Feed blocks

Hillbilly21

Member
Livestock Farmer
We currently feed rumenco high energy blocks on the hills, but we find a lot uneaten and that the sheep are in bad condition this year, what is everyone else feeding and has anyone else had a similar issue?
 

Jameshenry

Member
Location
Cornwall
I've had trouble with buckets that sheep haven't hardly touched, ( they'll be going back to supplier) had to switch over to rumevites, but they aren't taking them as quick as i'd like
 

Y Fan Wen

Member
Location
N W Snowdonia
Most of my problems were down to the dry cold spell. The feeding surface dries out and isn't so palatable. Years ago a technical rep told me to turn the block over every time I went past as it would be slightly softer underneath. I do that and it does work.
The worse problem was that I couldn't get hold of another pallet of super with fish oil and had to go back to HE in the middle of lambing.
In future I'm going to keep more stock in hand.
 

Y Fan Wen

Member
Location
N W Snowdonia
I've had trouble with buckets that sheep haven't hardly touched, ( they'll be going back to supplier) had to switch over to rumevites, but they aren't taking them as quick as i'd like
In discussions on blocks on TFF the constant complaint is excessive consumption! In the 40 years Dad and I have been using them it has never happened to us. When I think back to the days when we used to get 15 tons+ of blocks out onto the mountain every year, I really don't know how we did it!
 

Jameshenry

Member
Location
Cornwall
In discussions on blocks on TFF the constant complaint is excessive consumption! In the 40 years Dad and I have been using them it has never happened to us. When I think back to the days when we used to get 15 tons+ of blocks out onto the mountain every year, I really don't know how we did it!
My sheep definetley aren't spoilt exactly, although not overly stocked this spring there is sod all grass about, it's not just me a neighbour/ friend of mine has had the same buckets and his sheep aren't taking them either,
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
In discussions on blocks on TFF the constant complaint is excessive consumption! In the 40 years Dad and I have been using them it has never happened to us. When I think back to the days when we used to get 15 tons+ of blocks out onto the mountain every year, I really don't know how we did it!
How many ewes? Sounds like they were eating them!! Mineral blocks cost me under £1/ewe scanning with 70% twins and 10% triplets.
 
My ewes are often lean coming lambing time and they get everything under the sun. Silage, lick and cake. They are fit but never fat unless there yeld. I think l would need to feed them after the new year till April and that's not happening. Some times you wonder what's in company's ewe cake.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
My ewes are often lean coming lambing time and they get everything under the sun. Silage, lick and cake. They are fit but never fat unless there yeld. I think l would need to feed them after the new year till April and that's not happening. Some times you wonder what's in company's ewe cake.

Errr, don’t you know what’s in the ewe cake that you’re paying near £300/t for?
 

Y Fan Wen

Member
Location
N W Snowdonia
How many ewes? Sounds like they were eating them!! Mineral blocks cost me under £1/ewe scanning with 70% twins and 10% triplets.
It always seemed to work out at about .5 blocks per head for the season or about 100gm/day. Of course I would have expected only about 20% twins and 80-90% average, nothing like your output. In those days there was no scanning so they just took their chances.
 

Longlowdog

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Low ground (200m) here, I feed what ever vit' and min' bucket is cheapest till 6 weeks prior to lambing then switch to Lifeline round flat blocks outside then Lifeline buckets for last 2 weeks. Round flats are softer and encourage more eating at each passing of the block then the harder buckets slow them down when they are inside and bored and would otherwise demolish the flat ones. This is Aberdeenshire, buckets never dry out but they are often full of treacle soup.
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
Most of my problems were down to the dry cold spell. The feeding surface dries out and isn't so palatable. Years ago a technical rep told me to turn the block over every time I went past as it would be slightly softer underneath. I do that and it does work.
The worse problem was that I couldn't get hold of another pallet of super with fish oil and had to go back to HE in the middle of lambing.
In future I'm going to keep more stock in hand.
Our few hill sheep have had Downland blocks for the last two years. They've certainly not eaten what I expected. We've had another dry, cold lambing season with a lot of dry, cold east winds.

What you say about them drying out is very true. Turning them over also exposes a another edge that they can gnaw at.

The ewes and lambs have come back through the lambing park this week on their way back to the moor. The bits of blocks that are left about have had a good soaking of rain recently and it's very noticeable that they are eating them now. Even the lambs are having a go.
 

Danllan

Member
Location
Sir Gar / Carms
Tried blocks one year and found the ewes wouldn't touch them, crystalyx since.
Odd, a neighbour with easycares like mine finds no problem with blocks - mine won't touch them. For a few years I've given them Wynnstay's Premier Energy licks, the ones in a gold box. Very pleased with these, they don't get through them too quickly, the stuff isn't washed away by rain, and they do well on them.

Errr, don’t you know what’s in the ewe cake that you’re paying near £300/t for?
There's often a difference between knowing what's on the label and knowing what's in the feed... (y) :(
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
There's often a difference between knowing what's on the label and knowing what's in the feed... (y) :(

True, but that’s down to farmers not bothering to ask, or try to understand. If everyone put a bit more effort into knowing what they’re spending a lot of money on, then the ‘least cost’ feed mills wouldn’t get away with putting the likes of feather meal or oat meal in!

A lot still just buy a ration based on being the cheapest, and of a declared CP. feather and bones is high protein, but bugger all use in a diet.
 

Danllan

Member
Location
Sir Gar / Carms
True, but that’s down to farmers not bothering to ask, or try to understand. If everyone put a bit more effort into knowing what they’re spending a lot of money on, then the ‘least cost’ feed mills wouldn’t get away with putting the likes of feather meal or oat meal in!

A lot still just buy a ration based on being the cheapest, and of a declared CP. feather and bones is high protein, but bugger all use in a diet.
All true, and I think it leaves room for a different style of labeling being mandatory. If the whole side of a box or sack, bag or what have you had the ingredients emblazoned on it in easily legible print, manufacturers would probably be more careful about what they include.
 

Y Fan Wen

Member
Location
N W Snowdonia
Tried blocks one year and found the ewes wouldn't touch them, crystalyx since.
One year a rep nobbled Dad and he bought a ton of min blocks. The flock showed absolutely no interest in them. I scattered them all out on the hill on the assumption that whatever was in them would at least leach out into the ground and maybe upgrade the forage around them.
30+ years later they are still there, mostly moss covered mounds in the landscape. Survived rain, frost, snow and sun with no deterioration!
 

Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

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Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

Written by Lisa Applin

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In July, we opened the applications window for farmers to join our Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is 1 of the 3 new environmental land management schemes. It sits alongside the future Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery schemes.

Through the Sustainable Farming Incentive, farmers will be paid for environmentally sustainable actions – ones that are simple to do and do not require previous agri-environment scheme experience.

We are piloting the scheme to...
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