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Author Topic: When do lambs start eating grass?  (Read 3419 times)

princesslayer

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Tadley, Hants
When do lambs start eating grass?
« on: April 15, 2015, 11:02:37 am »
Newbie question, roughly when do lambs start eating grass enough to lessen the milk burden on their mothers?

Thanks
Keeper of Jacob sheep, several hens, Michael the Cockerel and some small children.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: When do lambs start eating grass?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2015, 02:15:09 pm »
I'm not sure I see it that way.  As the lambs grow, their demands grow too.  So eating grass helps with some of that increasing demand - but the demand on mum won't reduce for months.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: When do lambs start eating grass?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2015, 02:28:59 pm »
Maximum milk production is generally around three weeks old.  The ewes will lose a little condition after that if they're not supplemented (milking off their backs) but should put it on again after weaning and before the tup goes in, providing grass growth holds up through the summer.  The lambs will start nibbling at everything (as my waterproof trousers will bear witness) from about a week old but won't eat significant amounts of grass for about a month.

princesslayer

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Tadley, Hants
Re: When do lambs start eating grass?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2015, 03:26:14 pm »
Thanks both, but slightly conflicting!

Marches farmer, the three week maximum milk, is that from a study or from your experience?

I'd like to start lessening the amount of hard food I give my ewes as they have loads of grass and it is definitely starting to come through nicely now. Trouble is I have two fat ewes with singles and two thin ewes with twins!

The lambs are about three weeks now. I could try and separate the ewes with twins while they are having nuts so they can get a bit extra.
Keeper of Jacob sheep, several hens, Michael the Cockerel and some small children.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: When do lambs start eating grass?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2015, 08:53:44 pm »
The three weeks guide is from my own observation - after that the lambs spend more and more time away from Mama, eating more grass.  They guzzle greedily when they do feed but do so less and less frequently. 

princesslayer

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Tadley, Hants
Re: When do lambs start eating grass?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2015, 10:06:56 pm »
Ok, many thanks. Will observe and take note!
Keeper of Jacob sheep, several hens, Michael the Cockerel and some small children.

 

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