Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Sheep feeder  (Read 764 times)

MEI-SHEEP

  • Joined Dec 2021
Sheep feeder
« on: December 27, 2021, 04:26:40 pm »
Just a quick query. With the muddy fields this time of year I've been moving the feeder daily. This means the field is getting poached. We have a stable with heavy duty matting on the floor and have moved this around the feeder for better and drier footing.
I just wondered if this could case any problems ie any insects/maggots under the matting. If so I'm back to moving the feedet.

PipKelpy

  • Joined Mar 2019
  • North Shropshire
  • Dreamer with docile cattle and sheep!
Re: Sheep feeder
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2021, 11:12:34 am »
Hello

Understand about mud! Are you talking about troughs, cratches or rings? Before they calved the cows were with the sheep sharing the cratches, but only the 4ft moveable ones and strip grazing the grass.

Now, the cows are strip grazing another field and also have a fixed 8 ft cratch getting lovingly messed up (more so on one side as the other side has a permanent track put down in the 80's!)

The sheep have been shut off the field they were grazing with the cattle and the cratches on that field (they'll go back on as and when they lamb, start watching them next week!) However, the field they are on has 3 cratches, 2 fixed and 1 mobile. They have 1 fixed cratch and the mobile in use. It's wet, though apart from some wasted fodder and poo, the cratches are fine. Little feet help.

The cows come in at night to their pens and their mats. I have mayo mattresses. Each one is lifted in the morning, cleaned and kept on its edge to dry whilst the floor dries slightly. Each pen cleaned daily.

I wouldn't use my mats out doors, but that's me.

Poaching is one of the problems most of us face. Just means the roller will be in use next year.
Halter train the cattle to keep them quiet but watch your back when they come a'bulling! Give them all names even those you plan to eat. Always be calm. Most importantly, invest in wellies with steel toe caps and be prepared for the clever cow who knows where the toe caps end!!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Sheep feeder
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2021, 02:10:24 pm »
@PipKelpy You might have cratches in North Shropshire, but I'm not sure how many other counties use that word  :roflanim:   Here we call them hay hecks I think from your description, and troughs are bakies, but as with lots of sheep words, they are region specific, just to keep us all confused.


All I can suggest @MEI-SHEEP is to get a load of bark chippings or similar and spread them around the feeder, keeping them well topped up.  At the end of the feeding season you can lift the bark as if mucking out and reseed just that area.  It's not what we do but it sounds better than shifting the feeder around the field too much and poaching the whole lot.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

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Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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PipKelpy

  • Joined Mar 2019
  • North Shropshire
  • Dreamer with docile cattle and sheep!
Re: Sheep feeder
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2021, 02:37:19 pm »
@PipKelpy You might have cratches in North Shropshire, but I'm not sure how many other counties use that word  :roflanim:   Here we call them hay hecks I think from your description, and troughs are bakies, but as with lots of sheep words, they are region specific, just to keep us all confused.


Oh!

A WHEELED hay feeder has always been a wheeled hay cratch to me. The mobile ones are the 4ft IAE ones that I can wheel through the mud, though whilst I was rearing Knickers I did think of training her to pull (those of you who aren't aware, Knickers is a very spoilt cow! Feisty Fi Fi, her latest calf calming down, though not that much!)

The big cratches I can't move by hand as they are 10ft, 2 x 8ft and the 8ft the cattle have. But if the cattle had used them whilst grazing with the sheep, pot holes would have appeared and the sheep wouldn't then be able to use them. I'm keeping the 2 for when the bull comes for a visit, hopefully in late February!
Halter train the cattle to keep them quiet but watch your back when they come a'bulling! Give them all names even those you plan to eat. Always be calm. Most importantly, invest in wellies with steel toe caps and be prepared for the clever cow who knows where the toe caps end!!

 

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