Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Goats are supposed to be "brousers" and not "grazers",  correct?  Would it be a good choice to save fall leaves  (picked up  clean and dry) and store them for winter feed?   I did feed a small amout of them last winter and my goats loved them.  I have always wondered why it is always reccomended to give goats grass hay when their natural diet would include more leaves....   Shouldn't someone be baleing the fallen

 leaves for our goats?

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I see exactly what you mean. Last year I had even said something to my step dad about me spreading out a tarp or sheet or such under his trees to catch his leaves to feed them so they wouldn't have to be raked up in his yard. A blower to blow them in piles makes it an easier job. Storing them could be tricky. As far as if you want to save them sure I say go for it. Just remember that they will start decomposing and I don't know about things like if that causes chemical reactions that may be a problem. Not sure about all that but love the idea of using the leaves, I hate seeing them wasted, piled up and burned etc. I like leaving them on the ground to decay and refresh the earth!

It's a good bet if the goats have access to the leaves, there won't be danger of them composting as they will be eaten long before that happens. <g>  My girls love to eat any fallen leaves now so if I let them out in the yard, there will be no leaves to pick up.

Just as goats prefer green grass or hay to brown grass or hay, they also prefer green leaves to brown leaves. They eat some fallen leaves but not as many as you would expect until you think about the fact that the leaves are brown and probably not as tasty as green ones. My only concern about trying to save leaves would be what Margaret said -- you don't know what would start growing in them as they start decomposing if you piled them up. I've seen many warnings for people who want to make their own silage out of grass clippings, so it's scared me away.

I'm wondering if you could cut willow or poplar boughs and hang them upside down to dry them, like you would herbs in your kitchen?  And then use them for feed in winter.  

I saved several large garbage bags of leaves last year. I picked them after we had several very dry days. I left the bags open so they could continue to dry.  The only problem I can imagine with saving leaves would be if they had  been on the ground long enough to become "wormy".  My leaves were dry &  "freshly fallen" when I bagged them.  My goats loved them in the winter, had no signs of ill effects.  Wish I could have saved more of them! (they take a lot of space as they were not mechanically compacted)

I probably should clarify that I meant could one pick the boughs with the green leaves still attached, some time in summer before they change colour and fall, and dry them that way similarly to how one would cut green grass to dry as hay?

Rosalyn Abbott said:

I'm wondering if you could cut willow or poplar boughs and hang them upside down to dry them, like you would herbs in your kitchen?  And then use them for feed in winter.  

Sounds like it would work.

I too have saved dry and freshly fallen leaves in big trash bags. My goats loved them as a treat over the winter - especially when there was snow on the ground!

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