What is Hay and When do Baby Goats Start Eating it?
Hay is a type of forage that is mostly composed of dry grass, legumes, and other plants. It is usually harvested and then dried in the sun before being baled and fed to livestock such as horses, cows, and goats. Hay is a staple of the diet for most ruminant animals, and baby goats are no exception. So when do baby goats start eating hay?
At What Age do Baby Goats Start Eating Hay?
Baby goats, known as “kids,” typically start eating hay around two to three months old, although they may sample some hay as early as four weeks old. While hay is not an absolute necessity for baby goats that are still nursing, it is important to introduce hay at an appropriate age to promote healthy growth and development.
What Type of Hay is Best for Baby Goats?
When choosing the best type of hay for baby goats, select the more leafy, green variety such as Orchard Grass, Timothy, and Brome which is high in quality and nutrition. It can also be helpful to purchase hay that has already been tested for nutritional content, as this is particularly important for baby goats during their growth and development stage.
How to Feed Hay to Baby Goats
Once hay is harvested and dried, it’s important to store the hay in the correct manner to avoid spoilage, mould, and dust. Hay should not be stored in damp environments as this can cause it to spoil. Instead, store hay in a clean, dry place that is away from moisture.
When introducing hay to baby goats, begin by offering small amounts to get them used to the new feed. Baby goats may be a bit hesitant at first, so monitor their eating habits and try different types of hay to find the one they prefer. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when feeding hay to baby goats:
- Start with small amounts: Offer only small amounts of hay at first to let your goats adjust to the new food.
- Provide fresh water: Always make sure your goats have access to fresh, clean water to help them digest the hay.
- Vary the types of hay: Try different types of hay to find the one your goats like best.
- Keep an eye on your goats: Monitor your goats closely and adjust the amount of hay being offered based on their appetite and energy level.
Hay is an important source of nutrition for baby goats, helping them grow and develop. They can typically start eating hay around two to three months old, although some may sample it as early as four weeks old. It is important to provide hay of high quality and always monitor your goats’ eating habits to make sure they are getting the nutrition they need.