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Author Topic: Alternatives to sheep nuts?  (Read 569 times)

scremmit

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Shropshire
Alternatives to sheep nuts?
« on: March 18, 2017, 01:53:11 pm »
Hello!

We are having trouble bucket training our two new sheep. We used sheep nuts with the last lot and it was easy but our two new herdwicks show no interest whatsoever. We leave them a shallow bucket with a few in and they will have a look after we back off but don't tuck in...

Is there anything else we could try to get them interested?

Would it help to put them together with our bucket trained sheep? (Disadvantage to this is that the trained sheep are in a five acre field and if the herdys go in there we may never catch them!)

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Alternatives to sheep nuts?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 02:06:01 pm »
It would help to put them with the others- is there a small paddock they could go in, or fence off part of the big field? But I would only put them together once you are sure they are free of disease, foot problems etc that they could have brought with them onto the farm. Coarse mix is more palatable but doesn't rattle quite as well

farmershort

  • Joined Nov 2010
Re: Alternatives to sheep nuts?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2017, 03:32:19 pm »
Sugar beet? Either mollased pellets or shredded.

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Alternatives to sheep nuts?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2017, 03:35:01 pm »
If your alternative doesn't 'rattle' put a few stones in the bottom of the bucket for rattling purposes.

My farming neighbours are able to move their sheep just by making the crinkling sound with an empty feed bag. No food necessary :-)
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

scremmit

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Shropshire
Re: Alternatives to sheep nuts?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2017, 04:05:43 pm »
Cheers team

I'll try the sugar beet and gravel thing and report back.

We could put them all in the small paddock but am keeping them apart for now because of what twizzel said!

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Alternatives to sheep nuts?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2017, 04:23:11 pm »
Is it worth just moving one bucket trained sheep over ?  The reason for asking is that with just two they are reliant on one of them comming forward to encourage the other to do so with only two  who are both not moving they are less likely to do so. Had a pair of ewes like this for ages until  some newbies moved in and set up a bit of competition.
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

scremmit

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Shropshire
Re: Alternatives to sheep nuts?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2017, 05:16:30 pm »
Is it worth just moving one bucket trained sheep over ?  The reason for asking is that with just two they are reliant on one of them comming forward to encourage the other to do so with only two  who are both not moving they are less likely to do so. Had a pair of ewes like this for ages until  some newbies moved in and set up a bit of competition.

Quite possibly, but the ewes are pregnant and it's my first round of lambing ever and I don't want to do anything that might stress them so I'm just leaving them all together in their usual field.

Probably being a bit OTT but I'm nervous enough as is it!

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Alternatives to sheep nuts?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2017, 06:22:05 pm »
I'd keep all the ewes together, once the bucket trained ewes see the others running for the bucket they should follow. Once they see them eating they'll probably join in too. It takes lambs ages to bucket train without older sheep to show them!

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Alternatives to sheep nuts?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2017, 07:00:26 pm »
We trained ours with coarse mix, rattled ok in a plastic bucket.  Just did a kind of up down motion with it as we walked.

They now come running to the sight of me with the bucket (no rattling required), the sight of me with a hurdle (we used coarse mix to pen them) or just the sight of my husband (no bucket or hurdle required!).

Dans
12 sheep, 5 geese, 17 chickens, 3 cats and a toddler

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Alternatives to sheep nuts?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 03:13:55 pm »
I know exactly where you're coming from!
I had 2 herdwicks  - an old ewe and her daughter. Whenever I was gathering my otherwise tame sheep these 2 would always slope off - round the corner, back of a building, behind a bush - whatever. In fact last year they actually avoided getting shorn and I didn't realise till after the shearer had been.
Anyway, the old ewe died last year, but not before she and her daughter had each had another ewe lamb apiece. So now I have 3 of the little treasures!

I don't think you'll ever get them to come like the others, but you never know! I've just been into a field with my sheep to give them some biscuits I'd been donated. Everyone gathered round and even my wary Badger faced ewe tried to climb into my pocket. But not the Herdwick trio. They just stayed at the other end of the field and weren't even interested in what had attracted the others.
They are a totally different mentality to the rest and I don't think even putting a tame sheep in with them would make any difference. I gather mine with the dog when it is essential. But do you really need to catch them at the moment?
Mine actually liked going into a building on their own and I used to put food down for them which the other sheep never discovered. But even then I had to be quick to trap them in there as they would race out if they suspected I was around.
I'm sure you'll find something that tempts them. But in the meantime - treat it as  one of the challenges of sheep keeping!

life's too short to be boring.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Alternatives to sheep nuts?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2017, 09:24:47 am »
If they're on a standard grass pasture could you put something tempting in the bucket so they find investigating it to be rewarding?  Maybe some dandelions, cow parsley and cleavers cut from the verge or hedge?   If they do you could gradually add some sheep nuts so they get the idea.  I wouldn't mix them in with your original sheep at present, for both biosecurity and because they could be bullied - side-butting is not good at this point, especially if they're carrying twins.

Herdygirl

  • Joined Sep 2011
Re: Alternatives to sheep nuts?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2017, 12:02:10 pm »
Some Herdwicks just don't take to bucket feeding, try putting on the ground (in a clean place) but this doesn't always work either!  I think it's because if they are from the Lakeland they just aren't used to it, and of course lambs will ape the mother.  Having said that, I found the molassed course mix eventually tempts them.  Don't worry if they want/need it they will eat sheep feed.

Just remembered my Herdy shearlings are often reluctant to eat out of a bucket the first year of lambing.

Imafluffybunny

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Alternatives to sheep nuts?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2017, 12:52:20 am »
I got some very feral shetlands a few years ago, once in with the ryelands they are now bucket trained. They still threaten to run off if something looks amiss so have to time it very carefully when I bring them inside for worming etc!!

 

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