When and How Should Supplementary Sheep Feeding be Done?
There comes a time when pastures and stubbles are lacking energy and protein content which is why supplementary sheep feeding must be done. Through the help of supplementary feeding, sheep can maintain its growth by receiving the needed amount of protein and energy on a daily basis.
Generally speaking, supplementary feed is considered as the supply of additional feed usually grain, silage and hay. For example, in Western Australia during the late summer and autumn, supplementary feeding becomes the main substitution as pasture and stubbles do not have the needed levels of proteins and energy. Since supplementary feeding aims to meet the nutritional requirements of different types of sheep, you must buy seeds and grain that are quality and ones that contain the most essential nutrients. For those of you who are growing sheep for meat production, it is best to consult with a veterinarian or with the store's experts in order to choose the right ratio quality and the level of energy and protein in the precise type of supplement.
Supplementary sheep feeding is also done for improving the use of existing dry pasture where dry pasture is non-limiting. What's more, you should also buy seeds and grain to improve the production of meat and wool in order to achieve the target. The use of this substitution food is also needed for reducing the grazing pressure on establishing pastures to ensure the needed rate of pasture growth until wintertime.
The general rules for feed budgeting at any time of the year can vary. That is why you need to calculate the projected feed requirements for a given period of the year, as well as to estimate the projected feed availability for that specific period. In case the requirements of food are higher than the available one, then you should determine how much supplementary feed is needed.
As we already mentioned, protein requirements can vary with the sate of the sheep. For example, pregnant or lactating ewes and weaner lambs might need 15% protein. Growing adult sheep might need about 12% of protein while 9% protein is needed for survival.
If this is a new way of feeding sheep, feed them every day. After a while, you can start feeding the sheep differently. For example, dry sheep should be feed with this type of food once or twice a week. Ewes in late pregnancy or lambing should be feed every second day, lactating ewes should be fed twice a week while early weaned lambs should be feed every second day until they reach about 20kg.
Last edited: 18/06/2019
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