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Hay and Haylage

Most sheep producers feed their sheep dry hay.
Haylage can be fed to sheep, however, it should always be high quality and free of large amounts of molds.

Haylage can be fed to sheep, however, it should always be high quality and free of large amounts of molds.

Any type of hay can be fed, however, rams have an increased chance of developing urinary calculi when fed alfala hay because of the high levels of calcium. The highest quality hays should be fed to young, growing animals and ewes nursing lambs. Lower quality hay can be fed to dry ewes in the beginning stages of pregnancy.

Haylage is also a good forage source for sheep. Because haylage is made at an earlier stage of maturity it is often higher in nutritive value than dry hay. Haylage can be substituted for hay in the ration of any of the animals in the sheep flock. Although most silages have molds on them, they are not necessarily a problem. Moldy haylage can be fed to sheep in very small quantities: remove any large spots of mold before feeding. Also, keep in mind that wet feeds such as this can also sometimes cause listeriosis or circling disease.