Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Help with feeding with our first ewes  (Read 2170 times)


  • Joined Sep 2015
Help with feeding with our first ewes
« on: January 16, 2017, 09:53:52 pm »
We've had our first 6 texel ewes since they were lambs (now shearlings) and ran them with a derbyshire gritstone tup at the end on November 2016.

I could do with some help in knowing how much to feed them, last year then weren't tupped so didn't need much to keep them 'ticking over' throughout winter. I've looked into scanners so I know how many each is carrying and how much to feed but it is going to work out quite expensive for just 6. How much should I feed to unscanned ewes to suit them all up until lambing ?

At the minute the grass they are on is poor (hoping to move in a week or two) they are getting 1/4 of the smaller square bales of hay (15kg ish) once per day between 8 (including the ram and his buddy). Now i've typed it that doesn't sound much but they look well fed! Should I increase hay to every morning and night, ad lib?


  • Joined May 2014
Re: Help with feeding with our first ewes
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2017, 11:32:32 pm »
Hi , did you raddle your ram or paste him so that at least you know if they were tupped and or re tupped to give you some idea if they are in lamb ??? If they are in lamb , I would feed and lib hay and access to whatever grass you have. Six weeks prior to lambing start feeding a small amount once a day then twice a day until you are feeding a reasonable ration which will depend on condition and size of the ewes. Don't feed the ram or any wethers though as they shouldn't have ewe ration as it may give them bladder stones. Some people only give feed pick buckets etc and the idea of feeding them is due to their inability to eat so much fibre because of the room the lambs take up.
You could do with readings few books or do a course on caring for the in lamb ewe or discuss with your vet or local shepherds / smallholder groups. Not sure I've been much help and good luck  :wave:


  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Help with feeding with our first ewes
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2017, 07:37:44 am »
Thanks for your reply !

I quite confident in feeding etc they have a mineral lick and a feed bucket in with them which I regularly see them at, the ram and whether have a course mix and the ewes nuts which I give at least once a week to keep them easy to handle. We sponged the ewes and raddled the ram so I know they were all covered multiple times on the 29-th October.

I will be putting the hay to ad in the next week or so (8 weeks before lambing) and introducing nuts but the probability is we aren't going to be able to get the scanned and didn't want to overfeed potential singles and underfeed potential multiples.  :thinking:


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Help with feeding with our first ewes
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2017, 08:47:14 am »
First time lambing for us and our ewes are unscanned too. First due in just over 4 weeks. They are out with ad lib hay, Lifeline lick and mole valley super energy 16 lick (similar to lifeline but has vitamin B in it which the field is deficient in). An experienced shepherd friend crutched them at the weekend and advised to bring in 2 weeks before they are due and feed 0.5kg/day. The ewes are in good condition if a little too good so don't want to start feeding too early plus they are due over about 8 weeks (thanks to the ewe that returned 2 days before ram came out) so don't want the later ones having cake too early. I'm bringing them in in 3 stages to help with this. Apparently the first year is a suck it and see year... then next year you will know where to make changes based on what happened this year.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Help with feeding with our first ewes
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2017, 09:05:28 am »
As in previous years anyone who's interested can have a copy of our flock plan, which may be of help with feeding.  It is specific to our breed of sheep, our farm, weather conditions, etc., but has been refined over the years and  produces decent sized twins and no big singles.  We do have our ewes scanned, however.  Please PM me if you'd like a copy.

Bramham Wiltshire Horns

  • Joined Oct 2014
  • leeds
  • Bramham flock Wiltshire Horns
Re: Help with feeding with our first ewes
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2017, 09:33:07 am »
i have ryelands

i noted that each one had been covered a week apart give or take a day or so i too am thinking of bringing back in stages, 3 ewes have singles and are first timers and a 2nd timer with twins
they have been scanned and on size of lambs i am pretty much there abouts with dates
they have lick bucket plenty water
it is my first time lambing and probably feel i am getting a bit bogged down with feeding regimes
and amounts

follow on FB@BramhamWiltshireHorns


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Help with feeding with our first ewes
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2017, 12:58:52 pm »
For any one not scanning ,then constant condition scoring is your only clue as to how many lambs she's carrying , in that fit singles should hold or loose little  and triplet bearers can loose condition quickly as the lambs start to grow


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