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Unit 10: Sheep Feeding. Chapter 10. Unit 10: Sheep Feeding. Unit 10 Objectives: Outline life-cycle feeding programs for sheep Knowledge of nutrient needs and additive options Understand nutrient related diseases and disorders. Unit 10: Sheep Feeding.

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unit 10 sheep feeding1
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
  • Unit 10 Objectives:
    • Outline life-cycle feeding programs for sheep
    • Knowledge of nutrient needs and additive options
    • Understand nutrient related diseases and disorders
unit 10 sheep feeding2
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
  • Largest single cost of production in all types of sheep operations
  • Must support optimum production, promote efficiency, be economical to feed, minimize metabolic problems
  • Breeding Flock
    • Ewes are most important to sheep operations
      • Produce wool
      • Raise lambs
      • Both greatly influenced by nutrition
unit 10 sheep feeding3
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
  • Genetics are important, but the feeding program is crucial
  • Sheep producers can realize more income over investment than all other meat animal producers
  • Recommended flock size is 100 or more ewes, minimum of 35 (1 ram)
  • Choosing a Lambing System
    • Early Lambing (Jan-Feb)
      • Lamb prices are highest in May & June when most early lambs can be marketed
      • More labor available to tend to the flock
unit 10 sheep feeding4
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
    • Parasite problems are less and less severe
    • Stocking rate can be higher
    • Don’t need expensive facilities
  • Late Lambing (Mar-Apr)
    • Roughages can provide most of feed for ewes and lambs
    • Lambing facilities don’t need to be as good for early lambs
    • Less care and management needed before and during breeding season for good conception
    • Lambs can be marketed w/out feeding much concentrate
    • Lamb prices are substantially lower in fall & early winter
unit 10 sheep feeding5
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
      • High quality pastures are a must
      • Parasite control is critical, risk for infestation is high
  • Feed Requirements
    • 1 ewe and her lambs
      • 4 bu grain & 800 lbs of hay/yr
      • 5-6 mos good pasture grazing, 2 mos winter pasture (or 800 lb more hay)
    • Poor quality hay = more grain supplementation
  • Feeding for Maintenance
    • Mature ewes (3-8 yrs)
      • Feed enough to maintain physiological function from weaning until 15 wks gestation
      • Prevent weight loss in previous lactation
unit 10 sheep feeding6
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
      • Pasture is adequate for maintaining ewes, if good quality is available
  • Feeding & Care at Breeding Time
    • Remove ewes from pasture ~2 wks before breeding season
      • Some research indicates hormone interferences with reproductive success while on legume pastures
    • Begin to condition the ewes in order to bring them into breeding about the same time and shorten lambing window
unit 10 sheep feeding7
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
  • Feeding after Breeding
    • Gestation = 147-150d
    • First 3.5 mos
      • Maintain body condition with good pasture and/or hay
    • Last 1.5 mos
      • Poor care at this point can result in:
        • Lambing paralysis or pregnancy disease
        • Weak lambs
        • Drop in milk production
        • Low wool clip
        • Light wool clip
      • Energy requirements are increasing during this period
        • Protein, min/vit as well
unit 10 sheep feeding8
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
        • Rations may vary due to time of lambing
  • Pasture Ewe Nutrition
    • Present and previous stocking rate of pasture greatly affects nutritional content
      • Overgrazed pastures are unproductive and unpalatable
    • Pasture forages
      • Grass plants
        • Utilize a mixture of cool/warm season grasses
      • Legumes
        • Can provide higher protein source than mature grasses
unit 10 sheep feeding9
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
    • Pasture supplementation
      • Depends on condition of the pasture
      • May have to supplement:
        • Energy, CP, P, Vit A, water
      • Use care to not increase cost too much
  • Pregnancy Disease
    • Lambing Paralysis or Ketosis
    • Caused by lack of usable CHO’s
    • Usually affects older ewes (especially those carrying twins/triplets)
    • Most cases occur with ewes in poor condition
    • Acetone smell on the breath, lagging behind flock, staggering, paralysis
unit 10 sheep feeding10
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
    • Prevention
      • Increase energy content prior to lambing
      • Maintain proper body condition
    • Treatment
      • Administer molasses, propylene glycol, or dextrose solution
      • If exhibited by a group of ewes, add ¼ to ½ lb of molasses to diet
  • Feeding the Lactating Ewe
    • Nutritional requirements are 2-3x greater than maintenance
    • Ewes w/ twin lambs produce 20-40% more milk than singles, nutritional requirements adjust accordingly
unit 10 sheep feeding11
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
  • Milk production peaks ~2-3 wks after lambing and lasts until ~8th wk
  • Milk production of 3-6+ lbs daily
  • Milk provides primary source of nutrition for lambs for 1st mo or 2
  • Don’t force the ewe to eat right away after lambing
    • Provide lots of clean/fresh water
    • Little bit of feed
    • Increase slowly about day 3
  • Splitting the amount fed/feeding decreases acidosis
    • Nursing 1 lamb = feed 1x/d
    • Nursing 2 lambs = feed 2x/d etc.
unit 10 sheep feeding12
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
      • Ensure proper mineral supplementation
  • Feeding Lambs
    • New life
      • Must nurse w/in first hr
        • Most do w/in 30 min
        • Ensure proper antibody transfer to ewe to lamb
        • Consume at least 6-8 oz of colostrum
        • Bottle feed, if necessary
      • Largest portion of lamb loss due to starvation in 1st wk
        • Orphan lambs, milk production problems, etc.
        • Triplets, and weak lambs
unit 10 sheep feeding13
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
    • Using milk replacer
      • Should switch quickly after birth
      • House in clean/dry area w/ other lambs
      • Goal is ½ to 1 lb milk replacer consumption/d
        • 2 feedings
      • Wean ~3wks to reduce feeding cost and increase rate of gain in the lamb
    • Access to dry feed & water
  • Feeding Market Lambs
    • Early lambs
      • Healthy lambs will begin eating dry feed at 10d of age
      • Creep feeding is recommended to increase weaning wts
unit 10 sheep feeding14
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
  • Weaning
    • 25lb wt at 25-30 d artificially reared
      • 18-19% CP diet fully fortified until 50lb BW
    • Lambs normally reared – no weaning necessary as ewe takes care of it ~40lbs
    • Reduce stress
    • Maximizing gain & conversions
      • 10-16% CP diets
      • Should gain rapidly & efficiently until 75-100lbs (especially crossbred lambs)
      • After 100lbs BW, reduce to 13-14% CP diet to save cost
    • Some producers will feed the same feed from creep until ~100lbs BW
      • Simplifies feeding
      • ~15% CP diets
unit 10 sheep feeding15
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
  • For grow/finish lambs: shelled corn, hay, and supplement
  • BMP’s
    • Start lambs on complete pellet to ensure intake
    • Vaccinate for enterotoxemia 2x
    • Make gradual ration changes (7-10d)
    • Feed 2x/d at regular times
    • Feed high quality hay
    • >12” bunk space/lamb
    • Free choice salt, plenty of water
unit 10 sheep feeding16
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
  • Feeding methods
    • Self-feeding
      • Saves labor
      • Increases the grain feeding amount
    • Hand-feeding
      • Feed 2x/d
      • Easily identify lambs not eating/sick
      • Most used method when feeding silage
    • Pasture
      • Several options – can use early, then finish lambs on grain; pasture until finished
      • Takes longer to finish lambs on 100% pasture
unit 10 sheep feeding17
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
        • Reduces cost/lb gain
      • Keep rations vit fortified to reduce diseases, improve immune response
    • Late lambs
      • Good pasture is key
      • Top lambs can be marketed right off pasture
      • remaining lambs can be fed
  • Enterotoxemia in Nursing Lambs
    • Overeating disease
    • Usually affects the largest, fastest gaining lambs
unit 10 sheep feeding18
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
    • Clostridium perfringens bacteria
    • Treat w/ antitoxin
      • Effective for 2-3 wks
    • Vaccination effective for 5-6 mos
      • Some vaccinate ewes 1 mo before lambing
      • Vaccinate early weaning lambs 2x prior to weaning
      • Vaccinate older lambs when moving
  • Feeding Replacement Ewe Lambs
    • Breeding ewes as lambs to lamb at 1 yr of age (7-8 mos old)
unit 10 sheep feeding19
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
  • Advantages
    • Gets ewes in production sooner
    • Shortens generation interval, increases genetic progress
    • Increases lifetime production
    • Identifies most productive ewes
    • Keep replacement lambs off possible finished-type diets
  • Control diet to minimize over conditioning
unit 10 sheep feeding20
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
  • Miscellaneous
    • Urea
      • Can be fed up to 1.5% of diet
      • Don’t use in creep rations, range rations, lamb rations w/ low energy
      • Grow/finish only
      • Mix carefully
    • Additives & implants
      • Chlorotet/Oxytet in creep rations for nursing lambs & finishing rations improves gain & efficiency
        • Best response under stress conditions
        • Be aware of feeding rates
unit 10 sheep feeding21
Unit 10: Sheep Feeding
  • Bovatec for Coccidiosis control
  • Ralgro
    • Results inconsistent
    • 3-5% improvement in gains in nursing & feeder lambs
  • Ammonium sulfate or chloride
    • .5% inclusion minimizes urinary calculi