Early growth, mid growth, seeding, hay. In each case, goats will need supplementation of some type to maintain optimum productivity when hay is fed. In many cases a variety of supplement products will best meet your goatsâ needs. Goats do well on most hays that are considered “horse hay.” As long as the goats are acclimated to them appropriately to avoid stomach upset and founder, “legume hays such as alfalfa, clover, vetch, soybean or lespedeza work very well for kids, as well as pregnant and lactating does.” (3) A weanling requires 14% crude protein (70% TDN), a yearling 12% crude protein (65% TDN). Another advantage of fescue is its ability to retain quality after âstockpiling.â After frost, stockpiled fescue can be grazed as âstanding hayâ. 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. One disadvantage of ryegrass is that growth occurs quickly in the spring and it is easy for ryegrass to get over mature. In cases of high levels of endophyte infestation, fescue toxicosis can result. The rumen houses microbes that ultimately feed on these forages. Average Orchardgrass hay contains about 9-10% crude protein and 55% TDN on a dry matter basis. In some cases, protein and/or energy supplementation will be necessary in addition to mineral/vitamin supplementation. The Best Hay for Meat Goats. Alfalfa hay is also popular for feeding goats and has more protein, vitamins, and minerals than grass hays, typically. It is a problem for all livestock, except for goats, as per what I have read. However, hybrid varieties of bermudagrass must be sprigged rather than seeded. Another disadvantage is that bermudagrass has a high fertilization requirement. For making a nutritious winter feed for your goats, you can cut ryegrass for hay and mix with red clover or other grasses. Be prepared to pay a bit more for good to excellent quality hay as opposed to âtake it as-isâ hay. Again, balance is key. Besides good fiber and starch content for your goats, rye bread … Annual ryegrass is used primarily for winter grazing. Ryegrass is high-quality forage with excellent palatability that works extremely well for goats in rotational grazing systems. Producers must know the energy, protein and major mineral levels of these feeds to develop balanced, least-cost diets for livestock. Your email address will not be published. Average Coastal Bermudagrass hay tests out at roughly 10-12% crude protein and 55% TDN on a dry matter basis. Even though it is called annual ryegrass it is not a true annual and may come back for two or more years depending on environmental conditions. Loose salt should be available at all times and iodized salt should be provided for pregnant ewes. Another advantage of orchardgrass is its potential for high yields when well fertilized. We grew up in gardening families, without livestock. Think of mineral/vitamin supplementation as insurance. These microbes allow ruminants to make use of plant materials that are indigestible by monogastric (single-stomached) animals such as humans. 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. As with all things, balance is key when it comes to caprine nutrition. Bermudagrass thrives on well-drained, sandy-type soils and temperatures above 70Â° F. Improved hybrid varieties of bermudagrass are well suited for hay production. Common varieties include Coastal, Tifton 44, Tifton 85 and Tifton 78. It is easy to establish and works well when overseeded onto dormant Bermudagrass pastures. Fungus called an endophyte fungus that grows in rye hay for goats plant locally, this is. 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