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Talk to me about feed

Discussion in 'Feeding Time - Sheep' started by WolfeMomma, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Aug 11, 2017
    WolfeMomma

    WolfeMomma Chillin' with the herd

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    Very new to sheep, and have some Katahdin sheep coming next week. We would like to stay as much grass fed as possible, I know in the winter they will need hay of course, but talk to me about grain......do they need grain? or would they be ok on just the pellets they have for sheep at the store, would they be ok on just hay? I would like to encourage them to come up to the barn at night so they can be protected in a stall .
    p.s if you can recommend any good organic feed I would be mighty thankful lol
     
  2. Aug 11, 2017
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Moderator

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    @Sheepshape @secuono @mysunwolf @purplequeenvt @Roving Jacobs @SheepGirl or any of the other great Sheeple we have here might be able to answer you.

    I don't have sheep (yet), only goats, but I believe a pelleted feed along with hay available 24/7 should be fine. I think they do need access to the hay in addition to the greens as the greens are mostly water. As for how much grain/feed, that will need to be determined and adjusted based on their body condition. Just any changes should be done gradually.

    You can start out by asking the seller what & when they are feeding, how much, and ask them to provide you with a starter amount to allow you time to buy more and/or change them over to what you'll be feeding them.
     
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  3. Aug 11, 2017
    OneFineAcre

    OneFineAcre Herd Master

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    The pellets at the store are made from grains.
     
  4. Aug 11, 2017
    mysunwolf

    mysunwolf True BYH Addict

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    I agree that you should talk to the seller, that will be a huge indicator for what these sheep need to maintain growth and health. @Latestarter is also right that gradual is the key--we have messed this up more than once, and the scours (diarrhea) are not pretty.

    They should have hay in the barn at night since they will not have access to forage.

    For our hair sheep, we fed just enough grain for them to be friendly. They loved the pelleted feed from TSC. Even better was dry alfalfa hay or a sweet feed (molasses coated pellet mixture) or sunflower seeds. Develop a call that you use just for the sheep and feed them when they come to you, then you'll be able to move them around easily.

    The best organic feed is New Country Organics sheep feed, if you have access to it.

    As for nutrition, make sure they have a loose sheep mineral available to them free choice and they will do better on all kinds of feed, be it forage, hay, and/or grain.
     
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  5. Aug 11, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    My pastures are not linked to the front pasture and night pen. I move my sheep by calling them in a high shriek, SHEEP! SHEEP! SHEEP! Prepare to be run over! LOL I buy the All Stock pellets at TSC and give them some every evening to get them in the night pen. To move them to another pasture, I get a coffee can with a little feed in it, shake it while calling, and pour it in a pan in whatever pasture i am moving them to. I open the gate and they race to the pan of feed, I go close the gate. I used to open their gate and walk with them shaking the can. This was not optimal as they tried to climb on me to get the feed and they ran ahead, checked the pan and ran back to me complaining loudly.
     
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  6. Aug 11, 2017
    Mike CHS

    Mike CHS Herd Master

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    We are in our first year with sheep and we were told to give new moms some feed twice a day and the rest of the flock gets some feed every few days to keep them coming when I call. I feed the flock in a different spot than the new moms and it only takes a few days for them to know when they can come in. We do that mostly for the lambs to get some decent growth that 1st two months and the ewes some extra protein while the lambs are heavy nursing. My Border Collie keeps the sheep out until he lets them pass so I don't get mobbed (which they do when the dog isn't there).

    A little bit of feed goes a long way in making them easy to handle especially if you have to take them out of a gate to go to another pen.
     
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  7. Aug 13, 2017 at 12:20 PM
    WolfeMomma

    WolfeMomma Chillin' with the herd

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    Thank you everyone for the replies! I will be sure to ask the previous owners what they are feeding them, and to make sure the switch is gradual :)