No pasture, don't want hay, what's a poor farmer girl to do?

secuono

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
5,130
Reaction score
4,784
Points
463
Location
Virginia is for Pasture Farmers!
:rolleyes:
I hate how picky sheep are.

Paddocks have no grass, well, most of the 7 don't.

They pick through the hay, whining the whole time for more.

I was going to wait until next year, but it looks like I'll be driving an hour away just to get alfalfa pellets that are a whopping $4 a bag cheaper! And will supplement them with that, probably not refill hay unless it gets rained on. The other grass mixes are only a dollar cheaper, so those aren't worth it.

Some are looking a little thin this year, that's no good. But that's what happens when sheep go on strike. Animals will starve themselves, the pricks!

I guess 30~ mini sheep on 4 acres is too much. That plan to build more paddocks on the hay field is looking to be more and more of a reality. Will have to squeeze it in soon.

Also looking into seed mixes to spread in the spring, but that's so confusing! Why can't I just pick a bag + fertilizer and spread it n be done? Have to match the sun, the ground type, water runoff, location, timing, so on...

Has anyone fed more exclusively grass pellets vs mostly hay to their sheep/goats?

They're forcing my wallet/hand, lol, so it doesn't matter if it's not the perfect plan. Some hay will always be available, but since they trash most of it anyway, it becomes moot. Even in 4×4in holed feeders. They yank and discard or blatantly ignore it until it rains heavily and then cry at me.

What is it, 2% of body weight in feed? Hmm, then roughly 50# bag a day split to two feedings. That seems excessive. Maybe one pound a sheep would work, being alfalfa and all, so higher protein than meh grasses.

Just has to work out until December 1st, then ewes go out to the big field until spring.

I wonder how many bags I can safely stuff in my old little car without compromising brakes and being able to go up hills...
 

frustratedearthmother

Herd Master
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
6,625
Reaction score
10,419
Points
563
I think I might be inclined to cut back on their hay until they learn to appreciate it, lol!!
 

secuono

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
5,130
Reaction score
4,784
Points
463
Location
Virginia is for Pasture Farmers!
Remembered that they hated the alfalfa hay I tried to feed them awhile back. I hate it as well, very hard, stemmy junk, the leaves turn to dust and is 80% wasted. IDK how anyone feeds it.
I did mix the dust left over from my guinea pigs' eating the hay(they eat the hard stems) in with some grass pellets a month ago and they ate it. So, there's hope.
 

secuono

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
5,130
Reaction score
4,784
Points
463
Location
Virginia is for Pasture Farmers!
They sound really deprived...… :lol:

What kind of car do you have? I used to have a 2003 Ford Focus wagon, I could pack 750 pounds of feed in it. It wallowed driving back home, but it always made it!

'03 Mustang with the passenger seat removed. It's my truck. I've posted pictures with my horse, sheep, goats, other livestock in it elsewhere on this forum. :)

Its getting old, so it does old car things, like not being able to climb stairs. And by that, I mean go up hills at normal speeds, unless I'm able to speed up going into it.
 

secuono

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
5,130
Reaction score
4,784
Points
463
Location
Virginia is for Pasture Farmers!
Okay, mixed up about 18 cups of alfalfa pellets with about 6 cups of hot water. 135F hot. Measurements may be off, I'm guessing, I can measure it out later and update post.

It expands a ton!

I like using just enough water that it's all soaked in, no drips if you squeeze a handful and it all come apart fluffy. Left over pellets are a shake away from falling apart, no real chewing involved for the sheep, lol. Which is good, because they can't choke now.

Kept mixing & swapping bins until it cooled, then hauled it out to them. It's a gross 74F and 90% humidity out this morning! :barnie

Before-
20191027_122856.jpg

After-
20191027_122212.jpg

Didn't make enough for all 7 paddocks, so these 5 approved, mostly. 5th group just got a little.
20191027_122256.jpg
20191027_122644.jpg

Kibito needs to eat separately, she's so delicate about others being near or shoving her away. :rolleyes:
20191027_122635(0).jpg
20191027_122615.jpg
20191027_122626.jpg
 

secuono

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
5,130
Reaction score
4,784
Points
463
Location
Virginia is for Pasture Farmers!
I've figured out why "real" shepherds have flocks that all look and act the same, there's no annoying, prissy, needs extra support or supervision, no nothing special.
I'm talking about Kibito again. Gave her group more in 3 feeders and the idiot goes and eats wet hay that she didn't want before.
And the leftover ramlings/alpacas also turned up their noses to the alfalfa. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
Paying attention to these needy, nonconforming sheep is hella stressful!
 
Top