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Author Topic: 6 weeks + to lambing - do sheep always need nuts?  (Read 5956 times)

FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
6 weeks + to lambing - do sheep always need nuts?
« on: March 01, 2013, 11:21:26 am »
First lambing eeeeeekkkk so excited!  So, earliest lamb could be in 6 weeks time but a good possibility (no scanning)of quite a spread as ram is still in with them, quite a few questions:
 
1) do I heptovac now (for earliest ones) or in a couple of weeks to try and cover some of the later ones.  I am in 2 minds about routine vaccination full stop but dont know enough to make an informed descision yet.
 
2) does everybody dagg prior to lambing?  when?
 
3) They have red high energy chrystalix which they are still eating, but have all but stopped eating the hay - surely the grass cant be comming in can it?  I have 14 ewes (hopefully pregnant) and one ram over 7 acres (2 just opened to them so there was a bit of 'new' grass for them to go at) and saving a 2 acre field to move them onto for lambing (next to house, rested since november, so hopefully cleanish) - so the question is - do they NEED nuts given their density and the fact that they have stopped eating hay?  OH and they are Beulah and Lleyn - welsh mountain breeds so how like welsh mountain proper are they in their ability to lamb outdoors without concentrate?
 
4) if so how much? and what are options in terms of knowing what is in the nuts/vs own mix of food from recognisable ingredients (Ive changed to mixing own food for chickens and like knowing exactly what Im eating!)
 
I have Tims Tyne book but still not sure about the concentrate requirments of my girls (for example Lleyns are specifivcally mentioned in the table, but is this for indoor lambing (Vs my late, outdoor lambing?).  Cheers and good luck all, I expect your lambings are mostly well underway.

Hillview Farm

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Surrey
  • Proud owner of sheep and Llamas!
Re: 6 weeks + to lambing - do sheep always need nuts?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 12:53:21 pm »
My first lambs are due in 5 weeks and 5 days.... I cant contain my excitement!

1) I would heptavac when your first one is due in 4 weeks. Gives the other ewes who lamb in the next 2 weeks after the cover they need. I am no expert on this so i'm sure someone else will correct me.

2) I dagged my ewes this week and I was so surprised to see they all have little udders developing! So that may help you know if they are in lamb or not!

3) Personally I think this question is a hard one to answer as you didn't get them scanned you dont know how many lambs are due, Mine are split into groups, singles and twins but you cant do that. But most people who dont scan tend to feed for twins. Are your ewes tame? If they are you need to condition score them and feed depending on how they do. You risk getting twin lamb disease if you underfeed and risk having large lambs, difficult births and prolapses if you overfeed. But remember 70% of the lambs growth is in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy and as the lambs grow the food intake goes down so if your feeding hay they wont be able to eat enough hay to meet their requirments and the lambs so I think you should feed nuts.

4) If you do feed them you need to get ewe nuts at 18% protein. My housed ewes carrying twins are on 1/2kg per head at 6 weeks pre. Eblex have feeding tables.

Hope this has helped!

andywalt

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • kent
  • observe react administer enjoy !!
    • photos
Re: 6 weeks + to lambing - do sheep always need nuts?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 07:17:53 pm »
very well explained and layed out !
Suffolk x romneys and Texel X with Romney Tup, Shetlands and Southdown Tup

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: 6 weeks + to lambing - do sheep always need nuts?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 08:32:18 pm »
Good explanation . There is no right or wrong way to feed them ,  even when scanned you still need to condition score . I'll explain what i do and hope it helps.   EWES to lamb april  fed ad-lib silage .  In early jan all ewes C S any 2.5 or less pulled out  and started on concs .  Scan early feb C S again any new 2.5 or less pulled out plus triplets and gimmer twins onto concs .   5 wks before lambing fit twins CS 3+ and gimmer singles started on concs . heptavac booster given 4 wks before lambing starts and all fit ewes C S any  2.5 or less moved into the triplet group.   Maybe start the fit singles on concs next week  again CS any lean move into twins.      so a fit single can do ok on grass and a block but a lean triplet needs more

FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Re: 6 weeks + to lambing - do sheep always need nuts?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 07:25:08 am »
Brill thanks that all helps it was the indoor/outdoor differential that I was really not getting - I will get a frind to come and do some CS with me - I really cant do more than assess fat thin or inbetween!!  I am always roootling around their lower spine areas, but I just cant get the distinctions.  Wish I had been able to get them scanned (is it too late with 6 weeks to go?).  My 'phone a farmer' friend neighbour, tells me twins are rare with WM, so I'll check with Beulah and Lleyn  mates what is common with them Ive a Beulah ram in so cant wait to see what all the offspring look like (Ive 8 Beulah, 5 Lleyn and 1 Mule 'pet lamb'!).  Roll on - Thanks.

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: 6 weeks + to lambing - do sheep always need nuts?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 07:41:32 am »
With Lleyns there could be more than twins in there....:-DDD they are very prolific and my neighbour often has quads to deal with!

Hillview Farm

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Surrey
  • Proud owner of sheep and Llamas!
Re: 6 weeks + to lambing - do sheep always need nuts?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2013, 09:29:04 am »
6 weeks is far too late to scan. The scanner wouldn't be able to tell you exactly whats in there as they can hide behind each other as they get bigger. I have mine scanned early feb at 70-80 days. This all depends on your scanner.

Look on Google for condition scoring. They have pictures and break downs of what your should and shouldn't feel. Fat, thin and inbetween is what you want in theroy. Fat... Overfeeding, Thin... Underfeeding and inbetween is spot on!

Good luck :)

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: 6 weeks + to lambing - do sheep always need nuts?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2013, 12:32:59 pm »
Vaccination - 4 weeks pre lambing should be a booster does for sheep that have already had their double dose to begin with and then an annual booster.  The bugs for clostridial diseases are all around the lambs, in the soil, etc.  Heartbreaking to have a good lamb and then find it dead.

I dag pre-tupping then try to leave them alone as much as possible. Our ewes are all docile and well-handled but I like to avoid any kind of stress if I can, particularly as far as the first-timers are concerned. 

The quality of the grazing has been so poor over the last year, irrespective of the amount of growth, that I would feed.  My ewes are a full or a half condition score down on where they would normally be pre-lambing and they've had good grazing and, this year, daytime access to mineral buckets since the tup went in.  Singles are presently on 100g feed twice daily (don't want big singles) increasing to 250g nearer lambing, up to triplets and old ewes with twins on 350g twice a day, which will continue until lambing, which is 3 weeks away.  Trying to get the balance right this year has been a tightrope walk!

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: 6 weeks + to lambing - do sheep always need nuts?
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 07:20:40 pm »
FIB fat thin or inbetween is good enough for  the job  , so long as you and all readers understand that you havn't got a bunch of 14 sheep, but 14 individual sheep all with different needs .   It is much easier to feed or worm etc if all the sheep are roughly the same size and weight .  Your BEULAHs maybe 55-60 kg   maybe 1.5 lambs      LLEYNs  maybe  70-75 kg  maybe 2 lambs ave so some trips

verdifish

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • banffshire
Re: 6 weeks + to lambing - do sheep always need nuts?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 08:14:31 pm »
Tups allways need here nuts!!! Iknow i'll get my coat....

 
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