NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: feeding haylage  (Read 8777 times)

langdon

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Pembrokeshire
  • The Happy Smallholder!
feeding haylage
« on: March 18, 2010, 08:13:46 pm »
does anyone feed their goats haylage we just started to buy it in cos we found out our neighbour
sells it we were feeding them hay up till now, is this ok?
blimey you can tell im still at the beginning as i even dont know the difference between the two ;D :goat:
Langdon ;)
Voss Electric Fence

ballingall

  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: feeding haylage
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2010, 08:45:31 pm »
Is it big bales of haylage or small? We don't feed it, but thats because the small bales of haylage are expensive, and as we only have goats (and no cattle/sheep/horse) it would take too long for them to eat through a big bale before it goes off. I will feed it occasionally as a treat, and as the Royal Highland SHow provide it free of charge at the show, I normally feed them it there.



Beth

langdon

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Pembrokeshire
  • The Happy Smallholder!
Re: feeding haylage
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2010, 09:00:15 pm »
hi beth hope you had good day ;)
they are the small bales at 4.50 and cos he is only up the road we thought well we dont have to travel a mile
or two for them, but if its not as good as the dry stuff i might change my mind :goat:
Langdon ;)

ballingall

  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: feeding haylage
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2010, 09:16:10 pm »
That sounds ok Langdon, last time I bought small bales of haylage they cost £6 each and are a lot smaller than a small bale of hay. Its fine to feed them, and if you can get it without having to pay for fuel, sounds like a good deal to me.


Beth

langdon

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Pembrokeshire
  • The Happy Smallholder!
Re: feeding haylage
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2010, 09:31:37 pm »
as allways beth i am forever gratefull ;D
Langdon ;)

Roxy

  • Joined May 2009
  • Peak District
    • festivalcarriages.co.uk
Re: feeding haylage
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2010, 10:18:15 pm »
I  feed the big round bales to the horses, but the goats have the hay off our fields.  I have just about used the hay now, so the goats are having haylage and they love it.  The only thing is, whereas a bale of hay you can open and it does not matter how soon you use it, haylage does go off once opened.  The commercial bags (by that I mean the ones specially bagged for horses etc, with the manufacturers name) say use within 5 days. The ones made on farms, just wrapped in green or black wrap, I reckon 7 days use by.  Our big bales, we try and use between 10 and 12 days.

If any of the bale looks a funny colour, or has a really bad smell then don't use it - it can be dangerous if it has fermented.  I would introduce Molly and Milly gradually to haylage, by mixing it with their hay to begin with, like with any new food, so as not to cause any tummy upset.  I am sure they will like it though.

I do find the small bales quite expensive, in comparison to hay, and its only because we have big bales in for the horses that I give it to the goats at all.  Having said that, it does fill them up, so maybe you will find you do not use as much.

Oh, and it does have quite a strong smell, so be prepared for everthing to have that distinctive smell - but its much better than the smell of a billy goat of course!!!

langdon

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Pembrokeshire
  • The Happy Smallholder!
Re: feeding haylage
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2010, 10:31:35 pm »
nice reply roxy
gosh 7 days blimey would two goats through a small bale in 7 days.
interesting to read about the going off ;)
mm might just decide to go back to hay after this bale has gone :goat:
Langdon ;)

Roxy

  • Joined May 2009
  • Peak District
    • festivalcarriages.co.uk
Re: feeding haylage
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2010, 10:53:05 pm »
It depends how much haylage is in the bale ......some round here are £5 and are light in weight. Others are compressed, and lots of haylage in, and they work out at £6 each.  Try a bale and see how you go.  If you find you have quite a bit left towards the end of the week, don't worry, just keep adding some extra to the hay rack to use it up.  The goats will eat it!!!

During the summer when we are doing lots of horse shows, I tend to buy a few small bales to put in haynets to take with us.  What I do, to keep the haylage as fresh as possible, is slit the bag down the middle, pull out a few wedges of haylage, and then wrap the bag up again, securing with baler twine, to keep it as fresh as possible.  If you open it out of the wrapper, and the air gets to it, it does go off quicker, and dries out too.

If I gave my horses small bale haylage, twice a day, I think it would only do them 3 days, so is quite expensive doing it that way.  Of course your goats will eat smaller amounts, so it will be better costwise!!!

 

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