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Author Topic: silage  (Read 3411 times)

Young Ed

  • Joined Apr 2014
silage
« on: May 17, 2014, 10:46:43 pm »
thinking about making some silage for my store lambs i will be getting in about 2-3 months time
will they be needing silage or is it just something to feed sheep over the winter ie:breeding stock?
could i make it just in black plastic bin bags? is it just grass cuttings? collected asap?
anything else?
Cheers Ed

farmvet

  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: silage
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2014, 11:46:35 pm »
You need to be extremely careful feeding silage to sheep.  It must be the highest quality carefully managed & eaten quickly once opened.  They are very prone to listeriosis - this is the main reason commercial farmers don't feed it unless they either accept the losses or feed poorer bales to cattle.
If you just put grass cuttings in bin bags your likely to get stinking compost!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: silage
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2014, 06:32:48 am »
Your lambs will be eating grass, hopefully, when you get them and well into the winter.  They may need some hay or straw after Christmas when there is little nourishment left in the grass, until it starts to grow again in spring.

Up here we need to give store lambs a little cake from October onwards.  I'm not sure where you are and whether yours will need cake over winter.  Keep an eye on their condition - look up how to do condition scoring - and if they are losing condition, give them a bit of cake. Just 1/2lb per head per day will make a lot of difference.
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

Young Ed

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: silage
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2014, 09:01:46 am »
Your lambs will be eating grass, hopefully, when you get them and well into the winter.  They may need some hay or straw after Christmas when there is little nourishment left in the grass, until it starts to grow again in spring.

Up here we need to give store lambs a little cake from October onwards.  I'm not sure where you are and whether yours will need cake over winter.  Keep an eye on their condition - look up how to do condition scoring - and if they are losing condition, give them a bit of cake. Just 1/2lb per head per day will make a lot of difference.
up in 'far north west of england' i have no clue as to how the lambs grow :p but down here they can be ready at 4 months of age (kent, far southeast of england) but i will be keeping them on for 2 or 3 months after i get them in july but they will be gone before any snow and most certainly christmas as we need to eat some of the meat at christmas!

You need to be extremely careful feeding silage to sheep.  It must be the highest quality carefully managed & eaten quickly once opened.  They are very prone to listeriosis - this is the main reason commercial farmers don't feed it unless they either accept the losses or feed poorer bales to cattle.
If you just put grass cuttings in bin bags your likely to get stinking compost!
right i shall probably not do silage then! why is it safer when done in plastc barrels as in another recent thread on here as no one said anything about the health side of it? some said add molasses but i'm guessing this is nothing to do with the health side of things?
Cheers Ed

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: silage
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2014, 05:17:55 pm »
Lots of people feed silage to sheep! Quite successfully, and yes if its spoilt Listeria is a possibility as it is in cattle. Plastic barrels may/not be safer as keeping air out is key
« Last Edit: May 18, 2014, 05:20:13 pm by Me »

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: silage
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2014, 06:22:03 pm »
But the point is that if they are on plenty of grass and will not be kept over winter, then they don't need silage anyway.  Fattening your lambs on natural sward will have them tasting sweet and tender  :yum:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Young Ed

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: silage
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2014, 09:07:10 pm »
But the point is that if they are on plenty of grass and will not be kept over winter, then they don't need silage anyway.  Fattening your lambs on natural sward will have them tasting sweet and tender  :yum:
good point!
whilst we are on the subject, i know with pigs for the last fortnight or week or so you feed them plenty of apples what about store lambs? do they just stay on grass or do they need some pellets or cake or other supplement?
Cheers Ed

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: silage
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2014, 09:17:41 pm »
If they are coming up fit on grass - don't rock the boat. A pile of apples for eg would do more harm than good! If struggling in late summer with grass quality declining into autumn you may have to make a judgement call and offer feed of some kind but probably the little lambbies will fatten fine with you on grassy greeness

Young Ed

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: silage
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2014, 10:06:00 pm »
If they are coming up fit on grass - don't rock the boat. A pile of apples for eg would do more harm than good! If struggling in late summer with grass quality declining into autumn you may have to make a judgement call and offer feed of some kind but probably the little lambbies will fatten fine with you on grassy greeness
thanks Me!
was just saying the apples as an example of what the pigs have, and i understand that grazing animals (sheep) can't and won't eat the same stuff as munching crunching destruction machines (pigs)!

so pretty much just wait and see how they are doing and what condition they look like
Cheers Ed

 

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