Goats/Goat Hay

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Question
QUESTION: i was wondering about what type of hay should i be feeding my boer goats, sudan or orchard or what is a good type to feed them. also about pasture what can i do for them? thank you so much.

ANSWER: What types of hay do you have available to you or are most economical for you?  I look at that first to find out what is available and what is cost effective.  Sometimes a grass hay is a good hay to use if it is very cost effective and then you would need to add a livestock pelleted feed to get the protein anf at content high enough to help build muscle/meat.   

But to answer your question as to a good hay for meat/Boer goats to produce the muscling you need, this would be timothy or orchard grass.  

A good pasture blend for building meat/muscle is 50% sweetgrass (oat, alfalfa, wheat mix) with 25% ryegrass, 15% timothy and 10% brome grass (this grass is drought tolerant).  

Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

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QUESTION: there are lots of hay available around here, we are in south TX,. also for summer pasture what should i do, and for winter what should i do. and if i have 33 goats how much land as for pasture should i do, and can i provide hay instead of pasture? thank you so much

Answer
You should look at what you can spend on hays and grain and what pasture you have available.  Generally in winter you always need to provide hay in some form as the pasture has no or little nutrients.  If you have summer pasture that is always excellent for protein levels for meat goats.  I would advise no more than five goats per acre of pasture and you should be able to have other pasture you can switch them to when the pasture is getting over eaten.  You can certainly intensely manage your meat goats by providing them with hay and grain and some supplements all the time and be able to get good production out of them.  If you have does who are pregnant you should give them higher protein before breeding and after being bred so they provide you with healthy kid goats.  What type of set up do you currently have and is it sustainable currently - that is, do you make money from your goats?  Let me know - Donna

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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres

Expertise

All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.

Experience

27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

Organizations
NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Publications
Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

Education/Credentials
4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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