Roughage and Grains


Goat need Roughage for their main diet. You can get roughage in several different forms. Since the goats are browers, they prefer woody areas that offer leaves and tree bark over grass but they will eat grass in a pasture. They also will eat hay. A fairly new item is Chaffhaye. Chaffhaye is considered hay in a bag.


We will look at forage first. That is woody areas that offer leaves, tree bark, stems and weeds. The nutritional value will be different depending on what type foarge is available and where it is located.


Many breeders have nice pastures for their goats. It is an economical way to feed the goats. Many breeders rotate their pastures. Again the nutrional values will be different depending on what has been planted.


Hay comes in both square bales and round rolls. The green pastures are cut. Left to dry. Then they are raked and baled. Hay should be stored in a shed or covered. The square ones are a little easier to handle. Hay can be feed year around but it is mainly feed during the winter months. Hay come from pastures that have been planted with either: Alfalfa, Behay, Bermuda, Coastal, Fescue or a mixture. Each one has a different nutritional value.


hay baleshay

Chaffhaye is what is referred to as hay in a bag. It is made up of alfalfa. This is what the makers of chaffhaye say about their product: Chaffhaye is premium bagged alfalfa sold in 50-pound bags that captures the key characteristics of fresh pasture, while also offering a guaranteed level of nutrition. It is ideal for ensuring maximum health and well-being of all classes of horse, deer, goat, llama, camelid, and other exotic animals.

photo one hand holding chaffhaye

Harveting Process

We manage all aspects of the Chaffhaye growing and packaging process. The process starts in our pastures. Chaffhaye’s alfalfa is carefully cut and harvested at peak leafiness and optimal plant maturity to maximize nutrients, palatability and digestibility. This insures that virtually all of the nutrient-rich leaves of the plant are captured. Once harvested, we chop the fresh forage into pieces two to three inches in length, and lightly mist it with molasses to initiate nature’s fermentation process. It is then compressed into sturdy air-tight bags to lock in freshness, ensuring that dust, rain, mold, rodents and other undesirable elements are locked out. This occurs within hours of harvest.



I guess my biggest issue with Chaffhaye is the fact that it is cut 2-3 inches in length. Goats need at least 4″ to maintain what is referred to as their scratch factor. I have used Chaffhaye in the past and there is very little waste. Some of the goats loved it while other took longer to try it.


Of course there is always grain. Depending on the amount and type of forage that you have, you may want to subsitute with grains. Grains come from lots of different sources such as barley, corn, molasses (which is made from sugar cane), and oats are few of the most common ones. Their are many different commerical products made with the different graings.







Molasses is made from the sugar cane plant.

molasses made from sugar cane

The liquid type of molasses can  is mixed into manyof the commerial feeds. Most goats love the taste of Mollasses.

Molasses contains iron and calcemia. Molasses isalso full of vitamins. If you have a goat that is off their feed, try giving them some warm molasses and water. Give it to new moms after kidding. Molasses should always be kept as a staple for your goats.

molasses syrup