>> Monday, December 20, 2010

When I first got goats, way back in the early 70’s, I read all of the dairy goat magazines I could find.  I subscribed to Dairy Goat Journal and Dairy Goat Guide.  One thing that all of the articles seemed to agree on was that to get good milk production the goats needed good alfalfa hay.  That was no problem then.  I was living in Southern California and the only hay I could find to purchase was alfalfa hay.  It was grown where it was irrigated and where they were able to get it baled without danger of rain.  All of the hay was baled to be shipped and was in 3-wire tied bales, averaging 125# per bale.  One got only 16 bales per ton.

When I moved to Illinois I could get alfalfa hay occasionally.  I fed some clover hay and some other poorer hay from time to time.  But, moving here to South-Central Kentucky I didn’t find much alfalfa hay being produced in the immediate area.  I was able to get some orchard grass hay which seemed to be pretty good but not quite to the degree good alfalfa would be.  The last couple of years we have been able to bale enough hay here on Cedar Ridge Farm to feed Darryl’s cows and my goats, but it was just mixed grass hay.  This year, due to the dryness, we were able to only get two cuttings of hay.  Consequently there doesn’t appear to be quite enough to feed all of the animals all winter.  Darryl found some grass hay, which will do fine for the cows, at a fairly good price.

I wanted to look around a bit and see if I could find some hay of a bit better quality.  Darryl saw the ad first and drew my attention to it.  A man was advertising some alfalfa-orchard grass hay.  I made contact and Darryl and I made the approximate 50 mile trip two weeks ago to buy 50 bales of this hay.  Even though it is getting toward the end of this lactation the goats have actually increased their milk production a bit.  So, the better hay seems to be doing what it is supposed to do, and the goats seem to like it.



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