Riddlesden Jacobs

A site about a West Yorkshire flock of Jacob Sheep

Hay, Hayracks and Energy Licks…

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…or the one about feeding our sheep.

Just a few weeks or so ago our sheep weren’t interested in hay. Not at all. I put some out and they just ignored it completely. Over the last three weeks though they have tucked in. Particularly the little ram lambs are munching through quite a bit – but then there isn’t really any grass left in their field.

Last year we didn’t have any hay racks so we wasted a lot by feeding on the ground and initially we had to improvise with the ram lambs, too because both racks were stored in one field. Putting a bit of hay in the trough under their usual feed seemed to work

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Being given the racks has made a huge difference and also seems to keep the sheep entertained as they nibble. We have 2 and they are heavy and almost impossible to move without a quad bike or something and Kath and I nearly ended up face down in the mud trying to move one of them to a better position in the field where there is hard standing around it. Luckily Bernard was around to move the second with his quad.

It’s funny how some sheep like the hay and others don’t bother really. Our ram Brough loves it as do a couple of the ewes. All the ram lambs tuck in and usually eat every little bit of what we put out whereas the ewe lambs aren’t at all interested. The energy lick bucket for the ewes continues to be a success and they are making inroads  – about 1/3 gone and it’s only been a few days. The bucket contains all the minerals the sheep need and gives them a good boost of energy. They probably don’t need it quite yet but we always get them their first one for Christmas and then they’ll get another couple or so between now and lambing.

What does everyone else do about energy and mineral licks? And how much hay do you feed? I’m sure we could be much more scientific about this.

 

Author: Jess Guth

Dr Jess Guth is a Senior Lecturer in Law. She blogs at jessguth.com She also doesn't really run - reallynotarunner.com

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