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Author Topic: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats  (Read 3895 times)

lizzypeg

  • Joined Oct 2012
i have 8 pygmy goats who are in a decent paddock and have access to weed/grazing 24/7.

they have a sheep field hay feeder that i keep full of hay also 24/7.

they are going thru a small bale of hay every 5 days as just eat that rather than browse.

if i dont keep it topped up they scream blue murder every time they see a person..

any ideas on how to slow down the hay eating and make them browse more...
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Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2014, 11:10:11 am »
Stop giving it to them and ignore their screams??

Sorry no experience of pygmies, but they can't eat what's not there.

Backinwellies

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  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2014, 12:48:07 pm »
Why are you feeding any hay at all this time of year?
Linda

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Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2014, 04:39:53 pm »
Because otherwise they'll scweam and scweam until they are sick!  ;D
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

lizzypeg

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2014, 05:02:33 pm »
i feed hay as i think they need fibre / roughage at all times and there is more grass than browse in their field and they are not grazers so ignore the grass.
i dont want them to go without fibre, but i also want to try to balance it so they are forced to browse/graze a bit more than they do as will stand and eat hay given the choice

ladyK

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Conwy Valley
Re: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2014, 05:58:16 pm »
I don't know anything about goats, but generally speaking would straw not be a better option to provide fibre? (hay is just dried grass after all). Or at least a mix of the two?
"If one way is better than another, it is the way of nature." (Aristotle)

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2014, 07:22:29 pm »
Goats do better with hay at all times of the year, however at the moment mine have to do (and like it very much) with scythed long grass, dried for a couple of days in the polytunnel.

One thing you can do is give them lots more browsing and remove the hay while you have tied up the branches.

Ina

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Aberdeenshire
Re: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2014, 07:29:41 pm »
The goats I've known in my life all did eat grass - if they weren't given an option. At times of the year there simply wasn't anything "better", so they lived with it. There usually was quite a lot of long, fibrous grass available, though. Goats are quite adaptable... (Can't remember where I read the story of goats who used to live in London, on waste from a bakery; in war time, they were evacuated to the country, but never really learned to eat that horrible green stuff under foot!  :D )

ballingall

  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2014, 11:22:30 pm »
I don't know where you are located, but the quality of the grass with us has really gone over the past fortnight- it's been too dry. So, now our goats are back to eating lots of hay again. They really didn't look much for hay for six weeks from the middle of June.


I would give them less, or try putting some straw into the feeder. Straw will provide the roughage, but might not be as appealing as hay.


Beth

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2014, 11:51:45 pm »
using smaller holes in the feeders/nets would slow them down a bit.
are they fat?
also try giving them the whole bale with the string still attached tightly so they have to work to prise the hay out. this only works if its tightly packed.

fiestyredhead331

  • Joined Sep 2012
  • NW Highlands
    • Facebook
Re: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2014, 01:00:11 am »
I only give my goats hay at night just now, or if its a wet miserable day and they won't go outside

Maybe they need more fun? tie it up in daft places or inside something, make them work for it  :fc:
keeper of goats, sheep, pigs, ducks, chickens, turkeys, dogs, cats, goldfish and children, just don't ask me which is the most work!

lizzypeg

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2014, 09:23:16 am »
hi yes they are all fat...the vet saw them all a few weeks ago ad said they very well covered.

i cant use hay bags or nets as the 2 wethers get their horns stuck in them as they insist on sticking their heads in to get the last tiny bits of hay out of the bag/net
they currently get hay in the sheep feeder with lid on as waste a lot if i feed on floor.

their paddock as lots of toys and climbing things so dont think they are bored.

ladyK

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Conwy Valley
Re: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2014, 12:00:29 pm »
An alternative to haynets could be a box/trough/bucket with some kind of grid added on top, so they have to pull out the hay out of the holes. If you google 'horse slow feeder' and look at the 'images' tab you'll get a lot of photos of different ways on how to put some together something like that.
"If one way is better than another, it is the way of nature." (Aristotle)

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2014, 12:49:44 pm »
how much acreage do they have? try reducing their amount to a bale a week, rather than 5 days if they are fat. and see how it goes. i presume you mean the small bales? if so sharing that with 8 goats isnt much really.
any photos of the paddock?

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: any ideas on slowing down hay consumption in greedy pygmy goats
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2014, 12:50:27 pm »
I know they need long, fibrous stuff but surely nettles, docks, hedge are long and fibrous.
They're going to chew it up anyway.

A couple of years ago I visited a friend with A pet goat that didn't eat brambles and docks,  her pony paddock was full of them.
It kept escaping to find the children and hassle for treats.
Spent half an hour showing the children which leaves were docks to pick and hand feed.  The goat suddenly realised it was surrounded by treats and started finding it's own.

 

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