New sheep - feed transition

farmerjan

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We do the same with the calves... have a pet most years, that is just a more friendly animal... and they become the "leader" and the others will follow and learn that we are okay because the leader doesn't get all bent out of shape.... have a few cows that we take to certain pastures because they will get the flightier ones to come into the catch pens and such when we need to start catching them up.... they know that when we call, there is grain, a treat, and if we do it for several days or weeks, then the rest that are there learn it is not a bad thing to come when we call.... It pays to keep one around that you know you can use to be the "sensible" one in a group.... a teacher that will make everything else go better by their example....
 
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Stephine

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Yes, we stuffed them into the Subaru, they fit fine if a bit snug. Now they are installed in their new quarters and don’t look too freaked out - because there’s food!
Do they look a bit chunky to you @secuono ? Or anyone else? They are getting 1/2 flake of alfalfa between the three of them per day (in two feedings) and 1/2 cup of pellets (complete feed). Seems like a tiny amount to me, for growing lambs, but they definitely don’t look skinny! I am planning on reducing the complete feed to just a small treat for coming to me and for halter training...
 

Stephine

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Here they are:
 

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secuono

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I rather they seem fat than skinny through the wool. Because then they are definitely too thin/boney if you can visually tell they are hippy.
They look like happy meatballs! 😅

I don't know how you're getting them to eat alfalfa, mine hate the stems and grumble about the leaves crumbling. 😑

Are you planning/hoping to breed this autumn/winter? They seem like they'd be large enough to breed in November or December.

Looking at yours and pics of mine, I think yours are definitely built wider than most of mine. The one in front and on the right look to have the broad, beefy shoulders. Can you feel gentle bumps of the spine and hip through the wool or is it all smooth?
 

Jrios

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This is a great thread, i am new to sheep too. I am probably feeding a bit more than they need, but my 2 wethers are very skittish. Had one a week before the other, was able to settle him down pretty quick. He's still not overly friendly but i brush him when he's eating and run my hands down his legs etc. I do want to halter break them, what brand of halters is best, for cheap? I saw some 'ski rope' ones at tractor supply. My guys are katahdin/dorper crosses, pretty big.
 

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I rather they seem fat than skinny through the wool. Because then they are definitely too thin/boney if you can visually tell they are hippy.
They look like happy meatballs! 😅

I don't know how you're getting them to eat alfalfa, mine hate the stems and grumble about the leaves crumbling. 😑

Are you planning/hoping to breed this autumn/winter? They seem like they'd be large enough to breed in November or December.

Looking at yours and pics of mine, I think yours are definitely built wider than most of mine. The one in front and on the right look to have the broad, beefy shoulders. Can you feel gentle bumps of the spine and hip through the wool or is it all smooth?
I haven’t tried to feel their bones yet - just wanted to get them settled last night and calmed down after the car ride excitement. Glad you don’t think they’re too chunky! They eat the alfalfa stems and all! I guess they don’t know any better? It’s what they’ve always gotten...
 

secuono

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This is a great thread, i am new to sheep too. I am probably feeding a bit more than they need, but my 2 wethers are very skittish. Had one a week before the other, was able to settle him down pretty quick. He's still not overly friendly but i brush him when he's eating and run my hands down his legs etc. I do want to halter break them, what brand of halters is best, for cheap? I saw some 'ski rope' ones at tractor supply. My guys are katahdin/dorper crosses, pretty big.

I use the cheap rope halters, but they're basically a double noose, so can't leave them tied up with them on. They can slip down the muzzle, crushing the nose and/or suffocate them.

There are also tiny alpaca halters or buckle halters that could work and wouldn't crush the face.
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secuono

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I haven’t tried to feel their bones yet - just wanted to get them settled last night and calmed down after the car ride excitement. Glad you don’t think they’re too chunky! They eat the alfalfa stems and all! I guess they don’t know any better? It’s what they’ve always gotten...
Mine are more picky than horses! It's ridiculous trying to find the perfect hay for them & hay sellers never believe me. One guy came back with more hay and was flabbergasted to find out it was true, they had hardly touched his previous bales. 😅 It's embarrassing.
 

Jrios

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I use the cheap rope halters, but they're basically a double noose, so can't leave them tied up with them on. They can slip down the muzzle, crushing the nose and/or suffocate them.

There are also tiny alpaca halters or buckle halters that could work and wouldn't crush the face.
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Thanks. I never leave a halter on an animal, not safe- i just want to be able to somewhat control them if i have to take them out of the pasture. I'll see if these work, need to go buy feed today anyway!
 

Stephine

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Mine are more picky than horses! It's ridiculous trying to find the perfect hay for them & hay sellers never believe me. One guy came back with more hay and was flabbergasted to find out it was true, they had hardly touched his previous bales. 😅 It's embarrassing.
Ha!! Wow! I am really lucky then! Now not to spoil them so they stay that way....
 
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