One of the things that I have always been acutely aware of is the nutritional needs of my animals. Hay, grain, vitamins and mineral supplements need to be of the highest quality to produce good quality fiber, milk, meat and replacement breeding stock. 2008, 2009 and 2010 were all very bad years for our hay crops due to either too much or too little rain. Our hay was cut too late which resulted in low protein and less leaf with more stem and waste.
Even though I was feeding more grain (which cost more money), the results of low quality forage was evident in the lower quality of my fleeces, (alpaca, sheep and goats), less milk production by my ewes and lambs that did not gain weight as fast as they should. I was also spending more money on grain and de-worming supplies. I knew I had to do sometthing. So, during the summer of 2010 I went looking for an alternative to our field grown hay.
I did the usual search for alfalfa in dry form; pellets, cubes and hay bales. The sheep, goats and alpacas did not like the cubes. The pellets cost more and did not fill them up. Alfalfa hay while the best choice was not consistent in quality, some bales were 90% and some as low as 10% alfalfa, AND have you ever tried to pick alfalfa out of fleece?
Then quite by accident I learned about Chaffhaye while reading a post in one of my yahoo-groups. They were discussing hay and hay supplements. Someone asked about chaff hay, nobody seemed to know exactly what it was, so I did a google search and found the CHAFFHAYE.COM website.
Some of the things that I learned were:
1) Chaffhaye is much more nutritionally available and digestible than baled alfalfa. The total digestible nutrient for good quality baled alfalfa runs between 38- 45%. Chaffhaye has 70-80% TDN. More protein with less volume is available to the animal.
2) There is almost NO waste with Chaffhaye. It is so good that the animals clean up every bite. No stems to clean up and you do not lose any of the best leafy parts to the ground.
4) Easy to store. Chaffhaye can be stored inside or out because the bags are sealed and have a two year shelf life. This method of packaging preserves the nutritional value of every bag. Hay losses value every day it sits waiting to be used.
5) All things considered it costs less, takes up less space and is less messy to deal with. Each 50 lb bag of Chaffhaye is equal to 100 lbs of baled hay.
I was sold! So now, not only do I use Chaffhaye, but I offer it for sale from my farm.
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