The warm-season perennial legume, sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata), has been shown to have an anthelmintic effect against Haemonchus spp. when goats are grazed on sericea lespedeza pastures (Min et al., 2004) or fed sericea lespedeza hay (Shaik et al., 2006). The plant has soil-binding and soil-enriching properties and is particularly suited for cultivation on poor quality soils. Sericea lespedeza has been cultivated with much success on a commercial farm in southern KwaZulu-Natal and the legume would appear to be suitable for cultivation in the communal grazing areas too. Here the farmers plant maize and other vegetable crops in small fenced-off areas and the sericea lespedeza, which cannot tolerate heavy grazing, could potentially be grown in such sites where it could be strategically grazed or otherwise utilized, e.g. to produce hay. It would seem to be an ideal species to consider especially in areas that have been degraded and eroded, which are commonplace in the communal grazing areas.
Shaik S A, Terrill T H, Miller J E, Kouakou B, Kannan G, Kaplan R M, Burke J M, Mosjidis J A 2006 Sericea lespedeza hay as a natural deworming agent against gastrointestinal nematode infection in goats. Veterinary Parasitology 139: 150-157
.....alternatives to lucerne are sought, of which Sericea lespedeza (lespedeza) has shown potential (Terrill et al., 1989). Lespedeza [Lespedeza cuneata (Dun-Cours) G. Don] is a tall growing, drought tolerant, coarse-stemmed, non-bloating, deep tap-rooted, self-seeding, perennial legume, adapted to a wide range of soils (Powell et al., 2003). It is widely planted in southern USA for grazing, hay and as a soil restoration and conservation crop (Powell et al., 2003). Although common lespedeza are known to have a high tannin content which may limit the nutritive value (Turner et al., 2005), ruminants such as goats have been reported to tolerate and perform well when consuming high tannin-containing plants (Silanikove et al., 1996). Other advantageous features of lespedeza include being long term forage once established (Barkley, 1986), provision of good quality grazing (Schmidt, 1982) and coping well under waterlogged conditions (Guernsey, 1970). In addition, South African farmers have described lespedeza as a low cost pasture, which provides good quality early spring and autumn grazing, makes good quality and ‘cheap’ hay, hay cures quickly, less wear-and-tear on mowing equipment, increases summer carrying capacity, seldom needs lime and/or phosphorus corrections at planting and does not require the use of pesticides. However, the farmers pointed out disadvantages of lespedeza as slow establishment and inability to be used as foggage (“standing hay”) because it is frost sensitive .....
Few that raise hay .. know what they are doing any more. Swathing in the afternoon and not in the morning. Turning the hay if it gets wet or if it was cut onto wet soil. Baling before it has cured .. you should be able to reach underneath the windrow and take a sample and twist it three times before it breaks .. if it will not break or breaks a little on the fourth, fifth or sixth twist .. bale it at your own risk. Rake your hay at night when humidity is high .. bale at night .. which most people don't want to do. If you are baling and all the leaves are flying and it is dusty .. something is wrong .. stop. Many leave their take up reel too low and throw dirt and rocks into the baled hay .. use a knife and open a bale and take an inside flake and bang it on news paper or the bed of your truck. Mold, wetness, smell if foul, dirt .. walk or damage your livestock.
Go to Silver Lining Herbs and look at their natural wormer. Hay is hay .. buy the cheapest best hay you can find. Fiber keeps animals warm in the winter .. grass alfalfa is what I raise and people fight over mine to get it. Horses and goats do not need high protein necessarily. Talk to the old time goat ranchers in your area.