Can Goats Eat Moldy Hay?

Raising livestock could be quite profitable on the long-run however, the process might not be quite easy. Goats are prone to diseases which are caused by several factors which might not be known to many.

These diseases could be developed via several factors which include mating, contact with other animals and feeding.

Feeding seems to be one of the most effective ways by which these diseases could be acquired. Today, we are going to talk about one particular topic regarding goats and their feeding and what they should be fed with.

Can Goats Eat Moldy Hay?

No! They don’t eat moldy hay. Do not make the mistake of feeding moldy hay to your goats as they are known to be harmful to them.

For the fact that goats are animals  doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be fed with the right hay stack.

Researches proves that moldy hay contains certain chemical which are not meant to be given to goats. Feeding a goat with moldy hay can cause listeriosis as well as other dangerous diseases to the animal and I bet, you wouldn’t want to spend your time and money treating unwanted diseases in your animals so yes, goats are not supposed to be fed with moldy hay.

What Happens If A Goat Eats Moldy Hay?

The goat might end up developing listeriosis disease due to the intake of moldy hay. listeriosis is an infectious disease which is mostly caused by the intake of bacteria monocytogenes and is mostly common in domestic animals.

One thing about listeriosis in goats is that they are not contagious however, they should be avoided as they could appear dangerous. Listeriosis are also referred to as silage sicknesses.

These listeria bacteria can survive in anywhere such as grasses, hay and soil and when consumed, automatically claims the body of the animal as a dwelling place. Moldy hay harbors the listeria which is why you are expected to keep them away from goats.

Can Goats Get Sick From Hay?

Yes they can! Only if the hay is moldy, your goats could get ill from consuming moldy hay which houses listeria. Moldy or wet hay aren’t meant for goats. Your goats could suffer from silage disease if they are being fed with moldy hay.

Moreover, goats are exposed to Prussic acid poisoning if they are exposed to moldy hay or wet moldy hay as food. Furthermore, there are specific kinds of hay which can be fed to goats apart from moldy or infected ones. Nonetheless, goats could get ill and exhibit signs of illness if they are being fed with moldy hay.

How Can You Tell If A Hay is Moldy?

Now this appears to be a very great question. Since you chose to avoid moldy hay, it will be a great idea to different between a normal hay and a moldy one. Basically, moldy hay are known to be identified with certain features which are listed below.

Color :Moldy Hay are known to have dark areas as well as deep grey color, unlike the fresh ones.

Smell : Smell also differentiate a moldy hay from a fresh hay. Fresh hays are known to have the smell of fresh wood.

Presence of excessive dust : Moldy hay tend to contain a lot of dust other than non – moldy hay.

Flexibility : Moldy hay are known to be quite rigid and strong while the fresh hay expands easily.

Worn out look : Moldy hay are found in a moldy hay so once you come across moldy hays, you should be able to identify one.

Can You Treat A Moldy Hay?

Moldy hay can be treated however, they cannot be gotten rid off absolutely. A Moldy hay can be reduced by following the guidelines pointed out below.

  1. Mold can be prevented or reduced by improving drying and solar radiation.
  2. Application of hay preservatives such as Proprione acid products and other mold elimination products. However, these products are known to be effective after the hay has been harvested.
  3. If a hay is dusty, its physical dusty appearance can be reduced by mixing them with a feed with high moisture regardless, the Mycotoxins will still be present.

The guidelines pointed out above can be used in treating moldy hay effectively.

What can I do with Moldy Hay?

If you feel feeding your goats with moldy would be dangerous and you wish to use it for other purposes rather than waste it, you can utilize the hay by following the guidelines below.

  • Moldy hay can be spread between your garden rows as it is smother out the unwanted plants.
  • If sprinkled with salt, they could be used in feeding cows as well as pigs.
  • Most individuals used moldy hay as windscreen for hens.
  • If the hay is slightly filled with mold, then can be soaked in water for 10 minutes for horses to eat.

What You Should Not Feed Goats:

Asides moldy hay, there are other things that shouldn’t be offered to goats. Some of these things are listed below.

  1. Poisonous Food /Plants : Goats are not created to eat certain plants /foods which are known to be poisonous such as azalea and other poisonous plants could be dangerous to the digestive system of the goats.
  2. Raw Meat / Diary Foods : Since they are carnivores species, they can be able to digest diary food and raw meat. It is not right to feed raw meat such as beef to goats as they are not meant to eat such foods.

Will Soaking Hay Remove Mold?

If the mold in the hay is less, soaking the hay would probably reduce the mold present. However, it is not confirmed if the total mold in a hay would disappear if being soaked.

What Causes Hay To Go Moldy?

A hay could be Moldy if it is left in the open for a very long time and is exposed to moisture.

Final Words.

Moldy hays are not suitable to feed your goats however, if preserved properly and carefully, they could serve as good food to them.


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