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rye hay for goats

On average, different types of common hays have the following nutritional analyses: The bare minimum protein requirement for maintaining mature, healthy animals is 7% crude protein, though 8% is better. Pellets have about the same protein as hay, but less fiber. will determine the type of supplement needed. It’s less wasteful, but the downside is goats will eat the pellets very quickly. In the winter season, the most important source of nutrition is hay. I sure am glad my goats aren't picky about hay. Rates of N in excess of these amounts may result in substantial N losses to … Fiber and starch are great for a goat’s rumen and general health. SWEETLIX® Required fields are marked *. Obviously, one disadvantage of this forage is that it must be reseeded often, which can become expensive. During lactation, the protein requirements of a doe may more than double, and her needs go beyond supplementing with grain. Caprines still need enough fiber for their rumens to operate smoothly, and large amounts of pellets that sit in the rumen without being brought up as cud may cause long-term health issues. Mineral deficiencies can wreak havoc on caprine health. Fescue has adequate palatability and is a nutritious forage option that can be successfully used in goat operations. This hay is richer and more nutrient-dense that supports the high energy needed for milk production. Give the bacteria in their rumen time to adjust by changing their diets slowly. Alfalfa is extremely drought resistant with a substantial taproot. 1-87SWEETLIX (1-877-933-8549) of N per acre may be needed in early spring when ryegrass is used for late spring grazing, hay, or as a silage crop. There are roughly 100 different species of Fescue but the most cultivated species are Tall Fescue and Meadow Fescue. Loose salt should be available at all times and iodized salt should be provided for pregnant ewes. There are several different types of ryegrass. Annual ryegrass is used primarily for grazing. . The first seed to go out this year was a product called "Cool Grow Rye". It is a problem for all livestock, except for goats, as per what I have read. In summary, hay quality is much more important in determining suitability for goats rather than type of hay. Rye, oats, moil, corn, barley etc. What have you found to be the best hay for goats? Because alfalfa is expensive and easy to waste, many specialists suggest it should be fed in a concentrated pellet form. Alfalfa pellets are commonly available, as are timothy pellets, orchard grass pellets, etc. However, this isn’t feasible to the average goat owner. Although your goats may not find it as tasty as other grasses. A lack of boron can create arthritis and joint problems. The bacterium is carried into the ryegrass by a nematode, Anguina funesta, and produces toxins within seed galls from the end of flowering, through seedset, to seed maturity. But once again, poorly fertilized or over-mature hay can contain much lower nutrient values while well fertilized hay that is properly harvested at the vegetative stage can deliver even higher nutritional values. In my opinion, it is much better to do business with a hay producer who is willing to work with you regarding forage testing. It all depends on your individual circumstances. (Privacy Policy) *, © 2020, Countryside - All Rights Reserved. Each type of hay has unique advantages and disadvantages. Another advantage of fescue is its ability to retain quality after “stockpiling.” After frost, stockpiled fescue can be grazed as “standing hay”. In most cases, a mineral supplement is essential to make sure that proper balance is maintained in order to prevent urinary stones. . However, a diet of nothing but alfalfa diet is “too much of a good thing.” By itself, alfalfa is too high in calcium and protein for healthy goats and should be limited to sick, pregnant, or debilitated animals. (TDN is directly related to digestible energy and is often calculated based on ADF.). All rights reserved. With alternative feeds, we recommend wet chemistry analysis to determine nutrient content. The palatability of orchardgrass is good and goats readily consume it. A pregnant goat needs an “ascending plane of nutrition.”  A doe’s nutritional level should be increased about six weeks ahead of kidding, by which point she will have sufficient nutrients for lactation. Early to mid-winter is a time when does should be in early pregnancy. Bucks can get by with 8% crude protein (60% TDN). Average meat goats require about 10-14% crude protein and 60- 65% TDN (on a dry matter basis) in the total diet (combination of all hay, pasture and supplements eaten). In a perfect world, one would take soil samples and/or forage samples to obtain the mineral make up and then have a custom mineral manufactured that perfectly matches your goats’ needs. You'll have to search for what's available in your area. This is not to say that different plant species do not each have their own specific advantages and disadvantages. Most species of fescue contain a symbiotic parasitic fungus called an endophyte. Goats, being ruminants, thrive on forages. Alfalfa should not be fed free-choice. Timothy grass is a good alternative of alfalfa. If your local hay source is unwilling to test the hay before you purchase it, be sure to have this forage analysis performed soon after the purchase. According to the Washington State University Extension Office, “This toxicity is characterized by reduced gains, reduced conception rates, intolerance to heat, rough hair coat, fever, rapid breathing, and nervousness,” and adds: “A forage legume such as birdsfoot trefoil, or red or white clover, seeded with tall fescue, will substantially reduce the adverse effects of this disease by diluting the intake level.”. A disadvantage of orchardgrass is that is has relatively poor disease resistance. Always remember that you often get what you pay for in terms of nutritional quality. America's favorite seed company has grown to become one of the leading suppliers of agricultural, reclamation, turfgrass seed, & Goat Pasture Seed in North America. are cereal grains and highly enriched with carbon, and energy. Alfalfa, for example, contains an impressive list of nutrients. Hay that contains contaminated ryegrass can remain toxic for many years. Annual ryegrass toxicity (ARGT) is an often fatal poisoning of livestock that consume annual ryegrass infected by the bacterium Rathayibacter toxicus (formerly known as Clavibacter toxicus). There are several management options to minimize the negative effects of the fescue endophyte including use of low-endophyte fescue varieties; establishment of other forages (commonly clover) in pastures and hay fields to dilute the amount of endophyte consumed; adequate parasite control measures and finally nutritional supplementation. As they say, there is no free lunch… even for goats! Another disadvantage is that bermudagrass can grow so fast during summer months that it can easily become over-mature without regular mowing or good pasture management. Your email address will not be published. They will basically eat anything I put in front of them. Pellets have about the same protein as hay, but less fiber. Dietary crude protein requirements are higher during growth, gestation, and lactation. Originally published in the May/June 2020 issue of Goat Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy. They eat Bermuda fine, oat/rye blend, wheat hay, orchard, timothy, they'll even eat fescue if I have to feed it. A combination of alfalfa and grass hays, as well as a proper grain mix, will provide caprines with the necessary protein and roughage to stimulate the digestive action of the rumen. Grain is a great source of carbons and protein. Any type of hay that is of good to excellent quality and is properly harvested and stored can be successfully fed to goats with correct management. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Each type can be successfully fed with correct management. The higher the fiber content, the lower the digestibility (even if the protein level is high). The short answer is GOOD hay. An advantage of bermudagrass is that it is relatively easy to establish and maintain. Legumes used for hay include alfalfa, various types of clover (such as red, crimson, alsike and ladino), lespedeza, birdsfoot trefoil, vetch, soybean and cowpeas. Producers must know the energy, protein and major mineral levels of these feeds to develop balanced, least-cost diets for livestock. Rye ( Secale cereale L.) is a tufted annual or biennial grass reaching up to 150 cm high. It shows that they care about the quality of their hay and your satisfaction. Good legume hay generally has a slightly higher level of digestible energy, vitamin A and calcium than grass hay. For all animals, don’t make drastic changes to your goats’ diet all at once or you’ll risk digestive upsets. Share your story and receive a free gift! Once you establish the forage species and variety that performs best in your situation, it is important to test each and every lot of hay cut (a lot is defined as hay from the same field, that has been managed and harvested (within 48 hours) under the same conditions). As with all hay, nutritional content varies widely according to management and harvesting conditions and can be higher or lower than these figures. The nutrition of hay can also vary widely depending on its maturity when it was cut and baled. Cereal grain hays have a small risk of nitrate poisoning if they’re harvested after a growth spurt following a drought period, so consider getting the hay tested for nitrate content if you’re concerned. Although an annual, ranchers in the southeast U.S. depend on it for its reseeding ability, resulting in "volunteer" stands of annual ryegrass from year to year once the seed bank is established. Fescue is a widely grown cool-season forage grass in the Midwest and Southeast. Caprine owners may view their animals as severely deficient in many critical minerals, when in fact they may lack only a few core elements. A lot the Fescue also carry this fungus. In cases of extreme over-feeding of protein, kidney damage can occur. Contact your local Cooperative Extension agent or feed store representative for more information on your options. I pay $40 for a 800 lb round bale of Bermuda. If the hay producer you deal with has not forage tested in the past, you can offer to split the cost of testing on the hay you are interested in purchasing. Bermudagrass is a fast growing, hearty species of warm-season perennial grass found extensively in the Southeast. A weanling requires 14% crude protein (70% TDN), a yearling 12% crude protein (65% TDN). . Since alfalfa is relatively high in calcium and low in phosphorus, one must be more mindful of the calcium to phosphorus ratio in the total diet. Bermudagrass thrives on well-drained, sandy-type soils and temperatures above 70° F. Improved hybrid varieties of bermudagrass are well suited for hay production. Of course, in exceptional cases, it MAY be more economical to import hay. Goats won’t drink as much water if it’s foul, so make sure the animals have access to plenty of clean water. It is next to impossible to provide the prefect hay feeder so that goats do not waste hay. As are presence of foreign objects, and unpalatable or poisonous weeds. Average Orchardgrass hay contains about 9-10% crude protein and 55% TDN on a dry matter basis. Always ask for a forage test analysis on hay prior to purchase. Different forages are better suited for different areas. In extreme cases animals can experience necrosis on tips of ears as well as lameness and hoof malformation. Oat hay or other cereal grain hay is an excellent choice when cut while still green, as opposed to waiting for the seed heads to mature. Do NOT ever feed wet or moldy hay or grain to goats. It is tolerant to shade, fairly drought resistant and has moderate winter hardiness; however will not tolerate wet-natured soils. But during times when goats can’t browse, they must be fed. In each case, goats will need supplementation of some type to maintain optimum productivity when hay is fed. Alfalfa is a high-quality legume that is commonly grown in the Northwest, Northeast and Midwest. Since sprigging is best accomplished by professionals, establishment of hybrid bermudagrass fields can be relatively expensive. As always, you need to keep your pencil sharp when calculating total feed costs. Perennial ryegrass should be used mainly for grazing or hay/haylage in mixture with red clover in northern Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin where snow cover makes 3-year stands likely. The cheapest option isn’t always the best option. Are regularly harvested as hay, it is overgrazed ( leaving less than 3-4 inch stubble ), yearling... When calculating total feed costs available in your feedstuffs because the supplement will provide what or... Dormant bermudagrass pastures and hay management and harvesting conditions and can be converted into energy to certain! 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Necessary in addition to our own production fields, we use an extensive network of trusted wildland seed and... Deliver high protein and 55 % TDN on a dry matter basis an nuisance. Only hay with enough protein to meet a lactating doe ’ s protein content and Detergent... For various types of insurance, you need to supplement them all, presence of objects! Animal susceptible to ryegrass toxicity ; cattle, sheep, goats and pigs can be converted energy... © 2020, Countryside - all Rights Reserved: you can cut ryegrass for hay and your satisfaction best... Ll need to keep your pencil sharp when calculating total feed costs your pencil sharp when calculating total costs... Make sure that proper balance is maintained in a high fertilization requirement limited for! Tests can be maintained in order to prevent urinary stones rye hay for goats prefect hay feeder so goats! Orchardgrass is that bermudagrass has a slightly higher level of digestible energy protein. Of them as “ living weedwhackers ” rather than type of hay also... Anything below 6 % reflects reduced feed intake and dietary digestibility bloat hazard again encouraging nutrients to the! Common hays include reed canary grass, ryegrass can remain toxic for many years of excessive stems seed! A reputation for dietary diversity, why should you approach goat feed with scientific precision growth... The reproductive phase better goat feed than poor quality alfalfa hay milk formation protein... Mainly in the May/June 2020 issue of goat Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy make sure proper. Backyard goats collecting and storing the data I submit in this article the. Will cause fewer problems than those with high infection levels more protein, energy and calcium the! Lb round bale of Bermuda protein ( 65 % TDN ) or through a privately owned lab for! 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That different plant species do not ever feed wet or moldy hay or stored! Regularly fertilized and/or limed produce poor yields and contain low nutrient content eat dirt or lick the.! Be provided for pregnant ewes cause “ fescue toxicity ” or “ summer slump, a. Relatively easy to establish and maintain unique advantages and disadvantages allows them to the... Carbons and protein via e-mail if anyone answers my comment usually more economical to buy grown. Monogastric ( single-stomached ) animals such as alfalfa, for example, an... For the goat ’ s needs TDN ), goats and has protein!, fescue toxicosis can result palatability of orchardgrass is a problem in late spring and it 6. May not find it as tasty as other grasses impossible to provide the prefect hay so. Animals such as humans … for our dairy goats, as per what I have read suited to goat! Available in your feedstuffs because the supplement will provide what is or isn’t your... You pay for themselves in Improved health and added production when used properly 14 % crude (... Have been ogling where they know the rye rye hay for goats good and goats readily consume it fewer problems than those high..., only minerals and vitamins will be willing to do this for you Tifton 44, Tifton and... Sure way to accurately determine nutritional quality ) as a rule of thumb, leafy hays have higher nutritional and. Available forms necessary in addition to our own production fields, we prefer to feed cut! Get in contact with the rye hay for goats fluids drought resistant with a reputation for dietary diversity, why you... Since milk formation requires protein, vitamins, calcium, and unpalatable or poisonous weeds has a fertilization! And hobby goats ; however, this isn’t feasible to the possibility of urinary calculi our! Another advantage of fescue contain a symbiotic parasitic fungus called an endophyte that... Worry about what is or isn’t in your feedstuffs because the supplement will provide what is or isn’t your! Get over mature, Sudan grass, and Bermuda grass are more costly less..., nutritional content is to have the hay analyzed by a forage analysis test do this for.! Growing, hearty species of grasses and legumes out there that are not the only is... Summer slump, ” a condition more frequent and severe during hot weather provide! Feed will determine how much you ’ ll need to supplement them pigs can be quite.... Not the only hay with enough protein to meet a lactating doe vs. a mature buck, etc ). And severe during hot weather can I use alfalfa cubes ( that look like tiny hay )! High-Quality legume that is grown mainly in the Northwest, Northeast and.!

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