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Author Topic: BCS over winter (lambs and empty ewes) CMM  (Read 2742 times)

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
BCS over winter (lambs and empty ewes) CMM
« on: January 13, 2018, 08:42:07 pm »
Hi,

Possibly a bit of an unusual question. I'm trying to manage our ewes, ewe lambs and ram lambs. What kind of score am I looking for them? The ewe's aren't in lamb, we are taking a year off and will tup them in 2018 so I don't want them to get too fat, which I've heard can happen if they skip a year. Everything I am finding is suggesting a BCS for in lamb ewes. The ewe lambs haven't been tupped and the ram lambs haven't worked this year. Any suggestions? Thanks

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

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sheeponthebrain

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Turriff
Re: BCS over winter (lambs and empty ewes) CMM
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2018, 07:26:07 pm »
without concentrates their unlikely to get too fat over the winter.  you may have to keep the ewes tightly stocked over the summer months as that s when they'll really start to put on excess fat which could affect tupping.

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: BCS over winter (lambs and empty ewes) CMM
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 11:33:27 pm »
Thank you, we've been giving the ewes some ewe nuts on the cold days as there isn't much shelter where they are and the boys have had non-molassed coarse mix. I've been checking their BCS whenever they come up for feeding from me (my OH does most of the feeds) and they seem to be stable (I think a 2, maybe 2.5). I'll remember to keep them tight for summer. Thanks again

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: BCS over winter (lambs and empty ewes) CMM
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2018, 07:00:27 am »
How much grass do you have and at you feeding hay? If you have loads of grass then I wouldn't think they need anything else. If you have no grass then feed ad-lib hay, I wouldn't think they need anything else. At this time of year I think its most important for them to get as much grass or hay as they can eat and worry about their weight when the weather is better. It must be really horrible to be cold and hungry!

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: BCS over winter (lambs and empty ewes) CMM
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2018, 10:58:37 am »
Not much grass left at the moment but they are on as much hay as they can eat. We started putting out hard feed on cold nights and frosty mornings but should probably start cutting back on it again. They have started making a fuss if the hard feed doesn't come now though and I hate the thought of them being cold and hungry.

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: BCS over winter (lambs and empty ewes) CMM
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2018, 12:30:06 pm »
Itís the hay/grass fibre that will heat them from inside as its digested. If they are empty it would not hurt to take a check in condition over the winter so that when spring and summer comes they donít get too fat. A handful of nuts once a week to keep them tame if you donít have a dog, and a good quality mineral lick (not feed lick!) should suffice. Any animal getting hard feed regularly will get used to it and be waiting for it at that time of the day but it doesnít mean they need it  :)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: BCS over winter (lambs and empty ewes) CMM
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 09:36:42 am »
Sheep have fabulous insulation, they can stand a lot of cold, provided theyíve got plenty of forage. Itís the wet stuff that does the damage.  So unless itís unrelentingly wet, personally I wouldnít think barren native ewes in Lincolnshire need any hard feed, but maybe a mineral lick or Himalayan rock salt would be a good idea. A little extra feed for ewe lambs wonít go amiss, especially in a hard winter.

If feeding hard food, donít be on-off with it. Their digestions have to adapt, so feeding it just when the weather takes a turn is almost counter-productive. If you will need it when the weather is bad, get them on it sooner and keep them on it until the bad weather has passed.  Once a day is best for sheep, IMO.  Always with ad ib forage, of course.

The above is one reason weíve switched to grass nuts.  No change to digestion needed, or very little. We use the Dengie All Stock ones.

Weíre in North Cornwall though. Iíd have tried the grass nuts in Cumbria if Iíd known about them, but I canít say if Iíd have been as pleased with them in that more severe climate.

I always fed a 16% all stock ration through winter to all my sheep up there, btw.  Just maybe 1/4lb a day a head for the native types.  So far down here I havenít fed any nuts this year, and the pregnant sheep are doing fine. Iím in two minds about feeding for the final two months; maybe just the first timers (who went to a Heb tup; the others went to a Romney so I donít want lambs growing too large) and the Zwartbles :thinking:.  The hoggs may need a bit of feed if the evil wet weather continues; they donít have the reserves the older sheep do.
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