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Author Topic: In lamb ewes - feeding question  (Read 4731 times)

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
In lamb ewes - feeding question
« on: March 14, 2011, 09:40:07 am »
Hi guys- hope you can advise or reassure me!

i have four ewes.

Two have been with me for several years, one very greedy ( 4 yrs this will be her third crop ) texel cross and one older (?? 6/7yrs old ? with fifth crop ) swaledale cross. both are due to lamb at the end of April.

The other two ewes  are young suffolk crosses (with second crop) who came to me a few weeks ago. Both were scanned one twins (a bit shy), and one with a single lamb (greedy ewe).... due to lamb in two weeks time

I recon that the swaledale (unscannned) has either twins or triplets- she is the same size as the suffolk with twins, but is a month behind! the texel cross is more difficult to judge coss she has such a huge fleece.

I am trying to work out a reasonable feeding reigime which will allow each ewe a good ration of feed appropriate to her needs, in a manner that caters for the pushier ewes and the quieter ewes. I feed 18% ewe nuts.
 Over the last few days i have noticed that the 'twin'-suffolk and the swaledale may be losing a little bit of condition... or it could be their bellies are just dropping more!!

Am i correct in thinking it would be best to feed the fatter texel X and the greedy suffolk with (the single lamb) together...in a pen. they would then get equal amounts of a slightly smaller ration...and the swaledale and the 'twin' suffolk together out at the trough! that way these two can get more than the others.

I have tried this system over the last couple of feeds and it seems to work. IE the two, thinner, quieter ewes are getting a fair share of a generous feed without being shoved out by the two greedy ewes.

I am feeding to the ration levels required by the two due to lamb in two weeks time.

Does this ramble make sense????? am i thinking along the correct lines
Emma T


If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: In lamb ewes - feeding question
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2011, 11:02:32 am »
Sounds fine to me  :)  You are considering each ewe individually, which you can do with just a few sheep.  Inevitably you get some ewes being fed the full amount earlier than others, as they are lambing over a month apart.  It is a good idea to feed the greedy ones apart from the shyer ones, so they all get enough feed, so you are getting it right there.  You are also judging their feed amounts empirically - by how they appear, which is a good skill.  Check their condition score when they are somewhere you can handle them easily just to keep track, especially the older one you think may have triplets.  Good luck with the lambing.
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pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: In lamb ewes - feeding question
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2011, 11:11:21 am »
Thanks, that is reassuring! 

sorry about the confusing ramble- glad you were able to glean the salient points. LOL... it is so hard to describe in words what would be so much easier by demonstration or in diagrams !

Emma T  :sheep:
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

Madcow

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • France
Re: In lamb ewes - feeding question
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2011, 12:12:36 pm »
I'm with you there, my posts are usually rambles !, but it does seem as you only have the 4 and can split them up when feeding its a good idea, although it is a good idea to actually feel them to get the condition scores, because as the lambs grow the ewes body changes shape and the fleeces are so different even in the same breed, so you may mistake a fat ewe with one who is just wide because of her lambs. you see I can ramble with the best of them, hope you get my drift ???

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: In lamb ewes - feeding question
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2011, 12:49:37 pm »
Excelent system,you say the two fat ones are on slightly less feed personaly i would have them on half the amount eg 450gms and 900gms

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: In lamb ewes - feeding question
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2011, 01:09:10 pm »
hi Shep53,

Yes thats the levels i am feeding them! i am happy for them to stay at their current conditions score - concidering they are in lamb i dont want them to lose weight/condition. i understand that even very fat ewes can get twin lamb disease...but i also dont want the ewe with the single lamb to have tooooooo huge a lamb.

Basically i have four ewes who, going by the books, all require different feed levels for different reasons..twins/singles/possible triplets/..fat/thinner/....young/middle aged/older/.....two weeks to lamb/four weeks to lamb/.... greedy/shy..so trying to apply common sense and use my judgment to calibrate feeding for each of them.

LOL... this will last for the next ten days, then i will have to move the Suffolks through to the lambing paddock before going onto the clean field post lambing. 'Making rod for back' springs to mind.

Oh i also forgot to say we are very short of grass in the field they are in so i am feeding ad lib hay......exceeeeept they all prefer different types of hay...so they have a selection box of three different hays!!! and a feed lick supplement....spoilt or what?
Emma T
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

Madcow

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • France
Re: In lamb ewes - feeding question
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2011, 03:33:27 pm »
pampered sheep, dont you just love em. Well done for trying to cater for each ewes need, very dedicated ;D

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: In lamb ewes - feeding question
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2011, 04:52:28 pm »
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
ET
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: In lamb ewes - feeding question
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2011, 07:51:10 pm »
Not easy is it ;D :wave:

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: In lamb ewes - feeding question
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2011, 10:47:01 am »
just a quick update- They have settled to the new regime. the two shy girls seems releived that they can eat at their leisure....and ten minutes after feeding they are all lying down happily chewing the cud....and peace reigns !!

 thanks for the reaasurance guys.....now what can you do about my mud problems. I am playing the role of Tess of the d'Urbevilles every day!! Luckily my life tends not to be as bleak as a Thomas Hardy novel  ;D ;D ;D ;D
Emma T
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: In lamb ewes - feeding question
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2011, 12:36:34 pm »
hi Worzel, thanks - it was sort of tongue in muddy cheek! :yum: :yum:  We had such heavy rain yesterday that everything is sludge now, again. hence the Tess reference.

Our grass is only just showing signs of growth. Were just north of dundee...still cold here. I am hanging on, with the ewes in the prelambing paddock which doesnt have much grass, the slippery mud is mainly round the gaste area and in towards the field shelter. In saying that there is such a lot of lying water that even where the grass is intact it is wet and slippery to walk on. At the end of this week the two due to lamb next week will be moved, and then post lambing they will go into the clean field which is sectioned off from any animals at the moment. the others will follow in a few weeks time.

I am probably at my stocking limit with the horses and the sheep. One of my projects this summer will be to try and organise some extra grazing for wintertime. I do keep the horses in if the weather is really bad... to protect the ground. And they are in stables at night, all year round, for the same reason.

We normally have very good, fertile, well draining ground so the grass always recovers very quickly. However this last 12 months has given us some widespread floods etc in the whole glen. All of the locals have noticed it....Things are a changing !!!

Emma T

If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: In lamb ewes - feeding question
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2011, 01:01:24 pm »

LOL...the sheep and porkers are for the eating  ;D ;D ;D ;D the ewes will stay, but the lambs are sold or butchered here.
ET  ;)
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

 

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