Thrifty Homesteader is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to If you are planning to breed them — and they should be about 2/3 of their adult weight when you breed them — you can probably continue to feed them some alfalfa hay or pellets now through the time that they are pregnant and are milking. Colleen, The pellets are actually quite hard and would be impossible to eat without teeth — unless you soak them in water first. . Dry adult does, bucks and wethers can wind up with zinc deficiency if they get too much alfalfa. So all of my goats have been on alfalfa/Bermuda grass hay (compressed bales from TSC), alfalfa pellets and browse since I got them. My weekly newsletter includes recipes and articles on homesteading, raising livestock, health, and gardening. Pregnant does and milkers need lots of calcium, and you don’t normally hear about them having any issues with zinc deficiency. How much should I feed my goats? Really small kids may have trouble eating the pellets because they are not small, but they don’t eat much of anything anyway. Giving a goat grain with poor quality brown hay can lead to vitamin A and E deficiency because the goat feed companies don’t put much of those vitamins in there assuming that the goats will be getting plenty from browsing and hay. What specific mineral do you have available for them? I’ve been feeding alfalfa pellets to my Nigerians for the past three years. There are various types of hays are available. I don’t feed goats, but I raise a lot of cattle. Any ideas would be most appreciated. So excited to see that there is now an organic option. That's too low for most goats. This Can Make All The Difference In Feeding Goats & Alpacas. You can sift out the “fines” and add them into their grain mix especially if it has a high molasses content. What can I do? . Its protein content is about double that of grass hay. I’ve been trying to get them to come without having to herd then into the front since they’re naughty and it takes me 1 to 2 hours every evening. If not, you can mix it into chickens feed or sprinkle on your garden around your tomato plants. So, with the exception of show goats, your goat can have as much high quality hay … I top him up on ready grass and soaked alfalfa pellets. Nothing is ever engraved in stone, but most normal, healthy goats have done the majority of their really fast growing by the time they are six months old so they don’t need the extra protein in a grower feed or the calcium in alfalfa. They all have side effects. I just introduced the pellets to them recently and they LOVE it, purchased the Standlee, but was recommended the alfalfa and timothy hay mixture as winter is coming and they would need a little extra protein for the cold, although in Las Vegas, our winters are pretty mild compared to other places. Would love to have organic though! Just as we mix the pellets into the grain for the goats, we also mix it with the pigs’ grain. Non growing goats, ones on a maintenance ration, do not need such a high energy feed. Alfalfa is too rich for them because it is high in calcium, which they do not need, so they could wind up zinc deficient. Sheep tend to love alfalfa and will happily eat it. We’ve fed them to sheep before. If I’m out of hay can I give the pellets to all of them instead and what amount? However, we have been pondering feeding alfalfa pellets in the summer and this looks like a great option! Generally, each goat needs about two to four pounds of hay per day, minus what they might forage on pasture. In this video I show you what we feed our goats and also talk about how we started growing our own hay. If the grass is brown you can wind up vitamin A and E deficiencies. I hope you are not feeding them grain either, as grain can lead to urinary calculi in male goats. Alfalfa is not only suitable for consumption by goats, it is also good for other ruminants, such as goats, cattle, camels, etc. The kids don’t really need grain after about six months, although if you’re in a really cold part of the world, you could wait until it warms up before you stop giving it to them. We are new to owning a goat and have a female and male dwarf Nigerian goats. It is meant to prevent coccidia in times of stress (such as weaning) when kids are most likely to wind up with coccidiosis. Their coats are soft and shiny but there hooves are chipping up the sides. Feeding grain causes urinary calculi, but wethers don’t need alfalfa. Therefore, third cut hay will usually have the highest nutritive value. In fact, some vets argue that alfalfa is the only kind of hay that can provide lactating does with the necessary amount of proteins. Alfalfa hay is also popular for feeding goats and has more protein, vitamins, and minerals than grass hays, typically. We saw the same thing when we tried to go grain free many years ago and gave up. The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to,,,,, or If, for any reason, we need to close them up early, we ring the bell and the herd comes running. I love using alfalfa pellets for my goats, rabbits, pigs, and horse. Thanks for sharing! Some people only have baking soda available for their bucks (not does) because they don’t feed grain to the bucks. I don’t want to feed them too many pellets, and I don’t know what would be a healthy medium. They don’t have to chew or ruminate much with pellets. During the warmer months the goats free range and I’m happy to say they eat down a lot of pesky weeds. I’ll try the Standlee brand; have been buying from the co-op more recently but I know TSC carries Standlee. That’s great to hear! If they start losing hair in random spots or foaming at the mouth, I’d suspect zinc deficiency. Our goats always have access to grass hay. Please try again. I’m surprised the vet didn’t tell you to stop feeding him grain after surgery. They also do not need sweet feed, so when you say “as a treat,” I hope you only mean a handful a couple of times a week. The outside will fade to brown over a few months, but when you open the bale, it should be mostly green. They don’t chew., And be sure to have baking soda available free choice. The tea, which is prepared by using Alfalfa has a very good nutrient content. 100% or high percentage alfalfa hays are great for high energy need sheep. They seem to be a healthy weight and playful, but I was wondering if a solely alfalfa pellet diet is bad for them? Keep good hay in front of your goats all the time. I have checked the Tractor Supply stores around where all of my scattered relatives live, and no luck anywhere (PA and MD). The goats LOVE it. We have been convinced for some time that grain is bad for our goats, and do not intentionally feed any. If you keep your goats and your sheep together, it is advisable that you invest in minerals that are suitable for both species. It is also very high in calcium, which is great for milk production. They do not need a goat feed or grain because that’s high in calories and protein, which they do not need, so they are likely to get obese if you feed them that. As for the quantity you are feeding your bucks, I would not give them more than 1/2 to 1 cup of grain twice a day, depending upon breed (smaller breed would be less grain). (And no, kelp does not have much zinc in it. Do NOT ever feed wet or moldy hay or grain to goats. As we tried to figure out what to do about her piggish ways, we came to the conclusion that if Goatee could have all the alfalfa hay she wanted, perhaps the rabbit pellets would be fine too… so we started buying a bag for the rabbits and one for the goat too! In fact, adding some of this hay into your pet’s diet might be a good idea, provided that you also supply it with another kind of hay as well, that is is less rich in proteins. You could, but the alfalfa cubes are more appropriate for cattle, and I think they may cost a little less also. Was that partially due to feeding the medicated goat feed? If the reason is parasites, then treat that. One of them will be my herd sire this year and he is still a kid growing. I think the back pasture that’s about 2 acres has alot of oats but I’m not sure. It’s like giving your goats candy. Required fields are marked *. In the title photo, I have the regular alfalfa pellets on the left, which are 1/4 inch, and the organic pellets are on the right, which are 5/32 inch in diameter. Thank you . Marla The other lady with the 9 weeker said she is only feeding hers hay and loose minerals. This estimation is true only when the product is fed as an alternative to hay. One of my goats finishes her grain really fast and gets antsy that I am not finished milking. My doeling and wether only get grain when they’re getting their feet done or getting shots, etc. I’m so glad to hear it’s helpful! Hay is the main source of nutrients for goats in non-grazing seasons, or all the time if they dont have access to browse. All goat owners out there should know that, because alfalfa is rich in proteins and calcium, it should only be fed to goats in certain situations. I have 2 nigerian dwarfs, one wether and one doeling that are 5 months old. Love your site. It’s also how I trained my super wild, never handled 3 yr olds. Here is more on what bucks need: The best pastures available are those that contain mixes of grass and clover. . I cannot find alfalfa hay around here, and the pellets are simple plus the goats love them. I want to do whsts best but every thing I’ve read it’s full of different opinions so I’m not sure what to feed. Sometimes I sprinkle the little bit of the sweet feed in the minerals and baking soda hoping they get some in this way. We had a “piggy” goat, that my 7 yr old daughter milked. Thanks, I have pastures but feed alfalfa and grain when i bring them in from pasture at night. I’ll have to check availability on Standlee; the other brand was not available locally and became too costly to have shipped by freight. Or how many lbs per doe a day?Right now I go through 4 bales a month(& there is some waste). My neighbor swears by mixing in a third of alfalfa pellets, but I never have…. I would have estimated at least two bales per week (8 per month) for three ND does, but maybe your hay bales are extra heavy or your goats get a lot of pasture and browse. Grain in any significant quantity should probably be avoided, or at least carefully balanced against alfalfa. Legume hays, such as clover and alfalfa, usually have more protein, vitamins, and minerals, particularly calcium, than grass hays. I do know of at least one person who feeds her goats 100% pellets, but most people think goats need at least some long-stem roughage to keep their rumen working properly because the longer stem roughage takes more time to digest. I have a 15 year old doe. So, if your goats are not on pasture, you need to provide them with some type of hay, in addition to the alfalfa pellets. We also feed alfalfa pellets to our American Guinea Hogs when they don’t have access to fresh pasture. I have been interested in trying alfalfa pellets but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I can try alfalfa cubes, after all, alfalfa is a good feed for ruminants. Another aspect that you should remember is that older goats are more likely to suffer from obesity than younger ones. I love Chaffhaye also. You also did not mention browse, but unless your goats are going to get daily browse, your chances of having healthy goats is not great if you go grain free. The goat hay feeder’s dimensions are 11 x 11 x 11 inches, and it’s specially designed for sheep and goats, storing a really good amount of hay. I use Standlee Alfalfa Pellets, but they don’t have the organic here. Is it ok that I feed them alfalfa pellets and 17% kid grower half and half every morning? The high calcium is great support for egg production and great through the winter when there is not as much grass to free range on. Please pick me! So, it might be a good idea to go online and read more on this topic. This is an aspect that you should not neglect because while goats need and like cooper, sheep cannot tolerate it. Very coarse hay or forage is not readily digestible by goats, so they prefer not to eat them. Feeds that are high in protein include fishmeal, soya bean meal, cotton seed oil cake meal and brewers’ grains. Love it! The hay that goats eat can be grass or a legume or alfalfa. My sales contract says I have first right to retrieve my animals. I hand feed them alfalfa pellets, to help them become more friendly, and they also get about a half a flake of first cut hay every day. Alfalfa is not only suitable for consumption by goats, it is also good for other ruminants, such as goats, cattle, camels, etc. Organic is a BIG plus! Probably. Over the Labor day weekend I got a baby potbelly pig. I’ve been doing a TON of research but there are so many different things that are said. Is this new product (organic goat pellets) available already and fo you know whete it can be purchased? Tomato and chickens use the extra calcium to prevent blossum end rot and the chickens use for their egg shells. Help! In appearance, they looked far more like Pygmy goats than Nigerian Dwarf goats. LOVE this idea! But they don’t need alfalfa in their daily diet. Here is more on zinc deficiency — It would need a binder – the pellets, some type of oil – perhaps sunflower oil – and some type of sweet such as a few raisins or apple bits. Nutritionally alfalfa is the same regardless of whether it is pellets, cubes, or hay, but goats really need the long stem forage, such as hay, to keep their rumen working. My goats are currently on a feed that has some alfalfa pellets in it. If does are not bred annually, they tend to have a problem with obesity if they’re being fed alfalfa because it’s just too rich. And checked my receipt. Or something else? Just tie them up tight. The stems become courser and more fibrous, so the values are highest when the plant is young. 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