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Author Topic: Feeding in lamb Shetland ewes  (Read 832 times)

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Feeding in lamb Shetland ewes
« on: March 01, 2019, 07:42:48 pm »
Hello again everyone  :wave: :wave:  - I haven't posted much for a few years but keep popping on to have a look!


We have a commercial sheep farm lambing around 140 this year mainly texel crosses.  However we have got just 9 shetland ewes from a neighbour who has moved away for a few years.  We weren't planning on shetlands but our lovely neighbour offered us free grazing so we thought it would be nice to buy the sheep she was selling.


Anyway some went to a Cheviot and some a Charmoise tup and are about 6 weeks off lambing.  They run with the main flock - well sort of run - mainly running in the opposite direction!  They were supposed to have been scanned and we got them in the pen with the main flock but somehow as the last ewes were going through the race to the scanner I realised some were missing - 9 shetlands who had jumped the hurdles and were way up the hillside  :D :D


Given their nature I doubt they will come into the yard for concentrates now we are caking the main flock - they have had Rumevite blocks which I have seen them at.  Should I worry and make a special effort to get them to come for feed, or will they be ok without?  They're not skeletal but don't look at all fat next to a texel  ;D
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Feeding in lamb Shetland ewes
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2019, 01:16:03 pm »
Not easy to say without seeing them and the amount of grass in front of them plus their ages , but if fit enough to jump over the hurdles then can't be bad . Are you bringing them in for hep in a couple of weeks , if yes then you can CS then check them over  and go from there .    To teach them to eat can be very stressful at this time as they need confined  for a week or so   and may be better done in the autumn  .

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Feeding in lamb Shetland ewes
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2019, 07:09:52 pm »
Thanks @shep53.  We are planning to get all ewes in tomorrow to split out twins & thinner singles to feed more than the singles and later due ewes. Hopefully we can get the shetties in the race before they scarper!  I think we'll put them with the twins seeing as we don't know what they're carrying, and there's no danger of them being too fat. At least they will have the chance of cake.
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Feeding in lamb Shetland ewes
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2019, 07:17:17 pm »
Are they getting ad lib hay?  How old are they?  What have they been used to in previous years? Can you ask the previous owner's opinion? Shetlands mostly have twins.  Of all the primitives, Shetlands are the most likely to get fat, which with big cross-bred lambs would not be good.  They store their fat inside around their organs, so it doesn't particularly show on a typical condition score - you can assume they are thin when they are not, but equally you can miss noticing when they are thin.  We always fed our Shetlands a little 'tup and lamb' mix in the final 6 weeks up to lambing, but nothing like in the amounts a commercial breed would need, and not the 18% protein kind, but that was breeding pure, not to a larger sire.  The only Shetlands I have seen looking fat next to a Texel are my two wethers, which are humungous, although they get only grass in summer, and hay in winter.
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Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Feeding in lamb Shetland ewes
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2019, 05:45:01 pm »
Hi Fleecewife, thank you that's interesting.  They have daily hay and surprisingly we still have some grass.  We had them through the race and they feel boney on the spine but I suspect they always do.  We've put them in with the twins for feeding, and we'll see if they decide to come for cake.
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

 

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