The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: FrancesV on March 28, 2016, 01:13:13 pm

Title: Supplemental Food for Wethers and Rams
Post by: FrancesV on March 28, 2016, 01:13:13 pm
 Hi everyone,
Can anyone recommend supplemental food for wethers and rams. We have had a couple of our small flock that have had pizzle rot, which we have treated successfully. Though I was told by the vet and have read online that if protein intake is too high 'above dangerous 16%' , that is part of the cause and must be eliminated. I spoke to a knowledgeable lady in Mole Valley Farmers who said that a grazing flock ( such as mine) that contains wethers and rams should not be fed ewe nuts ( 18% protein) rather Coarse Mix (16%).


What do you feed your wethers/rams as supplemental food?

Has anyone had any experience with any feeds ( possibly more natural) that are just as good/better?

The vet also recommended that water troughs are scrubbed out and disinfected at least 1 x per year as this can also contribute.

Many thanks,

Frances V
Title: Re: Supplemental Food for Wethers and Rams
Post by: Marches Farmer on March 28, 2016, 01:35:11 pm
We keep native breeds and never feed our rams anything. I prefer my rams lean and keen.  What breed are they?  Giving ewe feed to rams can lead to urinary calculi.
Title: Re: Supplemental Food for Wethers and Rams
Post by: fsmnutter on March 28, 2016, 02:46:04 pm
Ours get a coarse mix called tup mix!
Protein is part of the story, but not all. High calcium levels and alkaline urine contribute.
Many feeds that are suitable for tups have lower protein but also often have urine acidifiers to prevent build-up of stones.
If the mole valley farmer lady has recommended a feed, feed store staff are usually very knowledgeable on these things and it should therefore be suitable for your needs.
Hard to get 'more natural' than a coarse mix which has various grains etc as they come, compared to a blended cooked pellet!
Title: Re: Supplemental Food for Wethers and Rams
Post by: Buttermilk on March 28, 2016, 03:57:04 pm
Grass nuts.  14% protein and suitable for all year use.
Title: Re: Supplemental Food for Wethers and Rams
Post by: Fleecewife on March 28, 2016, 05:08:05 pm
When there's deep snow on the ground we use Carrs of Billington 'Champion tup' which is a coarse mix.  We use it for the ewes as well in the build-up to lambing, as Primitives don't need the higher protein nuts fed to other breeds.  They get some after lambing too until the grass comes in, so tup lambs can nibble it as well.  It looks very tasty  :yum:  All our flock has free access to good hay throughout the winter plus a molasses bucket.
We'll investigate the grass nuts Buttermilk - sounds good.
Title: Re: Supplemental Food for Wethers and Rams
Post by: Daleswoman on March 28, 2016, 05:37:07 pm
I don't feed my rams anything other than hay in the autumn / winter, with a sheep bucket in the lead-up to tupping. They seem fine. I'm worried now that I should be giving them something more!
Title: Re: Supplemental Food for Wethers and Rams
Post by: Fleecewife on March 28, 2016, 07:41:11 pm
I don't feed my rams anything other than hay in the autumn / winter, with a sheep bucket in the lead-up to tupping. They seem fine. I'm worried now that I should be giving them something more!

Not at all - if they are thriving on their current regime then keep to that.
Title: Re: Supplemental Food for Wethers and Rams
Post by: FrancesV on April 02, 2016, 03:39:46 pm
Thanks for all the info, will take it into consideration. When the vet visited he said that some of our sheep had lost condition, but then he was looking at them with commercial eyes( he said). we keep a small flock just to graze the land and for a hobby. The wether in question ( pizzle rot)  is fairly lean and quite an old boy, but physically well and bright, but we supply them with hay, and a Sheep GP lick. Is that what somebody meant by molasses lick?

Has anyone any other tips on reducing urinary calculi?

Many thanks,

francesv

Title: Re: Supplemental Food for Wethers and Rams
Post by: Anke on April 02, 2016, 05:07:25 pm


Has anyone any other tips on reducing urinary calculi?





Cider vinegar in their drinking water
Title: Re: Supplemental Food for Wethers and Rams
Post by: Hellybee on April 02, 2016, 05:37:44 pm
ACV in water or lemon juice/water drench.
Title: Re: Supplemental Food for Wethers and Rams
Post by: shep53 on April 02, 2016, 08:45:22 pm
salt licks to encourage them to drink more and pee more
Title: Re: Supplemental Food for Wethers and Rams
Post by: FrancesV on April 04, 2016, 01:28:07 pm
Thankyou  :)