To feed or not

spark_28

Member
Location
Western isles
Have 43 sheep out at the ram just now in the Croft, weathers been shite condition is dropping off them and I'm unsure what to do next. 23 are gimmers and 20 will be on their second lamb.

Last years lot were in pretty poor nick at scanning but I fed them well, they all lambed (159%) and reared their lambs with no problems, lost one lamb 2 weeks before weaning.

Have hill area that has miles and miles of grazing and shelter, do I chuck them out onto that, feed occasionally and pull them back in after scanning and feed then or do i keep them locked up and feed more right through.

Their all lleyn ewes so not very big. There is fudge all grass in the crofts. It's that wet I'm leaning towards booting them out onto the hill, if condition drops then so be it I'll pick them back up after scanning
 

Sprig

Member
If they were mine I would be chucking them out on the hill and letting them get on with it (but keeping an eye on them, obviously), but I am not an expert!
 

Agrivator

Member
Have you checked their fluke and worm status?

But as Skintagain says, put them on the hill and, if you can afford to, get some Feed Blocks. You won't be able to socialise this year, so you won't need to buy any whisky. And if you're a Wee Free Member, you'll have nothing else to spend your money on anyway.

And in future, buy some proper sheep.
 
Last edited:

glensman

Member
Location
North Antrim
Have you checked their fluke and worm status?

But as Skintagain says, put them on the hill and, if you can afford to, get some Feed Blocks. You won't be able to socialise this year, so you won't need to buy any whisky. And if you're a Wee Free Member, you'll have nothing else to spend your money on anyway.

And in future, buy some proper sheep.
Indeed, sheep with good skins and fleshing ability, just in case he wasn't sure what you meant.
 

spark_28

Member
Location
Western isles
Have you checked their fluke and worm status?

But as Skintagain says, put them on the hill and, if you can afford to, get some Feed Blocks. You won't be able to socialise this year, so you won't need to buy any whisky. And if you're a Wee Free Member, you'll have nothing else to spend your money on anyway.

And in future, buy some proper sheep.
Agrivator/insinuator/bullshitter
 

spark_28

Member
Location
Western isles
Lleyns are far too soft for your ground, I tried them and they where a disaster, and everyone else that has tried them in these parts says the exact same thing! you would almost have to stick them in a shed if you want them to hold condition, I would get rid and buy some decent cheviots👍
Do they have to hold condition though if they can be picked up like I did last year and still have a pretty good lambing percentage. I’ve tupped them with a ram that’s scanned ‘very fat’ these sheep are just the foundation to build a flock, not going to happen over night
 

johnspeehs

Member
Location
Co Antrim
Kick them back out to the hill, atleast they will have dry footing, if there is plenty of grass on it they will be grand, they have youth on their side. Fluke, worm, maybe mineral dose what harm can they come to?.
 
Do they have to hold condition though if they can be picked up like I did last year and still have a pretty good lambing percentage. I’ve tupped them with a ram that’s scanned ‘very fat’ these sheep are just the foundation to build a flock, not going to happen over night
Understand it will take time for you to breed sheep that will do on your ground, and to be fair they did produce a good crop of lambs, but I will be very surprised if they do it this year.

I would say a ewe has to hold condition in our parts, with the cost of feed etc and the longer you keep the feed bag away the better! But if your happy to feed them hard from now on, then fair enough. Do you condition score your ewes?

I Would give them the works, and then let them go too the hill, best place for ewes at this time of year, give them some buckets that are high in urea to help them utilise the rough forage. If it fails at least you know not to do the same thing next year.
 

spark_28

Member
Location
Western isles
Understand it will take time for you to breed sheep that will do on your ground, and to be fair they did produce a good crop of lambs, but I will be very surprised if they do it this year.

I would say a ewe has to hold condition in our parts, with the cost of feed etc and the longer you keep the feed bag away the better! But if your happy to feed them hard from now on, then fair enough. Do you condition score your ewes?

I Would give them the works, and then let them go too the hill, best place for ewes at this time of year, give them some buckets that are high in urea to help them utilise the rough forage. If it fails at least you know not to do the same thing next year.
i wholeheartedly agree about a ewe holding condition in these parts nd keeping the feed bag away for alslong as possible. Paying 340 for a tonne of harbro 18%. And the winters are only getting worse. Im lambing too early too, due to start early April and that isnt helping. Been a bit un organised as my hands were tied a bit with certain things but im want to push to a late April may lambing and utilise the hill ground alot more. I have no dog jsut now and over doubled my numbers so have been a bit put off using the hill.. My aim is to get my numbers up asap with the sheep ive got then ruthlessly cull the bad ones.
 

glensman

Member
Location
North Antrim
Lleyns are far too soft for your ground, I tried them and they where a disaster, and everyone else that has tried them in these parts says the exact same thing! you would almost have to stick them in a shed if you want them to hold condition, I would get rid and buy some decent cheviots
I'm not surprised you had that experience, a cheviot is a hill sheep that has been bred and selected to survive and thrive in that environment for many decades. Lleyn are more of an in bye/lowland ewe depending on their size. That said it would be be perfectly possible to select sheep within the breed that would survive in your conditions but why do it when the cheviot already has that base covered. A better idea would be to select a lleyn tup of a type that pleased you and cross it with the bottom end of your cheviots to produce a productive easy care ewe for your in bye ground or for sale.
 

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Open Letter: Response to Eat Balanced Campaign on Social Media

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Letter to the Editor

January 2021

Have you seen the exciting new AHDB ‘We Eat Balanced’ £1.5 million marketing campaign launched on January 4? Anyone watching social media over the past two weeks won’t be surprised its stimulated debate with huge support, outrage, passion and enthusiasm all stirred up.

We want to inject balance into the debate about red meat and dairy – to start having a different national conversation and put farming’s voice out there. The campaign is being run across TV, print and in retail as well as social media, so millions of consumers will have the opportunity to see it. We know 98 per cent of households enjoy meat and dairy but some are looking to reduce, and this is who our campaign speaks to.

Farmers and consumers alike have congratulated us for airing...
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