Spring is arriving here in the Ozarks. The result is spring grass enticing goats away from their hay trough and hay.
I will admit the new grass is juicy (for grass) and lush, much tastier (to them) than hay. Those creatures who eat grass are glad to see it. I don’t eat grass and I’m glad to see it.
The goats and I have been at odds over their hay all winter. For many years I bought nice alfalfa/grass mix hay and the goats loved it.
My hay supplier retired. I now feed grass hay. Not just any grass hay. This is hay baled from the fields the goats graze all spring, summer and fall.
Still, it is just grass hay with a liberal mix of various other plants commonly referred to as weeds. Goats prefer these so-called weeds to grass.
That is the problem.
The goats busily nose through the hay in their feeder picking out the weeds and rejecting the grass. I look out to see their feeder appears full of hay.
No goat is eating it. They are standing there waiting.
I bring in the tractor to haul out the bedding. I toss the hay from the feeder onto the floor as the new bedding. I refill the hay trough. The goats begin nosing through it.
With spring grass enticing goats out into the pastures they are even more picky. The hay sits there waiting. A few mouthfuls disappear.
Rainy days make the hay disappear. Half of it does end up as bedding as goats are notoriously sloppy eaters.
There won’t be enough rainy days to make all of the hay left in the barn disappear. However, with spring grass enticing goats and other livestock and wild creatures, those bales are left sitting there. They will not be more palatable next fall than they were last fall.
Maybe I will put up a sign at the feed store and find out if anyone else wants this left over hay. Then the goats can complain about the new hay in the fall.
Read more about goats in the novel “Dora’s Story”, a biography of a goat and her owners.