Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Feeding silage  (Read 2958 times)

robd

  • Joined Aug 2011
Feeding silage
« on: September 19, 2011, 03:49:21 pm »
Does anybody have any experience of feeding silage to sheep? We have little storage space for hay so need to buy it in small quantities which is a pain, and I suspect prices will rise over the winter... The farmer next door has loads of plastic wrapped round silage bales, and it occurred to me that this might be a solution as they would not need to be stored undercover. Once the cover is opened, will the silage start to deteriorate quickly, or is it possible to rewrap it? We will eventually only have around 6-10 shetland ewes, so it will take them a while to eat a whole bale.

Any advice gratefully received!

Rob

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Feeding silage
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 04:45:48 pm »
to try and re wrap you would need the wrapper
no experience of Shetlands and would think 6-10 sheep would take some time to eat it you then have secondary fermentation and problems associated with it
from memory it lasts about 3-4 days
if it were me i would go down the hay route  you could store it on pallets covered with a tarpaulin :farmer:

Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Feeding silage
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2011, 05:06:04 pm »
We fed large round bales one year to our 30 shetland ewes. One bale lasted a week because they never left it and would not go onto the moor and graze! They just hung around it making a quagmire and jumping on top of each other making black sheep. We now do blue barrel silage from the parks dep grass cuttings! We feed spreading it out and rationing it so they go and graze as well. We also feed hard food and have mineral blocks in the winter as silage is not perfect and can lack greatly in minerals. I believe the big black silage bales can be tested for minerals so the farmer can then judge what else to feed. You can buy small wrapped bales, if they do them in your area you will have to check.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Feeding silage
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2011, 06:23:49 pm »
You need at least 40 large sheep for a large round bale of silage.  What they don't eat within 4 days they won't eat.  We usually plan on 50 hill sheep or 40 commercial sheep will eat a big round bale of silage in 4 days.  And no, you can't really take some out and re-wrap it.

You could try asking a dairy or beef farmer with a silage pit whether they'd sell you a barrow-ful of silage at a time.  I've never heard of anyone doing this, mind.  You could also try a local riding school who may be using large round bales of silage / haylage and maybe would sell you some each time they open a bale.  Again, I've never heard of anyone doing this.

There are some farmers who wrap small bales of hay as small bale haylage.  They'll be pricey but you don't have to store them under cover.  Your local horsey people would know.

If you have a farmer making small bale hay nearby you may be able to negotiate a deal whereby you book / pay for all the hay you'll want up front and then fetch a few bales at a time as you need them. 

Otherwise, robert's suggestion of a pallet and tarpaulin sounds like your best option.
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

Corrie Dhu

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Feeding silage
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2011, 06:47:57 pm »
Silage can be a problem as sheep can get listeriosis from it.  It needs to be used far quicker than 6-10 ewes will get through it I'm afraid and rewrapping it wouldn't work either.

You would be better to find someone who will sell you a round bale of hay as and when you need it and just keep it covered.

Another very expensive but handy option would be buying small wrapped haylage bales intended for the horse market. 
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 06:54:50 pm by Corrie Dhu »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Feeding silage
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 06:50:55 pm »
You would be better to find someone who will sell you a round bale as and when you need it and just keep it covered.

She means round bale of hay, I suspect!
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

 

Silage

Started by Smashy and gang (7.69)

Replies: 7
Views: 4185
Last post May 28, 2011, 09:07:16 am
by waterhouse
silage

Started by Young Ed (7.69)

Replies: 8
Views: 3410
Last post May 18, 2014, 10:06:00 pm
by Young Ed
Bag / barrel silage?

Started by The Dorper man (7.6)

Replies: 6
Views: 405
Last post October 16, 2021, 12:37:38 pm
by DartmoorLiz
success with barrel silage for sheep!

Started by trefnantbach (7.43)

Replies: 11
Views: 7578
Last post January 28, 2012, 02:51:58 pm
by Croftgary
lawn clippings for silage for sheep

Started by macvity (7.43)

Replies: 49
Views: 23381
Last post March 01, 2015, 07:26:48 pm
by FarminChimp

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2021. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS