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How much hay do goats need for the winter, revisited

Goat barn bedding

Last year, I estimated we'd need 27 bales of hay to get our two semi-dwarf goats through the winter. We actually socked away 36 bales, though, just to be safe.

Cute goatsHow much did our goats actually eat? It's a little hard to say because they spoiled some bales when they broke into the storage area (and I later used those spoiled bales for bedding). But I'm guessing they actually consumed somewhere between 18 and 20 bales.

We still have quite a few musty hay bales from last year in the main barn (outside goat reach), and I'm trying to decide whether those bales are worth feeding. I suspect a normal goat would eat them despite a bit of mildew from the summer damp...but our princesses will likely get fresh bales instead while I use last year's hay in the garden.

(And, yes, before you ask --- that bale in the top photo is straw for bedding instead of hay for dining. Which isn't to say Artemesia didn't nose around in search of seed heads before settling back into her newly cleaned barn.)



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