Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Advice on feeding  (Read 3823 times)

Hillview Farm

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Surrey
  • Proud owner of sheep and Llamas!
Advice on feeding
« on: January 03, 2013, 11:46:59 am »
Hello all, Sorry for all my novice questions but I've got to learn somehow!


So last sat I got my shearlings back from the farmer who had them in with his shearlings and rams. He had them outdoor, fed them every other day with ewe nuts, had hay and silage at all times and were free to roam a large acreage of average grazing.  My girls look in fab condition, they were in top condition for tupping and to be honest are looking just as good if not better even with the bad weather.

I had my girls in the barn for a few weeks before tupping as our feilds flooded and they were starting to go lame, they ate a consistant amouth of hay and hard feed. Since being back they are eating me out of house and home! They are eating twice as much hay if not more and bolting their food down. Is this a sign that they are in lamb? Or what?

My other question is whats best to feed them? They have as much hay as they like and are on a mixture of soaked sugarbeet and course sheep mix and have mineral buckets at all times.

Any advice welcome :)

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Advice on feeding
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 06:40:42 pm »
Sounds more like greedy over fat sheep.   When are they due to lamb ?  Google condition scoring of sheep to make a fairly accurate assesment of their condition  :raining:

Hillview Farm

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Surrey
  • Proud owner of sheep and Llamas!
Re: Advice on feeding
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 06:50:53 pm »
They are the correct condition score and not fat at all. Due in april

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Advice on feeding
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 07:11:41 pm »
 For sheep due april and  cs 3- 3.5  then ad -lib hay  and the mineral bucket should be enough until 6-8wks pre lambing. any foetuses should be firmly attached  by now and a small loss of condition from now to lambing is ok. 

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Advice on feeding
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 11:01:53 pm »
Mine are about a 3 and are getting ad lib hay, a mineral bucket and a couple of mugfuls each of hard food - but then I'm at 1000ft and it's wet and windy.

I was talking to my neighbour this morning who said that the sheep tended to go mad for hay around now. Whether that's some sort of understanding that they need to add condition now before they get too pregnant to eat much, or whether they've just got hungry from no-nutrition grass or what I don't know. All I know is that he expected mine to be polishing off hay at the moment, he wasn't surprised.

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Advice on feeding
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 12:36:02 am »
Be careful - the first mistake I made as a sheepkeeper was overfeeding my ewes - I assumed because the ground was covered with snow, they would need some nuts, gave 15 of them about 1/4 of a bucket of beet a day between them - led to me pulling a lot of lambs at lambing.


I like to keep mine at not over CS 2.5 (ever, really, athough some may make 3 pre tupping).

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Advice on feeding
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 06:21:00 am »
If they're not fat, don't worry.

Hill ewes, and I suppose primitives too, should ideally be CS 2.5, downland / meat breeds CS 3 at lambing.

They say that we should let their condition go down a notch or a half a notch, so that we can bring it back up and have them at the right CS and 'on a rising plane of nutrition' for lambing (and same for tupping.)

They should have access to as much sugar as they want in the last 6 weeks, and in a form that doesn't take up much space as the lambs are starting to fill up the available room!

Generally any experienced single-carrying ewe on good forage shouldn't need cake unless her CS is too low.  Too much cake could lead to an oversize lamb and a difficult lambing.  So make the sugar available in the form of a molassed mineral lick (not a feed block), or sprinkle molasses on the hay.

Twin-bearers and of course triples will benefit from cake - there could be insufficient milk if they haven't had cake.  My experience is up here in the far north of England - clearly the forage has far more feed value where SteveHants is!

This year we've lightly caked throughout tupping and will continue through now, as it has been such a horrible year for them and they've needed some extra help. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Advice on feeding
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2013, 06:53:28 pm »


My other question is whats best to feed them? They have as much hay as they like and are on a mixture of soaked sugarbeet and course sheep mix and have mineral buckets at all times.

Any advice welcome :)
                                                                                                                                                             Can i ask what is the mineral bucket called ?

Hillview Farm

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Surrey
  • Proud owner of sheep and Llamas!
Re: Advice on feeding
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 08:10:41 pm »
Its a tubby, just a general mineral bucket I believe. I've got a lifeline bucket for pre lambing aswell but I wont be putting that in till 6 weeks prior

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Advice on feeding
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 08:23:16 pm »
ok :thumbsup:

Hillview Farm

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Surrey
  • Proud owner of sheep and Llamas!
Re: Advice on feeding
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2013, 06:17:30 pm »
Hello all

Firstly, thank you for all your advice! I paid a visit today to a local sheep farmer to pick his brains. He has adviced ad lib hay as also adviced on here, and he also said as i have just a 6 to monitor and record their condition scores and if they drop at all to up the feed and of course if they get too fat to drop it off. Hes such a nice man hes also giving me enough doses of dectomax to do my girls and sorting me out with my heptavac so i dont have to buy a whole bottle  ;D

What a good day Its turned out to be

 
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