visual and chemical. Like any other preserved forage, the quality of orchardgrass hay depends on multiple factors, primary of which are cultivation and harvesting techniques. Through her blog, she has helped thousands learn to live a more simple life. The goats will eat the grass first, but they will not take them by the roots; then when the herbs are consumed, the goats will go to the legumes. The type of hay will directly affect the amount and quality of milk along with the percentages of butterfat found within. The chips from the core sample represent a wider geographic area and give the average of the crop on the field. There are three types of hay: legume, grass, and cereal. I’ve been in love with hay since I was a kid (no pun intended). Assuming that the hay is good quality, they are all good, nutritious horse forages. The unaffiliated grower had a range of quality standards available — this stack was rated excellent and priced at a premium. You may have heard the terms hay and straw used interchangeably in a conversation. The leaves of grasses change as the plant matures, making grass hays more digestible when the plant is fine-stemmed and immature. The key is to keep the hay dry to again ensure the quality of the hay is left intact preserving its nutritional value for your animals. I am also buying some local grass hay this week. Since the largest part of a goat’s diet is grassy hay, that is where we are going to put our focus today, in particular, the first and second cuts. To know if it is good go by the smell. This is the early spring cutting and tends to be the coarsest of the hay cuttings because of the thicker stems. Hammond et al., (1992) found that perennial peanut forage is a suitable protein and energy supplement feed for wintering Goats on pasture should not need hay. A goats rumen is highly acidic. Since most goats prefer the second cut to first cut hay this will encourage them to eat more and help them to establish a better weight. Orchard grass is a long lived, cool-season perennial bunch grass that grows 2-4' tall. If you do not have access to pasture for your goats, then the grass hay percentage is going to be a bit higher than the graph above. Most commercial feed for goats ranges between 11-18 percent protein. The cost savings from eliminating the need for supplementation would more than pay for the test and result in fewer health care costs and better performance of the herd. There is no single perfect forage or hay for goats. The test results revealed that the hay had a protein content of 3.4 percent. Hay borers are available online for $150. Second cut hay usually has a softer feel to it and looks greener than first cut. Maturity can be determined by stage of flower or seed head development. That’s why everybody does it, I suppose. Again, if you see your goats are on the lighter side you may want to have a few bales of second cut around. Oh, boy, was I ever wrong! Lactating does and young kids benefit from eating alfalfa hay with higher protein levels, but a mixed legume/grass hay should provide a good diet for bucks, wethers, non-lactating does and goat kids older than six to eight months. This in no way affects your price. READ: THE BEST HAY FEEDERS OPTIONS FOR GOATS. Short of starving them and making them clean up the leftovers, they get expensive bedding! This type of hay is good for pregnant and lactating goats since their bodies use up a lot of nutrients and energy. From growing their own food, making their own cleaning supplies, cutting back, and paring down. I need a lot of cow and feeder cattle hay. Hay is the main source of nutrients for goats in non-grazing seasons, or all the time if they dont have access to browse. As you probably already know, the biggest danger in keeping goats is their digestive systems. Kentucky bluegrass for hay - posted in Alfalfa/Hay: I have been thinking of adding some kentucky bluegrass to the mix when I sow my new seeding of orchard and timothy and didnt know if that would be a good thing to do or not. The leafy fiber strands are longer than the ones produced by a grass hay. Second cutting is generally the preferred hay for goats. For this, your goats are the best judge. Sulfur, iron, and molybdenum bind copper: one part molybdenum ties up six parts of copper. Maybe look for hay auctions sort of close to your area. Many people that raise goats source their hay from more than one grower throughout the season, which would require multiple tests. 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