The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: Hillview Farm on November 02, 2015, 07:08:10 am

Title: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: Hillview Farm on November 02, 2015, 07:08:10 am
As we have a recent topic on cutting costs I was thinking about my own costs.

I'm lucky enough to make haylage this year on a scale much greater than my own needs so I have sold the surplus to cover costs and then some. Brilliant!  Nice quality haylage to feed this winter :)

But my biggest outlay is feed and minerals. So I'm working out how I can get around it. On a previous post of mine I was talking to someone (I can't  remember exactly who but I can find it when I get a long enough moment to look) they gave me a lot of information and birth weights etc without feeding.

Soo! After talking to my vet he said they would struggle with no food at all. Obviously singles would be fine. Unfortunately the ewes have to be housed pre lambing. But we do scan and feed accordingly. We buy feed bagged by the ton.

How many of you don't feed at all? Where can I buy cheaper feed? And mineral buckets? We buy in fodder beet but I understand they can't have it pre lambing as it's too bulky.

Any views or information welcome :)
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: fsmnutter on November 02, 2015, 07:21:53 am
It depends on a lot of factors.
Where are you in the country?
When are you lambing?
What breed are your ewes?
What breed are they in lamb to?
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: Hellybee on November 02, 2015, 09:09:13 am
We will start feeding hard feed conservatively to twins only when they get housed prior to lambing in the spring.  They also have lifeline, but will have it previous to housing too, and also high protein lick disc. Plus excellent big bale haylage.


Singles lifeline, high protein disc, and haylage.


Have found a corn bucket too which is made by strathclyde and has propyl glycol in it.
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: Marches Farmer on November 02, 2015, 09:24:47 am
I have a flock plan which covers feeding for our flock, in our area, in our likely weather conditions - PM me if you'd like me to e:mail a copy.  Basically I feed 18% protein nuts for the final six weeks before lambing (which takes place over a 21 day period around Easter) then for three weeks after turnout, depending on the weather and the condition of the ewes.  The aim is to keep the ewes milking well and have vigorous lambs which are a good size but won't need pulling.  I think careful management over that period of the year can make a huge difference to how easyl lambing is, lamb survival and whether the ewes keep in good enough condition to breed the following year.
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: Hillview Farm on November 02, 2015, 09:52:44 am
In the south east.
Mid march lambing
Pedigree charollais and commercial type Suffolk mules ewes
All to charollais  rams.


We love lifeline buckets but i have to cover them up at night or they don't last two days!
Never head of protein disc!
Will probably you marches
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: Foobar on November 02, 2015, 10:45:29 am
I would say if you want to cut costs look to feed your ewes more post-lambing rather than pre-lambing.  Better to have lambs that birth easily than ones that you have to pull or that are a strain on the ewe during birth.  Feeding post-lambing will improve milk quality and quantity and so your lambs will be able to get off to a good start in life.


Again, look at the quality of your feed - better to have less feed that is better quality than large amounts of cheap poor quality stuff (and don't just buy whatever your local feed merchant stocks - look around for the best stuff you can get).  I try to get 18% nuts with high sugar beet content and high soya content.  Anything that has cheap filler ingredients like "malt cums" in I won't touch.


I think this year I'll be feeding 250g/head/day for four weeks prior and up to 500g/head/day for 4 weeks after.  Depending on the weather and grass etc.  This is based on a 45kg ewe with twins, lambing at Easter.  Probably with some lifeline buckets thrown in pre-lambing.  Although I might change it depending on how the winter goes - if mild I might cut out the pre-lambing feed and just have lifeline buckets.
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: Hellybee on November 02, 2015, 01:01:17 pm
Sorry meant this

http://www.tfmsuperstore.co.uk/shop/sheep-mineral-licks-blocks-buckets-rumevite-super-energyfish-oil-sheep-lick-yellow-12788.html (http://www.tfmsuperstore.co.uk/shop/sheep-mineral-licks-blocks-buckets-rumevite-super-energyfish-oil-sheep-lick-yellow-12788.html)
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: Sbom on November 02, 2015, 05:22:25 pm
My Romneys have no feed at all, just a lifeline bucket a week or two before lambing.
Also have a few zwartbles that need feed and still don't put on condition :-\
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: Anke on November 02, 2015, 05:35:11 pm
Sorry meant this

http://www.tfmsuperstore.co.uk/shop/sheep-mineral-licks-blocks-buckets-rumevite-super-energyfish-oil-sheep-lick-yellow-12788.html (http://www.tfmsuperstore.co.uk/shop/sheep-mineral-licks-blocks-buckets-rumevite-super-energyfish-oil-sheep-lick-yellow-12788.html)

Why would you give anything to your sheep that has fish oil in it?  :-\ My sheep (and goats) stay vegetarian...
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: Hellybee on November 02, 2015, 05:55:18 pm
I know plenty of people who use them ? 
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: clydesdaleclopper on November 02, 2015, 07:24:54 pm

Why would you give anything to your sheep that has fish oil in it?  :-\ My sheep (and goats) stay vegetarian...


I believe the Dennis Brinicombe Goat balancer mineral supplement has fish oil in it too
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: Anke on November 02, 2015, 08:09:40 pm

Why would you give anything to your sheep that has fish oil in it?  :-\ My sheep (and goats) stay vegetarian...


I believe the Dennis Brinicombe Goat balancer mineral supplement has fish oil in it too

I know... hence my sensitivity to this topic....
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: Anke on November 02, 2015, 08:17:27 pm
I know plenty of people who use them ?

 I know that plenty of people use fish oil (almost certainly from farmed salmon) to supposedly increase the sheep/goat's uptake of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and it will be allowed under the FSA guidelines I am sure. Doesn't mean it is a) safe and b) ethical to feed it to ruminants (or any other naturally vegetarian animal).

After all not so long ago cows were fed animal proteins to increase their growth rates... and we all know what happened there...

My personal opinion, so people are free to disagree.
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: Herdygirl on November 02, 2015, 08:32:49 pm
I'm with Anke here, years ago pigs were fed fish meal and you could taste it in the meat.  Sheep don't go fishing so why feed them fish products?
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: kris on November 02, 2015, 10:45:58 pm
 i have  more hayledge then i need  this year  as well  but it will  come in handy if we have  a bad winter as people keep saying

  as for feeding  ive tried  minimum feeding  didnt work to many problems  later in lamb
  iam tryed cheap feed again that was a mistake 
 got it  down to  fine art  i buy fodder beet  from a near buy farmer in  nov/dec  and have a  very old beet chopper  adapted to electric  introduce it  over a week  10 days then increase it  average 1kg per head out in the field  the chopped fodder gets better intake and   less wear on there teeth  add lib mineral buckets  high energy ones  and   fill ring feeders 
 when  we scan the sheep  thats when i bring them indoors and split them  up into groups going on last year  i didnt have many singles  so  simple diet  hay-ledge and 250g home milled feed  4weeks from lambing

 TWINS -  same but 6 weeks before lambing   and up it to 500g until  last 2-3 weeks depending on  condition up it to 1kg  molasses  liquid feeders  50-50 with water ( 27% CP molasses)

 TRIPLETS-  i start with the  8 weeks  before  feeding  reduced hay ledge  as not to cause prolapse  probs
minerals   working up to  1kg feed  last 3 weeks   and liquid molass licks  same as above

 QUODS & (5 lambs  yes 5   had  4 of them  last year ) these really suffer with energy  feed issues due to intake and available energy   s to   the day  we scan  we start to feed these  just a small amount  200g  increasing  up to  1kg  in the last few weeks  NO FODDER BEET  they  will prolapse  on it depress the energy  intake  reduced hay ledge  as well   molasses roller lick 70/30  liquid  to water   if twin  lamb  strikes   i use  pure glucose buckets  and  calcium paste  it helps alot  expensive  but well worth it

   i do feed some fodder beet up until the last 3 weeks before lambing  but   very little  once lambed  i reintroduce fodder beet  ewes milk great on it  out in the field  and feed for the first 6 weeks  then  reduce it off completely 

 cost wise   fodder beet was 25 per ton
my hay ledge was 30 per bale  ton bales
molasses  was 150 for 1000 liters
 home mill feed  18%cp  was  160 per ton

Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: waterbuffalofarmer on November 02, 2015, 10:51:41 pm
I give my sheep sugar beet in the run up to lambing and some hay. I find it works quite well and they have plenty of milk for their lambs too. Feed blocks are good too and I always give them licks.
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: nutterly_uts on November 04, 2015, 06:29:57 pm
Also have a few zwartbles that need feed and still don't put on condition :-\

I hear this about them from a couple of people and then from others they are fine. I think you need to be pretty strict about culling out the Zs that eat and eat and don't put on as it sounds like a problem is bubbling along in the breed.

I know friends with show herefords found that some lines had been accidentally selected to eat crazy amounts but not to gain weight as expected.

Easy for me to say as I don't have any yet but I won't keep any Zs I need to feed heavily
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: SallyintNorth on November 04, 2015, 08:08:23 pm
Hillview, I'm not sure what you mean by Suffolk Mules - do you mean Suffolk crosses out of Mules?

If they're actual Mules, ie., Mum was a hill sheep and Dad was a Blue-faced Leicester, then they'll be prone to multiple lambs and to putting their all into those lambs.  On our ground, twin-bearing Mules must be fed or they'll either get twin lamb disease, or lose too much condition to be able to produce and rear their lambs - or both.

The issue with haylage in the last 6 weeks of gestation is it takes up too much room.  If they aren't getting protein and sugar in a more concentrated form, they'll have no choice but to eat loads of haylage.  Between growing lambs and a rumenful of haylage, malnourishment and/or prolapse is likely.  On the moorland farm, where our grass and silage were not of the highest feed value, we were advised to split the cake ration for our twin-bearing Mules into two daily feeds, so they weren't getting too hungry between cake feeds and overeating hay/silage.

Sugar (glucose) is essential in the last 6-8 weeks; lack of will result in TLD.  One way you can reduce costs is to provide the sugar as glucose, molasses or sugar beet.  All take up less room than haylage and provide readily-available glucose.  Licky buckets can also do this but are not usually a cheap way of feeding a pregnant ewe.

Using a Charollais tup will help, as he'll give smaller birthweight lambs who grow fast once born. 

BH used to produce Texel lambs from Texel cross ewes with no cake before they lambed in order to keep the birthweights down and reduce lambing interventions.  But it resulted in mums with insufficient milk.  That's SDA land in upland Cumrbia, mind, lambing outdoors.  Your girls are getting it much easier!   :D
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: SallyintNorth on November 04, 2015, 08:20:01 pm
Anke, I'm not advocating feeding animal products to herbivores, but...

There is evidence that Shetland sheep on Foula sometimes supplement their diet by eating the legs of unfledged Arctic terns.  Red deer on Rum, when they're growing their antlers, apparently eat Manx shearwater chicks, and mineral-deficient cattle in Australia have been found to search for and chew bones.

full article (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/08/0825_030825_carnivorousdeer.html)

Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: waterbuffalofarmer on November 04, 2015, 08:39:02 pm
Anke, I'm not advocating feeding animal products to herbivores, but...

There is evidence that Shetland sheep on Foula sometimes supplement their diet by eating the legs of unfledged Arctic terns.  Red deer on Rum, when they're growing their antlers, apparently eat Manx shearwater chicks, and mineral-deficient cattle in Australia have been found to search for and chew bones.

full article (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/08/0825_030825_carnivorousdeer.html)
That reminds me I remember reading, and indeed watching on a wildlife documentary, that giraffes lacking in certain nutrients often eat bones of other dead giraffes. However this practice can, and very often is, fatal to the giraffe because of certain elements in the bones?
Title: Re: views on feeding in lamb ewes in the run up to lambing
Post by: Cheekierdiagram on November 04, 2015, 09:04:02 pm
Anke, I'm not advocating feeding animal products to herbivores, but...

There is evidence that Shetland sheep on Foula sometimes supplement their diet by eating the legs of unfledged Arctic terns.  Red deer on Rum, when they're growing their antlers, apparently eat Manx shearwater chicks, and mineral-deficient cattle in Australia have been found to search for and chew bones.
 
Don't quote me on this but if I remember right I think the bone chewing is generally a phosphorous deficiency
full article (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/08/0825_030825_carnivorousdeer.html)
That reminds me I remember reading, and indeed watching on a wildlife documentary, that giraffes lacking in certain nutrients often eat bones of other dead giraffes. However this practice can, and very often is, fatal to the giraffe because of certain elements in the bones?