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Author Topic: How do I slim down my sheep?  (Read 8661 times)

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
How do I slim down my sheep?
« on: July 09, 2008, 05:28:39 pm »
My girls are a little porky and I think I shoudl get a bit of weight off them befroe they go to the tup in November. Can anyone advise how best to do this? I have to confess they get a wee bit of sheep mix in the mroning - about a mugful between three (and I'm not joking) - because it makes it easy to check them over. They are on good grass 24/7 and aren't keeping it down - should I strip graze? Shut them in for part of the day?

Help!

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: How do I slim down my sheep?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2008, 07:39:17 pm »
someone suggested i exercise one of mine more I think the locals heads would turn with me on a bike and Esmi trotting alongside  ;D ;D only solution is to find a way to cut  downwhat they eat. I give mine dried apricots as a treat not sure its less calorific but maybe......
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
    • Facebook
Re: How do I slim down my sheep?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2008, 05:06:28 pm »
Stop feeding hard food!! Just keep a few nuts (or apricots ;D) in your pocket....they will still come!
Divide the field up and/or strip graze with electric!
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: How do I slim down my sheep?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2008, 05:43:46 pm »
Thanks, wooly shepherd.
In my heart I knew I had to quit the coarse mix.I will stop it immediately - they like a wee bit wholemeal bread so they can have a nibble of that.

What area is it reasonable to give them, space wise for exercise? Do I leave them on it until it's grazed very short then move them on to a clean bit? Given the rain, the grass is growing really fast - they make no impression on the area they are on at all - so how small do I have to go?

I've finally managed to get my horse and dogs to good weights - so just the sheep left.


Blacksheep

  • Joined May 2008
Re: How do I slim down my sheep?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2008, 07:05:14 pm »
sounds like you need a few more sheep to graze your land...

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
    • Facebook
Re: How do I slim down my sheep?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2008, 10:23:46 pm »
Well.....I always have my sheep on the fat side at this time of the year, the grass is good, and often because I graze extensively its long in patches too. However while sheep prefer short grass, they will cope quite ok with scruffy fields ;D.......and its very good for wildlife etc. Once August arrives the grass quality will deteriorate and by November the grass will be nice and short and you can start offering hay..........put the ram in then and also a mineral tupping tub and your sheep will get in lamb and not be too fat, nor too thin (common cause of twin lamb disease). Feed hard feed as well as hay for 6-8 weeks before lambing and 4-6 weeks afterwards and you cannot go far wrong..........this is a very basic strategy!
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: How do I slim down my sheep?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2008, 08:18:47 am »
Thanks - it sound like an excellent strategy. I'll stop worrying about it now.

Actually, I was worried that I wouldn't have enough grass for the three plus lambs, when I got them in September last, but I think it will be OK. I can always feed hay in the winter but I'd rather they weren't too heavily stocked anyway.

kaz

  • Joined Jul 2008
  • Ceredigion
  • Dust yourself off when life throws you down.
Re: How do I slim down my sheep?
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2008, 07:06:14 pm »
If they are Ryelands you can sometimes have problems with them conceiving if they are too fat. If really concerned feed them some straw for a while and put on rough pasture.
Penybont Ryelands. Ystwyth Coloured Ryelands.  2 alpacas, 2 angora goats, 2 anglo nubian kids, 3golden retrievers a collie and a red fox labrador retriever, geese, ducks & chickens.

 

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