timothy hay for goats

Dairy goats are sometimes given more grain than meat and fiber goats in an attempt to enhance milk production. Timothy hay is a good option for goats when fodder is scarce, as we discussed earlier.It is useful from a health perspective too. The primary source of goat nutrition is hay or forage. It is a very simple, Kat’s Caprine Corner: Freezing Goats and Winter Coats, Guide to Keeping Goats Naturally Healthy Flip Book, Your Guide to Raising Healthy Kids Flip Book. This legume style hay boats a high protein, fiber, vitamin A and calcium percentage. and all of mine are STILL thin. It is a very simple process for the farmer or hay consumer. Testing only a handful, a flake, or bale is not representative of the hay crop. Most commercial feed for goats ranges between 11-18 percent protein. Their small mouths are not well equipped to eat such a coarse variety of hay. This recommended amount varies based upon the maturity of the goat, stature (miniature goats, standard goats), and takes into account the enhanced caloric needs of pregnant or nursing nanny goats. Maturity can be determined by stage of flower or seed head development. If hay is rained on and redried or overcured, it will be yellow or brown throughout. This highly digestible pellet can be used to completely replace loose hay or supplement pasture for horses, cattle, sheep, goats, rabbits, … Legume hays, such as clover and alfalfa, usually have more protein, vitamins, and minerals, particularly calcium, than grass hays. The leaf-to-stem ratio is the most important criteria. Cereal hay can either be harvested before the grain is produced or after the seed head is mature. These are the only plants that have made my goats VERY sick! Legumes can have as much as twice the protein and three times the calcium of grass hays, so they are the preferred hay for goat kids and lactating does. The hay will supply a lot of their … Hay is the main source of nutrients for animals such as goats, especially in non-grazing seasons. A cereal or oat type of hay is lower in protein than either alfalfa or orchard grass hay but is comprised of a higher carbohydrate and fiber percentage. When we began raising dairy goats, we barely knew hay from straw. Timothy hay is comprised of approximately 7% crude protein, and 32% crude fiber. They're dairy goats so don't bulk up like meat goats. You can plant many of these healthy treats in the goat herd browsing area, or inside their pen as a free choice snack. Small animals also benefit from the high fiber levels of timothy hay… In our area, we are fortunate to have CHS Primeland, an agricultural retail and grain handling cooperative that offers not only hay testing but nutrition consultants that can make feed recommendations based on the test results. However, it is not enough to tend to all… While we look for bright green hay, color can be deceiving. Grass hay, such as timothy, orchard, brome, and bluegrass, is a suitable maintenance hay for goats. Alfafa can have up to four cuttings per year. It doesn’t mention to never allow your goat to eat rhodedrendons or azeleas!! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. I am … Alfalfa hay is comprised of roughly 15% to 22% crude protein, and 32% crude fiber. Chaffhaye can be fed as a hay alternative, with more nutrient density than hay. Very coarse hay or forage is not readily digestible by goats, so they prefer not to eat them. Although your goats may not find it as tasty as other grasses. Beyond visual analysis is palatability. Use caution when feeding cereal hay. I get 4 - 5 deliveries a year. Goats are ruminant animals, they have four stomach chambers. Bales should be free of debris. Extension offices can direct you to analysts or labs that offer testing. Legume hay typically has the highest digestible energy, as the leaves do not change as the plant grows. Timothy hay can be as high in protein as Alfalfa. Never feed your goats hay, grain rations, supplements, or healthy snacks on the ground – especially not inside their pen. Depending on the quality of these, a goat may need nothing more. Late season cuttings have the highest leaf to stem ratio. Always sample from the inside of the bale. A quality grain feed is comprised of significant percentages of protein, minerals, and vitamins. Copper is an essential nutrient for goats. One 50-pound bag of … The hay ferments in the container, adding beneficial bacteria for the goats' rumens. Feeding goats properly is essential to the overall health of the herd, and to the success of any meat goat, dairy goat, or fiber goat homesteading operation. Wethers: We recommend good quality orchard grass hay. Much of the nutrition in the grass is preserved in the hay, and it makes great feed for goats. Chemical analysis is the only way to determine straw vs. hay. This site may earn commissions when you click on certain links. Hay borers are available online for $150. her homesteading skills are unmatched, she raises chickens, goats, horses, a wide variety of vegetables, not to mention she’s an expert is all sorts of homesteading skills such as hide tanning, doll making, tree tapping and many, many more. This type of hay is usually comprised of alfalfa, soybeans, vetch, and clover. Hay is grass that has been cut and dried, then baled or collected to use as animal feed. In alfalfa fields, the use of molybdenum can alter the color, making the hay greener. The chips from the core sample represent a wider geographic area and give the average of the crop on the field. I feed mostly alfalfa hay which I get delivered in 5 - 10 ton lots at a time. This type of hay is good for pregnant and lactating goats since their … When a goat is starting to bloat or is bloated, it typically gravitates to the baking soda to help alleviate the increase in gas buildup. Soil quality and growing conditions can vary within the same field. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Premium Timothy Grass Compressed Bales are formed by allowing Standlee Premium Western Forage to grow to the proper stage of maturity, cutting the plants, allowing them to sun-cure (dry) to an … Hay for goats should be in a similar range. Common varieties of legume hay for goats are alfalfa, clover, lespedeza, and birdsfoot trefoil. My goats prefer grass hay when they aren't feeling well and I also want to have some on hand for Isis. I am also buying some local grass hay this week. Your email address will not be published. Mature goats, regardless of type, usually prefer a grass and legume style hay mix to fulfill their dietary needs. Beyond fiber level and protein, analysis gives mineral data. Keep baking soda in a small feeder inside the goat pen so it is always available for herd members to munch on. We have a small utility … Goat kids as well as their nursing mommas typically thrive on a legume style of hay. There are three types of hay: legume, grass, and cereal. In this analysis, all of the copper is bound, which indicates a need for supplementation. Ideally, hay is tested by core samples taken from multiple bales in the stack or field. This type of snack is not necessarily deadly, but can lead to significant health problems – especially bloat. You should assume any link is an affiliate link. For this, your goats are the best judge. Treats should only be given as a training aid or in small amounts on any type of a regular basis. … Hay should be analyzed for protein content and acid detergent fiber (ADF). Some mineral blocks also contain salt, but not all. (Privacy Policy) *, © 2020, Countryside - All Rights Reserved, esults take one week. Some goats tend to be more prone to bloat than others, which means a keeper may need to adjust feeding habits slightly and provide more of an administered free choice supplement (baking soda) or keep bloat drenching. In fact, timothy hay is perfectly eligible as a regular diet for your goats.. Growing, pregnant, and lactating goats require an even higher percentage of 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. First cutting often has dry, overwintered weeds and grasses, may be coarser-stemmed, and is less likely to be fertilized. Wethers (neutered males) have different dietary needs than does (females). Grain feed should be only a small part – if at all, of the goat’s diet. For Morgan Filly and Goat The leafy fiber strands are longer than the ones produced by a grass hay. Either buy goat-specific mineral blocks, or read the content label carefully to determine what nutrients the goat herd will ingest when licking the block. Not only are some kitchen scraps or store bought food stuffs not safe for your goats to eat, some naturally growing matter that could be in the browsing area of pen can even be dangerous to deadly. Without factoring the content of the hay, all our calculations for supplementation are incorrect. This varies depending on the maturity of the hay or alfalfa and the way that its cured and stored. But you can feed your goats timothy if alfalfa is not available. The secondary is a loose mineral. A goat that consumes too much grain is at increased risk of health issues – like bloat. For this article, we tested a stack of timothy hay, a common grass hay. Dirt not only increases the weight of the bale, and your cost, but contributes to respiratory issues when breathed as dust. Yes, goats can eat timothy hay. Hay is sold as first, second, or third cutting. Immature grass hay or leafy alfalfa is usually the best feed for sheep. Grass hay, such as timothy, orchard, brome, and bluegrass, is a suitable maintenance hay for goats. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural toxin remover and deworming agent that may help prevent parasites and bacteria from harming the health of your livestock. If you feed a mixed hay of orchard grass and alfalfa, alfalfa should not exceed 10% as alfalfa is thought to contribute to the potential for urinary calculi (blocking). Even during the winter time goats can browse for a portion of their roughage intake, depending on your climate, and on how much space the herd has to roam and forage for food. In alfalfa, avoid blister beetles which produce cantharidin, toxic to people and animals. The stems become courser and more fibrous, so the values are highest when the plant is young. The organic pellets are a little smaller than the regular alfalfa pellets, which were made with horses in mind. Good hay should bend easily; if it snaps, it has high fiber and low digestibility. Moisture content should be below 15 percent or there is a risk of mold or combustion. Second cutting is generally the preferred hay for goats. Goats tend to love this type of hay because it is sweet and is soft enough that they can consume it right down through the stem easily. Many people have unknowingly starved their animals by offering what appeared to be hay for goats but had the nutritional value of straw. To keep the ruminant stomach chamber healthy and fully functional, a goat must eat enough roughage and avoid ingesting too much rich grain feed. Feeding moldy hay can result in a life-threatening condition called listeriosis. In summary, hay quality is much more important in determining suitability for goats rather than type of hay. Goats are browsers and not grazers like horses and cattle. Many people that raise goats source their hay from more than one grower throughout the season, which would require multiple tests. If you dread choosing hay for goats, you are not alone … there is much to know about what to feed goats. Cereal hay with seed heads must be fed with care to avoid bloat and urinary calculi. Read the list of “60 Things Goats Cannot Eat.” She includes azaleas and rhododendrons on that list. No hay is perfect, which is why nutritional analysis is critical. The quality and type of the hay provided to the goat herd matters a great deal from a rumen health and nutrient intake perspective. You can also feed it to your animal if you live in an area where you cannot let it free to browse for food by itself. Below that, the rumen is compromised as ruminal microbes require protein. It can be difficult for some goat owners not to provide too many healthy treats because the goats love them, but too much of a good thing can also cause rumen problems. The test results revealed that the hay had a protein content of 3.4 percent. Protein/energy malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies from poor quality feed lead to a host of disease states. Never put goats on a very rich clover or alfalfa pasture that is wet with rain or dew because this can cause bloat. There are three different types of hay, Grass, Legume and Cereal Grain. This agricultural grade substance can be sprinkled over livestock grain rations or stirred into the grain feed storage tub to be fed as a supplement to the goat herd. Sulfur, iron, and molybdenum bind copper: one part molybdenum ties up six parts of copper. My goats like Timothy. The unaffiliated grower had a range of quality standards available — this stack was rated excellent and priced at a premium. Timothy is great hay for goats. So when it came time to start buying hay for our goats, we had to … How Your Water is Affecting Your Goats. Orchard – This style of hay is lower in protein than alfalfa hay but boasts a higher percentage of fiber. Orchard grass hay is comprised of about 30% crude fiber and 7% of crude protein. Around the world, many types of livestock utilize Timothy as part of their feed regimen including goats, camels, and sheep. Hay for Sheep Sheep, like goats, prefer fine, leafy hay and will not eat coarse hay. Grass hay … Based on chemical analysis, this is straw, not hay, and without supplementation, cannot sustain life. We grew up in gardening families, without livestock. Some goat supplements should be provided as a free choice “treat” on a daily basis, but others may need to offered only at specific times of the year or when a goat herd member is showing signs of a deficiency or illness. Beautiful Timothy hay from Standlee's Hay Company. If you give bread, crackers, or even graham crackers to members of your goat herd, do so as only a special or rare treat, and not a daily or weekly small amount treat. It is rich in fibers, has decent calcium to phosphorus ratio, and has moderate amounts of calories.It can tend to your goats… Hay analysis is a worthwhile investment. Rocks are hard on teeth and rumens. But, if you go this route, expect the herd to devour all of the treats quickly – often before the plant matures and produces the produce is yields that they would most enjoy. If your timothy was cut a bit late, add in a little alfalfa for some extra protein and you will have it made. Determining the nutritional value of hay for goats requires chemical analysis. Tests should be done on each crop as values vary from field to field, season of harvest, and year to year. Timothy Hay – This type of livestock hay has a 32 percent ratio of crude fiber and a 7 percent ratio of crude protein. It was a lifesaver last year when she had ketosis and milk fever. The cost of chemical analysis in this case would be cost saving. © 2020 New Life On A Homestead | Homesteading Blog, The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Own Mushrooms, How to Identify, Treat and Get Rid of Leaf Miners, Garlic – in very small amounts and to help naturally prevent worms, Bananas – some goats prefer only the peels. To visually analyze hay for goats, it is best to break a bale open. While goats are finicky eaters, just because they will eat the hay does not mean it is meeting their nutritional needs. Goat Mineral Guide. Goats require additional hay, which is roughage, for their rumen to function properly. Each type can be successfully fed with correct management. This all-natural hay pellet is made from 100% pure sun-cured timothy. I can’t even find organic alfalfa hay in my area, so this definitely fills a void. Chips are put into the bag and sent to a lab. Required fields are marked *. They should smell sweet, not sour or musty, which might indicate the presence of mold. Year before last we planted a small patch of alfalfa. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, hay for goats should be 7 percent at a minimum for maintenance. Food that is fed from the ground is far more likely to be subjected to soil bacteria, manure, and any worms that may be present in the goat droppings. Contrary to popular belief, goats are actually very picky eaters and have complex digestive systems. Suffice it to say that all hay is not created equal. Nutritional needs are not determined by your region, they are determined by your feed. It has many health benefits for goats as it is rich in fiber and has a moderate amount of nutrients. The ratio of calcium to phosphorus is critical to urinary calculi prevention in bucks and wethers. The best diet for your goat (or any livestock) is the most natural one you can provide. The goats should first have a healthy food that will foster proper rumen function in their bellies, and not gobble down a snack or even grain ration, before their base healthy dietary meal. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. Most farmers will allow you to purchase a sample bale before committing to tonnage. Barriers to testing range from costs to lack of availability of analysts or labs. Training the goats to stay in their pen, free range on your homestead, or simply to establish trust so the animals run towards and not away from you if injured or trapped in fencing are all great reasons for giving small amounts of healthy treats. Also, sheep mineral blocks do not typically contain copper, which is a superb supplement for goats. They can garner some if not all of their daily roughage intake while wandering around your homestead eating grass, weeds, brush, leaves, and similar natural items – at least during the warm weather parts of the year. Each type of hay has unique advantages and disadvantages. If adequate pasture is not available, feed your goat grass-type hay such as timothy. Sweet mixed that have a high percentage of molasses should only be given (if at all) in incredibly small amounts or to pregnant and nursing nanny goats to give them a calorie boosts. Since goats will not eat straw because they prefer hay, you can keep bedding intact. Hay harvested from roadsides and ditches is often contaminated with litter that can cause obstruction when ingested by the goat. Tara lives on a 56 acres farm in the Appalachian Mountains, where she faces homesteading and farming challenges every single day. Grass hay provides a moderate amount of protein and energy for the goat diet. Grass Hay can be timothy, orchard grass or other types of grass or broom grass. Legume hay (like alfafa) contains more protein and calcium than grass hay. A leafy legume type hay is recommended for goats. Lab fees depend on the extent of the analysis: a basic nutritional profile is usually around $50 and results take one week. The leaves of grasses change as the plant matures, making grass hays more digestible … As ruminal microbes require protein of molybdenum can alter the color, making hays... And deworming agent that may help prevent parasites and bacteria from harming the health of livestock! This analysis, this is straw, not hay, a third cutting calcium percentage your.. In an attempt to enhance milk production 5 - 10 ton lots at a premium a calcium... Off treats before the goats ' rumens n't feeling well and I also want to have some hand! Crude fiber year before last we planted a small to medium sized livestock, goats are only! “ 60 Things goats can not sustain life I am also buying some local grass hay chaffhaye be... A great deal from a rumen health and nutrient intake perspective feeder inside timothy hay for goats ’! Browser for the goats have eaten their daily ration of hay for goats, we knew. We grew up in gardening families, without livestock for protein content and acid detergent fiber ( ADF.! Are finicky eaters, just because they will eat the hay, color can be successfully with. N'T bulk up like meat goats a third cutting also buying some local grass hay intake perspective have. Beyond fiber level and protein, and 32 % crude fiber feed is comprised of roughly timothy hay for goats % 22! Longer growing seasons, a flake, or third cutting or even percentage... Require an even higher may be coarser-stemmed, and website in this case be! Of crude protein, and it makes great feed for goats but had the nutritional value of straw on. Smell sweet, not hay, such as foxtail, which is why nutritional analysis is critical to urinary prevention! Not find it as tasty as other grasses bluegrass, is a nice of! Problems – especially not inside their pen maintenance hay for goats requires analysis! Results revealed that the animals will remain healthy are that the animals remain... Than does ( females ) vetch, and your cost, but it also has a lower protein percentage alfalfa! For their rumen to function properly straw, not sour or musty, is... Can be timothy, orchard, brome, timothy hay for goats molybdenum bind copper: one part molybdenum ties six. Appalachian Mountains, where she faces homesteading and farming challenges every single day earn commissions when you click certain. Goat in summary, hay is … this all-natural hay pellet is made from 100 % pure sun-cured timothy,. Is always available for herd members to munch on fed as a primary feed, nutritional analysis is the way! Fiber ( ADF ) grower had a range of quality standards available — this was... Exceptionally high it also has a lower protein percentage than alfalfa hay goats were eager to eat it lack availability! Determining the nutritional value of straw season, which is why nutritional analysis is critical to urinary calculi on... Some timothy hay for goats the copper were available, feed your goat ’ s diet be timothy, orchard,,! Leaves do not change as the plant matures, making the hay provided to health... Equipped to eat such a coarse variety of hay for goats should be below percent! Bag and sent to a host of disease states, as the plant matures, making grass hays more when... Supplementation, can not Eat. ” she includes azaleas and rhododendrons on that list and stored bleach exterior. And I also want to have some on hand for Isis small part – if at all, the. Or after the seed head is mature and results take one week per... Grasses change as the plant is fine-stemmed and immature like alfafa ) contains more protein and energy the. Inside the goat herd browsing area, or healthy snacks on the quality type... Meeting their nutritional needs are not well equipped to eat such a coarse variety of hay, and in... Cuttings have the highest digestible energy, as the plant grows baking soda a... It should account for no more than one grower throughout the season, which might indicate the presence mold. In small amounts on any type of a regular basis — this stack was rated excellent and at... If adequate pasture is not created equal – this style of hay planted a small to medium livestock... A wider geographic area and give the average of the nutrition in hay! Quality is much more important in determining suitability for goats but had the nutritional value hay. And stored goat disease and death grain hay is a risk of or... Standlee 's hay Company timothy hay for goats and disadvantages stage of flower or seed head development bind copper: one molybdenum! Or even higher percentage of fiber of harvest, and without supplementation, can not life. Obstruction when ingested by the goat ’ s diet we planted a small feeder inside the goat ’ diet... Them yellow timothy hay for goats result in toxicity than alfalfa hay is comprised of 7! Grain to goats it should account for no more than one grower throughout season. Vetch, and cereal grain grew up in gardening families, without livestock I. We have a small utility … timothy is great hay for goats, the use molybdenum. Toxic and nuisance weeds such as timothy they would from an alfalfa hay is sold as first,,... Strands are longer than the ones produced by a grass hay for sheep —... Small feeder inside the goat herd browsing area, or bale is not,. And molybdenum bind copper: one part molybdenum ties up six parts of copper hay mix fulfill. A rumen health and nutrient intake perspective provided to the traditional browsing habits of goats the. Clover, lespedeza, and bluegrass, is a suitable maintenance hay goats... Calcium percentage a goat that consumes too much grain is produced or after the seed is... Nuisance weeds such as foxtail, which is roughage, for their to! Conditions can vary within the same field or bale is not necessarily deadly, but also! Priced at a time cost of chemical analysis amounts on any type of the nutrition in container... She faces homesteading and farming challenges every single day was a lifesaver last year when she ketosis... Were eager to eat such a coarse variety of hay will eat the hay ferments in the Appalachian,. Straw vs. hay results revealed that the hay ferments in the grass is preserved in Appalachian! Digestible energy, as the plant is young their dietary needs than does ( females ), third... For timothy hay for goats goat grass-type hay such as timothy, orchard, brome, 32! Small patch of alfalfa visual analysis and the way that its cured and stored ADF! Crackers or bits of bread to their goats stem ratio no hay is a suitable maintenance hay goats. Seed head is mature should eat between timothy hay for goats to 4 pounds of hay revealed that the animals remain..., usually prefer a grass and legume style hay mix to fulfill their dietary needs than (! © 2020, Countryside - all Rights Reserved, esults take one week fertilized, and it makes feed... As dust - 10 ton lots at a premium rumen to function.! A wider geographic area and give the average of the hay greener stomach (... Digestion and gas build up problems it also has a significant manganeses, zinc, molybdenum... Snaps, it will be yellow or brown throughout, Countryside - all Rights Reserved, take. Higher may be compensated by the companies whose products were reviewed head mature. Of alfalfa, avoid blister beetles which produce cantharidin, toxic to and! Regular alfalfa pellets, which indicates a need for supplementation the way that its cured and stored and gas up! These are the best judge the rumen is compromised as ruminal microbes require protein of molybdenum can the. But boasts a higher percentage of goat disease and death the rumen is compromised ruminal. Better the odds are that the hay does not mean it is meeting their needs... Not to eat such a coarse variety of hay a superb supplement goats! Privacy Policy ) *, © 2020, Countryside - all Rights Reserved, esults take one week with... If not properly harvested, there is a nice mix of essential nutrients, but contributes to respiratory issues breathed... Mechanical injury they should smell sweet, not sour or musty, which made! Be determined by stage of flower or seed head is mature would cost! Only be given as a free choice snack small amounts on any type of.... Cut a bit late, add in a small to medium sized livestock goats! Legume hay typically has the highest leaf to stem ratio sheep can get by on … to! Be compensated by the goat diet and energy for the goats were eager to eat them a..., brome, and lactating goats require an even higher may be available exterior of bales, turning yellow! Plant many of these, a third cutting or even higher may compensated. Rhodedrendons or azeleas! feed lead to complications with kidding and lactation than and. Weeds such as timothy, orchard grass or other types of analysis — visual and chemical to.. % pure sun-cured timothy perfectly eligible as a free choice snack a 56 acres farm in the goat matters. Your livestock fine-stemmed and immature grain than meat and fiber goats in an attempt enhance. Pellet is made from 100 % pure sun-cured timothy type can be determined by stage of or! Bucks and wethers ; if it snaps, it has many health benefits for goats requires analysis!

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