Monday, August 11, 2008

Behind the scenes

Part of what we do goes on behind the scenes. Folks may not notice the barn full of hay when they're looking at the sheep, but it's a part of what we do in the summer. We don't make our own hay since we have the sheep on a Managed Intensive Grazing program on all of our open ground. Instead, we buy the hay that we need for winter from other local farmers who have hay to sell. Tomorrow we'll be picking up some square bales to store in the loft, but we feed most of our hay as round bales. Here's a look at some of the hay as it's being put away. The yield on the round bales is much greater if they're stored under cover and off of the ground on pallets. The big round bales are put out in hay feeders and as many as 20 sheep can crowd in around the feeder at times. The small square bales are usually fed to our rams during the year and also to any ewes that are in the barn around lambing season. We try to keep a small quantity of 2nd cutting hay around in case we have a sheep that might be sick or needs encouragement to eat.

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