Posted 03-07-2001 at 04:59:16
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Hoo, boy! If you EVER find a way to keep sheep from wasting hay, be SURE and add me to your mailing list.
Here's what I do: I made a wooden box on legs, just big enough to hold a square bale (about 18X18X36). The two long sides have "slots" just wide enough for the sheep to stick their head through and grab the hay. The slots are at an angle (15-20 degrees) so they have to turn their head to get in or out. They still waste quite a bit, but they'll waste a lot less if they can't pull their heads straight out after glomming onto a mouthful.
Also, I put the hay feeder in their shed, so what they drop on the ground becomes bedding. I clean out the shed once a month or so (I only have 6 sheep) and the used bedding and sheep manure goes on a compost pile.
I add horse manure, llama manure and chicken and turkey manure/bedding to the mix along with leaves and grass clippings. Takes about a year to make GREAT compost. All the yuppie gardeners are waiting in line every spring when I open up a new pile.