Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Creep feed  (Read 10765 times)

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2012, 09:48:56 am »
Ooooooo ........ perhaps my soay are too fat  :(  I didnt think they were likely to have twins as first time lambers and I already have one set .... maybe too fleshy when they went to the tup.

Did take advice from Soay Society lady and others but I suppose everyones grazing is different. Have I fed too much?

Have 7 ewes on just under 2 acres split into 3 paddocks. Grass got really quite long last year.They dont seem to keep it down and when moved into fresh paddock are more interested in our thick hedges. When the man that I had ewes from came to visit he said you could keep double the ewes on here  ???

Not much snow last winter but grass obviously not growing. Fed hay more or less ad lib and a good mug full of coarse mix per ewe once per day and twice per day as they have got closer to lambing ( coarse mix because the ram was in with them until recently). Also a red lick bucket for ewes and lambs. I know my neighbour has laughed and said that they could live on just the hedges.

Have I fed too much?   ???

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Creep feed
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2012, 11:49:47 am »
Ad lib hay is great, licky bucket great (esp if its Crystalix), browsing the hedge is great but I would say that that much coarse mix is a bit excessive for Soay.  The only way to tell is to check their condition score, which in primitives should never be more than about 3, but more like 2 1/2.  Don't suddenly change the amount they are getting, but next year you could monitor how much you give more carefully, by seeing what their condition is each week on whatever rate of coarse mix you are giving them and adjust accordingly.  They don't need any coarse mix for most of the year - the routine is to introduce it gradually at 6 weeks prior to lambing, slowly increasing it up to lambing time.  This partly compensates for the space taken up by the lambs which prevents the ewe from eating enough hay, so to get adequate nutrition we give it in a concentrated form.  The exception to that is if there is severe weather with thick snow lying when a little coarse mix is needed for the whole flock.
I don't want to give actual quantities per sheep as so much depends on individual circumstances, but definitely far less than a big commercial ewe would need.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 11:51:46 am by Fleecewife »
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