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Author Topic: Creep feed  (Read 10766 times)

Moleskins

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
Creep feed
« on: April 10, 2012, 11:33:16 pm »
Has anyone any tips on how to start lambs on creep feed, if I walk onto the field with a bucket and just put it down the ewes will scoff the lot. If I make some sort of pen with the feed in will lambs bother to go in and find it ?
Any good cheap ideas appreciated.  :-\
Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
    • Facebook
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2012, 11:40:53 pm »
Last year I sectioned off a small area at the back of a shelter with battons so the lambs could get through but not the ewes and the ewes couldn't reach through - they got the idea in the end, especially as the greedy ewes always wanted a look
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2012, 07:13:36 am »
Mmmm - interesting thread. I've been wondering about creep feed. We don't give our lambs any hard feed. They drink milk and start experimenting with grass from a few days of age. Should we be giving them hard feed as well?
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 08:06:30 am »
I made a creep feeder by making a square of sheep hurdles but putting one of them on end. To begin with the widest space, that should have been at the top, was big enough for the lambs to get through. Eventually I ended up taking off the second but bottom bar, as they got bigger.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 08:37:35 am »
Mmmm - interesting thread. I've been wondering about creep feed. We don't give our lambs any hard feed. They drink milk and start experimenting with grass from a few days of age. Should we be giving them hard feed as well?

Grass fed lambs are fine.  Ours nibble a bit of their dams 'tup and lamb' coarse mix but don't get anything else until their first winter, when they get a small amount of the same stuff if it's a hard winter.  Grass fed lamb, if you will be eating it, is much better for you.  It has been shown that sheep which have no access to grain develop CLAs (conjugated linoleic acid) which are good for lowering blood cholesterol, but if they are grain fed they lose that.  It is assumed that the same thing happens in other breeds.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 12:13:12 pm by Fleecewife »
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jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 08:43:51 am »
Yes, we sold a proper creep feeder (the wretched thing kept pulling lambs horns off) and what with everything going on, I didn't creep feed at all last year. Didn't notice any difference to be honest, I sent the tup lambs to the butchers at the same time and they killed out at similar weights.

I'm not intending creep feeding my Shetlands therefore, I shall do as Fleecewife describes.

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2012, 09:53:45 am »
We have a creep feeder for ours but then they don't have horns! but we do also have some hurdles, old calf feeder ones, that the lambs can get through but mum can't. so we just pop a feed troll down and away they go.

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2012, 12:09:43 pm »
Phew- thought I might be missing something there.....

I'm glad I never had children....... Having lambs is quite enough!!
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2012, 12:27:33 pm »
Thank you Fleecewife, we were wondering about what kind of creep feeder would be suitable for our Soay and when we should start feeding. Will follow your advice as in other years we have had a lot of grass. They often seem more interested in browsing the hedges than grazing!   :)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2012, 01:27:11 pm »
Thank you Fleecewife, we were wondering about what kind of creep feeder would be suitable for our Soay and when we should start feeding. Will follow your advice as in other years we have had a lot of grass. They often seem more interested in browsing the hedges than grazing!   :)

As SteveHants has just said on another thread, no point in treating a non-intensive breed intensively.  With Soay, if you feed them too much concentrate they will scour.  They will eat it though  ;D  Soay love to browse as do most of the primitives and some other breeds, and I feel they benefit from it.  There is plenty of good stuff in leaves and bark and Soay seem to need some of that to prevent scouring which even really rich grass can cause.
One of the reasons to keep rare breeds is to preserve their unusual traits for future breeding back into more numerous breeds, to help them adapt to changing conditions such as no close shepherding, no housing, no added grain-based supplements, so it makes sense to maintain these differences between the types.  Most of the sheep information out there is for the fast growing, intensively reared stock most sheep farmers keep, so it can be difficult to pick out what is essential for all sheep and what doesn't or does apply to your own breed.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 01:29:59 pm by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

   Five Freedoms
   # Freedom from Hunger and Thirst.
   # Freedom from Discomfort.
   # Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease.
   # Freedom to Express Normal Behavior.
   # Freedom from Fear and Distress

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2012, 02:03:16 pm »
I thought creep feeding was to get weight on lambs quickly for market, I've never given my ewes or lambs any supplementary feeding except for this year when I doubled the size of my flock and the grass had been eaten down in certain fields over winter.  I didn't give the pregnant ewes any, just haylage with the horses - I always get good sized lambs and didn't want to risk birthing problems.

However I have just bought a sack - this being for the two little cades I bought in to foster onto the ewe, that didn't work out and they are so reluctant to take the bottle (only taking about 50ml at a time) I thought I had better put creep with them.  They are eating it!
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
    • Facebook
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2012, 08:12:47 pm »
Good info Fleecewife - when this post can up I thought that has to be on my shopping list now we have the massive number of 2 lambs - but mum is getting a bit of hard feed which the lambs are taking an interest in so I guess I shouldn't. They will be here for a while, I mean no rush to grow up. I've been giving my last years lambs I bought in a bit of feed 2 x per day but mainly to keep them coming to me but it's not very much per lamb - must cut that down to 1 x per day now
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2012, 12:59:41 am »
Just make sure that ram lambs don't eat feed intended only for ewes, such as ewe pencils.  These can cause urinary tract calculi ie bladder stones which can cause fatalities in male sheep, including wethers.  Sheep coarse mix, Tup & Lamb,  or 'Champion Tup' by Carrs which is what we feed to all our flock, is great for sheep of all sexes (both sexes  ::)), although might not have enough protein for big ewes when in lamb.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

   Five Freedoms
   # Freedom from Hunger and Thirst.
   # Freedom from Discomfort.
   # Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease.
   # Freedom to Express Normal Behavior.
   # Freedom from Fear and Distress

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2012, 09:08:33 am »
I thought creep feeding was to get weight on lambs quickly for market, I've never given my ewes or lambs any supplementary feeding except for this year when I doubled the size of my flock and the grass had been eaten down in certain fields over winter.  I didn't give the pregnant ewes any, just haylage with the horses - I always get good sized lambs and didn't want to risk birthing problems.

However I have just bought a sack - this being for the two little cades I bought in to foster onto the ewe, that didn't work out and they are so reluctant to take the bottle (only taking about 50ml at a time) I thought I had better put creep with them.  They are eating it!
Absolutely! we lamb December so no grass but we want our lambs finished and gone for the Easter market so we feed creep. we also have big Hampshires which need that extra push, to try to finish these off grass would be hard, although the hamp x Llanwenog does finish well of grass but we lamb them later in the spring.
If i had a choice i would prefer to lamb later and finish off grass so why spend the money when you don't have to.
Good point Fleecewife each breed is different and should be treated in accordance with it's makeup and how it has been developed over the years.
This should be a big factor when deciding what breed to buy, people must think of their ground conditions and what the chosen breed needs. I see too many people flounder and get despondent because they haven't thought through what they want to do with their sheep and treat all breeds the same.

Moleskins

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2012, 09:22:24 am »

[/quote]
 I see too many people flounder and get despondent because they haven't thought through what they want to do with their sheep and treat all breeds the same.
[/quote]

It's taken me about 4 years to figure that out !!
Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

 

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