Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Starving Goats in Nepal...

....would love to have that hay!

I'm sure I don't have to tell any current or past keepers-of-goats what picky little divas they are. And every time I fork out hay to the unappreciative, ungrateful caprines I curse under my breath (or even rather loudly if Rhiannon isn't within earshot).

The last round bale I opened was like totally perfect.  A nice, green bermuda with just a little bit of blackberry leaves rolled in.  The first time I opened it and forked some over to the goats, they went crazy over it.  Like it was the best thing they ever tasted.  Like crackhay, methgreenery, marijuana, uh, grass!

That lasted for like 3 days.  Then they started getting picky.  There was more and more hay being left in the feed troughs each time I went to give them more.  Then last week (after a daily rain shower) I finally had to muck out all the not-good-enough-for-us hay and pile it up so I could use the tractor bucket to move it.  Yes, there was that much waste.  (I'm swearing in my head now just looking at the picture again.)
A month or so of wasted, semi-composted hay.
I tried leaving the "eh, we want different hay" there until they finished it off.  I tried mixing the "new better" hay with the leftovers.  The fact that we've been getting rain every stinking day didn't help.  Because you know, wet hay is just inedible.  Can't eat wet hay.  Or hay that a chicken walked through.  Or hay that has been in the feed trough for more than fifteen minutes.  Or hay that a gnat landed on.  Or hay that.....well, you get the picture.
Goats: Oh, now THIS hay is soooo much better!
Me, screaming at the top of my lungs: It's the SAME stinking hay!!!
One of the reasons I want Ms. Melman and Nugget down here in the same paddocks as the goats is to hopefully reduce some of the waste.  There is hay in & around the feeding troughs that I just know the mule and mini-horse would love to chomp down on.  I'm thinking I'm going to put a large garbage can next to the goat feeder and store the "icky" hay and bring it up to the mule barn for now.  And make sure to put only a little bit out at a time and feed hay several times instead of just once a day.

Will it stop all the hay wastage?  Most likely not.  But I gott'a do something before I blow (another) gasket.


  1. You know the 5 second rule for people? Goats must have a nano-second rule.

  2. I say let the recalcitrant poops starve.

    No, not really. I remember going through exactly the same thing with our prima donnas. Don't cha wonder what goes through their little pea brained heads? Why they do what they do? They have it so good. You're such a good goat mama, I know, but sometimes all you CAN do is say . . . um, uh, well, . . . naughty words. Or send all that rejected food to the poor little goats in Nepal.

  3. I finally got rid of our goats as there was no keeping them happy. They worked against me constantly and I could not keep them in any fence, somehow they would escape and then damage what they could. It is so nice to be able to keep a one ton draft horse in a field with a single ribbon.

  4. Chuck the goats out of a trebuchet (I happen to have one designed specifically for goat chucking if your interested) and then get sheep. :)

  5. I finally cut their hay ration WAY down and built a hay feeder in the barn. That has helped. I love the way they stand in the middle of their freshly pooped-on hay and scream that they're starving. Ingrates.

  6. Huh....don't have that problem with my goats. But I have a different feeding strategy.
    They get their hay.
    A few hours later I wander out and see if they ate it.
    Leftover hay? I walk away.
    Plate is clean? They get a small ration of sweet feed!
    All my goats belong to the *clean plate club*.

  7. Could you toss some fruit or molasses or something in? Maybe some caviar :)

  8. I am like that idea of a hay feeder inside a shed or a roof installed over the outside feed area. Young calves are the same way. It is much better to give them just a bit. DH wants to put a week's worth in the trough......nope; they won't touch it after it becomes 'stale'.