Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Feeding in-lamb hebs  (Read 1852 times)

ThomasR

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Peebles
Feeding in-lamb hebs
« on: March 19, 2017, 12:28:59 pm »
Hi
 I have heard a lot of totally different thing on this subject but I thought I would ask you guys on hear as well. I have heard that the Hebrideans will go through pregnancy on hay alone and that they shouldn't need hard feed. I have also heard that they plenty of hard feed as well as plenty of hay and I was wondering what you feed yours. Two years ago on my first lambing I kept zwartbles at the same time and the lambs were rather large. The next year I got rid of the zwartbles and just went with hebs, and I didn't give them that much and the lambs varied from gigantic singles to tiny twins. I did notice the poorer performers came from south of the border, not sure if it is just coincidence but I'm keeping my eye on them this year. Anyway I have 3 weeks to go until lambing and have so far just been giving hay (as much as they can eat) however I'm thinking about wether I should start hard feeding as the condition on the ewes is now down to  3(ish).
thanks

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Feeding in-lamb hebs
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 02:54:25 pm »
Hi Thomas
As you know, we are not far from you, 1000 feet and with plenty of lush grass, willow etc.  Our feeding regime is to feed a small amount of Carrs Champion Tup coarse mix for the last 6 weeks of pregnancy, and when snow is lying.  Also ad lib home grown hay, plus a licky bucket and willow branches intermittently.  The hard feed is gradually increased as winter progresses, up until lambing is finished, but not more than about 2 handfuls each ewe (my hands, not his  :D )
This year has been very different though, as they've had grass aplenty nearly all winter, and the ewes haven't been greatly interested in the hay.  They do though take the coarse mix.
Our ewes are all together, in lamb and unbred, old dears, middle aged ladies, youngsters and lambs, so we don't go ott with the hard feed.
The amount you feed depends almost wholely on where you are, what your pasture is like, and the severity of the weather. The other factor is the age of the ewes.  Most folk don't keep their ewes to such an age as we do, so differences in amount might reflect that, with a younger breeding flock being more able to cope on grass alone (plus licky bucket - Crystalix)
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

ThomasR

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Peebles
Re: Feeding in-lamb hebs
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 06:28:09 pm »
Thanks, yeah they have just had hay until now and have just finished their lick bucket again. I was checking the again today and noticed it was easier to feel the horizontal part of their spine so considered that I didn't want them any thiner yet the largest are still too big. I have just bought a few bags of 18 percent protein nuts for them and I think they will get that until lambing. What do you feed post lambing? I have got a field that hasn't been grazed on for 6 weeks and was keeping that for the lambed ewes.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Feeding in-lamb hebs
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 06:58:38 pm »
18% is more than Hebs need - the Carrs champion tup is 16%, and easier to eat.  We keep it up until all have lambed then onto grass plus licky bucket.  The lambs pick at it - it's ok for tup lambs too obviously, which ewe nuts aren't.  So give a bit less of the nuts and none after lambing.
Your field sounds fine.  We don't have any truly rested paddocks, so they just go in with everyone else.  At 4 months they go onto the hay aftermath which is pretty lush by then. No extra feed til the following winter.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

ThomasR

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Peebles
Re: Feeding in-lamb hebs
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 10:19:51 pm »
I found that the ewe rolls were to big for the ewes however the sheep that are over a year old I have found are able to eat the nuts no problem however I only give the lambs and my tups high quality coarse mix however I don't feed it to the ewes as it is over 5 a bag more expensive than 18% ewe nuts.
Recently I have brought my tups inside and the tup lambs still haven't made a massive improvement but the mature tups are looking great and they have all been getting all the hay they can eat along with a handful each of 18% coarse mix and they are looking amazing again and you can see in the horns the difference that has been made with new growth looking a deep glossy black.
Will be putting them back out next weekend after 4 weeks inside, I've been told it takes 6 weeks on good grazing to put on one condition score.
This year has been challenging in it's own way with the cold weather never really coming however it has been very wet.

 

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