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Author Topic: is 2kg of hay enough per head per day?  (Read 4449 times)

Crossways

  • Joined Jan 2015
is 2kg of hay enough per head per day?
« on: January 18, 2015, 07:59:28 am »
As the title says really, is 2kg of good quality hay enough for an in lamb ewe in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy? They are on cake and lifeline buckets too.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 09:39:28 am by Dan »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: is 2kg of day enough per head per day?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2015, 09:28:33 am »
Actually the title says
Quote
is 2kg of day enough per head per day?

- didn't know what the 2kgs was going to be till I read the opening post!   :D

If it's reasonable-to-good hay, and they're getting cake too, then yes it should be plenty, especially if the weather isn't evil and they are outdoors with some grass to go at. 

Why do you ask?  Are they eating it all and screaming for more?  Are they thin?
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

Slimjim

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • North Devon
Re: is 2kg of day enough per head per day?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2015, 09:35:40 am »
What does 2kg look like - say as a fraction of a small bale?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: is 2kg of day enough per head per day?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2015, 09:38:34 am »
We reckon a good heavy (you know you are lifting it) small bale is 25kgs, so 2kg per head is one bale per 12-13 sheep - which should be plenty in any weather, I'd have said, provided they are eating it all and not wasting most of it by trampling etc.
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

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: is 2kg of day enough per head per day?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2015, 09:51:25 am »
 Hay, straw, sileage etc is the absolutely essential part of a ruminants diet. So the 2kg bit is a a guide, not a master. Therefore, if you have 12 sheep then one roughly 25kg bale of hay will last them roughly a day. But if they've finished it by early evening, then you give them some more - don't leave them all night with nothing. Similarly, if a good part of the bale is left you don't shove it down their throats till it's gone because they haven't eaten 2kg.
Big sheep obviously eat more than smaller ones. Good qualility soft hay, full of herbs, that smells so good you could almost eat it yourself, will be wolfed down, while stalky stuff with no smell will be picked at.
The animals will eat more on a cold day to keep warm, and less in a mild spell, especially if they have access to grass which may have grown a bit.
So - look at your animals - they'll tell you if 2 kg is enough, and if they eaten up in less than a day then it obviously isn't!
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: is 2kg of day enough per head per day?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2015, 11:06:25 am »
I offer hay ad lib if there's no grass.  I feed cake to condition score, number of lambs and the weather.

Crossways

  • Joined Jan 2015
Re: is 2kg of day enough per head per day?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2015, 11:11:49 am »
Sorry!  Stupid phone with a predicted text!

They are clearing up 2kg each per day. Not screaming at me for more, only scream at cake time of course!  Just wanted to make sure  I'm not being too hard on them . They are all spot on weight wise  apart from one fatish shearling. They only start to pull it on the floor if I give them anymore!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: is 2kg of day enough per head per day?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2015, 11:18:41 am »
Sounds like you have the amount spot on, then  :thumbsup:

Only thing is, as others have mentioned, not to leave them for long periods with nothing, especially when they're pregnant.  So if you are feeding once and they are clearing up within a few hours, it may be better to feed it in two feeds (if you aren't already.)
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

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: is 2kg of day enough per head per day?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2015, 04:36:48 pm »
Sounds about right to me :).  My 17 are on 1 bale a day ish (more on rainy days less on dry days).

Crossways

  • Joined Jan 2015
Re: is 2kg of day enough per head per day?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2015, 07:12:29 am »
Sorry I forgot to mention that they are fed twice a day.

Thank you all for your help  :excited:

ScotsGirl

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • Wiltshire
Re: is 2kg of day enough per head per day?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2015, 08:37:45 am »
Now I'm worried I'm not giving enough. In previous years my lot have trampled most of hay into the ground and I can't get my old hay feeder to their field. I have some very tightly baled hay and I put about one slice per 2 sheep morning and evening. They are very compact so look like nothing but they eat it all.


Still 6/7 weeks before lambing but have started a few handfuls of nuts in the morning too. Always hard with small numbers and limited fields. I have to balance feeding my black Welsh who do well with the mules and other crosses who need more.


I do feel the vulnerable ones daily and will up the feed as needed over next few weeks. Luckily weather not been bad here.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: is 2kg of day enough per head per day?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2015, 09:11:24 am »
Balers slice hay differently, but ours gives about 10-12 slices per bale, so if you are feeding at a rate of one heavy bale twice a day per 20-24 sheep, you are being pretty generous, I would have said! 

BH likes the hay really shaken out and spread out in a long thin line, he says they waste less this way.
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

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
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Re: is 2kg of hay enough per head per day?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2015, 09:58:07 am »
In last 6 weeks they will have a limited intake for hay anyway so make sure they have 'ad lib' without wastage.
Linda

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