Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Should I be feeding the sheep?  (Read 3084 times)

Jukes Mum

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • North Yorkshire
Should I be feeding the sheep?
« on: December 23, 2014, 03:38:08 pm »
As the title says "should I be feeding the sheep?".
I have 7 Ryelands; 2 enormous (possibly hippo crosses!) girls who are hopefully in lamb (8 weeks since they gained blue bottoms!), one chunky tup, two well grown girl lambs and 2 wethers, one of which got worms (now treated) and is rather thin :(
There is still plenty of nice grass, a lick bucket and the field has shelter.
I feed them a few handfuls of nuts every other day just to keep them friendly and to have a good look at them, but should be feeding them anything else now? More concentrates, hay, fodder beet?
Donít Monkey With Another Monkeyís Monkey

clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Should I be feeding the sheep?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2014, 04:29:15 pm »
Certainly not any concentrates yet. I only give concentrates 6 weeks before lambing. Mine have hay at the moment but we did have quite a bit of snow last week and there isn't much grass left.


Last year my wether lambs had haylage over the winter as I couldn't get small bales of hay and when they were slaughtered they were graded R5 so were really fat.
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.

Ladygrey

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Basingstoke
Re: Should I be feeding the sheep?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2014, 04:47:59 pm »
Mine are still out at overwinter grazing, they are gathered to be scanned in mid Jan bu they will be left at grazing with no supplements until maybe mid feb

they are then brought home and put into small paddocks with hay, then the twins are given lifeline buckets 3 weeks pre lambing plus hay,
singles get hay and yellow rockies, nothing else, all lambing outside, ewes and lambs are taken to new grazing in batches once the lambs are 24-48 hours old

Lambs and ewes dont get any concentrates or creep, I had lambs away in june after being born in April and had some go off in July weighing 56kilo (woops)

Ewes do loose some condition over winter but they should be lean during lambing to prevent problems, they have the whole summer to put it on again and right now are in condition score 2-3 with the charmoise's being higher due to amount of muscle

So I would say nope, they dont need anything else other than grass, if you dont have grass offer some hay


Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Should I be feeding the sheep?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 04:51:40 pm »
Like most folks mine don't get concentrates until sixweeks before lambing.Mine are getting hay and a licky bucket but theyare densely stocked and there is no grass.

Doesn't sound like yours need anything yet  :)

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Should I be feeding the sheep?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2014, 05:30:44 pm »
I agree that feeding for the six weeks before lambing is fine.  If the Ryelands are already fat and you can't feel the spinal processes of their backbone then get them scanned if you can and only feed twin-bearers, but as though they're carrying a single.  Having the ewes over-fat at lambing will cause problems and prolapses and Caesarians are exensive.

Jukes Mum

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Should I be feeding the sheep?
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2014, 08:40:44 am »
Thanks all  :thumbsup:
The girls are definitely fat as pigs so I will put off feeding for as long as possible and just put some hay out if it snows.
Do you know if you can get a scanner to look at such a small amount of sheep?
Donít Monkey With Another Monkeyís Monkey

devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Should I be feeding the sheep?
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2014, 09:01:23 am »
Is there a sheep farmer near you? He may have a scanner or know someone who does.

Jukes Mum

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Should I be feeding the sheep?
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2014, 11:59:58 am »
'appen so. At how many weeks would one normally scan a sheep?
Donít Monkey With Another Monkeyís Monkey

 

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