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Author Topic: Winter feeding  (Read 8062 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Winter feeding
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2012, 02:44:04 am »
When we had all that snow a couple of years ago, we took hay down to the ewes and all they did was lay on it and sleep!! good hay it was too, so we don't really bother now, just perhaps feed a bit in a moveable manger. They would rather shovel the snow away with their nose and eat underneath ;D

I don't know where smee2012 is.  Up here, when there's snow on the ground, those sheep need hay.  And this year, after the wettest summer on record, most of us will have grass that is a whole lot less nutritious than it would normally be, so even yours may need some hay if the snow comes, feldar!
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

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Winter feeding
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2012, 12:23:06 pm »
You may be right Sally, :eyelashes: but i must say our  snowfall generally doesn't even come close to what you guys get up north! :-J
It just tickled me that we put it out for them, and they used our lovely hay my pony would have killed for, as a bed!!!
We start lambing soon so this year the girls will be coming in at night into our nice new barn, can't wait such luxury ;D ;D  and this year we made some nice haylage so they will get plenty of TLC

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Winter feeding
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2012, 12:29:13 pm »
A mate of mine had a call from Animal Health - someone had reported him for his sheep being without hay when snow was on the ground...so he put out a big bale and they had great fun climbing up it and jumping off. Didn't eat any of it though....

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Winter feeding
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2012, 01:04:38 pm »
A mate of mine had a call from Animal Health - someone had reported him for his sheep being without hay when snow was on the ground...so he put out a big bale and they had great fun climbing up it and jumping off. Didn't eat any of it though....
:roflanim:
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

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Winter feeding
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2012, 01:53:03 pm »
If I put out hay on the ground for mine, they will use it as a bed - but if in a proper hayrack they will eat the lot - so that might be part of the difference -using a manger makes for full tummies and a lot less waste and the task in spring of clearing up the sheeps Princess and the Pea sleeping platform :-DDDD (been there :-DD)

humphreymctush

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • orkney
Re: Winter feeding
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2012, 04:56:53 pm »
There's nothing wrong with giving sheep silage and in my experience sheep prefere silage and haylage to hay. The only thing is, your 8 sheep wouldnt eat a whole bale before it goes off. They wouldn't eat a whole bale of halage either, although that would keep a bit longer than silage. If you have other animals like ponies and cattle you can share a big bale between them. My 40 sheep, 2 cows and 3 ponies eat a big bale of haylage in 5 days.
When they are short of grass sheep do well on hay ad lib and no hard feed at all this time of year. There neednt be any spoilage if you have a suitable contraption. If the hay is poor quality they may keep pulling it out and dropping it as they try to forage for sweeter bits, so the secret to low wastage is good quality hay.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Winter feeding
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2012, 07:36:28 am »
As you say at the end, hmct, sheep will eat good hay.  Ours generally prefer hay to silage, although at some times, freshly opened silage may be very popular.

We find it best to discard silage cattle haven't eaten within 18 hours, and that sheep haven't eaten with 72 hours. 

As someone said elsewhere, it's important if using a feeder to discard old silage, not to just dump the new on top.

With hay, we just feed what they'll eat at each feed, which cuts right down on wastage.  When there's snow on the ground we give the sheep a little extra (over and above what they'll eat up straight away) in the morning, all spread out in a line, then when they've finished eating they lie on what's left over, which keeps them more comfortable and makes a long pan where we can feed them cake for their evening meal.  (Otherwise the cake sinks into the snow and there's a lot of waste of cake.)  They get a bit more hay alongside for them to eat when they've finished their cake.
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

Garmoran

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Lochaber, Highland
Re: Winter feeding
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2012, 11:25:13 pm »
Different sheep seem to have different tastes. I usually make hay myself and most years it's been more than enough to feed generously to the tups and hoggs on the inbye - the ewes (Cheviots) are on the hill with a daily ration of beet nuts and I only give them hay if it snows (none at all needed last winter  ;D ).

However, a few years ago I didn't have enough of my own and bought 10 bales of good Stirlingshire hay, lovely sweet stuff. But the ungrateful brutes just ate the leafy parts and wasted most of the stalk. Painful to watch!

When feeding hay outside I try to place it on top of clumps of rushes or poke it into the meshes of the fence to keep it off the ground - I like the idea of the old feed bags with a corner cut off, though - will definitely try that as it could well be the answer on wet and windy days, when the hay gets soaked within minutes of putting it out.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 11:34:31 pm by Garmoran »

Pasture Farm

  • Joined Aug 2011
  • East Lincolnshire
  • Trusty Traca
    • Pasture Poultry
    • Facebook
Re: Winter feeding
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2012, 09:06:40 am »
I'm deffo to soft with mine, we have around 40 breeding Ewes plus Tups and lambs for the following years breeding on 20 acres. This year I have 28  4ft 6inch round bales of good hay from our own fields. I have one in a cradle feeder now and if they want hay they can get to it (havnt come for any yet) This is the feeder we use http://www.whrea.com/ the large round feeder the gaps are smaller than any that are made over here and even with carriage from Ireland it was still cheaper (only just) to buy and ferry it over. I do tend to keep my new lambs and Ewes in for to long hence the amount of hay they get through.

 

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