The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: Lswswake on December 12, 2016, 07:35:37 pm

Title: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: Lswswake on December 12, 2016, 07:35:37 pm
Hello - we are new to sheep and hopefully have pregnant ewes due early Feb - does anyone know how much we should be feeding them ewe nuts daily?  Everything we read is different!  ???? thanks
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: twizzel on December 13, 2016, 12:24:46 pm
Depends on a whole host of contributing factors. What condition score are they? Have they access to hay, grass, lick (if so what lick?). Have they been scanned? Our ewes are in good condition score 3-3.5 with ad lib hay, due from mid feb but most due in March- they have an energy lick as the grass is getting low, and won't have concentrates until 2-3 weeks before lambing so as not to get too fat. In the new year they will have the energy bucket taken out and go onto Lifeline buckets. We are going to try and scan them with the help of our vet which may change the plan, but an experienced friend has guided us this far as it is too our first time lambing. We have shearlings and a ewe lamb, all first timers.
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: Marches Farmer on December 13, 2016, 12:25:29 pm
Have you taken a look at Tim Tyne's book?  Lots of good info there.  I have a flock plan which I'll happily send if you'd care to PM me.  It's specific to our farm, our flock and our weather conditions and lambing system, but it may give you a starting point.
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: shep53 on December 13, 2016, 12:57:34 pm
So many variables !  2 farms next to each other will have different regimes .    Breed and age of ewes ?  breed of ram ?  how many lambs are they carrying ? condition score ?   quality and amount of grass available if any  ?  quality of  hay/silage/haylage ? questions questions  :farmer:
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: Foobar on December 13, 2016, 12:59:13 pm
The most important thing you need to know in order to work out how much to feed them is what is their (ideal) average adult weight?  Then you need to know what condition score they are.  Then if you know how many lambs they are due to have (or how many they usually have will do) that will be handy.  And know how good your grass is, and how good your hay or silage is .....

...then you need to read this:
http://beefandlamb.ahdb.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/brp-manual-12-Improving-ewe-nutrition-for-better-returns-281114.pdf (http://beefandlamb.ahdb.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/brp-manual-12-Improving-ewe-nutrition-for-better-returns-281114.pdf)

...and this:
http://beefandlamb.ahdb.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Booklet-Year-Round-Feeding-the-Ewe-for-Lifetime-Production.pdf (http://beefandlamb.ahdb.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Booklet-Year-Round-Feeding-the-Ewe-for-Lifetime-Production.pdf)

 :)


Or, just give them ad-lib hay over winter, then give them Lifeline buckets from 6 weeks prior to lambing and for 2 weeks afterwards.  Replace the Lifeline buckets as they empty them.  (8 weeks prior if they are skinny ewes, 2-4 weeks prior if they are fat ewes)
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: Bramham Wiltshire Horns on December 13, 2016, 01:30:36 pm
The most important thing you need to know in order to work out how much to feed them is what is their (ideal) average adult weight?  Then you need to know what condition score they are.  Then if you know how many lambs they are due to have (or how many they usually have will do) that will be handy.  And know how good your grass is, and how good your hay or silage is .....

...then you need to read this:
http://beefandlamb.ahdb.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/brp-manual-12-Improving-ewe-nutrition-for-better-returns-281114.pdf (http://beefandlamb.ahdb.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/brp-manual-12-Improving-ewe-nutrition-for-better-returns-281114.pdf)

...and this:
http://beefandlamb.ahdb.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Booklet-Year-Round-Feeding-the-Ewe-for-Lifetime-Production.pdf (http://beefandlamb.ahdb.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Booklet-Year-Round-Feeding-the-Ewe-for-Lifetime-Production.pdf)

 :)


Or, just give them ad-lib hay over winter, then give them Lifeline buckets from 6 weeks prior to lambing and for 2 weeks afterwards.  Replace the Lifeline buckets as they empty them.  (8 weeks prior if they are skinny ewes, 2-4 weeks prior if they are fat ewes)

some excellent reading thanks
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: Bramham Wiltshire Horns on December 13, 2016, 01:31:40 pm
Depends on a whole host of contributing factors. What condition score are they? Have they access to hay, grass, lick (if so what lick?). Have they been scanned? Our ewes are in good condition score 3-3.5 with ad lib hay, due from mid feb but most due in March- they have an energy lick as the grass is getting low, and won't have concentrates until 2-3 weeks before lambing so as not to get too fat. In the new year they will have the energy bucket taken out and go onto Lifeline buckets. We are going to try and scan them with the help of our vet which may change the plan, but an experienced friend has guided us this far as it is too our first time lambing. We have shearlings and a ewe lamb, all first timers.

im in same boat as you twizzle

i have ryelands BTW
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: Lswswake on December 15, 2016, 07:40:44 am
Thanks so much for your replies!! They are all 2yr olds, 3-3.5 apart from one that is a 2 score- access to grass but it isn't brilliant so they have hay, a mineral lick, and the ewe nuts- due early Feb but still trying to find a scanner! Ive bougt the Tim Tyne book too - its good to know there is no set amount - thank you
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: nimbusllama on December 15, 2016, 08:50:21 am
It would be helpful to know where you are  :wave: then someone on here might suggest a scanner?   :thumbsup: ;D
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: devonlady on December 15, 2016, 11:22:51 am
It would be helpful to know where you are  :wave: then someone on here might suggest a scanner?   :thumbsup: ;D

I did suggest, once upon a time that we could correlate (is that the word or did I just make it up?) a list of scanners and small-flock shearers.
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: Fleecewife on December 15, 2016, 12:47:30 pm
@Lswswake  amongst all the other variables mentioned, for me breed is important.  If yours are Primitives, then they will need less feeding than a large downland type, say.   So, what breed/cross are your sheep?


As I keep Primitives I am able to give feed in response to how the sheep perform and how hungry they are - ie if they eat all I put down within about 10 mins, then they needed that much, as they are not greedy and will not put on fat, as other breeds.  If they nibble then walk off, they don't need so much.  Expected condition score is lower in Primitives - what is normal for, say, a Hebridean, would be skinny for another breed; just right for another breed is decidedly hefty for a Heb.
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: Lswswake on December 15, 2016, 12:59:20 pm
@Lswswake  amongst all the other variables mentioned, for me breed is important.  If yours are Primitives, then they will need less feeding than a large downland type, say.   So, what breed/cross are your sheep?


They are suffolks and I get the feeling that they would carry on eating til they popped!????
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: shep53 on December 15, 2016, 07:14:42 pm
Looks like you have it just about right , keep on condition scoring them , since they are young and suffolks they shouldn't lose much before lambing .  You have the same problem as many smallholders in that the sheep in cs 2 may be carrying more lambs or just a poor animal and really needs extra food now to at least hold its condition but this is difficult for 1 sheep
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: Foobar on December 16, 2016, 10:04:19 am
The only way to overcome this with one sheep is to get it to eat out of your hand, every day.  Bit time consuming though! :)
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: Womble on December 16, 2016, 10:12:31 am
And in our case, impossible without either losing the hand or ending up as the ball in a rugby scrum!  :)
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: Old Shep on December 16, 2016, 11:23:06 am
Ours will get around half a kilo a day for the last 4 weeks, less for those carrying singles, and more for triplets and starting earlier.  First time lambers are the worry if they have good condition as too much feed can grow the lambs too big and you can end up with caesarians! Especially with texels or Suffolk texel crosses. So especially with first timers (shearings in our case) carrying singles - we try not to give nuts at all until the last week and then just to help the milk come through.  Pregnant Ewe lambs are still growing themselves so need feeding but not too much.  For the first time we have 3 planned ewe lambs in lamb as an experiment as many farmers around do it, but I must say we are a tad nervous about it!
Title: Re: Pregnant ewe feeding plan
Post by: shep53 on December 16, 2016, 01:12:10 pm
When I used BFL rams I had to had feed them all through tupping , so I made small pens with hurdles , called the rams in  and fed each individually in a bucket , so it shouldn't be too difficult to train a greedy suffolk