1. BYH Official Poll: What are the things that you should consider before buying herds?
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  2. Nice to see some Back Yard Chickens members here. Let's feature one this week. - Featured Thread
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Dismiss Notice
  4. BYH Picture of the Week (POW) - Submit your Pics Now !!
    Click HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)
    Dismiss Notice

Weight/muscle gain

Discussion in 'Feeding Time - Sheep' started by WolfeMomma, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. Jul 8, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    13,970
    Likes Received:
    30,260
    Trophy Points:
    763
    Location:
    Northeast Texas
    Why do you prefer ewes in the 100-120 pound range over the larger ewes?
     
    B&B Happy goats likes this.
  2. Jul 8, 2019
    Mike CHS

    Mike CHS Herd Master Golden Herd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    20,348
    Trophy Points:
    663
    Location:
    Southern Middle TN
    They tend to have lambs in the 6 to 8 pound range where our larger ewes have huge lambs that don't grow any faster than the smaller ones unless they are singles. The smaller lambs usually catch up at about the 3 month point.
     
    B&B Happy goats, Ridgetop and Baymule like this.
  3. Jul 8, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    13,970
    Likes Received:
    30,260
    Trophy Points:
    763
    Location:
    Northeast Texas
    That makes sense.
     
    Mike CHS likes this.
  4. Jul 10, 2019
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    2,699
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Location:
    Shadow Hills, CA
    Your ewe looks to be in good body condition I agree with Baymule that genetics produces muscling. Is she a White Dorper or a Katahdin or a cross of those breeds?

    She is a very long ewe and that is a big plus. I like this ewe as a brood ewe because of her length. The best and priciest cuts are along the loin which is the area on either side of the spine between the rearmost rib and the front of the hip. The next cut you want to look at is the leg and when selecting for leg muscling you want to feel that the muscle (meat) goes down the leg to the twist. This ewe does not seem to have a lot of muscling in her hear leg, but it could be the way she is standing in the picture. She is a very nice starter ewe and should give you long loined lambs.

    By breeding her to a thick muscled ram with a good rear leg and a level topline over the hip, you can improve her lambs (and your flock). By keeping the best of them and continuing to breed to rams with excellent muscling you will eventually end up with a thickly muscled flock. There is a big difference between fat and muscle. Running her up and down hills will not change her genetic coding, no matter how much it builds up her muscles. Running lambs up and down hils to bud muscle is ok for show lambs going to fair but is unnecessary for this ewe.

    I would not put her on a show lamb concentrate feed since this will put on too much fat. A good brood ewe should not be too fat or she will have trouble conceiving and ovulating. The perfect body condition score to breed ewes is 3.5. you can find a lot of information on line about how to judge body condition.

    I would stop using the show lamb supplement right away. It is too hot a feed for a ewe you are raising as a brood ewe. Depending on the breed - I am assuming she is either a White Dorper or Katahdin - go to a lower energy supplement. She is on good pasture with free fed Timothy so I would probably just feed a rolled barley corn or some rolled oats and not too much of that. Oats keeps weight down but puts on hard flesh.

    If she is a white Dorper or Katahdin, those breeds were bred to grow, breed, lamb, and raise their lambs on a lower nutrient pasture or forage with no additional grain or supplement. Overfeeding them can result in overly fat sheep. Since she has been wormed, is in great shape, and is a yearling, I would breed her now to your ram and at the end of 5 months and 5 days enjoy her lambs! Depending on the condition of your pasture when she lambs, you can give her a little grain for her lactation, but I would be careful not to feed too much grain. Be sure to vaccinate her before breeding.
     
    B&B Happy goats and WolfeMomma like this.
  5. Jul 10, 2019
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    2,699
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Location:
    Shadow Hills, CA
    I prefer a smaller sheep too. The tendency in many popular registered breeds is to make them larger and larger until they lose the ability to flourish on less feed and harder territory. It takes more feed to maintain the taller sheep and there is really no meat below the knee! Except for the fact that sheep need to be able to cover territory to graze, I would be happy if they had legs like Dachshunds! :lol:
     
    B&B Happy goats likes this.
  6. Jul 12, 2019 at 8:47 AM
    WolfeMomma

    WolfeMomma Loving the herd life

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    390
    Trophy Points:
    143
    Location:
    Maine
    She is purebred 100% Katahdin, she actually comes from some pretty good show lines, which is why we bought her.
    This is her last year showing, and she was under weight before, which is why I started her on The show lamb 18% feed. It came highly recommended which is why I decided to try it.
    We have already lessend the amount of grain she is on, I am wondering if this is why she all the sudden has an uneven udder....maybe fat deposits. It happened not to long after I switched her to the show lamb feed.
    Thank you so much for all your input :) I will look up more information on body condition ect.
     
    B&B Happy goats and Ridgetop like this.
  7. Jul 12, 2019 at 9:16 AM
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    2,699
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Location:
    Shadow Hills, CA
    Show lamb feed is good for raising younger lambs. I have used it in the past in my lamb creeps. Remember that the higher the protein level, the less fat it produces. Show lamb feed is designed to put on flesh without fat for the show ring. Check the various feed combinations that are available from your feed company on line - a lot of them are only available special order. Your local store will be happy to order them for you if you want them. You might find one that is designed for pregnancy and lactation. Since you have had her on a higher protein supplement, you don't even need to flush her before breeding. She is a nice ewe, can't wait to see pix of her lambs.

    How did she do in the show ring? Did you show her as a lamb as well as a yearling? I think it is silly that sheep ewes are only allowed to show until they are yearlings while goat can show until they die of old age. They even have classes for old does! What is your ram like?
     
    WolfeMomma likes this.
  8. Jul 12, 2019 at 10:58 AM
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape Herd Master

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1,385
    Likes Received:
    2,104
    Trophy Points:
    313
    ? So only very young sheep can be shown? Over here (across the pond) we can show sheep pretty much at any age, though very old sheep are a rarity. There are lots of categories too, Yearling ewe/ram, Ewe with lamb at foot, Breeding ewe....aged 2 or over who has had a lamb or lambs in that year, Senior Ram...aged over 2 (a very popular category of big, muscular fellows),Trios (ram and 2 ewes) etc etc. Good to see the full range of sheep in their peak condition (shampooed, combed, trimmed with nail scissors, hooves polished(!) etc.) All halter trained and led out into the show ring with their heads held up high......not even the tiniest head butt to be seen (well, not too often anyway).

    Just a thought....and I'm pretty sure I'll be wrong....there aren't any growth adjuvants in the feed to promote rapid growth? (unlikely, but hormone derivatives used to be used in animal feed, though they're banned now, I believe)
     
    B&B Happy goats and Baymule like this.
  9. Jul 12, 2019 at 12:37 PM
    WolfeMomma

    WolfeMomma Loving the herd life

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    390
    Trophy Points:
    143
    Location:
    Maine
    She has done ok, we didn't show her as a lamb. We got her later in the year. She did ok, she placed top 5 but it was her first time, and my sons first time. She has more this summer. I agree, I think they should be able to show longer.
    I love our ram, we are showing him as well.
    He is 5 months old, his sire is a two time national champion so hopefully he does ok. We really like him so far.
    64409753_2295682093986171_3498767534272806912_n.png
     
    B&B Happy goats and Baymule like this.
  10. Jul 12, 2019 at 12:44 PM
    WolfeMomma

    WolfeMomma Loving the herd life

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    390
    Trophy Points:
    143
    Location:
    Maine
    Its not the feed. I just had the vet out. Im thinking our new ewe lamb was nursing on her :barnie
    we are going to cut her grain down, and try to dry her up.
     
    B&B Happy goats likes this.