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Author Topic: Grass at this time of the year  (Read 3156 times)

Ladygrey

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Basingstoke
Grass at this time of the year
« on: January 09, 2013, 06:13:11 pm »
hi there  :wave:

I moved my ten sheep 3 weeks ago to a ten acre field, so at the rate of 1 sheep per acre, on silage aftermath, really  thick grass I think they are ok!

However I gave them a yellow SC sheep rockie when they went in and they havnt touched it until this last week.
but for some reason they are at it all the time now, headbutting each other over it and I can see how much they are eating due to all the muddy hoofprints around it (and the rate its disappearing!)

Does this mean that even with all that grass they arent getting enough nutrients?
Surely if I give them hay or haylage then that has less nutrients in than fresh has and they will fill their bellies on that instead of the grass, or is there not much protein in the grass this time of the year  :thinking:

They have put on condition since before I moved them and they all look much better in themselves

I am picking up my first ever ram on Saturday morning  :excited:  :excited: so if I gave them a protein bucket then how do I keep a ram away it  :thinking:

Thanks and sorry for all the questions...

Ina

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Aberdeenshire
Re: Grass at this time of the year
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 06:19:36 pm »
I think with minerals etc it's partly peer pressure... (Yes, animals know that, too!) At least there can't be such a sudden difference in need that they suddenly all go for it at once. I've seen that in sheep, too; for days they ignore the mineral bucket - then all of a sudden one of them "discovers" it, and they are all at it! And they aren't always very sensible; they can overeat on minerals, too.

And no, grass at this time of year is not very nutritious, but it fills the belly, and if there's plenty of it, all the better.

And how to keep the ram away from a protein bucket... No idea.

Ladygrey

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Basingstoke
Re: Grass at this time of the year
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 06:48:36 pm »
Hi Ina :)

Thanks very much for your reply!
I didn't know that sheep caved in to peer pressure! Perhaps this is the case :)


Ina

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Aberdeenshire
Re: Grass at this time of the year
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 07:00:27 pm »
Well - like humans they learn from each other... Or copy each other, anyway.

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Grass at this time of the year
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2013, 08:02:13 pm »
I have 5 in 3 acres of thick good grass at the moment and they have a mineral mollassed bucket to make up for the lack in the grass at the moment. They look well and plump, I will start feeding hay when I think they need it!
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thenovice

  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: Grass at this time of the year
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 08:02:51 pm »
Perhaps the poor old ram fancies a nibble!  :innocent:

Ladygrey

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Basingstoke
Re: Grass at this time of the year
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2013, 08:11:38 pm »
Thankyou :)

yes I was thinking that they dont really need hay or anything, but wandering if i could get them a protein bucket.

but didnt know if a Ram could have one or not  :thinking:

Lol Ram will be having 6 ladies to cover! so Im sure he will be happy for a short while :)

hexhammeasure

  • Joined Jun 2008
    • golocal food
    • Facebook
Re: Grass at this time of the year
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 09:11:41 pm »
There is not a lot of feed in winter grass, and lush grass tends to lead to wet feaces, this will lead to a flushing of salts and mineralsso they are attacking a salt block to replace what has been lost. good on you for placing a block out early
Ian

Ladygrey

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Basingstoke
Re: Grass at this time of the year
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2013, 09:29:00 pm »
Their droppings are still hard and small and umm well, sheep like,  :sheep:
but yes I was expecting them to get the runs when I moved them but they havnt yet

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: Grass at this time of the year
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 05:09:14 pm »
Winter grass doesn't have much in the way of nutrients as it is not actively growing, spring grass usually leads to loose droppings as it is full of moisture as well as sugars and nutrients.


Hay (depending on when it was cut and from what quality grass) has more nutritional value fed in winter than grass.  I feed mine haylage because that is all I have; haylage tends to be more nutritional than hay as it is baled wetter.  I also give them a general purpose mineral block, the ones for ewes may have higher calcium/magnesium which is not good for rams.


At the mo I'm giving my pregnant ewes and ewe lambs haylage and a mineral block as they don't have much in the way of grass, my fields have suffered badly in this extreme wet we've had!  The rams are having hay, coarse mix and a mineral block as they are on a smaller paddock.
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