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Author Topic: When do you stop feeding your ewes cake?  (Read 4241 times)


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
When do you stop feeding your ewes cake?
« on: April 19, 2014, 11:50:28 am »
The title says it all really.

My oldest lambs are just over 2 weeks and the youngest a week. I can't remember how long last year I went on feeding the ewes cake for.

The lambs have creep (they aren't really sure what to do with it yet) but they will continue on with that regardless.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: When do you stop feeding your ewes cake?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2014, 12:01:37 pm »
I don't creep feed my lambs.  I aim to feed the ewes and let them feed the lambs.  How long for depends on the weather and how much grazing there is.  At present we have a cold east wind and grass that looks OK but I think is probably deficient in minerals owing to the soil having been so thoroughly washed over the WInter!  Our ewes lamb over only three weeks and I plan to feed around 200g per lamb per day until the youngest lamb is three weeks old, by which time lactation production will be declining as the lambs should be taking a fair amount of grass, which should be gowing away well in the warmer weather heading towards summer.  I know some folks like to let the ewes feed the lambs "off their backs" and don't give any feed after turnout but I prefer to keep mine in reasonable condition all year if I can as I don't know what the grazing will be like by the end of the summer so don't rely on "flushing" them on good grass before tupping as some do. 


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: When do you stop feeding your ewes cake?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2014, 04:27:41 pm »
We do a halfway house - at about now, end of first cycle for the main flock, we switch from ewe cake to a lamb rearer pellet, and feed that to the ewes and lambs.  The lambs copy their mums and eat it - and like it as it's sweeter, to appeal to the younger palette ;)  So we don't have a creep area and all the problems it brings.

We feed enough to keep the ewes' condition up, and that the ewes and lambs will clean up within about 10 minutes.  If they are leaving any, we reduce the amount we give them. 

But then, we don't have pudgy Ryelands prone to running to fat ;)  And our ground is all SDA (severely disadvantaged) - though of course some fields are better than others, so we feed more in the worst fields and less in the better.

In a good year, when the previous year was a good growing year, and the winter wasn't 'orrid wet, and the previous winter also wasn't 'orrid wet, we could stop caking when the grass really starts growing (usually somewhen in June but sometimes in May - and sometimes not till July  ::))  - all of which to say, there's no straightforward date.  Like so much of farming, it depends on so very many factors.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: When do you stop feeding your ewes cake?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2014, 06:12:52 pm »
Thanks Sally, that is really helpful.
The lambs are showing an interest in the ewes feed, with is ok for the ewe lambs but not for the little rams. I didn't realise I could switch everyone over to lambs feed and get round the problem that way.
As you say it solves the problem of having a creep area which currently my lambs aren't keen on going into.
I am expecting (hoping) the grass to be good here by about May time and by then the lambs will have got the hang of the feed  ;D
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits


  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: When do you stop feeding your ewes cake?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2014, 07:30:51 pm »
I feed as little as I feel I can get away with during pregnancy and would be in the turnout when dry/fed and fend for yourselves camp (around the gorse and the rushes!). I accept the ewes will indeed lose weight and the lambs wont grow as quickly as if I fed them/their mothers until May/June   


  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: When do you stop feeding your ewes cake?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2014, 11:25:26 pm »
we have four groups, the oldest are up top with a few fields to mooch around, grass coming through slowly, we still putting out nuts, they re lambs have a creep which theyre using well.  then outside the house is the next group, they ve got about 8 acre hill field with daily nuts, haylage and the lambs have a creep there too.  then theres a small group of the younger ones, they have ewe nuts mixed with creep so that the lambs get a good look in, they eating it a tiny bit,  then we got three in the garden, one a fixing knuckled over ram lamb and his mum, another wandering ewe who got stuck in a pond, and her little lamb who takes a top up, and they have a crazy caesarean ewe in with them.  they have ewe18/creep twice a day and haylage.  we vaccinate/worm/multivit/spoton/dag/spray toesies starting mid week and then they can all join up and go on tack fields next door, up in the wind, with buckets.

then we will stop feeding, when we hear that wonderful sound of a ewe gobbling and trying to call to her lamb all at the same time hehe but we will still have creep areas. 

pre lambing we rather conservative, and having had a year off last year the ewes were in particularly fine fettle going into winter this time,  so we kept them ticking over on good hay/haylage and lots and lots of life line and high energy buckets.


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: When do you stop feeding your ewes cake?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2014, 08:06:02 am »
I'm feeding my ewes 'flakey mix' which everyone can have, tups too. The lambs are taking the odd nibble, just to be like the grownups (they're only a week old). Like Sally, I feed what the ewes can clear in about 10 mins, and then keep an eye on their condition, to adjust.

I shall be feeding for some time, basically until the grass is keeping up with the sheep, which probably won't be until early June, depending on the spring. My land is horribly SDA!


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