HELP! Got a question about sweet clover

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by decamper, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. decamper

    decamper Well-Known Member

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    Bought some property last year that had been neglected for years. After mowing about 5 acres all last year and this spring, a new growth appeared. Now we have a couple opinions as to what it is. Neighbor said it was alalfa, another neighbor said it was sweet clover. How can I tell what it is? We've been feeding it fresh to the sheep and goats with no problems. Just read that sheep and goats cannot eat it once baled. Neighbor cut it for us yesterday and will bale it today. He said that he just really looked at it yesterday and said it is sweet clover. So sheep cannot eat sweet clover, right? Wondering what animals can eat it and could we sell it now that we will be paying for it to be baled.
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Why can't sheep eat sweet clover? If they can eat it green they can eat it dry all the safer!!
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Hmmmm interesting "spoiled" sweet clover produces a toxin, so good well dried hay should be OK. I'd be tempted to mix it with grass hay. Chrck out this link I found on sweet clover (you have to scroll down a bit but it is an interesting read)
    http://www.case-agworld.com/cAw.LU.nutr.html
     
  5. decamper

    decamper Well-Known Member

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    Ross, the second site is the one I was questioning. I hadn't seen the comparison site...thanks...I will bring a piece home tomorrow to compare it. It looks like alalfa. In fact, a guy who works for the dept of natural resources said it was alalfa but the neighbor who is a farmer said it is sweet clover.

    The sheep, goats, and llama have been eating it for about three weeks now mostly fresh. I was just worried so much of it would be harmful to them.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Sounds like properly made as dry hay (say 16% or less moisture to be safe) the toxin is never produced. All things are toxic (deadly) it just depends on the dose, smaller animals are more easily dosed.
     
  7. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    What I have learned it, it isn't the sweet clover that is the problem. But a mold that can grow on this clover certain times of the year. If you see any type of light power on the leaves of this plant don't feed it to your animals.
    We have this problem in this area of the country. Sigh ~ ~
     
  8. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    As long as it's not moldy, the clover hay will be just fine. I feed a 30% clover hay in the winter, and the sheep and goats do great on it. If I see even the first hint of mold or mildew on any bale of hay out it goes, and believe me I drive farmers nuts giving every single bale of hay I buy a good hard look.