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Looking for recommendations on a grass hay mix that would be good for goats. The guy my fiance buys bales from raised his price stupid high and doesn't like to tell what's in his. I have the tools and ground to raise a couple acres.
 

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Looking for recommendations on a grass hay mix that would be good for goats. The guy my fiance buys bales from raised his price stupid high and doesn't like to tell what's in his. I have the tools and ground to raise a couple acres.
i do small square bales as a retired hobby farmer......last year there was a hay shortage and we were getting 8-10$ a bale for very good grass hay and people begging for more.....point is this year may be a glut year on hay and prices much lower...i will say it is pretty expensive to to make hay on a small scale ....especially if you have to plant and establish your own field...


We do horse hay.....i always thought Goats would eat anything?

I would suggest you see what your locals grow....soil...and CLIMATE have a lot to do with what you can produce successfully ....a soil test might be a good start to just to see what your fertilizer/'lime requirements need to be just to start

we make a Brome/Timothy mix for horses (no legumes) ......if Goats can tolerate legumes (alfalfa/clovers etc) you need to plan on putting in a Legume in the mix as it will cut down your fertilizer requirements substantially
 

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We have a lot of areas that are not plantable to our normal crops. That's where I would be putting this in, more for erosion control and to keep ugly weeds out. What doesn't go to a grass hay will go to wildflowers.

Haha, some goats can't (won't) eat everything. Alfalfa is a no no, so we've been told, it causes bloat. I think it's essentially the same for horses. I'm not sure though because I'm just the plant guy. And egg laying chickens. I try to stay in my lane.
 

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So I would not need anything quite as elaborate as this? I can get individual components from our local elevator.
:laugh: Are they rare show goats? That might be the stuff. Seems like some serious dollars for goat hay.
 

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Used to be haha. Now just pets to keep the little woman happy... Keeps her off my case about my addiction to farm equipment. If all I need is Timothy and/or orchard grass that should be easy enough.
 

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FWIW..........timothy seed is tiny(hard to control in seeder)...and in my area is the cheapest seed per #.....

for example for me

timothy seed costs $1.12 per pound and recommended at 4-5# per acre
orchard grass cost 2.75-3.25 per pound and recommend at 15-20# per acre

no matter what you do put in a legume your mix above had white clover in it for a legume...legume will add nitrogen to the soil and save you tons on fertilizer costs (clover makes horses slobber but its by far the easiest legume to grow)

looking at the mix above its a PASTURE mix .......not a HAY mix .......while they can interchange they have different purposes ...pasture is durable made to be grazed constantly and survive animal pressure through several seasons.....HAY is for bulk production to be grown, cut , baled, at optimal times of year, and left alone otherwise.

all this being said....talk to your seed company i am sure they can recommend something for your area....also around here we have State Extension Offices that help with soil testing and can educate you and recommend ag stuff for you...i bet your state also has the same

any planting project is a crap shoot without soil testing

ALSO to prep for a field we...sprayed the proposed field with Roundup last year in june ...disked it up...sprayed it again in august.....preped the field in september...and applyed lime to a previous soil test...waited for a predicted rain and planted the day before in october....in march we put on fertilizer......april we sprayed for weeds......(we were converting old pasture to new hay field)...will probably do one cutting on the new field this year...previous fields we waited a whole year and a half before harvesting to get it well established
 

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Drive around, find that area with the most weeds possible and ask the owner if you can bale it!

It's amazing what they will eat and how well they clean up a weed infested area.
There was a pasture that had been dormant for years and was over run by leafy spurge and various other weeds. They put goats in it and by the 3rd years it was just clean grass.
Funny thing is, goats had grass up to their eyeballs but were searching around for weeds to eat instead! :laugh:
 

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Funny thing is, goats had grass up to their eyeballs but were searching around for weeds to eat instead! :laugh:
This is pretty common. Goats prefer woody plants over grass. Anything type of vine is gourmet food for them. :laugh:
 

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This is pretty common. Goats prefer woody plants over grass. Anything type of vine is gourmet food for them. :laugh:
My wife keeps suggesting them to help clear our place. Briars, poison ivy, honeysuckle, etc. According to her there are even some places that will rent you goats.....
 

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My wife keeps suggesting them to help clear our place. Briars, poison ivy, honeysuckle, etc. According to her there are even some places that will rent you goats.....
I know 3 or 4 people that rent their goats out to clear just that sort of mess! It usually works out to be a pretty good deal. The goats get fed for free and the land owner gets the use of their land back.
 

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I know 3 or 4 people that rent their goats out to clear just that sort of mess! It usually works out to be a pretty good deal. The goats get fed for free and the land owner gets the use of their land back.

wonder how they would do with multi flora rose?.........the issue i see with goats is they are almost impossible to keep fenced in
 

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wonder how they would do with multi flora rose?.........the issue i see with goats is they are almost impossible to keep fenced in
They will eat a rose bush quicker than you can shake a stick. Briars, Wild berries, tree bark, poison oak, suemack, and bushes of all sorts you name it. We currently have 20 goats on our small farm 10ac of mixed grass and woods. I have to keep horses, 3 - 4 of them, to keep the grass down. Half of my farm is woods, brush you name it. I never mow or do anything with it. It is theirs for the taking. As for hay in the winter, just any regular hay will do. Alfalfa for the females in small quantities for the minerals. We do not feed it to the males as it can cause kidney stones to build up in them and kill them. We feed 16% protein grain twice a week, more if they are kidding. As for keeping them in a fenced area. Yep that is tough. Fortunately the guy we bought the farm from spent $11,000 on fencing around the farm that actually works really well. Keeps the goats in with no problem. You can also use a small chain tie them to a post and move them around with water and they will eat everything in site in a circle. DO NOT use a rope, they will at it.:laugh:
 

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How do they do with Kudzu?
 

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How do they do with Kudzu?
Yes they will eat kudzu. It may not be their first choice given a mix but they eat it.

My goats love leaves from oak and hickory trees. They seem to choose sumac tree leaves over most (staghorn sumac, not poison sumac). Yes they'll eat up some poison ivy and thorny vines.

And yeah I see the same thing with them leaving grass behind. It's not that they won't eat it, just not a first choice.
 
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