Lynda V

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I have three 3-year-old babydoll southdowns (2 ewes and 1 wether). The vet says they are all overweight:eek:. They are on good pasture during the day in the warm months and get 2 flakes of grass hay at night. In the winter, I feed 2 flakes of hay in the day and 2 at night. They get a few handfulls of grain to share among themselves once a day. I use the grain to entice them in from the pasture. I didn't think their feeding was excessive, but clearly they are larger than they ought to be. I would like to get them to a healthier body condition without compromising their nutrition. Any suggestions?
 

Lynda V

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So no more grain, but should I cut their hay rations as well?
 

Mini Horses

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IMO You could probably do well by reducing their graze time. That's where they are getting the extra calories. Most hay isn't that rich. So let them out to pasture an hr or 2 later in the morning. Hope you have a paddock/dry lot. Cut the hay in half or less and spread it out. They don't "need it" right now, it's something to keep them busy. Increase hay as pastures dwindle.
 

Sheepshape

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Yep I'd be with the 'pasture only' crowd. My sheep are only on pasture (admittedly fairly good quality) and have had their lambs with them until the ram lambs 'started getting ideas'. Most would be 4's, a few 3's and too many 5's.
 

Lynda V

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My routine has been to let the sheep out to pasture at 6:30 am and bring them in at around 5:00 pm, then give them the hay for the overnight hours. So they don't need anything for that 12+ hours? Boy, no wonder they're overweight:confused:.
What about during the cold months when there is no pasture? I live in the midwest and that's usually 6 months or more. How much hay, how often?
 

secuono

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My routine has been to let the sheep out to pasture at 6:30 am and bring them in at around 5:00 pm, then give them the hay for the overnight hours. So they don't need anything for that 12+ hours? Boy, no wonder they're overweight:confused:.
What about during the cold months when there is no pasture? I live in the midwest and that's usually 6 months or more. How much hay, how often?
Oh, you're locking them up.
Do they eat all the hay over night?
What kind of hay is it?
Mine chew cud or just laze around for several hours at a time between grazing. 12hrs is probably too long, though.
1-3% of body weight of hay a day.
 

Lynda V

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Yes, they eat it all, usually within a couple of hours. It's second cut grass hay. We have lots of coyotes in our area, so locking them in the barn is essential.
 
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