Out of Chaffhaye?!!!!

I ran out of Chaffhaye about 2 weeks ago now. Taxes are breaking us, and I need to sell some goats to buy a pallet. It’s interesting not having it and seeing the stark difference in my goats production. I figured that, since I had regular rye grass hay and lots of alfalfa pellets (I feed the alfalfa pellets so we get enough calcium, Chaffhaye is so broken down and digestible my milkers need the pellets as well, though kids and bucks do great on the Chaffhaye alone) we would be fine for a few weeks. Not so. I will explain a little better.

For a few months now we have basically been grain-free in our goat barn. Most people use grain to boost protein levels, usually through soy in the feed. The soy, in turn, also seems to boost milk production, which is great to most people. I want good production as well, and grain is cheap compared to alfalfa, so of course I try to feed some to my milk girls. However, for a while now they have refused to eat any and all grain offered to them. In fact, it’s been close to a year. We have had excellent reproduction and kid growth, and milk has been just as plentiful as before we started feeding alfalfa (we used to feed rye grass hay and grain). The goats loved the introduction of Chaffhaye to their diet over a year ago now, and started refusing grain rations. I thought it was a change in feed formula, and went through many bags of grain trying to find one the goats would eat. I finally gave up and gave them an extra serving of Chaffhaye to get them on the milk stand, and tried to get them to at least eat oats and sunflower seed. We added the alfalfa pellets when we started seeing calcium issues and the goats have thrived on what is basically a grass/legume hay diet.

Fast forward to today, 2 weeks after running out of Chaffhaye. The goats are going through a 50lb. bag of horse 14% feed pellets at an astonishing rate and milk production has dropped across the board by at least 1 cup a day per goat. When talking about nigerian dwarfs that’s a big drop! It would seriously compromise my numbers if I were on milk test, and shows poorly for my barn records on each doe as well. The girls are going through the rye grass at the rate of 1 bale every 2-3 days vs. 1 bale every 2 weeks, and need extra alfalfa pellets, plus they are grazing their small pasture down to nothing, always hungry. To say I am surprised how much they have been affected is an understatement, and I only hope we can recover some of the loss when I get another pallet of Chaffhaye this week. And just to be clear, I ruled out parasite overload, length of lactation, and any other feed changes. The only thing different is the lack of Chaffhaye and sudden eating of grain again. Truly amazing….

About nigerianmeadows

I am a homeschooling mother of 2 autistic children and cook gluten-free, I homestead on 2.5 acre and raise goats and chickens for dairy and eggs, I garden, cook, quilt, and take photographs. I build, paint, scrub, and dance on tables. I am the ultimate WOMAN!!! Oh, yeah, and I like my husband a whole lot (he is the one that makes all this possible, and he loves me like no other!)
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7 Responses to Out of Chaffhaye?!!!!

  1. Ziggy says:

    I am not surprised. We don’t feed chaffhaye but we do feed top quality alfalfa tricked in from Wyoming. With this the only time our goats get grain is on the feed stand, and they don’t eat very much yet we still have does milking over 3000 pounds a year ( we are on standard DHIR test – and these are full size goats – Nubians and Alpines).

    • Ziggy says:

      I meant milk stand – dry and pregnant does and bucks get no grain and still are in great condition.

    • That’s great Ziggy! We prefer not having grain as we have learned more about the effects of soy and GMO corn, and it has been good to realize that we truly were getting very good production without it. Even better to hear from people like you who are succeeding without grain as well!

  2. Dianne says:

    What brand of chaffhaye do you use?

  3. mbcagle@juno.com says:

    How do you store your Chaffhaye? I have be considering a switch to Chaffhaye since I purchased our buck from Lisa at Fields of Grace. Studley had the most beautiful coat when we picked him up from Lisa. I am just worried about it going bad or the mice getting into it as it is expensive. From your experience, is it a lot more expensive to feed the Chaffhaye and alfalfa than the hay ($5 per bale) plus grain ($7.50 per 50#)? I am not against spending more for health, though. I surely do not feed my people kids processed food! I don’t have a barn or a great place to store it. I suppose it would take up the same amount of room as the hay.I would have to pick it up in Knoxville every other month or so. I have 5 goats as of now. I hope to add a couple of more soon. Could you give me an idea of how much alfalfa and Chaffhaye one goat would need per day?

    Sorry for all of the questions!

    • I store it under shade of some sort or in our barn/garage area where is stays cool. It can be stored outside, but keep pets off of it and children. A 50lb bale of Chaffhaye is about 1’x1’x2’x2′, it’s not super big because it’s compressed so tightly. It has been well worth it to me, but it does cost a bit more until you figure in waste. Still more when replacing grain with it, but better milk for your family (I don’t want GMO’s and soy in my milk if I can help it) and less waste compared to typical baled grass and legume hay. They eat it all! I feed my milking does a 5 gallon bucket of hay every day, and half a 5 gallon bucket of alfalfa pellets (I have 9 nigerian dwarf does eating that batch) and 1/4-1/2 bucket of Chaffhaye to the bucks/kids in those pens. I lift out mold spots if I get them, or the dealer will replace them, but it’s generally my fault if I get any and I just deal with it. It’s packed so tight that the mold spots I have had are very small and in one area and can be pulled out with enough of the surrounding hay to make sure all spores are removed. I have had damage from rats checking the bags out, so store away from where you keep grain and on top of a pallet so they are not on the ground. The dealer should show you how to handle the hay properly and show you examples of mold vs. probiotics.

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