Friday, January 11, 2013

Growing Fodder (part 8) - Success

Finally!  My dairy goats are energetically enjoying the Fodder that I'm growing for them.  I was beginning to wonder if my efforts in building the Fodder System and growing the Fodder were a waste of time, effort, and money.  But, feeding the fully grown 7 day old Fodder to my very pregnant does in the Kidding yard was met with enthusiasm for the fresh green food yesterday.

If you missed the earlier "Growing Fodder for my Goats" posts, you can access them here:

Growing Fodder Part 1
Growing Fodder Part 2
Growing Fodder Part 3
Growing Fodder Part 4
Growing Fodder Part 5
Growing Fodder Part 6
Growing Fodder Part 7


You see ... since my dairy goat herd can travel miles away from the milk barn and main shelter area in the course of a grazing day over 500 acres of the ranch .... I bring my does into a Kidding area a couple of days prior to their due dates.  These does are not going out grazing each day with the rest of the herd.  I want them close for giving birth.  I don't want to search all over the ranch to find a momma goat with her newborn kids. .... I'm funny that way.  I want them close so I can monitor births and give assistance if needed.

The does in the Kidding area are getting hay and oats each day. So, they're getting plenty to eat.  But, when I brought a tray of fully grown Fodder out to them yesterday ... they attacked it!  I felt like I was in the middle of a shark feeding frenzy!  Needless to say ... taking photos of them enjoying the Fodder was a challenge.  But I did get a few.....

The girls dove into the tray of Fodder 

Giving Lilah some 

Nellie stuffing herself on it 

Fawn pulling it off of the one I was feeding to Lilah 

And then there is Maggie ... she was taking it and shaking it wildly to break off pieces that she could fit into her mouth.

Maggie with a big mouthful 

It didn't take long for her to have it chewed up and gone

All the does in the Kidding area enjoyed the Fodder very much.  I am very very pleased.  The does that are not due to kid yet are still going out grazing and foraging each day.  So, they're not as enthusiastic about the Fodder ... but on the other hand ... I'm not needing to supplement the grazing part of the herd with hay or Fodder.  They're still coming in stuffed at the end of the day.

I'll be concentrating my Fodder feeding to the does as they come through the Kidding area for birthing.  As they go back out into the main herd group, they will have learned to enjoy the Fodder as s supplemental feed source.  Since they have learned to enjoy eating it, I feel like growing the Fodder is now a success. ... for the goats, the chickens, and the rabbits.



*~*~*~*~Tonia said...

LOL!! Feeding frenzy is right!

Denise Wilhelm said...

Congratulations! I would very much like to put together a similar system for my herd, so I've been following your posts avidly. Thank you for being so thorough with your information!

Linda said...

That is great! I have read that they produce more milk eating the fodder. That will be interesting to see if it applies to yours as well. If that is indeed the case, can you imagine how it would help Nigerian Dwarf's milk yield... so looking forward to hearing how yours do.