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Author Topic: Are my sheep eating enough?  (Read 3144 times)

Klb

  • Joined Sep 2012
Are my sheep eating enough?
« on: July 16, 2013, 11:32:37 am »
Hi,
I've got 3 sheep ( little boys) they are around 4 mths now, this is my second year with sheep, I did two last year so still a total novice, they are raised for the freezer.
My grass in on a hill south facing and is now more or less 70% parched, due to the very hot weather but sheep seem to be grazing and eating the hedgerow, but how do I tell they are getting enough? I also offer them a fed x2, 3/4 scope between them, they have access to hay in the shelter but have never touched it.
They do get the grass bloaty belly look and I see them led munching, while they show these signs should I leave things as they are, as they are getting enough? Even though field looks 'rough'.
... Sorry for the rather odd post. But any advice to stop me worrying or ideas maybe up feed, would set my mind at ease.
I haven't got any other grazing either.
Voss Electric Fence

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Are my sheep eating enough?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2013, 11:43:14 am »
I think if they aren't eating the hay then they are okay for now.  How big is your field?  Maybe you can section it off to give an area a chance to recover?  Rotating sheep around a number of areas is the best way to manage grass.
With any luck we'll have some rain soon and your grass will improve.

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Are my sheep eating enough?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2013, 01:12:28 pm »
Might be worth getting a dung sample checked for worms too as that can make them belly ish

Moobli

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • Scotland
Re: Are my sheep eating enough?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2013, 04:51:38 pm »
Have these been pet lambs (ie reared on a bottle)?  That could make them look belly-ish.  If they have been pets, you will need to feed hard feed such as sheep coarse mix and maybe a bit of soaked sugarbeet.


How old are they?  If they are just lambs, they aren't designed to be just on pasture yet.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Are my sheep eating enough?
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2013, 05:15:07 pm »
At 4 mths they should be fine on grass alone. It is always useful to keep them bucket trained though and a small feed every morning will help... and pay dividends when you need them to move field/load in a trailer, basically follow you and a bucket!
Are they putting weight on? What breed are they? Are they looking to escape (that's normally a sure fire sign they don't have enough grass)?

Klb

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Are my sheep eating enough?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2013, 05:28:25 pm »
They haven't tried to escape, they were all bottle fed, the belly comes and goes almost like goat, though show no sign of distress even when poked/cuddled.
I will worm them, though just put some fly stuff on so will make sure it won't over load them and cause a reaction  I have been putting them in the garden now & then to let the field recover garden about 1/4 arce, the field about 1.
I will continue with the feed, I don't think I could stop if I wanted too with them in field joining the house I any go outside with them knowing and baa'ing at me.
I will try making sections with sheep netting, but I'm not getting hopes high as have a feeling they will just try and run through it.

Moobli

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • Scotland
Re: Are my sheep eating enough?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2013, 05:49:12 pm »
If I were you I would creep feed them (ad lib or at least three half feeds a day) right through until the back end.

Klb

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Are my sheep eating enough?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 07:52:26 am »
Will pick up the feed on Friday, on ad lib how much would u say roughly they would eat bag a week? 2? They are all a sort of dorset, though each one different ie ones a poll, another something else...

Moobli

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • Scotland
Re: Are my sheep eating enough?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2013, 09:34:15 am »
I would be surprised if they ate more than one bag a week tbh.  They might eat up to 2lb per head a day, depending on the size of lamb and what else they have to eat. 
Hope that helps.

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Are my sheep eating enough?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2013, 09:44:26 am »
If you switch to ad-lib, be careful that they don't gorge themselves on the food and bloat up.  They will if they aren't used to having food available all the time.  You might be better off with 2-3 feeds a day.
Starting young lambs off on ad-lib is easy, but switching older lambs from feeds to ad-lib I think would be tricky.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Are my sheep eating enough?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 03:06:20 pm »
Introduce any novel feed very slowly, around 50g twice a day per head to start. 

 

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