Fattening lambs off grass

Anyone do this on a fairly large scale? Will be for around 2000 lambs.
Turnips will be possibly out of the loop.
Any pointers for what seed mix to drill after rape either short term or longer term leys. I'm guessing the short term leys I could graze this autumn?
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
If you can’t do brassicas, it’s a job to beat ProtoPlus (& similar mixes from elsewhere) as a short term crop, or a ryegrass/red clover mix fora bit longer term. Better still if you can include regrowing brassicas, but maybe not an option.
 
If you can’t do brassicas, it’s a job to beat ProtoPlus (& similar mixes from elsewhere) as a short term crop, or a ryegrass/red clover mix fora bit longer term. Better still if you can include regrowing brassicas, but maybe not an option.
Trouble getting dry ground and also people don't want turnips if rape in the rotation.
Plan b is to be more self sufficient and grow something on our wetter ground which isn't that suited to turnips.
 

Anymulewilldo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cheshire
Trouble getting dry ground and also people don't want turnips if rape in the rotation.
Plan b is to be more self sufficient and grow something on our wetter ground which isn't that suited to turnips.
Or grazing in mid Jan through too March! I know what you mean, it’s like that at home. I’ve given up growing here and let the boys on the sand do it for me.
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
Trouble getting dry ground and also people don't want turnips if rape in the rotation.
Plan b is to be more self sufficient and grow something on our wetter ground which isn't that suited to turnips.
Some of the best Feed I’ve had ewe lambs grow on and go fat on is forward winter barley grazed down in January/February to take out diseased leaves. Could oats or rye be put in ultra cheaply? DeepTillRadish as a cover crop?
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Trouble getting dry ground and also people don't want turnips if rape in the rotation.
Plan b is to be more self sufficient and grow something on our wetter ground which isn't that suited to turnips.

I’ve never seen weaned lambs motor like they do on those grass & clover mixes. Regrowing brassicas in those mixes makes them even better ime, but means you can’t take bales off as well.

Not much good in the winter though, unless as deferred grazing to hold them I suppose?

If you have sheds available, there’s a lot to be said for pushing as many as you can on those crops, then housing the rest on hoppers. Yes it costs, but they put a lot of weight on, kill out much better, and fodder crops aren’t grown for nothing.
Any of my remaining smaller lambs that get put on turnips get forgotten until April. Way to muddy to ‘finish’ lambs, or market them, over Dec-March on roots here. May be different in drier areas and lighter soils of course.
 

cattleman123

Member
Location
devon
Been moving lambs off grass again today, I say grass. Moving lambs off brown shite could be more accurate. Same again tomorrow too!
Yep i am run in smaller bunches...an old boy told me many years ago 100 sheep in a bunch on the Blackdown Hills is enough....how correct he is,it turns to mud in no time and as you say you cant see the grass...learnt that over the years to spread em out
 

Anymulewilldo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cheshire
Yep i am run in smaller bunches...an old boy told me many years ago 100 sheep in a bunch on the Blackdown Hills is enough....how correct he is,it turns to mud in no time and as you say you cant see the grass...learnt that over the years to spread em out
I do…. Then I get too mid October and think “sh!t where can I put this last 1000 lambs?!” So every nicely spaced bunch get another 100-150 dropped off for good measure… ☺️
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
Yep i am run in smaller bunches...an old boy told me many years ago 100 sheep in a bunch on the Blackdown Hills is enough....how correct he is,it turns to mud in no time and as you say you cant see the grass...learnt that over the years to spread em out
They do so much better in smaller groups, if I have 100 that are standing still and not gaining I’ll split them into 2-3 bunches and they’ll do far better!! I know of someone who runs 1,000 head groups and nothing looks well or ever fattens. I do have the advantage of small fields though
 

Anymulewilldo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cheshire
They do so much better in smaller groups, if I have 100 that are standing still and not gaining I’ll split them into 2-3 bunches and they’ll do far better!! I know of someone who runs 1,000 head groups and nothing looks well or ever fattens. I do have the advantage of small fields though
Field size is lots too do with it in the winter definitely. Todays and tomorrows lambs have been on 2 100 acre blocks of ring fenced grass. So they get on a bit thick. Plenty of smaller pieces only get a hundred or even just a deck full
 
Location
Ceredigion
Anyone do this on a fairly large scale? Will be for around 2000 lambs.
Turnips will be possibly out of the loop.
Any pointers for what seed mix to drill after rape either short term or longer term leys. I'm guessing the short term leys I could graze this autumn?
How late do you want to fatten , Red Clover is fantastic but not if it's for late winter use , but then grass won't do much in late winter either ,
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Sell them as stores and just produce more lambs!
If you have some new leys then finish the biggest and heaviest just to make you realise how well you have done by selling stores.

You say that, but the guys that bought those expensive store lambs have been doing alright out of them this year (so far), even if they were put in a shed for finishing. Assuming they’re not putting a shed up especially of course…
 

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
They do so much better in smaller groups, if I have 100 that are standing still and not gaining I’ll split them into 2-3 bunches and they’ll do far better!! I know of someone who runs 1,000 head groups and nothing looks well or ever fattens. I do have the advantage of small fields though

What is the optimum mob size for finishing lambs?
 

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