Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Rubbish hay  (Read 1702 times)

Trinemus

  • Joined Mar 2019
Rubbish hay
« on: June 27, 2020, 11:52:06 am »
Hi all,

Probably a basic question, but just wondering if thereís anything I can do to or with a round bale of hay that the sheep wonít eat... Paid a decent amount for it, but my Shetlands wonít touch it. It is definitely coarser than weíre used to getting and not meadow hay- we ran out of the good stuff at the wrong time. Any rescue remedies you can think of?
Thank you

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Rubbish hay
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2020, 11:57:25 am »
You could try adding molasses, but quite honestly it could be better just trusting the sheep's judgement and composting the hay.  Are they still needing hay?  Your grass should be growing now if you have had some rain.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

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Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Rubbish hay
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2020, 12:50:55 pm »
As long as it's not mouldy, I'd just use it as bedding.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Trinemus

  • Joined Mar 2019
Re: Rubbish hay
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2020, 01:36:01 pm »
Thank you for the advice. Iíll just use it as bedding then. They do have plenty of grass, but have always supplemented their diet with hay all year round. Cheers all.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Rubbish hay
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2020, 02:17:57 pm »
Personally I am not a fan of hay as bedding for sheep.  It gets wrapped around their feet, it is nothing like as absorbent as straw : it's a No from me.  (But as a step en route to being compost, yeah, maybe - perhaps hay then a scattering of straw on top?)

From your description it sounds as though the hay isn't bad, just they don't like it (or maybe just don't actually need it right now?  Mostly they won't eat hay, however nice it is, if there is enough grass ;) )

If it smells nice (like new-mown grass, not musty) you could either hold onto it and try it again in winter when they do need extra, or offer it to any local native pony folks.  We types are always on the lookout for hay with poor nutritional quality for our "good doers" ::) !  lol
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Rubbish hay
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2020, 03:25:53 pm »
Unless it is mouldy or otherwise off (doesn't smell of rat urine for example), then I would store it undercover (and away from rats if you have opened it - they will move in in no time otherwise) and use it in winter - if they are hungry they will eats it! My Shetlands wouldn't eat hay at this time of year, not that they get given the option.


They never got any last winter either - very rarely a frost, no snow and enough grass (but they were not in lamb either). I would normally not feed hay until January, or earlier if heavy prolonged frost and/or snow.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Rubbish hay
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2020, 03:33:29 pm »
Thank you for the advice. Iíll just use it as bedding then. They do have plenty of grass, but have always supplemented their diet with hay all year round. Cheers all.


They're not going to eat hay while they've got plenty of grass! Sheep in particular are fussy. I had some that refused one winter to eat seeds hay. There was nothing wrong with it - just didn't have the lovely smell of meadow hay. So I ended up swapping it for meadow hay which they loved.
If the hay smells OK with absolutely no indication of mould, then don't waste it as bedding but keep it till your grass is gone.
I was once selling hay one year and a horse owner came and said she'd bought some hay off someone else and her horses wouldn't touch it, so would we part exchange for some of ours. It smelt fine, and she really wanted it out of the way, so we took it and sold her some of our own hay. Our sheep and cattle loved it, so I don't know why her horses didn't.


I also agree with Sally - hay makes rubbish bedding!


« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 03:35:47 pm by landroverroy »
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