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

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: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...
 

ohiogoatgirl

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My rule for the animals is "I win". If I can't do the handling, gone. If they don't fit my management, gone. I have too much I want to do, to go around and fluff pillows.

IMO if they are being picky then they aren't hungry they're just bored. If it was me I'd put them in a small holding yard or barn. Put the hay in the feeders. No access to pasture, even overgrazed nothing to eat anyway pasture. They can complain all they want. Menu: Take it or Leave it. As long as there's not mold in the hay or something they'll suck it up and eat it.

Feed needs are based on dry matter and if you're feeding growing lambs, maintenance adult ewes/rams, breeding, late gestation. Here is a good link with simple explanations. https://www.sksheep.com/documents/Ex_Nutrition_FS.pdf

I'm going to be ordering seed mixes from greencoverseed.com They have a calculator tool that will spit out suggestions and you can check off what you want in your mix. It can be a few things or every suggestion. They mix it up and will ship it to ya. I'm doing a mix to plant from April through June, behind the sheep when they move. Then a mix for July through September.
 

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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.
 

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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!
 

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

Kibito needs to eat separately, she's so delicate about others being near or shoving her away. :rolleyes:
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Your car is a senior citizen. Too young to be an antique and too old to get any respect! :lol: I've seen the pictures of you hauling home sheep in your car. In fact, I showed them to my husband and told him, "See, I treat my car better than that!"

time to get you a new truck. ;)
I want an old style mini van, like the one my mom had when we were kids. I little boxey, wide open rear door, roomy, low to the ground.
 
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