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Author Topic: Feeding North Ronaldsay's  (Read 4866 times)

Burrwoodfm

  • Joined Apr 2012
Feeding North Ronaldsay's
« on: June 22, 2012, 05:04:14 pm »
Hi everyone.
Please could someone give me some advice on what feeds and quantities to feed my North Ronaldsay's.
I am changing what they were fed on before, and am now looking at perhaps a mix of micronised/flaked peas and sugar beat. 
I have 2 Ewe's with a lamb each at foot (one ram lamb and one ewe lamb).
My questions are:
1) Is it ok to just feed the peas and sugar beet, with a Tub-Ron for the minerals they need? (obviously with hay whilst they are housed indoors over the next couple of weeks)
2) Do I need to soak either the sugar beet or peas?
3) What sort of ratio would I mix it at
4) what sort of quantities should I be feeding each sheep?
5) are there any other feeds I should be looking at for the NR's? (not a compound feed due to the trace copper levels though)
Sorry for all the questions!
Thank you!!  :wave:



Voss Electric Fence

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Feeding North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2012, 06:14:50 pm »
They should be fine for most of the year on grazing, browsing and the tubron, with just hay and the tubron while housed.  You could add a sprinkling of dried seaweed meal.   North Ronaldsays are Primitives and really shouldn't need supplementary feeding except in the depths of winter.  Why are they housed at the moment?  Is it while you sort out about the copper problem?   Is it possible that your pasture has had slurry, esp pig or human, spread on it as those would contain copper.
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Feeding North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2012, 07:02:32 pm »
If they are out, dont feed them anything. I wouldnt have thought theyd need mins at this time of year either. My big, soft Lleyns are bareley touching their mins and dont get caked if they have plenty of grass to go at. I assume they are housed because of the copper thing. Other than that or illness I wouldnt bother housing primitives, ever.

Burrwoodfm

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Feeding North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2012, 07:40:48 pm »
Hi - thanks for the replies.  They are in due to the fact that they started lambing when we were away on holiday 2 weeks ago, and my mother who was looking after the animals panicked, and called the local farmer, who then put them in the stables so he could help over the next week.  It was our first experience of lambing, and he was often coming up in the evenings, so it was just easier to work.  I want to get them out as soon as possible, but we are having to re-fence a paddock we want to put them in because of the lambs being so small.  We are hoping they will be out next week, and then it will be problem solved!
It's just while they are in I have been worrying.  We have only had the ewe's for about 3? months, so haven't really experienced having winter feeding.  They have just been on the scrub in our marl pit up until lambing. (We didn't even know there was a possibility they could have been pregnant, as we were not told they had been running with a ram when they were purchased). The copper problem was probably caused by previous owners of our wether. He was a stray so nothing was known about his past, and also in the animal shelter he came from, he was rotated in a paddock there with a pig, for a short time.  There is no slurry where they graze as it is not a paddock, it is a wilderness of an abandoned marl pit, so full of gorse, trees, bramble, with smatterings of grass.  Impossible to spread anything on really. 
So I will just stick with the hay and the tubron then.  Thanks so much.

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Feeding North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2012, 08:47:48 pm »
Hi Burrwoodfm, the leaflet I have from the NR Soc says to feed sugar beet pellets with micronised flaked barley and in the last 5 weeks before lambing, micronised peas to add extra protein.  Dried grass, barley, oats and peas are all ok.  Things like soya bean, sun flower, linseed and distillers grains are to be avoided and molasses should only be included in moderation.
At the moment we feed all our stock on the Harbro premium ewe nuts which are also ok - as a rule of thumb we give them the amount you may scoop if you put your two hands together per sheep.  It just keeps them coming to the bucket and they know they are being 'looked after'.  We have hay out all the time and they also get the occasional brown bread treat and lots of tree branches to munch on.  We have plenty of juicy grass and apart from their Harbro breakfast, that's pretty much what they have to eat.
The NRs I think are a bit different to the other primitives in that they prefer browsing to grazing and they stay apart as a group from our soays and moorits who group together.
I checked with our local food supplier a seaweed product (can't remember name) in the usual 25kg size bag but it had copper in the contents list on the back of the bag so I avoided it.
I'm learning along with you I think, I'm still under the chaper one which is called paranoia!
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Feeding North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2012, 09:21:02 pm »
full of gorse, trees, bramble, with smatterings of grass.


Sounds perfect for Ronnies  :thumbsup:  they might not even need the hay, depending how many trees you have  :innocent:  But a couple of handfuls of ewe nuts between them in a bucket will keep them tame.

Burrwoodfm

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Feeding North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2012, 11:35:03 pm »
Thanks everyone! I am paranoid about ewe nuts though!!!! We lost our very precious wether to copper poisoning this week, and although the vet said it was almost probably due to his previous owners feeding habits, my sorrow over losing him means I am blaming myself too, wondering if it was the handful of ewe nuts I gave now and then, although the vet said it would take sustained feeding of a contaminated product over a long course of time.  I am wondering whether keeping NR's you ever operate under any stage apart from paranoia!!  I am even now getting paranoid about the hay we buy wondering what has been sprayed on it!

Fowlman

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Wiltshire
Re: Feeding North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2012, 11:43:34 pm »
Ewe nuts dont have copper in them. I stand corrected if wrong.
Tucked away on the downs in wiltshire.

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Feeding North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2012, 11:06:24 am »
They have no 'added' copper although it is the 'background' levels which have to be below a certain % - for instance the background levels in the Harbro ewe nuts are acceptable to NRs (I have been in touch twice with their neutritianists) but there are other brands which do not gaurantee it - you have to check what it says on the label.
 
Don't worry about the hay Burrwoodfm, you can only do what it is a sensible level of care.  I have met owners who are paranoid and others who think its silly to be paranoid and just get on with it and they all have healthy surviving stock, so who really knows what is best. 
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

Burrwoodfm

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Feeding North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2012, 07:01:25 pm »
One more silly question! The farmer who is next door grows haylage - Timothy grass and ryegrass.  Are they too rich to need to NR's??

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Feeding North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2012, 08:42:57 pm »
I don't know and can't find an answer to that, but I should think that's getting too pedantic (another word for paranoid  ;D ).
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Feeding North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2012, 12:48:50 am »
The hay we make for our primitives is from old meadow - ie it contains a lot of herbs and other plants and a variety of grasses.  We never put fertiliser on it, so it gets nitrogen only from clover roots.   This type of varied-content hay suits primitive breeds.   I have never used hay or haylage from re-sown grass, but sheep put to graze in early spring on grass which has been brought on by spreading fertiliser, are more likely to get a metabolic imbalance, as well as the skits.  I doubt this would pass on through hay, as it's the soft lushness of the artificially fed grass which causes the problem.
So I would say that if you can get forage from someone with a mixed-species meadow that would suit your Ronnies better, but I don't think there would be a real problem with the haylage from next door.  Feeding some browsing such as willow will help to add variety to their winter diet.
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Feeding North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2012, 01:01:51 am »
Hi Burrwoodfm, the leaflet I have from the NR Soc says to feed sugar beet pellets with micronised flaked barley and in the last 5 weeks before lambing, micronised peas to add extra protein.  Dried grass, barley, oats and peas are all ok.  Things like soya bean, sun flower, linseed and distillers grains are to be avoided and molasses should only be included in moderation.
At the moment we feed all our stock on the Harbro premium ewe nuts which are also ok - as a rule of thumb we give them the amount you may scoop if you put your two hands together per sheep.  It just keeps them coming to the bucket and they know they are being 'looked after'.  We have hay out all the time and they also get the occasional brown bread treat and lots of tree branches to munch on.  We have plenty of juicy grass and apart from their Harbro breakfast, that's pretty much what they have to eat.
The NRs I think are a bit different to the other primitives in that they prefer browsing to grazing and they stay apart as a group from our soays and moorits who group together.
I checked with our local food supplier a seaweed product (can't remember name) in the usual 25kg size bag but it had copper in the contents list on the back of the bag so I avoided it.
I'm learning along with you I think, I'm still under the chaper one which is called paranoia!

I find it hard to believe that the Breed Society would be recommending giving additional feedstuffs in June, when there is plenty of grass and browsing available.
Winters and Charnley in The Sheep Keepers Veterinary Handbook, have this to say about copper poisoning (in all breeds):
One of the most common ways in which copper poisoning arises is through prolonged or very heavy feeding of normal sheep concentrates, most often to sheep being pushed for show or sale. Great care has to be taken if concentrate feeding is continued for more than the usual period before and after lambing (say 8 weeks before to 4 weeks after), or if sheep are being housed for long periods. This is because soil which is inevitably eaten along with grass, and particularly during winter when the grass supply is short, usually has the effect of reducing copper uptake because of the various minerals which it contains; so when the grass grows and less soil is eaten, feeding concentrates as well could lead to an excess of copper in the system.
 
So Burwoodfm, a little of the approved low copper nuts would be fine as they have just lambed, but seems not to be a good idea as a long-term supplement.
 
If you live near the sea you could fetch them some seaweed as a treat  :thumbsup: :D
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 01:07:14 am by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Feeding North Ronaldsay's
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2012, 12:47:18 pm »
No, NR society are not saying to do it throughout the year - only giving advice for when you are feeding them.  At the moment we are feeding ours a little once a day so they get used to us and we can lure them in to the shed for shearing - they have just been here for about 6 weeks. We don't feed our stock generally throughout the summer as there's plenty of juicy grass here.  All stock do better with a high proportion of 'long fibre' in their diet rather than cereal based feeds.


If you want to contact Anne Lane (sec of NR Soc) she will send you all the leaflets which are worth reading and will help put your mind at ease - anne.lanewh@btinternet.com
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

 

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