Allow me to rewind a bit...
Early on in my goat adventures, I purchased a load of baled alfalfa. Most of the leaves blew off on the drive home. The rest fell on the ground as the goats tried to eat it. What was left was really expensive bedding since the goats wouldn't eat the hard stems that were left.
Introducing g0S-2 (that's goat operating system for you tech geeks out there).
I began to use alfalfa pellets, which worked wonderfully for over a year. Then my vet came out for a herd evaluation and check-up. He told me I wasn't feeding them enough and to double their alfalfa rations. Apparently Western Washington hay is pretty worthless when it comes to nutrition. I imagine their ration, by weight, was 30% alfalfa and 70% hay. So now, needing to move to a 60-70% alfalfa ration, I decided to make sure my alfalfa was GMO-Free.
I had been purchasing Haystack Farm & Feeds alfalfa pellets. They purchase on the open market and can't guarantee anything. I contacted Standlee who operates out of Idaho. I appreciated their honesty. They definitely are GMO, politely offering me GMO-Free timothy hay pellets. I'm not that dumb, there is no GMO Timothy. XCELL is just a grinder, and they buy alfalfa on the open market; but I've seen their pellets and won't use them anyway. They look more like floor sweepings and sawdust than alfalfa.
This was very frustrating, and I began contemplating reducing the herd to 1 goat so I could afford organic alfalfa pellets. During my search for organic pellets, I ran across a post in a Google+ Community about Goat Farming. Another person in there posted how her goats love Chaffhaye. I decided to head on over to their website and see what it was all about. I devoured their website (chaffhaye.com) and decided I would give it a try.
I have been feeding chaffhaye transitionally for the past week. They still get their regular hay, and the old alfalfa pellets get mixed in with their chaffhaye. I had some early adopters. They sniffed twice and hoovered all of it. I had some late adopters. They sniffed three times and looked at me like I just played a mean practical joke on them. After a week, they are all snarfing it down very competitively. By the end of one month, it will be the only feed I give them. No more hay, no more alfalfa pellets, and still no grain. They will get handfuls of black oil sunflower seeds though. I may add a very small amount of rolled oats in the future, but only while on the milk stand.
They have only been eating this stuff for one week, but all of them already have softer and smoother coats. The first bags I purchased came from a gal in Auburn who has been using this product for nearly 7 years. She swears by it, and her sheep look exceptionally healthy.
The best part is that my friends at Black Lake Nursery & Feed decided to bring it in, so I can get it locally in the Olympia, Washington area. That being said, I still haven't really told you what it is. Chaffhaye is to alfalfa, what sauerkraut is to cabbage. It is GMO-FREE, chopped alfalfa that is harvested wet and sealed in an anaerobic environment. It comes in easy to manage 50lb cubes that are easy to store, stack, and carry. It is a very nutritious feed that can replace all or part of what you are currently feeding. It's good for horses, cows, goats, sheep, llamas, and chickens. Give it a try!
P.S. - They still need their loose minerals and plenty of fresh water.