Oat hay ok?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by BetsyK in Mich, Sep 27, 2003.

  1. BetsyK in Mich

    BetsyK in Mich Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 13, 2002
    We put in a new hayfield this summer and used oats for a cover crop. We mowed and baled the oats just before heading out. My question: Is this oat hay nutritionally good enough for the ewes who are on maintenance? I read someplace that oat hay has about 15% protein. I have been supplementing with a few fresh oats, about 1/2 # per ewe once a day. They are also on pasture, however since it has cooled off here there isn't much. Ewes seem a bit thin, I do need to worm them and will this weekend. The x dairy guy who does my hay said he feed oat hay to his dry heifers so I thought it may be ok for the ewes. I can add corn if need to but feel like I should wait until I start flushing them out.

    I also have 32 head of lambs. Would this hay be sufficient for them? I will be taking out the heavier ones (10) next weekend to sell and will need to feed the rest out and really don't want to use my good alfalfa hay. Thanks for any info, especially if you've used oat hay before.
  2. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2003
    This is book info from Ron Parker, _The Sheep Book_
    He has a chart with approximate protein rates of various hays.

    Oat Hay- ? 8.5% protein TDN 44%

  3. Shepherdess

    Shepherdess Active Member

    May 12, 2002
    I was thinking 15% protein is a little optimistic, but as it was baled prior to heading it might be a little higher than 8.5 too. Doubt it's over 10 though I'd add some protein suppliment to try and bring the total ration to 16% as they are a little thin. Worst part of Oat hay is getting them started on it.