Today we will talk about the proper nutrition for your sheep. Sheep get most of their nutritional needs from the following in no particular order:
Hay is a good source of food for feeding sheep especially when pasture is readily available. This usually happens when the weather is not suitable for grazing or the animals are just kept in a barn for a period of time. Hay may come in different forms but experts agree that if you are to feed hay to your sheep delineate the type of hay you will feed them Mixed hay composed of grass, legumes and other herbaceous plants like second-cutting or mixed grass types are cheaper when your sheep are under gestation period. You must reserve the higher quality type of hay like Alfalfa hay for lactating ewes since it promotes better milk production and contains a high concentration of protein and calcium. Be sure that your hay stack is free from mold and must.
Silage is a succulent variety of fodder for sheep. It is composed mainly of plant material from corn, oats and others and kept in a silo covered by plastic. Its moisture content is high and a good source nutrient for your sheep. The lactic acid that builds up during its production serves as a preservative for your stock supply. In feeding sheep, do not serve frozen or moldy silage to your flock and throw away those that do not pass your quality inspection.
Grains are used for supplemental nutrition in the whole diet plan of your sheep herd. Corn, soybean as well as oat, sorghum and wheat are used extensively for grain feeding. As a meal replacement each type of grain has its nutritional value at the top of the chain are corns and soybean. To help you choose which grain is best for you try to figure in the costs of each grain choice and from there you can make an assessment.
Pasture is the main and staple source of food for your sheep. Having a good supply of pasture in fact is enough to meet the needs of your sheep with respect to their nutritional requirements. The ideal pasture would be composed of leafy vegetation no more than six inches tall. Over seeding clover during winter on your pasture will ensure that the forage in your area is sufficient come grazing season. When you start feeding sheep or grazing you will notice that not all areas have enough pasture to graze on.
All these available food sources should be supplemented with minerals and salts so that your sheep flock will have better performance in late pregnancy.
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Article Posted: August 16, 2012