Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Confused about supplemental feed  (Read 4608 times)

goosegrl

  • Joined Jun 2015
Confused about supplemental feed
« on: June 19, 2015, 03:57:29 pm »
I have 2 bum lambs that are approaching 8 weeks old.  They are our first and only sheep/livestock.  We currently have them in a hog panel enclosure with a dog house.  We move it every day to every other day.  I also let them out when I am doing farm chores.  We are getting close to weaning (I think).  I've gone through the first 15 pages or so and searched for grass, supplemental feed and confused and I am now more confused than ever.  We are raising them for the freezer but as cheaply as possible.  We do have 20 acres of grass, but it is fenced for horses and it only fair condition and has a bunch of death camas so they will be in the pen and yard mostly.

Can sheep survive on just grass or do they need a supplemental feed?  (seems like such a simple question but the internet is full of conflicting answers)

Once they are weaned do they need a mineral block?

Right now they have big fat round bellies, only yell for milk at their usual feeding time and munch happily on grass and their cud.  Their feces is pellet.

Thanks so much. 
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 04:04:15 pm by goosegrl »

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Confused about supplemental feed
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2015, 07:53:28 pm »
They should be eating creep by now, which is a hard feed you wean lambs onto after milk. I also would have weaned them off milk by now as the risk of bloat is quite high. You can't rear tame lambs cheaply though, in fact you can't rear any lambs properly on a strict budget, they will need some form of flystrike preventative pretty soon given the current weather (crovect or similar) and probably need worm/fluke treatment. Our 15 tame lambs are out with a mineral block which also helps treat orf as we've had a problem with it this year. We worked out including killing/cutting it costs about 65 to rear a tame lamb so not cheap at all  :-\

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Confused about supplemental feed
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2015, 09:09:50 pm »
Did the lambs have colostrum at birth?  Have they had two shots of Ovivac P Plus 4-6 weeks apart?  Any agricultural merchant will stock lamb creep but it needs to be introduced slowly.  Raising cade lambs is always a gamble.  Raising cade lambs on a budget is a much greater one.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Confused about supplemental feed
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2015, 10:51:22 pm »
Depends what breed/type they are, how quickly you want to slaughter them (and how big you want them for that). and how much grass you have available.


devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Confused about supplemental feed
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2015, 05:09:53 am »
"death camas"  I've read that several times but still can't understand it!  :dunce:

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Confused about supplemental feed
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2015, 08:12:48 am »
"death camas"  I've read that several times but still can't understand it!  :dunce:

I think OP might not be UK based.

Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: Confused about supplemental feed
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2015, 09:11:01 am »
Just had a look it's a toxic plant.




Kimbo

  • Joined Feb 2015
  • Anglezarke, Lancashire
Re: Confused about supplemental feed
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2015, 02:00:19 pm »
why are you leaving a highly toxic plant in your pasture?
I appreciate that they are quite pretty bulbs ( no gorgeous but OK) but if you dug them up you would eliminate one of the reasons why part of your land is dangerous.....to ALL your animals.
Is it time to retire yet?

Porterlauren

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Confused about supplemental feed
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2015, 02:22:13 pm »
If a sheep needs much supplementary feed. . . . . it's either a case of crap ground, or crap sheep!!!

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Confused about supplemental feed
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2015, 03:53:59 pm »
 8 week old lambs will survive on grass alone, and the shorter the grass, generally (ie 1"+ in length), the more nutrition there is in it.
 But they will do better if you give them a supplement as well. They will also do better with a mineral block, and only take what they need.
If they are mainly in the yard, then it's also an idea to give them some hay as they should have food available at all time.
By far the cheapest and easiest way to raise them is on grass.   
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Confused about supplemental feed
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2015, 03:55:11 pm »
Just had a look it's a toxic plant.

Oh, right! and thank you, Rosemary. I finish my lambs on grass, once weaned with just the odd digestive biscuit or slice of apple to keep them friendly.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Confused about supplemental feed
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2015, 11:10:16 pm »
If a sheep needs much supplementary feed. . . . . it's either a case of crap ground, or crap sheep!!!

or crap / very variable weather. 
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Porterlauren

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Confused about supplemental feed
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2015, 11:41:45 pm »
That's a very fair point sally! I always budget in for some hay in case it snows. Dont always need it, but when we do. . . . . we really do!

 

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