Sunday, November 22, 2015

Feeding hay

In ten years of keeping livestock this is the latest we've gone into the fall before feeding hay.  The weather gets a lot of the credit but so does the fact that we had fewer lambs than normal this summer and the pasture is at full health.

The problem with small bales is getting them and, since we do not have a large barn, storing them.

The problem with large bales is moving them and the amount of hay the animals waste.

Good relations with the neighbors can help get the bales in place.  Over the years I have learned to place them uphill from where the sheep will be fed.  The bride and I can roll them down hill has needed.

Every year I have tried something a little different to try to reduce the amount of waste.  Getting hay off the ground helps.  Using cattle panels with sheep sized cut outs helps a little more.  Accepting that some amount of waste is inescapable doesn't help with the problem, but it does help one's mental health.  Still every year I try something a little different based upon what I have learned in the past.  This year I am using some scrap lumber to build a large rectangular feeder.

I am thankful for some quality hay this year.  Best hay I have ever fed.  If you're local and in the market, drop me a line.  I have a source to recommend.

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