April showers bring May flowers. What do May flowers bring? Pilgrims!
Sorry. That's an old joke I was told in school. Around here April showers bring May showers that bring water-logged hay fields that have 3 foot tall grasses that can't be made into hay.
So...now what? Let the goats eat the grasses! The goats bawl & complain to go out to the pastures. It doesn't matter that they just got grain & hay. They NEED that green herbage.
Goats are by nature browsers. They love bushes, low-hanging tree limbs, forbs & weeds. Grasses are a 2nd choice. We did have lots of sumacs, honeysuckle, raspberries, multiflora roses & masses of weeds. The goats had that cleaned out in a couple weeks. Because we don't have too many fenced places for the goats to browse, they are forced to graze.
Except at supper time. My husband will take our ATV up to our overgrown fence rows and pull out the honeysuckle & wild roses for the goats. Their tiny gopher ears perk up when they hear the 4wheeler start up. They know. They run to the fence and announce their anticipation & impatience for the daily treats.
So....now what happens to the goats
that they can only have their shrubs occasionally? They are they happy to have almost whatever we give them access to eat, like the over-grown hay field plants. The great thing for us is that the green lush grasses and weeds contain various nutrients that make their milk fabulous! You can almost taste the spring rain that causes the plants to grow.
Nothing beats milk from goats that are out on pasture! It is a gift that they willingly share with us daily. We get what's left after the babies get their breakfast. Baby goats get first priority when it comes to the milk partnership we have with them.
We also have to think of the mamas' health as a priority as well. Take our big Tweed. She's a hefty gal that can make almost 2 gallons of tasty milk daily. That's a lot for any goat to make.
Why couldn't we just share with her kids? She has 3 kids to feed. Tinky is small, but she needs to grow to her mama's size. Tinky needs milk whenever she wants. I can't cause any more strain on Tweed's body by asking her to make more milk for me too.
I only use the milk from the goats that had a single kid. They are making more milk than the 1 kid can drink in a day. I also milk Mercedes. Even though she had triplets, she doesn't nurse her kids. She used to be a show goat & thinks her udder is special, which it is.... ahem. Her doe kid went to a different farm and her bucks are here with us being bottle-fed. Now that they are older, they don't need as much milk because they are eating lots of hay and grain to fuel their growth.