Feed & Parasite Qs

Cotton*wood

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Since I have my three ewe lambs in a stall in the barn while the ram is out in the pasture doing his business with all the ewes and almost yearling ewe lambs, I have some questions.

It turns out that the two big round bales of hay I have stored in the garage from last winter are moldy just on the bottom, where evidently some rain water has run across the (dirt) floor and got trapped underneath
. The vast majority of the hay is fine, but do I need to pull all the moldy bits out, or will they just avoid it?

Then, since they've been in there a week already and have to be kept away from the others for perhaps another three weeks or so, they're pooping in place. I don't see much of the poop, and scatter the stemmy bits of the hay they don't eat over the whole area, but do I need to do something else? What I've read about the parasite eggs is that they need moisture to "squirm" around the base of grass, and there's certainly not much moisture in there at all. Urine is pretty much soaking into the ground, and old hay. I know the temps are right for the eggs to hatch into larvae, but then what?


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Alaskan

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I would worry about the mold spores in the air... especially in an enclosed space.

So... I would pick out and remove all moldy bits, as well as some of the hay that looks good but was touching the moldy bits.

All of that would go into compost or dumped far from livestock.

As to worms.... what kind of worms do you have?

I like to worm animals whenever they are moved (if it is possibly needed), so you are bringing fewer worms into the new area.

If you know you have a potentially high worm load... or the worms you have are problematic... then I would take the time to try to pick out, remove, and dispose of all poo. With them in a small area that might not be too hard. Or if you know the worms you are dealing with hatch in 3 days after being pooped out... then clean out bedding every second day.
 

Baymule

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I feed round bales. They are net wrapped and stored outside. The bale is set on dirt in the sheep bare. Enclosed by a cow panel “hay ring” it is accessible by sheep in the barn, a small pen and a pasture. The moldy hay on the bottom never affects consumption. I pitchfork it into a wagon, haul to compost heap or spread over dirt where more humus is needed. Clean up the “hay ring” and set another bale.

The spoilage on your hay won’t hurt anything. Just set the bale on the bottom like it is now.

Do you feed in the pasture or barn? If in pasture, set the bale in a different spot each time. The extra humus from the rotting hay will benefit the soil.
 

Cotton*wood

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I feed round bales. They are net wrapped and stored outside. The bale is set on dirt in the sheep bare. Enclosed by a cow panel “hay ring” it is accessible by sheep in the barn, a small pen and a pasture. The moldy hay on the bottom never affects consumption. I pitchfork it into a wagon, haul to compost heap or spread over dirt where more humus is needed. Clean up the “hay ring” and set another bale.

The spoilage on your hay won’t hurt anything. Just set the bale on the bottom like it is now.

Do you feed in the pasture or barn? If in pasture, set the bale in a different spot each time. The extra humus from the rotting hay will benefit the soil.
Right now I have the three little ewe lambs in the barn while the ram is doing his business in the pasture with the rest. There's a hay rack in the barn, but the whole side of the barn is open, so it's not really enclosed, but I do have to put hay up in the rack. I've pulled off the moldy bottom and used it to mulch some things.

For the ones in the field, last winter, when there was snow on the ground, I'd dump a pile in their paddock (don't know exactly how much). Right now they're in our biggest pasture which I'm hoping will take them the next several months to get through. It's a crappy pasture, so I'm planning on leaving them in each paddock for at least several days, dumping in a bunch of hay (in different locations) everyday. I'm planning on broadcasting native grass seeds before they go in, and then if they eat down the fescue too low and weaken it, so much the better. But lots of sheep poop and pee, and trampled down hay, will hopefully help it out some.

I have one more bale stored inside, and the three new ones are outside (with a tarp over the tops).
 
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