before it has a chance to spoil. In my case, I choose only to feed it out during the coldest parts of the winter. It is less likely to spoil at low temperatures before it is consumed. Navigate to this short link for more information on baleage, This year, I am adding about 12-14,

3’x5’ rounds of baleage to increase the pro- tein and the price is very reasonable, stable with prices from last year. Again a test to see whether I want to continue the practice or abandon completely. Even with all the precautions, there is still a risk to the herd so I will evaluate daily as to whether to continue feeding the baleage.

I am also investigating and adding wrapped hay to my arsenal. Again, the price is reasonable, on par with last year’s price and by volume has more hay avail- able in each bale than what I can get locally and can be stored outside more readily. I have heard this type of hay referred to as sweet hay by some long-time farmers. Typically it is dried, baled and left to sit for a week or two to go through the sweat period and then it is wrapped

will ensure your prized herd remains healthy.

In my case, I am selecting to take a more conservative approach, not putting all of my eggs in one basket. Instead, purchasing from 3- 4 different farmers, a combination of dry unwrapped, dry wrapped, and baleage, to provide a good balance for my Kiko herd and a backup or two so my goats are not left without hay during those critical months when they have growing kids in their wombs.

I will definitely be having all of it tested for protein and moisture content so I have a good comparison of what I am really purchasing so that I can further my planning for the following year. Recently another fellow goat enthusiast and maybe future farmer told me I was “optimizing”. I like that too.

Yes, the goats get a little frosty during Maine’s winter.

but typically has a higher protein than hay left unwrapped and sit- ting in the elements.

Whether your operation includes unwrapped or wrapped dry

hay, baleage or even adding in grain feed to help with winter feeding, planning is essential. More specifically, what you will feed during the winter, where you will get it from and when you will feed it out

Thinking outside the fence...

National Kiko


NKR has over 1,000 breeders registering & transferring quality New Zealand Kikos, Purebred Kikos

& Percentage Kikos Like us!

To learn more about how NKR can benefit your meat goat operation, visit our website or give Karen a call. Karen Brown, registrar

770-844-4300 • or NKR, POB 1800, Cumming GA 30028

If you are not currently an NKR client, please look at all we have to offer, including educational and marketing opportunities, reliable registry and stable management — all things that can help make your Kiko program a success. If you’re looking for a registry home or have any questions, give us a call.

26 Goat Rancher | October 2021

Whether refining or optimizing the approach to feed and forage, there are al- ways new approaches to consider, and more leg work required to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck and your herd is getting the essentials they need to thrive during the winter.

(Josh and Kathy Crise, and their grown children, Amelia and Kevin, operate Marble Creek Acres in Lee, Maine. For interest in a fu- ture year’s Kiko waitlist, questions or if you have topics you might like to read about in a future Goat Rancher, we can be reached at 207-619- 3758, email or

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