Let's Look at our Different Feeding Practices *SHEEP*

Jrios

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I have hijacked this thread from the goat forums as I have found it to be very interesting. I replaced goats with sheep. :) Thank you for an interesting thread elevan.
Does anyone feed the medicated sheep/goat feed? We have both sheep and goats and they are pastured together, fed separately. (new sheep, trying to handle them). Also, i know you can't do goat minerals for sheep, but could you do sheep minerals for both species? And hay- we will be having part of our place baled, it's mostly Johnson grass (which my goats like), weeds, some coastal Bermuda. Will that be ok?
 

secuono

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Does anyone feed the medicated sheep/goat feed? We have both sheep and goats and they are pastured together, fed separately. (new sheep, trying to handle them). Also, i know you can't do goat minerals for sheep, but could you do sheep minerals for both species? And hay- we will be having part of our place baled, it's mostly Johnson grass (which my goats like), weeds, some coastal Bermuda. Will that be ok?
Medicated against cocci?
It's best to use it 2mo before lambing and through to weaning. It lowers amounts that are shed and helps prevent it, but it is not a cure.

You can feed sheep minerals to goats and then do a copper bolus for the goats.

As for hay...Mine are crazy picky, nothing but the best horse quality, 2nd cut, leafy, super soft hay will do for my snobs. 🙄 So, I can't help much with that.
 

Jrios

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Medicated against cocci?
It's best to use it 2mo before lambing and through to weaning. It lowers amounts that are shed and helps prevent it, but it is not a cure.

You can feed sheep minerals to goats and then do a copper bolus for the goats.

As for hay...Mine are crazy picky, nothing but the best horse quality, 2nd cut, leafy, super soft hay will do for my snobs. 🙄 So, I can't help much with that.
Yes, medicated against coccidiosis- the feed store lady said since the chickens are in there i should feed it all the time. The medicated is about 50 cents more. Thx for other info!
 

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Yes, medicated against coccidiosis- the feed store lady said since the chickens are in there i should feed it all the time. The medicated is about 50 cents more. Thx for other info!
Coccidia are host-specific, meaning the species of coccidia that affect poultry do not affect sheep and goats.
 

Cotton*wood

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Gorman,

Thank you for sharing your feeding practices! Wow, you must have the healthiest sheep on the planet...and our sheep must be living on barely-get-by-street!

To be honest with you, I admire your care and diligence in tending your sheep. But it must also be quite expensive.

I followed the books like clockwork last year...grain, vitamins, shots, minerals, etc. but still lost two sheep to pneumonia...and also had a reoccurring challenge with upper respiratory infections.

So this year, I tried something new...nearly opposite of what most of the books say to do...

No shelters...stopped all grain for months...no dried baled hay, no dried baled clover, and no dried baled alfalfa, no deworming, no CD&T vaccines, no minerals, no vitamins, etc....most lambs were born during horrific rain storms and often when it was quite cold, newborns laying on the ground like ugly little very wet rug rats...

We simply left the sheep out in the field or the forest for the entire winter...and left them to fend for themselves for the great majority of the winter...

I think some people would call all this borderline animal cruelty....while others might call it organic and natural...all's I know, I am not sure what to call it but I am sure of the results!

RESULTS:

1. Healthiest looking lambs we have ever had.
2. Highest numbers of twins we have ever had.
3. No sickness or illnesses or diseases.
4. Happy looking sheep.
5. Bank account went up, not down this time.

Lesson learned and moral of the story: Don't believe everything you read...even the most well read sheep books!
It doesn't sound like cruelty to me--it sounds like having sheep in their natural habitat.

This has basically been our management plan as well, though I do have a little shade shelter that I drag between paddocks in the heat of the summer, which they crowd into (it gets REALLY hot in the summer in Kansas). And we did bring the ewes and lambs into the barn when they were lambing in the week when it was between -9F and -16F (and I'm glad we did, because a neighbor whose ewes all lambed that same week lost over half of them, and we didn't lose any.) But we wouldn't have brought them in otherwise, and that's been the only time they've had any shelter from the wind/snow/storms. The only grain we feed is a couple scoops of whole corn when I need to move them to a paddock that's not adjacent to the one they're currently in. We use electro-net fences, and they're moved every day or two, depending on the forage in the current paddock. We did throw them some hay when there was enough snow on the ground that I felt sorry for them, but they probably would have been fine without it. So far, it's been taking about 3 1/2 months to rotate around all the pastures.

Loose minerals, yes, and I did fecal sampling to see if they had worms (no, or at least none that were detectable in the samples.)

But haven't done anything else--no trimming, no worming, no shots, no extraneous feeding, and they are happy healthy creatures.
 
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Show Sebright

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I have a show lamb. He gets 2-4% of his body weight 2 times a day. He gets a handful of hay at each feeding. Free choice purina sheep minerals with clarifly. He has a salt lick too. Treats are animal crackers.
 

jambi1214

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It doesn't sound like cruelty to me--it sounds like having sheep in their natural habitat.

This has basically been our management plan as well, though I do have a little shade shelter that I drag between paddocks in the heat of the summer, which they crowd into (it gets REALLY hot in the summer in Kansas). And we did bring the ewes and lambs into the barn when they were lambing in the week when it was between -9F and -16F (and I'm glad we did, because a neighbor whose ewes all lambed that same week lost over half of them, and we didn't lose any.) But we wouldn't have brought them in otherwise, and that's been the only time they've had any shelter from the wind/snow/storms. The only grain we feed is a couple scoops of whole corn when I need to move them to a paddock that's not adjacent to the one they're currently in. We use electro-net fences, and they're moved every day or two, depending on the forage in the current paddock. We did throw them some hay when there was enough snow on the ground that I felt sorry for them, but they probably would have been fine without it. So far, it's been taking about 3 1/2 months to rotate around all the pastures.

Loose minerals, yes, and I did fecal sampling to see if they had worms (no, or at least none that were detectable in the samples.)

But haven't done anything else--no trimming, no worming, no shots, no extraneous feeding, and they are happy healthy creatures.
This is great to see too. Last year I did more minimal intervention and had beautiful healthy babies. No trimming only vaccinating lambs twice and deworming as needed. I haven't really checked stools which I know is needed and cheaper to go that route but everyone has done so well. Like in nature?! This year I'm changing it up...why?! Have 15 sheep vs 6 and lost a ewe. It's also expensive as I've only sold 1 ram! Gotta find a way to be able to continue to afford these guys! But really seeing the real life experiences vs my Google services is very valuable.
 

Baymule

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You can take weaned lambs to auction. You need a scrapie tag, call the USDA scrapie office and they will issue you a number and point you in the right direction to get tags and an applicator. Most auctions will put a tag on for you, cost is usually a couple bucks. Not all do though.

Selling rams, private sale, usually has less than stellar results unless you are in an area where ethnic buyers want ram lambs for holiday slaughter. Ewes are easier to sell.
 
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