Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,853 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to pregnant sheep.

I have 4 ewe lambs that should give birth in Jan.

What would be a good feeding program for them, in addition to good hay?

Currently they have been grazing and get about 1 lb of "all stock" feed, but they will soon be moved indoors.

Marty
 

·
In memoriam
Joined
·
79,016 Posts
I'd give them all the good quality hay they want. Alfalfa would be best but good grass hay will work too. They also need about 1 to 1 1/2 lbs of grain or pellets, and free choice sheep minerals.
If you can get some feed grade limestone to add to the grain, that will supply extra calcium
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,428 Posts
Depends on the sheep I think. I never give them anything beyond hay and pasture for feed, when the pasture isnt not snow covered.
My lambs grow extremely fast and my ewes stay in great shape after lambing and while nursing.
My ewe lamb We are keeping from this year is 7 months old and 100 pounds. :)
She is 1/2 Longwool and 1/2 Jacob.
Her ewe is 225 and never lost weight, in fact she is still gaining as she is just turning 2 and she never had grain.

My hay is a grassy mix with 30% alfalfa. My pasture is a mix of natural growing grasses and weeds.

We get great meat and wool.

I wish the goats where so easy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
681 Posts
It all depends on their condition. A too fat ewe can be just as bad as a too thin ewe (ketosis). Up here in Maine, they come off pasture in Nov. and have a good fat covering. From then on I feed only hay until 6 weeks before the first are due to lamb. At that point I start adding grain slowly starting at 1/4 lb. per ewe and finishing at 1 lb. per ewe. Once they lamb, I feed 1 lb of grain per lamb (so if 10 ewes have 17 lambs, I feed 17 lbs of grain) until they are on pasture (no grain once on pasture). I also add a creep feeder of alfalfa pellets and sweet feed for the lambs. The alfalfa pellets are high in calcium (I had a problem one year with water belly in a lamb, so this was my solution).

That is what I do and it works for my sheep. Your sheep may be different. My goal is that they are not too fat and not too skinny when it comes time to lamb.

When you say moved indoors, do you mean that you are putting them in a barn or just taking them off pasture and giving them access to shelter? Sheep do not do well without good ventilation. In a tight barn you will end up with pneumonia and other heath problems.

I hope that helps....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,981 Posts
I always had them on pasture as long as the pasture lasted, then as much hay as they want. Also, a little oats. Oats are better than corn, but they only need a handful. You don't want fat sheep. Brown fat, between the shoulder blades, is hot. White fat, what you get eating wrong or too much, is not warm. The process of digesting hay creates heat, keeping your animals warm. Grain does not warm them. And, mineral salt. They also need a little exercise every day. I accomplished this by making them walk from the shelter to the food and water.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top