Feeding cull ewes

Sold a third of the cull ewes shortly after weaning. Went through them again a couple of weeks ago and struggled to find another third to sell. The final third, plus a few extras pulled out before tupping are now getting fed a mixture of lamb finisher blend and leftover ewe rolls and seem to be responding quite well.

This made me think, would I just be better feeding the leaner culls in August when grass is at a premium and save three months grazing? And if so, what would be a cost-effective ration?
 
I just sell them cull off grass during the summer, I prefer to cull them when they're still strong as opposed to leaving them until they are too old and broken down to fatten easily.
Making that call at the right time is important to avoid extra costs, but then I'm generally too miserable to feed much in the way of concentrate to stock.

I find the earlier in the year cull ewes (and cows) are gone the better as it helps to build up grass for the autumn.
 

Electricfencer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cotswolds
I just sell them cull off grass during the summer, I prefer to cull them when they're still strong as opposed to leaving them until they are too old and broken down to fatten easily.
Making that call at the right time is important to avoid extra costs, but then I'm generally too miserable to feed much in the way of concentrate to stock.

I find the earlier in the year cull ewes (and cows) are gone the better as it helps to build up grass for the autumn.
I get rid of all my ewes at 5 crop with lambs, but like you I like to get rid of culls early in the summer, some times will even wean the culls 4 weeks early to make sure they put a bit on before they go. But probably don't make enough from them but always glad to see them gone.
 
I just sell them cull off grass during the summer, I prefer to cull them when they're still strong as opposed to leaving them until they are too old and broken down to fatten easily.
Making that call at the right time is important to avoid extra costs, but then I'm generally too miserable to feed much in the way of concentrate to stock.

I find the earlier in the year cull ewes (and cows) are gone the better as it helps to build up grass for the autumn.
I'm right with you on most of that. I just don't want to cull ewes of good genetic merit when I can get another crop of lambs from them.
 

Anymulewilldo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cheshire
Ewes fatten like buggery off beet pulp. Doesn’t need too be dear fancy feed. Especially those old toothless hill ewes. I went through our feeding ewes and pulled the 25 very old lean ones that would just die outside. Put them in on good hay and SBP. Very impressed how fast they are fleshing out. (Apart from the 1 fecking swale, that died) as you say, bit of hard feed is better than knackerman bill!!
 
Ewes fatten like buggery off beet pulp. Doesn’t need too be dear fancy feed. Especially those old toothless hill ewes. I went through our feeding ewes and pulled the 25 very old lean ones that would just die outside. Put them in on good hay and SBP. Very impressed how fast they are fleshing out. (Apart from the 1 fecking swale, that died) as you say, bit of hard feed is better than knackerman bill!!
We had about 100 old welsh plain grannies that were too embarrassing to take to market, probably £4 value. Shut them in with just second cut red clover silage for six weeks and sold 50 for £45 each. Sold another 25 for £40 following week and 15 the same the week after. The last ones had been in for 10 weeks and were worth no more than the day they went in so off to market but didn't stand by the pen😉. If old age is their main problem,no feed will improve them they just don't convert it
 

egbert

Member
I just sell them cull off grass during the summer, I prefer to cull them when they're still strong as opposed to leaving them until they are too old and broken down to fatten easily.
Making that call at the right time is important to avoid extra costs, but then I'm generally too miserable to feed much in the way of concentrate to stock.

I find the earlier in the year cull ewes (and cows) are gone the better as it helps to build up grass for the autumn.
I recall one of the Icelandic Saga heroes was considered a very shrewd man, as he could judge just which sheep to kill from the flock before winter came.....
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I pulled a bunch of thin (mostly yearlings) & cull ewes out at weaning and gave them a bit of hard feed and access to liquid feed.
some piled flesh on and some hardly altered. The ones that piled it on then got turned out with the fattening lambs on good forage, where they continued to fatten. The ones that weren’t moving much got culled as they were, considering that they weren’t going to pay back for the feed.
When those fitter ones went, they averaged £80, against the thinner ones £50. Putting them in a shed on ad-Lib for a month, costing £10-15, would likely have paid in hindsight.

Incidentally, the culls in similar condition that were still in their fleeces averaged £15 more than those fit ones, despite the ewe buyers regularly grumbling about unshorn sheep in the culls…… not that that’s an option for the op.
 

Anymulewilldo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cheshire
We had about 100 old welsh plain grannies that were too embarrassing to take to market, probably £4 value. Shut them in with just second cut red clover silage for six weeks and sold 50 for £45 each. Sold another 25 for £40 following week and 15 the same the week after. The last ones had been in for 10 weeks and were worth no more than the day they went in so off to market but didn't stand by the pen😉. If old age is their main problem,no feed will improve them they just don't convert it
Some of them are just past it. Very true. Sounds like you had a good do with the rest of yours though! 👌👍
 
Ewes fatten like buggery off beet pulp. Doesn’t need too be dear fancy feed. Especially those old toothless hill ewes. I went through our feeding ewes and pulled the 25 very old lean ones that would just die outside. Put them in on good hay and SBP. Very impressed how fast they are fleshing out. (Apart from the 1 fecking swale, that died) as you say, bit of hard feed is better than knackerman bill!!
How much SBP are you feeding them?
 

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