Fodder beet no concentrates.

That time of year again when I am shocked at the amount of concentrates the ewes have gone through.

Plenty of big early lambs that will no doubt cover the costs, but get tired of hauling the snacker round 7 fields every morning to feed ewes.

I currently have mules but as mentioned in other threads they are going down the road this summer and will replace with something less hungry and troublesome.

I am wondering what people would do with the resources I have at hand.

Land is permenant pasture and there is always a bit of grass for the ewes through the winter.

Make haylage which smells great and the ewes love it but its off old leys so definitely not rocket fuel.

Also grow 25 acres of fodder beet for the cattle which is stored under cover so it doesn't rot with the frost and there is always plenty spare.

I have been feeding mules a step up to 1kg at lambing, and for as long after until there is proper grass.

Easycares are not an issue as they live of grass, haylage and tubs nearer lambing time and so far haven't had any disasters.

But I still like hedging my bets with conventional ewes to get lambs away earlier and support the markets locally.

Also like lambing inside in March as we get harsh weather up here and I can lamb 2 or 300 on my own and keep a handle on everything.

Looking at Aberfield Cross ewes and have a chance at some NZ suffolks out of Aberfield.

With all of the above considered what would you guys suggest would be the best way to proceed.

Does fodder beet and tubs run the risk of more prolapses and guts out in the ewes pre lambing. Have an issue with this but its usually when they are on beet and I start feeding rolls.

Happy to feed rolls in the shed but would love to be able to get a system where they go out of the shed and can milk lambs on fodder beet and tubs.

Previously used molassess and so have all the feeders and tanks if that is an option.

Just looking to save on concentrate at £300+ a tonne and not have ewes standing at every gate waiting to be fed from January until May, not to mention the wear and tear on the Can Am towing the snacker 7 miles a day and burning petrol
 

Sheep92

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ireland
You need to get sheep off your ground for 100 to 120 days be that by housing, outwintering on a forage crop like fodder Beet, a sacrifice field, or away to winter grazing.
I house all my ewes for this reason from 1st December onwards and have great covers of grass over the whole farm for lambing onto,
No concentrates is fed after turnout. .
Used to take winter grazing which is not an option now
Housing sheep isn't cheap but neither is the loss of land from sowing a crop on a non arable farm
I try to make good quality pit silage most ewes are housed on slats.
Takes very little concentrates mainly soya and minerals to build up protein
 
We run texel, Suffolk cross on grazed fodder beet with buckets from December until end of March. You get your share of prolapses and guts out but some years worse than others. I always think they hold condition well and milk well on beet.
 
We run texel, Suffolk cross on grazed fodder beet with buckets from December until end of March. You get your share of prolapses and guts out but some years worse than others. I always think they hold condition well and milk well on beet.
My worry is prolapses but one person says its the beet and the next says its feeding and another says its steep hills and another says its too little exercise.

I don't have an option to graze it so would all be fed out to them.
 

MJT

Member
Think the most important thing for you to make sure you to do is give your grass fields a rest . A lot of ours are shut up from start/mid November until lambing end of March, ensures there’s a fresh bite, and when the soil warms up it really kicks on, as they say grass grows grass so a fair bit of leaf already there really helps it get going .

If they’ve got grass to go out on when they’ve lambed there should be no need for feeding after . As for fodder beet causing prolapses, I had a
Couple prolapse this time, but I put it down to I was a day late in moving the electric fence so they forged themselves when I did move it.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
My worry is prolapses but one person says its the beet and the next says its feeding and another says its steep hills and another says its too little exercise.

I don't have an option to graze it so would all be fed out to them.

They’re all talking bollox tbh. Ask ten people what causes prolapses and you’ll get 10 different answers.

We get a few, like everyone does (just lambed one now in fact), but no more having wintered them on beet than on any other system we’ve used.

Why can’t you graze the beet?
 
It is all lifted for the cattle in November, and then ploughed and sown for wheat if the weather allows.

The prolapses are annoying but generally I get them all lambed OK, it's the exploding guts that annoy me. I probably overfed the ewes as they lambed 3 weeks later than expected and caused a bit of that myself.

Once lambed if the fields are littered with beet out of the forklift bucket and they had tubs or liquid molassess would this work or do they struggle to get enough protein.

It's the job that I hate most is going into fields of young lambs every morning and trying to get rolls in front of every ewe with lambs going everywhere.

The Easycares seem to manage fine with no concentrates, my issue is that mules seem to need fed or they get thin or stop milking.
 
I am the bottom of the farm pyramid being the youngest so the cattle and arable get what they want when they want and the sheep have to fit around that.

I am hoping the Aberfield Cross ewes and NZ Suffolks out of Aberfield may be able to do better without concentrates.

I'd happily accept a lower lamb price for less feeding and hassle of getting the feeding out.

Happy to feed up to lambing but once they are out it would be great to just let them get on with it.
 
I used fodder beet last year for the first time. Seemed to do the ewes alright up until they went onto their lambing fields in combination with some (pretty ordinary) red clover silage to boost protein. Combines well with fresh spring grass as lifts energy levels against all that protein.
Proceed with caution though. There was an interesting bit on the 'pasture pod' podcast with Graham Lofthouse, a very sharp operator. He had tried it and moved away from it, lacking protein was the issue, I think?
 
I used fodder beet last year for the first time. Seemed to do the ewes alright up until they went onto their lambing fields in combination with some (pretty ordinary) red clover silage to boost protein. Combines well with fresh spring grass as lifts energy levels against all that protein.
Proceed with caution though. There was an interesting bit on the 'pasture pod' podcast with Graham Lofthouse, a very sharp operator. He had tried it and moved away from it, lacking protein was the issue, I think?
We have grazed it for the last 10 years and find they milk very well on it. Also can sustain a lot of sheep acre for acre. No twin lamb either
 
I used fodder beet last year for the first time. Seemed to do the ewes alright up until they went onto their lambing fields in combination with some (pretty ordinary) red clover silage to boost protein. Combines well with fresh spring grass as lifts energy levels against all that protein.
Proceed with caution though. There was an interesting bit on the 'pasture pod' podcast with Graham Lofthouse, a very sharp operator. He had tried it and moved away from it, lacking protein was the issue, I think?
Yep Beet is low in protein hence why I was asking about molasses or tubs.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I used fodder beet last year for the first time. Seemed to do the ewes alright up until they went onto their lambing fields in combination with some (pretty ordinary) red clover silage to boost protein. Combines well with fresh spring grass as lifts energy levels against all that protein.
Proceed with caution though. There was an interesting bit on the 'pasture pod' podcast with Graham Lofthouse, a very sharp operator. He had tried it and moved away from it, lacking protein was the issue, I think?

Iirc he was grazing it, then lost all the tops (where the protein is) in a frost, making for a very protein deficient crop.

We’re still learning how to grow better grazing crops of beet, and how to manage it best.
 

aangus

Member
Location
cumbria
You need to get sheep off your ground for 100 to 120 days be that by housing, outwintering on a forage crop like fodder Beet, a sacrifice field, or away to winter grazing.
I house all my ewes for this reason from 1st December onwards and have great covers of grass over the whole farm for lambing onto,
No concentrates is fed after turnout. .
Used to take winter grazing which is not an option now
Housing sheep isn't cheap but neither is the loss of land from sowing a crop on a non arable farm
I try to make good quality pit silage most ewes are housed on slats.
Takes very little concentrates mainly soya and minerals to build up protein
When will you start to feed concentrates?
 

Sheep92

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ireland
When will you start to feed concentrates?
This year, twins got it 3 wks out from lambing , singles 1 week 3s and 4s and anything a bit thin get a small bit from scanning built up to .5 kg, if I was turning them out to lamb outside I'd probably get away with out nearly any at all and that probably will be the plan for the future
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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