Determining the Best Hay for Goats

When goats can’t browse, they need hay (3% to 4% of their body weight, per day) for their rumens to function properly. This can be fed free-choice or twice a day.

Categories of hay: legume (alfalfa and clover), grass (timothy, brome, orchard grass, bluegrass), cereal grain straw (oat hay, cut before the seed heads mature), and mixed (legume and grass).

Protein content and Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) should be below 35% for goats. The higher the fiber content, the lower the digestibility. Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN) is the sum of the digestible fiber, protein, lipid, and carbohydrate components of a feedstuff or diet. (TDN is directly related to digestible energy and is often calculated based on ADF.)

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