newbie hay question

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by ajaxlucy, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm new to sheep and don't have any yet, but if all goes well, I'll have a couple of Shetland ewes soon. I hope you all can excuse my ignorance. My question is: at a show last weekend, I saw some blue pouches full of hay hanging in the stalls. What are they called, and where can I get them? Or should we just build a feeder? Thanks to any who answer.
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I would think those bags are great for a show as they don't take up a lot of room but I don't know how durable they are for full time use. Still it could take quite a while for 2 sheep to ruin one! Rule of thumb for feeders is to keep the spacing around 31/2 -4 inches or so they can't get their whole head in. You'd want any mesh bag to be the same.
     

  3. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    We bought feeders from Agway... we'd planned on making them but time ran out. To the spacing thing I'd add if you're making your own Premier sells these metal panels with 4" squares which make fantastic feeders.. simply put them on an angle, drop bail behind. The sheep can't waste nearly the hay they can with the "spoke" type feeders from Agway. I'd say fully 1/3 of my hay hits the ground, where the sheep won't touch it.

    Live and learn...
     
  4. landlord

    landlord Well-Known Member

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    I have used pallets for hay feeders too. You can use two for ends and 2 for angles. Make a box and use it for hay. When it comes to graining ewes in the lambing pen we use a flake of hay for a plate and put the corn on the 'plate'. We use whole corn rather than cracked or ground feed because sheep will ingest feed fast on the cracked corn and choke. Ground feed will blow away. In regards to Morrison, put your hay pulled from the feeder in the shed for bedding and you would be surprised what they will eat. Sheep will slick up almost every stem if you make them. Hay cost me too much to use for bedding. I am surprised the amount of (straw)bedding they consume when I think they need bedding. Anymore in the winter, they will not get bedding unless they are lambing. I have ewes paw to the cement to lay on instead of a layer of dry manure.
    One time when lambing I had thought the lambing barn should be cleaned out where the ewes were wintering. I did, and a ewe stepped on a lamb leg and crushed the hoof of the lamb beyond repair. The lamb did eventually die from gangrene. Now I do not clean the pens to ensure the lambs have a form of cushion from over anxious mothers.
     
  5. ShortSheep

    ShortSheep Well-Known Member

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    If they were the nylon bags with a hole in the center, they were horse hay bags. A lot of the show people use them for show only, as they are convenient for storing and carrying the flakes and keep the sheep from getting hay on each other's backs. You can get them at Farm & Fleet. I personally am leery of hanging bags, as I had a goat get her head engangled in a mesh bag. She was hanging when I found her, but she was alive and okay afterwards. But it could have been bad.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Most concrete wire is 6x6 inch grids but there is a version with 4x4 grid holes that is very tough and cheap to buy. Makes a great feeder pannel
     
  7. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you everyone! I'd been told that sheep people are the nicest, most helpful folks in the world and so far I'm finding that true. I'm almost too embarrassed to admit I don't even know what a hay flake is, but I'm sure I'll learn that and more.
     
  8. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Oh EEP :eek: We also forget that we were new and didn't know all the terms either! A bale of hay breaks apart into layers, or "flakes."

    http://www.mainesheepfarm.com has a glossary of terms you'll hear when talking sheep, along with some articles on keeping sheep. Scroll down their index page and you'll see a list. If you check their site regularly you'll start seeing some very helpful articles appearing over the next couple of months, including Just What I've Always Wanted...

    The List.

    Or rather "lists." Lists of equipment they suggest you have (with a modified hay feeder made out of pallets... thanks landlord!), lists of supplies, information on feeding (specific to Icelandics, so may not be helpful to you in a specific way, but could be generally helpful), and The Lambing List. The stuff to have on hand when lambing.

    What we really need to do is start a thread on vaccinations and dosing so we can compare what we do across regions...

    T