Feeding practices for male sheep?

FolkSonginC

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Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum and I have some questions about the best feeding practices for male sheep, in regards to calcium/phosphorus content. I have mostly male sheep: two wethers, one ram, and a ewe. They all eat grain, just a little bit in their feed every day and then as treats, but the grain is balanced in terms of calcium and phosphorus. It also has ammonium chloride, but I make sure they get a little extra calcium just in case, so they also get a moderate-small amount of alfalfa pellets in their breakfast. Their breakfast is made up of mostly lespedeza pellets, and a little bit of orchard grass pellets. They also have free choice kelp, which they like, and they eat timothy hay/grass mix as their main source of food, so this all seems balanced to me.

The thing is, I just ordered some scratch and peck sheep feed. You can't buy it from their website, so I got it off Chewy. But for some reason, the guaranteed analysis of the feed I got from Chewy - identical in every other way to the one shown by scratch and peck - is totally different. The scratch and peck website shows a min of 1.35% calcium and a maximum of 1.5%, with a minimum of 0.56% phosphorus. So I think, no problem. The packaging even says you can feed it to rams. But the feed that just arrived shows a min of 0.67% calcium and a max of 0.77%, while the phosphorus content is 0.5%.

I am extremely frustrated with this because I've been mislead, and I have mostly male sheep. I haven't been able to reach the company to ask what the f- is up with the different content- it's not just calcium/phosphorus, but a number of other things that are different on the label. With the other supplements I give my sheep that are high in calcium, does this sound like it might be okay in small quantities? Maybe I can add calcium to it in some form, or feed them more alfalfa along with it? I'm just wondering if anyone has any suggestions/thoughts about this because I'm hesitant to use it unless I know it will be totally safe. I have an ammonium chloride supplement that I've never used but have on hand just in case as well.

By the way- not sure if it changes the mineral/nutrient content at all (not sure why it would) but my plan was to ferment the sheep feed.
 

Finnie

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Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum and I have some questions about the best feeding practices for male sheep, in regards to calcium/phosphorus content. I have mostly male sheep: two wethers, one ram, and a ewe. They all eat grain, just a little bit in their feed every day and then as treats, but the grain is balanced in terms of calcium and phosphorus. It also has ammonium chloride, but I make sure they get a little extra calcium just in case, so they also get a moderate-small amount of alfalfa pellets in their breakfast. Their breakfast is made up of mostly lespedeza pellets, and a little bit of orchard grass pellets. They also have free choice kelp, which they like, and they eat timothy hay/grass mix as their main source of food, so this all seems balanced to me.

The thing is, I just ordered some scratch and peck sheep feed. You can't buy it from their website, so I got it off Chewy. But for some reason, the guaranteed analysis of the feed I got from Chewy - identical in every other way to the one shown by scratch and peck - is totally different. The scratch and peck website shows a min of 1.35% calcium and a maximum of 1.5%, with a minimum of 0.56% phosphorus. So I think, no problem. The packaging even says you can feed it to rams. But the feed that just arrived shows a min of 0.67% calcium and a max of 0.77%, while the phosphorus content is 0.5%.

I am extremely frustrated with this because I've been mislead, and I have mostly male sheep. I haven't been able to reach the company to ask what the f- is up with the different content- it's not just calcium/phosphorus, but a number of other things that are different on the label. With the other supplements I give my sheep that are high in calcium, does this sound like it might be okay in small quantities? Maybe I can add calcium to it in some form, or feed them more alfalfa along with it? I'm just wondering if anyone has any suggestions/thoughts about this because I'm hesitant to use it unless I know it will be totally safe. I have an ammonium chloride supplement that I've never used but have on hand just in case as well.

By the way- not sure if it changes the mineral/nutrient content at all (not sure why it would) but my plan was to ferment the sheep feed.
I’m sorry I can’t help you with feeding sheep, but if I bought something from Chewy and what came didn’t match the information on their website, I would be contacting Chewy and asking for a refund.

I think Chewy has pretty good customer service, but if they don’t give you a satisfactory response, then I would contact Scratch and Peck and tell them you got an incorrectly labelled bag. I would want to make sure the feed inside matches the label, and clear up whether they have changed their formula. And then make sure they sent me the exact formula I thought I was ordering. And if they want the bag of feed returned, then I would ask for a prepaid shipping label.

Good luck dealing with this. I’m sure a sheep person will be by soon to answer your actual sheep feeding question. @Baymule @Ridgetop
 

Baymule

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I’m not that detail oriented. I feed an all purpose pellet, ram gets same as the ewes I keep our sheep mineral and offer plenty of Bermuda grass hay. Green pasture most of the time, not much now, going into winter.

I admire your dedication to a balanced ration!
 

Ridgetop

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It is possible that the Scratch & Peck sheep feed you ordered was not the exact type you were already feeding. Most companies make several types of feed for each species from lamb grower to finisher to breeding mixes. I would double check the name of the feed with what you already had to make sure that you did not accidently order the wrong type. Call the manufacturer to find out what the exact feed is that you want. Then call Chewey and have them pick up the bag that you got that is wrong. It is possibe that chewey does not stock the type you thought you were ordering.
 

FolkSonginC

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Thanks everyone for all the feedback! I think I'm just going to get answers from scratch and peck first, and then maybe try to get a refund. Depending on what scratch and peck says about ingredients/analysis I'm probably going to keep it and just be cautious with feeding, because it would be a hassle to return it.
It is possible that the Scratch & Peck sheep feed you ordered was not the exact type you were already feeding. Most companies make several types of feed for each species from lamb grower to finisher to breeding mixes. I would double check the name of the feed with what you already had to make sure that you did not accidently order the wrong type. Call the manufacturer to find out what the exact feed is that you want. Then call Chewey and have them pick up the bag that you got that is wrong. It is possibe that chewey does not stock the type you thought you were ordering.
I know that it's supposed to be the same formula because scratch and peck only makes one sheep feed, and it was labeled exactly the same on chewy vs scratch and peck.
 
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