The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: Foobar on October 01, 2012, 10:05:26 am

Title: Sheep feeds
Post by: Foobar on October 01, 2012, 10:05:26 am
I will have my ram in with my ewes for the majority of winter this year for the first time, and am wondering what sort of hard feed to give them (if/when the weather or grass requires it).  Previously I would have used ewe nuts but that's no good for the ram.
My supplier has a ram/lamb coarse mix available, but it's expensive (needless to say the sheep love that one!).


What do other folks on here use?
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: in the hills on October 01, 2012, 10:15:13 am
We fed ours a coarse mix for the same reason last winter. Not sure that it stated that it was specifically for ram/lambs though  ??? .  Will check that and I seem to remember that it was much the same price as the ewe nuts.


Someone told me that beet cubes were a less expensive way to feed  ??? .
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: Anke on October 01, 2012, 11:30:59 am
I would certainly be careful with feeding sugar beet to males, as it can lead to urinary calculii (stones). I fed just bog-standard sheep mix for most of the winter last year, but only a little bit per day as it meant I could gather them to check on who has been tupped etc etc.
At the moment I have tup lambs (and tups) separately from the girls, so they get tupmix, and the girls get a mixture of soaked sugar beet shreds and ewe/lamb mix.
I know people feed soaked shreds to male goats with the proviso of their drining water being "spiked" with cider vingear. As this is easy for billy goats (they are inside for most of the winter and so the amounts of water they drink can be monitored), I am not sure if it would be beneficial for tups.
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: Fleecewife on October 01, 2012, 11:53:00 am
We have always fed our flock on Carr's 'Tup&Lamb' coarse mix when they need a supplement in the winter, until they changed it and it's now called 'Champion Tup'.   There is also a ewe coarse mix but of course tups and all male sheep including wethers, can't have that.  Because we keep primitives they don't need a high protein level in any feed they get, and I don't really know what the situation would be for bigger more commercial sheep with males in the flock.  Normally ewes would need 16% or 18% protein in their winter feed, which would be far too much for our little sheep anyway, but the highprotein ewe feeds are unsuitable for males.
Our tups are only in with the ewes for 4 weeks in November and they don't get any extra feeding then anyway, unless we have a heavy snowfall.  The only time males are in with females and they are being fed supplements is in the first few weeks after lambing if the weather is bad, when the male lambs will be nibbling some feed.
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: in the hills on October 01, 2012, 12:11:08 pm
Checked my coarse mix bag ..... it is described as a general coarse mix suitable for ewes, rams, lambs, calves and goats. By Castle Feeds if that helps.


It is 16.5 per cent protein. Maybe too high for my primitives then  ???  .... though they only have a little handful each, mainly to keep them tame.
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: kaz on October 01, 2012, 12:16:07 pm
I was going to say Castles coarse mix as it is a general purpose feed my sheep love that when they are mixed in together.
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: shep53 on October 01, 2012, 06:19:43 pm
I would certainly be careful with feeding sugar beet to males, as it can lead to urinary calculii (stones). I fed just bog-standard sheep mix for most of the winter last year, but only a little bit per day as it meant I could gather them to check on who has been tupped etc etc.
At the moment I have tup lambs (and tups) separately from the girls, so they get tupmix, and the girls get a mixture of soaked sugar beet shreds and ewe/lamb mix.
I know people feed soaked shreds to male goats with the proviso of their drining water being "spiked" with cider vingear. As this is easy for billy goats (they are inside for most of the winter and so the amounts of water they drink can be monitored), I am not sure if it would be beneficial for tups.
  Soaked shreds  fed several times a day have been standard feed for sale rams also included in many coarse mix's, even in fattening mix's for wether's which are much more suceptable  to calculi than entire males :raining:
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: Foobar on October 01, 2012, 07:44:11 pm
Soaked shreds  fed several times a day have been standard feed for sale rams also included in many coarse mix's, even in fattening mix's for wether's which are much more suceptable  to calculi than entire males :raining:

Do they have to be shreds? And do they have to be soaked?  What is the benefit of soaking?
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: Mallows Flock on October 01, 2012, 09:19:16 pm
All mine turn their nose up to soaked beet of any kind...they once stole some beet flakes and vomited. They like dry pellets.
 I feed my ram best quality hay and extra energy crystalix licks through winter with a handful of  beet pellets to get him in. Keeps his condition on very well so far.
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: mart2671 on October 02, 2012, 02:56:49 pm
I have fed ewe rolls  ( size of your thumb feed on ground ) 16% to18% protein ( depending on time year )to both commercial and pedigree flock for 20 plus years with no ill effects at all and at 6.85 a 25kg bag they are good value  . Have also fed sugar beet nuts dry to both ewes and rams and fattening lambs and pedigree dairy goats with top yields well over 2000 kg in 305 days   with no ill effects  for more years than i can go back at 5.50 a 25kg sack also good value . Often all these mixes nuts are basically the same compound make up when u look at the analysis on the label , and products in fancy looking bags are often a lot dearer as you have to pay for that fancy looking bag . You will also pay alot more for mixes than nuts . Do ur research when u go to ur feed merchant and look at the analysis on the bag that's my advice .
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: Mallows Flock on October 02, 2012, 04:38:29 pm
Mart.... I wanna know where you bought your beet from! he cheapest I have bought it for is 7.50 for 20kg!!!!!!
Haven't seen ewe rolls in YEARS!!!! Must have to hunt some down for this winter!
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: Brucklay on October 02, 2012, 06:14:21 pm
I've just been to the feed store and asked re protein level etc
Ewe nuts 18% 10.66 - 25kg
Ewe rolls 18% 10.61 - 25kg
Sheep crunch mix 17% 12.38 - 25kg
Rowett Tup 18% 14.21 - 25kg
Beet Shreds 7.50 - 20kg
Beet Pellets 9.20 - 25kg


I've always given sheep crunch (but not too much) to supplement hay in the winter but even then I thinking my primitive may be getting too much protein - should I be making a special mix for them or just stick with a little crunch?
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: Mallows Flock on October 02, 2012, 06:24:10 pm
OMG your store is even dearer than mine Brucklay! LOL! We all need to start shopping at Mart's store!
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: shep53 on October 02, 2012, 06:52:02 pm
 


Do they have to be shreds? And do they have to be soaked?  What is the benefit of soaking?
      Shreds have always been cheaper than nuts, for ram breeders the need is to get the most food into a ram safely , dried beet pulp swells and doubles in mass. so soaking it and then feeding means when the stomach is full no more swelling happens.   Beet pulp is use full  for training lambs to trough feed as even when wet  or a day old its still palatable unlike concentrates .                                                           WOW  Brucklay  i know you are only buying small amounts , but nearly  500 a tonne for the crunch .  Why  no 16% feed on your list ??
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: Brucklay on October 02, 2012, 09:38:32 pm
Shep53 - they didn't stock - or maybe I didn't ask the right questions re % - I've always done crunch by the handful for the past few year so not very scientific and thought I should look into the options further and what would be best/appropriate.


We've had great lambs and no problems but still on a big learning curve.


I did ask for all the sheep feed info  - will badger them again next week. The shreds did say to be soaked on the sack but the lady in the store said often they are given not soaked but again here is my dilema - belevie the packed or the store!!
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: Foobar on October 03, 2012, 09:42:06 am
Interesting range of prices there!
This is what I pay...
Heygates Ram & Lamb Coarse Mix 17% (20kg) 8.15
MVF Lamb Nuts 16% (25kg) 7.80
MVF Premier Ewe Nuts 18% (25kg) were 7.15 last year.  Gawd knows what they will be this year.
Supabeet I think is about 7

Being a bit anal I always record the composition of any feeds I use on a spreadsheet so that I can compare the different brands etc.  I'll go so far as to email the manufacturers to see what their entire range is cos sometimes what the agri store stock by default is not always the best option. :)

Just looking at those ewe nuts i use ... sugar beet pellets 17%, wheat 17%, wheatfeed 17%, etc.  And the coarse mix is cooked flaked barley, rolled oats, micronised maize, soy bean meal, wheat, ...blah blah.  So yes, you pay the premium for it to be mixed.

Does anyone use any straights to pad out feed, or straights with a protein/mineral pellet?
 
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: SteveHants on October 03, 2012, 12:15:19 pm
I use beet pellets to bucket train rams and occasionally will feed a bit if they are looking thin, but other than that, I dont feed them a thing.
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: mart2671 on October 03, 2012, 04:03:43 pm
The need to shop around this year for good feed prices will be a must due to the bad summer. Google to try and find your local feed mill as you will get feed alot cheaper straight out of the mill cutting out the middle man. Some mills will only allow you to have it by the ton , if they do just buy with a couple other smallholders . Most feeds will have about 12-16 weeks life on them when purchased so work out how many bags you will feed in 4 months . Often mills will let you have mixed pallets too they want your money so are very helpfull mostly. Remember 40 bags at 25kg to a ton and 50 bags at 20kg to a ton . My advice is shop around or ask your local farmer where he buys his feed from as most will buy direct from a mill and I'm sure if you ask nicely he/she will order an extra ton for you . I feed crimped barley with sugar beet nuts to my rams/fattening lambs as helps bulk it out , but you could used rolled barley or even rolled oats . 
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: shep53 on October 03, 2012, 07:04:33 pm
BRUCKLAY may i ask do you feed the crunch because its best for the sheep or does it look the most appetizing from a human point of view, i know some coarse /rough mixes look and smell good enough to eat for breakfast :-J   but sheep don't really care how it looks .   Shreds can be fed dry in small amounts or soaked to feed large amounts, they are just basic beet nuts in un pelleted form and these are fed dry.           How things change 20yrs ago you could buy  concs at 12%   14%    16% were top of the range   , now   16% is bottom    18% normal  and  20%or 22% top   :raining:
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: Mallows Flock on October 03, 2012, 07:08:57 pm
NONE of my sheep will eat them soaked or even slightly water-tainted.... not even the greedy rams. All but one will bite your hand off to get beet pellets dry tho'. I always give mine dry. They have a good clean fresh water supply (i.e me handballing mains water daily across the fields ) so I can't see the harm. mine have been sick on shreds and flakes tho.
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: Mallows Flock on October 03, 2012, 07:12:49 pm
Mart.... I wish you had worked for me when I ran an animal feed store..... I used to have those conversations (and thoroughly enjoyed them - LOL - everyday) and Shep, I have had that conversation with soooooooo many customers in the past that buys what THEY think THEY would like to eat if they were a rabbit....dog....cat..... guinea pig... often the crappest nutrition wise and dearest on the wallet!!!
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: Brucklay on October 03, 2012, 08:06:35 pm
Shep53 - TBPH I started getting crunch as it was what my goats where brought up on when I purchased them and as it was sheep crunch I thought it was fine for the sheep - they do like it. I don't give them any through the summer (well I do when I want to catch them up to inject etc) but though the winter I was giving a small amount morning and night and just a handful to the ram so I could pen him up so he couldn't get to the girls feed.


Should I be giving beet pellets a go then as a top up but not too much protein?
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: shep53 on October 03, 2012, 08:42:51 pm
You could  try a bag to mix with the crunch if you like, it will lower protein increase energy and reduce your costs, if you don't like it try something else there is a big choice to buy :yum: :yum:
Title: Re: Sheep feeds
Post by: Hevxxx99 on October 03, 2012, 11:22:10 pm
The hill flock of 1000 Swaledales I used to help with were fed a small amount of sugarbeet pellets dry every day from Christmas to lambing, including the tups.  I don't believe they ever came to any harm because of it.