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Author Topic: feeding sheep over winter  (Read 2812 times)


  • Joined Mar 2014
  • lower whitley
feeding sheep over winter
« on: November 06, 2014, 08:02:07 am »
This is our first winter with sheep, and as the weather gets colder there are suddenly lots of questions!  The grass is still growing, and between the 2 paddocks (2.5 acres approx combined) there seems enough grass for them, with a scant 1/4 bucket of ewe food daily.  As the grass decreases, how much ewe food / hay does each sheep need (they are all hopefully pregnant). Also how do you know when they are hungry (they race for the bucket on fresh good grass mid summer!!  Many thanks.


  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: feeding sheep over winter
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2014, 09:20:02 am »
They would probably race for the bucket in June!! I'm putting out a little hay hay now (Devon) and when it's eaten eagerly I'll put the hay rack out. Apart from a few handfuls of coarse mix (and the odd biscuit/slice of cake/doughnut :innocent:) they get little else. Fodder beet in moderation is good as are unwanted beetroots or blown cabbages etc.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: feeding sheep over winter
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2014, 09:36:34 am »
I'd be cautious about feeding cake early in the pregnancy, especially if they're already in good condition.  Lambs do most of their growing in the final third of the pregnancy so feeding now means it's likely the ewes will put on too much condition and risk lambing difficulties, or the lambs wil be huge, ditto.  I have a flock plan which a number of TAS new-to-sheep keepers have found a helpful starting point for working out their own.  It is specific to this farm, our own breeds of sheep and our weather conditions but PM me with your e:mail address if you'd like to see it.


  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: feeding sheep over winter
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2014, 10:11:56 am »
I only feed concentrates in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy. Mine get hay over winter but I haven't started feeding any yet and we are on rough grass and an exposed hillside.
Our holding has Anglo Nubian and British Toggenburg goats, Gotland sheep, Franconian Geese, Blue Swedish ducks, a whole load of mongrel hens and two semi-feral children.


  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Basingstoke
Re: feeding sheep over winter
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2014, 12:22:20 pm »
Mine get hay but only if it gets frosty/snowy, usually from end of january time

The get mineral blocks and lifeline buckets in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy aswel as hay, all lamb outdoors and are moved on to new pasture at 24-48 hours old in batches

The grass right now should be fine for ewes in early pregnancy :thumbsup:


  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: feeding sheep over winter
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2014, 01:39:13 pm »
Echo Clydesdale and lady grey, we do more or less the same. 

We treat them all conservatively til scanning then split, singles kept in good nick n ticking over, multiples treated a little more delicately.


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