Corn for sheep

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by scottdoyle, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. scottdoyle

    scottdoyle Active Member

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    I have a book that simply says "don't feed sheep just straight corn". Thats all it says with no explaination why. Is their a reason why or is this guy out to lunch? I have dry corn on hand so I throw a little in the pen for all my critters- sheep, goats, geese, ducks and chickens.
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I feed straight corn to sheep in good condition that don't need the extra protein just some cold weather energy. Too much miught drop rumin PH but you'd have to feed alot! Any grain can cause problems, too much Barley will cause acidosis faster than corn and can cause selenium deficency. Too much oats (hulled) can cause respritory problems. You know the old saying everything is toxic it just depends on the dose! Corn is fine just low protein, about 8% (oats is lower still around 6%) Fine ground corn might slow rumin activity thinking about it, but I feed it whole or cracked.
     

  3. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Crn is about 8% CRUDE protein - only about 6% in digestable protein. I always talk about digestable protein as its what counts. I am going to cross post a post I made on the the goat forum about feed mistures.
     
  4. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My Shetlands live on just hay and whatever they graze, but I'd like to give them a little grain for training/treats. If you only give a little and not every day, does it matter what kind of grain?
     
  5. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

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    I feed ours whole corn mixed with whole oats off/on as a snack through the winter months. Free choice hay.
     
  6. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    Don't let my sheep read that book. They have been getting whole corn for years and they would have an absolute fit if I quit. Besides, it makes the best rattle in the can when I need to call them up at a different time than the usual! I also mix the whole corn with higher protein feeds during late gestation and lactation.
     
  7. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Right you are Catherine! 12% when I look it up but still what was I thinking!!?
     
  9. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thats abut right for oats CRUDE protein. Digestable protein that the animal can use is about 9.5%. Digestable is what matters, the other 2.5% - 4.5% are miscellaneous nitrogen compounds.
     
  10. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    A better topic for a cold winters eve. You can overwhelm people with ration formulation discussions but its worth getting right. What really matters is TDN because protein is only one component of a ration. Factoring in a costing component is important too, and keeping it simple so it works.. Ah well its not really winter yet........ Ok there's snow but it isn't cold yet!
     
  11. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Last winter our hay was pitiful, so I was very careful to give them oats and corn every morning. Mostly oats with a little corn. It is actually the hay that keeps them warm. The biological action in the gut on the grain does not create as much heat as hay. The grain offers calories and added protein, which they may need depending on their hay and breed. Primitive breeds (like Shetlands) are to be given little or no grain. When you do feed grain, give it to them after they've had a chance to eat some hay. I've also read that if ewes are given grain after ten in the morning, that they will not lamb at night. Mine have lambed between 9:00 and noon, so it's worked for me.
     
  12. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ross - winter is a state of mind - that said I live in South Texas and it doesn't get "cold". On my conceentrate mix I posted I'll look up the TDN also. My bet that it is pretty good with the mix of grains in it. Cost at $6.00 per 50lb bag is pretty good too.

    TDN for this feed mixture I posted is 72.6% (calculated using Morrison Feeding Standards). That said, it is difficult for me to compare to other feeds since the labels I have, don't have TDN posted on them. For the following classes of sheep - what should the feed TDN % be??

    Growing lambs

    Fattening Lambs

    Breeding Ewes

    Breeding Rams

    growing Replacement Stock
     
  13. tim1253

    tim1253 Well-Known Member

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  14. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Sorry Yucca missed your last post until now! Umm I'm no expert but if you figure anything under TDN 70% and 14%CP is a pretty tame ration and anything over 80% and 18%CP is a "hot" ration you design the ration adding suppliments or even change forages to keep it palatable. Small changes in hot rations cause problems like acidosis and Polio faster than in cooler rations based primarily on forages.
    Pretty much all classes of growing lambs (creep feed) under 3 months can have a ration in the mid 80s for TDN and I've fed as high as 21% cp but 18 is more common in premixes.
    After three months you can finish slaughter lambs on a similar ration but you'd still cut the cp to 16-18% for costs sake, but breeders (replacements) you want to cool the whole mix down! Mine are almost always on pasture alone. The protein/suppliment ration could still be a bit higher too if they were slow growing or had parasite problems but definately the lambs have stopped growing fast after 3mos/65 pounds so any excess is added as unwanted fat on breeders.


    Breeding ewes, again your ration would be fine (it is a little hot but well balanced) for ewes to flush on so long as they were CS 2.5 or better but fatties you would want it lower, scrawnies are tough to feed up fast without excess fat no matter what your using. for mid gestation you can drop off the TDN/CP but it should go up using higher quality forages for late gestation. Again (provided your forage isn't messing up the TDN of your suppliment) your suppliment would be a great late gestation feed.

    Breeding rams I've always treated as ewes except they get a little less suppliment a little better grass kind of hard to nail down TDN on mine because I've never tested the ram paddock grasses.

    All that said breed is going to skew the feeding program too. No matter what I fed my Suffolks they grew one way or another and too darned slowly. Wasted feed/money. My Polypays use every once of feed they take in, so its worth making an effort to formulate an 82% TDN 21%cp ration, even using purchased feeds most years! Sheep are pretty forgiving animals to feed, so cost is probably the #1 factor.

    There's a dandy ration formulation program called Oviration . It's pretty dear to buy but now that I have my flock "standardized" I'm going to give it another look. Anyone tried it?
     
  15. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Here's a website that sort of explains what I'm on about. I don't agree with some of it especially where it suggest a TDN in the mid to high 60's and a CP of 10%!!! That's weathered hay! It is interesting never the less OMAF Fact sheet
     
  16. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ross,

    Just purchased a ton of the feed mix today on a sharing basis with my neighbor (he takes about 4/5th of a ton and I take 1/5th) and it cost us $230.00 for the ton of feed bagged in burlap. Commercial mixed feed with too much copper costs approx $16.00 per hundred lb around here - custom mixed comes out at about $11.50 per hundred. The minerals I provided (cost added into the feed cost) only have between 1 and 5% copper vs the local commercial feeds at 16-26%.

    For forage my sheep get mixed grass pasture supplemented with Coastal Bermuda and alfalfa hay. I hope to get some good oat hay this spring - my sheep love it and eat it well - can't say the same for the Coastal Bermuda or sudan grass hay.