Okay, I have given the Chaffhaye a few days before continuing this topic. For those that missed it, I am trying a bagged, partially fermented hay with my nigerian dwarf dairy goats. You can read about our first day here.
My goats are still loving the new hay. As any goat keeper knows, goats can be notoriously picky eaters, and are classic hay wasters. I was going through 2 bales of hay for 7 goats every week, and most of it was on the floor, requiring constant cleaning to avoid respiratory problems. Today is day 5 in feeding Chaffhaye. Keep in mind that I have been switching them to it, so I will use a little more next week, but at this point I have 1/4 of the first 50lb. bag left, which will cover tomorrows feeding. I expect regular consumption for my goats will be around 1 bag every 4 days.
The condition of the barn has improved dramatically. There are no mold smells or coughing from missing a day cleaning the old hay off the floor. The fly population has also decreased, despite weather in the 80’s. The goats look more slender from less bloat, and they seem to forage more to ward off boredom now that they are not constantly eating hay. I keep my Chaffhaye buckets hanging so that poop doesn’t get in them, and due to this the goats eat everything in the pails. There really is zero waste! *Note: I am not selling Chaffhaye or in any way affiliated with the company. I am simply giving you my honest opinion of a product I am trying with my animals.
In addition to feeding the Chaffhaye, I have cut grain rations by 1/3 – 1/2. The goats seem to be taking it well, and are more energetic and bright-eyed than ever. I prefer feeding less grain since most animals are healthier with what they would look for in the wild. Grains and seeds would be a much smaller portion of their diet than they receive in captivity. I sincerely believe the milk will be better for human consumption on a lower grain diet as well. The one dim point is that in June 2010 the Supreme Court ruled to lift the nationwide ban on genetically modified alfalfa seed. The only force keeping this seed out of our fields and potentially polluting regular and organically raised alfalfa is the USDA, whom the Supreme Court gave the right to regulate it’s use. You can read an article about GM alfalfa here.
So far I am quite pleased with the Chaffhaye. I will continue to give updates on our use of it as our goats begin to kid and I start milking again. I am expecting good yields and optimum health from the animals, and improved milk quality in terms of vitamins and usability by the human body.