Healthy winter diet

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Gwyn, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. Gwyn

    Gwyn Guest

    If in the winter, sheep are either inside or do not have access to grass, what is a healthy diet? hay and sheep nuts? what amounts?
    Thanks
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    What are sheep nuts? Diet will depend on a few things. breed, conditon, pregnant or open and where you want them in a couple of months, feed quality, housed or range, and of coarse just how bad winter is where the sheep are. If you could narrow it down a little I'll try to check in this afternoon, but i gotta run to the farmers market.
     

  3. Gwyn

    Gwyn Guest

    sorry,
    our local feed store sells bagged "sheep nuts". we dont use them.
    To narrow it down, they are all ewes, this winter they wont be in lamb - but might still be feeding lambs. over winter they will be moved in to a field that has an empty hay shed and an empty milking shed for shelter but the field was trashed by some guys horses and doesnt have grass. the temps dont get very low (were in the uk). next summer they will be on grass.
    Oh and these particular ones are cross breeds, dont quite know what of but they are small in size.
     
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Sounds like a simple mixed hay ration of reasonable quality is all they'd need. Assuming they are in good condition (flesh covering their loin area) they wouldn't likely need a grain suppliment at all. Make sure they have access to salt (loose) and a sheep mineral they will eat. You could give them a very small amount of oats, or oats and barley mix (about a kilo each) so you can boost the ration quickly if it's turning unseasonably cold. Sudden changes in feed types can cause "polio" in sheep. They will generate the heat they need from the feed they get and as they do have shelter from the rain they're even easer to keep. There might be more point in ensuring they can eat dry hay in dry conditions than worrying about what they eat. Wet sheep eating wet feed is a sorry sight.