Sunday, May 17, 2015
Sunday Reading - So Apparently Good Pastures Are Not Always a Good Thing
I can't speak to the mess the old Nag pasture has become. Horses have a bad habit of only eating the good stuff and leaving the bad to multiply and I haven't had much time or desire to fix their pasture anyway. However I can attest that the sheep pasture I recently fenced in contains the proper mix of grasses and a bit of clover for what is suppose to be prime pasturage for them.
Apparently though "Prime" has conditions attached to it.
Last year I had the yearlings we kept and the non-bred ewes plus a couple of whethers out there the entire Summer without a problem. Last Fall I frost seeded in a grazing mix just to be certain a had good stuff coming back this Spring and when I walked the area several times since it warmed up I have been pleased by the mix. Mostly it's fescue with a bit of orchard grass and some Dutch Clover volunteers with a very little bit of red clover and some other broad leaf weeds here and there. Sheep love the broad leaf weeds as they are primarily forb grazers anyway.
My estimation of the Clovers were that they didn't make up enough of the mix overall to be a concern. They should add just the right amount of extra protein without being exclusive and causing bloat.
Apparently though bloat becomes more of an issue during periods of heavy rains.
One of the ewes, Milly, was showing a bit of bloat this afternoon. This really puzzled me because as I said it isn't like this is the first time I have had sheep on this pasture. It also isn't like I just turned em out there either, they been going out there each day since Wednesday now. Any dramatic change in diet effects should have been seen Wednesday or Thursday. So we got some vegetable oil, water and baking soda mix down her and she isn't showing any signs of discomfort, in fact she is eating hay in the barn about every time I go and check on her. We called the Vet to see and he told us that people all over our area are having big time bloat problems right now because all the rain is causing the normally good clovers to clump up into bloat conditions.
Until it dries out he recommended we dry lot the sheep and feed hay in the mornings and only let them out into the pasture for a few hours in the afternoon.
Kinda defeats all the good parts about opening up pasturage now doesn't it?
Yes drought sucks but the rainy season isn't without it's issues either besides bringing my projects to a screeching halt it seems.
Oh and also four days of almost constant rain and clouds has pretty much drained the solar fence charger battery too, even though I turn it off at night. So I guess it works out alright anyway since now I need at least a day of sunlight to get it charged back up again.
If it ain't one thing it's another.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!