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Feeding requirements during drought.

Sheep will not eat as wide a variety of roughage or as poor a quality of roughage as will cattle. However, on pasture sheep will consume different feeds readily and, if hungry, may eat poisonous weeds as well.

An ewe needs at least one pound of roughage a day to keep her digestive system functioning normally. Increase this to 1 1/2 pounds of heavy barley or feed-wheat during early pregnancy and 2 1/2 pounds during late pregnancy. Conception rates are better and ewes have more lambs if they are gaining weight during the breeding season. So, for flushing on low roughage, give each ewe one pound of good, whole grain daily.

As well as roughage, ewes need adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals and a good, clean supply of water. Breeding ewes may need 10,000 to 15,000 I.U of vitamin A and 1,000 to1,500 IU of vitamin D per head per day. Pregnant ewes need abut 5,000 I.U. of vitamin A and 500 I.U. of vitamin D each, daily. Allow 5 I.U.of vitamin E for each pound of feed for sheep.

The mineral mixture for sheep should supply salt, calcium, phosphorus, iodine and cobalt. Sheep are sensitive to excess copper. Choose a supplement with little if any copper, if you are in an area where the soil has enough copper.

Always make sure sheep have enough water. When they don't have water, they cut down on how much they eat.


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This page was last updated on December 09, 2007