The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: crobertson on January 15, 2021, 04:12:55 pm

Title: Sugar beet pellets
Post by: crobertson on January 15, 2021, 04:12:55 pm
Hi all,

We have a couple of bags of sugar beet pellets for the sheep as with this miserable weather the ground seems to be in poorer condition than normally at this time of year and plan to give a couple of times a week to the ewes and possibly daily to the tup and tup lambs (need to condition score).

A good friend uses beet shreds and soaks them. On the bag it says to soak for horses but doesn't mention soaking for sheep.

Anyone on here feed them?

Title: Re: Sugar beet pellets
Post by: Womble on January 15, 2021, 04:27:59 pm
Yes, sheep can have those un-soaked.
Title: Re: Sugar beet pellets
Post by: Ermingtrude on January 15, 2021, 09:03:30 pm
Not suggesting at all that the info is wrong, but I wondered how sheep dealt with them differently from horses. Having fed soaked sugar beet to horses for years, 2 double handfuls swells to 3/4 fill a standard bucket when soaked in water. I know horses have different neck length/different insides etc, but how do they not cope with them dry ( risk of choke and colic ) and sheep be fine ?  I feed both the horses and the sheep, a mix of soaked grass pellets, soaked sugar beet, and then a pellet ( depending on species ! ) but was told by the people ( feed advisor ) in Wynnstay, that they always needed to be soaked, regardless of species ?  I could save myself some time and effort here if I don't need to for sheep !
Title: Re: Sugar beet pellets
Post by: crobertson on January 15, 2021, 09:15:57 pm
I know, I think I'll feed them soaked as I'd rather not find out the hard way but I did wonder if the reason for horses was just for choke reasons etc

However when I've googled the brand I've seen images of feeding unsoaked to sheep.

Here are the manufacturer feeding guides

Title: Re: Sugar beet pellets
Post by: SallyintNorth on January 15, 2021, 10:28:46 pm
Ruminants digest in big liquid vat at the front of the process, transit very slow from intake to arriving post-rumen.  Horses mainly digest in the hindgut, transit fairly fast to that point, and the feed needs to have its moisture with it when it gets there.

So a feed which swells over time, fed dry, will cause a serious issue with a horse but probably won't with a ruminant - so long as it's fed in moderate quantities and there is always drinking water available.

Plus, if it all does go wrong, there are many good and effective home remedies for bloat in ruminants, whereas an impacted colon in a horse nearly always needs the vet, and pronto.
Title: Re: Sugar beet pellets
Post by: shep53 on January 16, 2021, 12:50:32 pm
Sugar beet pellets /shreds are fed dry to thousands of sheep every day it is a good product for energy , the only time you feed wet is when feeding very large amounts to rams /ewes  being conditioned for sale . It is a use full product to teach sheep to eat outside as unlike cereal based nut when it gets wet it is even nicer. When i was a boy i had to feed dairy cows soaked beet pulp once per day they got a big bucket each which because of the quantity was the reason it was soaked
Title: Re: Sugar beet pellets
Post by: Womble on January 16, 2021, 03:50:23 pm
The other time we feed it wet is if we have a poorly ewe. I make up a porridge of supabeet pellets in warm water and then add molasses. If a Zwartbles won't eat that, it's really ill!  ;D
Title: Re: Sugar beet pellets
Post by: Buttermilk on January 18, 2021, 11:20:37 am
A sheeps stomach can be up to a third of the weight of the sheep, whereas a horses stomach is the size of a rugby ball.  There is a lot more room for a feed to swell inside the sheep.

With sheep/ruminants feed can come back up into the mouth, with a horse it has to go down the digestive tract as a horse cannot vomit.