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Author Topic: Feeding sugar beet pellets to finishing lambs  (Read 488 times)

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Feeding sugar beet pellets to finishing lambs
« on: January 23, 2020, 12:33:32 pm »
I have five lambs that need to be finished to make way for this year's new arrivals (starting in April).  I'm going into my third year, so am still learning.  Bear with me! My first year I didn't feed at all as I had 100% ewe lambs so they just stayed with their mums.  This year 5 rams out of 6 lambs... so I had to separate.  I didn't realise I needed to feed until probably too late in the season and so have to overwinter lambs that still need fattening before sending to the abattoir.  Live and learn!

The lambs in question are 3 entire ram lambs, 2 wethers.  Oldest around 10 months, youngest around 9 months. All poo checked/wormed, etc.

The lambs were in smaller paddocks safely away from the rest of the flock (i.e. boys away from girls, etc), but with all the rain, it was just a mud bath, and the grass took a hammering.  It was hard to feed them out in the rain as any pellets not eaten immediately turned to sludge.  So I brought them into the barn a few weeks ago where they have hay and pellet feed, to keep them cleaner and hopefully put on weight.

One of the entire males is ready to go (and booked into abattoir), the other four are still catching up.  I was considering adding sugar beet pellets to their hard feed to help them put weight on as I'm told it's that weird time of year that they don't really put on any weight, despite feeding.  I need to ensure they are gone before lambing starts in April.

My question is, will adding sugar beet pellets to their hard feed be a help or a hindrance?  I get so much mixed info online.  I just wondered what more experienced people do.  Also, if you do feed it, does it need to be soaked?  I keep seeing about bloat, etc.  I bought some fodder beets but they are totally disinterested (adults out in the field are nibbling though).   

My head is spinning with so much information.  ???  Any advice gratefully received.
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shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Feeding sugar beet pellets to finishing lambs
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2020, 01:25:00 pm »
Sugar beet pulp is high in energy but low in protein and swells in the stomach so will take up space , good for the store period or breeding ewes and can be used for finishing if mixed with  a very ( 30% + ) high protein .   You can buy specialist finishing pellets that are designed for the job with the correct min & vit blance for feeding to male lambs /hoggs  and when fed with hay /silage  , water  , can be fed ad-lib to fatten quickly . If your hoggets have been cleared of internal /external parasites they will thrive what ever the  time of year

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Feeding sugar beet pellets to finishing lambs
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2020, 01:41:18 pm »
They are on Wynnstay Lambmaster, which I believe is 19% protein.  So, are you saying that if they have sugar beet alongside this, it will swell and leave them less hungry for the higher protein feed, which is not good?  I'm still not clear whether to use sugar beet, or just leave them as they are.

They have ad lib hay and water, and I try to feed them enough each day that they eat their fill, and leave just a little bit, so I know they're full.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Feeding sugar beet pellets to finishing lambs
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 02:02:22 pm »
Yes  , if you want them finished quickly the pellets only  . I've  looked at the Wynnstay lambmaster  list and they have 5 different types but there is a finishing 16 pellet made for the job and maybe slightly cheaper than the one you are feeding now. Had another look and you seem to be on lambmaster gold 19% which is probably the most expensive and is designed for feeding from a week old to very fast finishing at 12 - 16 weeks old , the finishing 16 is for feeding to older lambs / hoggets after a store period
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 02:16:49 pm by shep53 »

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Feeding sugar beet pellets to finishing lambs
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2020, 02:30:52 pm »
Thanks, that's a lot more clear... much appreciated.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Feeding sugar beet pellets to finishing lambs
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2020, 02:51:43 pm »
Even for experienced people the range of feed for all live stock is bewildering and all are only slightly different

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Feeding sugar beet pellets to finishing lambs
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2020, 03:22:01 pm »
Even for experienced people the range of feed for all live stock is bewildering and all are only slightly different
To make matters worse, I ran into the the local feed store on my lunch break today to get something else, and just happened to ask about the sugar beet, and they've told me to stop feeding the pellets altogether and put them on a kind of lamb mix which they think is better... Gaaaahhhhh!!!  Everyone has a slightly different point of view...

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Feeding sugar beet pellets to finishing lambs
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2020, 05:26:31 pm »
The lamb mix may well be ok or better so long as it has the right balance of minerals and added ammonium chloride which prevents urinary calculi in males especially castrated  one's  BUT it is not a good idea to stop one feed that the sheep are used to and try to give them another . this can cause digestive upset /acidosis  which can cause the sheep to lose weight /condition . IF you want to do such a thing you MUST introduce new feed in very small amounts building up over time

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Feeding sugar beet pellets to finishing lambs
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2020, 06:20:02 pm »
The lamb mix may well be ok or better so long as it has the right balance of minerals and added ammonium chloride which prevents urinary calculi in males especially castrated  one's  BUT it is not a good idea to stop one feed that the sheep are used to and try to give them another . this can cause digestive upset /acidosis  which can cause the sheep to lose weight /condition . IF you want to do such a thing you MUST introduce new feed in very small amounts building up over time

Agreed... it’s only for a few more weeks anyway... and I’ve got 40kg of the Lambmaster still...

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Feeding sugar beet pellets to finishing lambs
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2020, 06:04:02 pm »
What are you planning on doing with the meat? Is it for sale to friends and family, for private use or do you have to sell at a given min/max weight? What breed/cross breed are we talking about?
If you are only selling to friends and family the actual final weight may not matter quite so much, it may well cost you a lot more in feed than you recoup from selling your meat.

I have Shetlands and as I do not breed my own tup replacements all my male lambs are castrated at 24 to 48 hours old. No problems in running them with their dams and sisters... and they grow slowly and actually are at their best when they get to two or three years old. But I do not breed every year necessarily either...

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Feeding sugar beet pellets to finishing lambs
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2020, 06:13:49 pm »
The crosses are Lleyn/Badgerfaced... they are bigger than the pure badger ram lambs I’ve got.

Originally I thought I could sell the pure badger rams as livestock but just haven’t been organised enough. So for simplicity, decided to just send them all for meat. I can sell through my local Country Market.

This is the first year I’ve had boys. Lesson learned. From now on, I will castrate. I was persuaded to leave these guys entire as they are well marked for their breed, and from registered stock. It’s really hard to know what to do for the best

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Feeding sugar beet pellets to finishing lambs
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2020, 03:29:29 pm »
Do you have a set of scales to actually weigh them? I would calculate the cost for the amount of feed you think you need and see what price you then would need to achieve in the mart - is this realistic? Therefore, may be better to cut your losses now and sell them now, so you can rest your field a bit as well.

Selling breeding stock is very difficult for someone who only started recently, I have just always felt it easier to just castrate.

SafeHaven

  • Joined Mar 2017
Re: Feeding sugar beet pellets to finishing lambs
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2020, 03:41:03 pm »
I will definitely castrate this year. No question.

 

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