Monday, November 19, 2007

Feeding Baled Silage

Well as promised here is a post on how we are feeding our baled silage to the flock. We have spent the last week trying different methods and we will stick with the following for the moment. The pictures show me removing the wrap in the bale yard first of all, the string or netting in our case is removed in the field. The sheep move away from the tractor and stay clear until called to the feed. This is great as its real easy to squish one if they mob the bale and tractor while you are setting up. The bale is placed on its end, the webbing removed and then the bale is put on its round and rolled out. I then park the tractor to the side and call the ewes to the feed, as you can see they then run over and dig in!
We plan on a holiday later this winter so will hire some one to feed for us.So as to make it as easy as possible for them we will place out enough unwrapped bales in the field to last our holiday and have the helper cut off the wrap and netting as the sheep need it. Although we anticipate some waste it will be a small price to pay for a holiday and peace of mind knowing everyone is fed with the minimum of fuss and bother.
About a month or six weeks before lambing we will have to cut back the silage and add in some hay and barley for extra energy and less bulk as there is less room for a stomach full of forage with growing lambs in the way. This should coincide with shearing in early March if all goes according to plan.

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