Conditioning ewe to new grass?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by The_Shepherdess, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. The_Shepherdess

    The_Shepherdess Alannaeowyn

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    One of my ewes missed the Big Sprout due to birthing confinement.
    I'm not sure how long I should take getting her used to the grass.
    So far: Day one, we hang out in the pasture for, oh, an hour. Naturally, this was too long for a first outing, so she had slight indigestion.
    Day Two: No outing. (Well, I'd been arguing with my brother on whether they could go out, and he let them out, but I think I saw them in the first minute.)
    Day Three (yesterday): Twenty-minute outing. No indigestion apparent.
    Day Four (this morning): Thirty-minute outing. You should have seen the way her boys were goofing off.

    Anyway, when can I just let her out for the entire day? The boys are old enough, and I'm flat out of the better quality alfalfa. She isn't the only eater, either: we have three bum lambs and three kids on alfalfa.
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    You're worried about grass tetny or bloat? We start the flock out in late afternoon on a full stomach or hay and grain, and pull them in after and hour or two. Do that for 4-6 days and then let them go as they please.
     

  3. The_Shepherdess

    The_Shepherdess Alannaeowyn

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    Okay, thanks. Btw, love your sig.
     
  4. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Yup, we did that with the horses each spring as well. Late day, about an hour before dinner, and with a bit of hay in their tummies. An hour to start, then half a day, then a full day. Took about two weeks with the horses.
     
  5. GOATDADDY

    GOATDADDY Well-Known Member

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    I let mine out about two hours before dark, plenty of hay in them. Next day, free choice wheat pasture but I threw them some alfalfa also. Before I did all that I made them thirst with some hay and mineral and put Preference in their water.