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General sheep thread

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,497 ✭✭✭rangler1


    I fed straw and ration the last 2 years I was lambing... cos twas handier more than anything...

    My facilities would not be as nice for either man nor beast as ranglers ;)

    I used to throw in a round bale of straw into the pen with the ewes and they would eat what they wanted, twould take care of feed and bedding for a few days... bales would want to be bales right tho, if not they'd fall apart too quick and you'd go through the straw too quick...

    Cos I was at work, I could only feed em twice a day. 0.5kg morn and eve.
    First year I used to feed them outside where they were penned, so I could put out the ration and then added extra soya bean on top to up the protein %

    Last year, I fed em in the pen, so twas just ration, no soya...
    Lambing went very well, but the ewes were thinner than I'd like after lambing. But I didn't want to go over 0.5kg in one feed...

    But, twas only for very small numbers...

    Might be worth your while to feed the twins 1kg/day for the last six weeks if you thought they were thin at lambing, in effect they'd be getting the same amount as I use in the last 6 weeks, just not peaking at 1.25kg at lambing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,134 ✭✭✭Sami23


    It is approx 6 weeks from lambing ye would recommend vaccinating with Heptavac or Covexin 10.
    Thanks
    Usually do that but no harm asking what others do


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,237 ✭✭✭Username John


    rangler1 wrote: »
    Might be worth your while to feed the twins 1kg/day for the last six weeks if you thought they were thin at lambing, in effect they'd be getting the same amount as I use in the last 6 weeks, just not peaking at 1.25kg at lambing.

    Nothing lambing here this year Rangler... so no feeding worries...

    Couldn't justify the time spent lambing, at least not in the short term... Miss it a bit (which is maybe a strange thing to say) :( But hopefully we might lamb a few again in a few years... ;)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,497 ✭✭✭rangler1


    Sami23 wrote: »
    It is approx 6 weeks from lambing ye would recommend vaccinating with Heptavac or Covexin 10.
    Thanks
    Usually do that but no harm asking what others do

    heptavac p+ probably the best as it covers the common diseases as well as pasturella pnuemonia,
    We've had a few cases of a clostridial disease called sardellii which heptavac doesn't cover,so we've had to change to covexin 10 but also had to use Ovipast to cover for Pnuemonia as well which is a pain


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,077 ✭✭✭AntrimGlens


    Nothing lambing here this year Rangler... so no feeding worries...

    Couldn't justify the time spent lambing, at least not in the short term... Miss it a bit (which is maybe a strange thing to say) :( But hopefully we might lamb a few again in a few years... ;)

    Hi Username John, did you buy in ewe lambs to replace the ewes and run over as dry hoggs?
    Same as yourself I sold the ewes out in the back end also, kept two of the pedigrees and bought in a few hundred mule ewe lambs to run and sell as hoggs.
    Brought them off the hill on Saturday past and they've stretched out since they got their second fluke dose. Opened the first bales of silage for them on tuesday and was strange not to be worrying about scanning rates and targeting silage to litter size. I do miss the real interest in that side of things and trying to up my game, but the upside was that i got to spend the whole of Christmas with the family worry free and have nearly got the whole place fenced as i want it, instead of running round like a blue arsed fly, as the day job has been manic and will be for another couple of years.

    If work calms down in a few years and i get my sheep house up, i'll probably get back into lambing as i'll always have the hoggs to put a ram too, but we'll say how Brexit plays out first.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 633 ✭✭✭Jonny303


    rangler1 wrote: »
    It's an ideal system for the likes of myself that likes an easy life, also suits someone that hasn't many ewes as using silage for a small amount of ewes isn't easy....nor is buying hay good enough for sheep,
    Also very clean near a dwelling,

    You wouldn't recommend hay for sheep? Or you wouldn't recommend bought in hay?


  • Registered Users Posts: 633 ✭✭✭Jonny303


    rangler1 wrote: »
    Don't know but i used to feed 10 pedigree vendeens in 16ft and they were big sheep, probably not as wide as suffolk though.

    If you look at the ewes in the tunnel at the far end, you'll see they're eating out of walkthrough troughs at right angles to the feeding passage, they're 12 ft long and i can throw the meal from the feeding passage....can you put some in to your setup

    https://us.v-cdn.net/6034073/uploads/attachments/704803/404610.JPG

    Our layout was a disaster this year. Seemed OK at first, but found harder to spot ewes going off on their own due to the narrow pens. Walking through the walkthrough feeder was like running the gauntlet, and then when we started lambing you had to train as a hurdler as we started adding in pens into the main pens either side.

    Shed 1 is what we have

    Shed 2 is what I am thinking of changing too next week

    What would you think?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,633 ✭✭✭✭Buford T. Justice XIX


    Jonny303 wrote: »
    You wouldn't recommend hay for sheep? Or you wouldn't recommend bought in hay?

    I think he was saying it's difficult to get hay good enough for lambing ewes, a lot is left go too strong to be good enough for ewes


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,237 ✭✭✭Username John


    Hi Username John, did you buy in ewe lambs to replace the ewes and run over as dry hoggs?
    Same as yourself I sold the ewes out in the back end also, kept two of the pedigrees and bought in a few hundred mule ewe lambs to run and sell as hoggs.
    Brought them off the hill on Saturday past and they've stretched out since they got their second fluke dose. Opened the first bales of silage for them on tuesday and was strange not to be worrying about scanning rates and targeting silage to litter size. I do miss the real interest in that side of things and trying to up my game, but the upside was that i got to spend the whole of Christmas with the family worry free and have nearly got the whole place fenced as i want it, instead of running round like a blue arsed fly, as the day job has been manic and will be for another couple of years.

    If work calms down in a few years and i get my sheep house up, i'll probably get back into lambing as i'll always have the hoggs to put a ram too, but we'll say how Brexit plays out first.

    Pretty much the same as that Antrim :)

    Bought some ewe lambs last August, plan to sell em next August... make my fortune ;):):(

    Well, except in far, far smaller numbers than a few hundred... Its still only a hobby farm really for me... ;)

    The main drivers for me were
    1) Time - new addition due to the family in 3 weeks. :D
    2) Financial return - as twas a hobby, there wasn't much to show for the time put in
    3) Opportunity cost - as I used to take some time off for lambing, I was losing through not being paid in full-time work (or using holidays, which goes back to the time item) but also not making a whole pile from lambing...

    Having said all that, I would like to be able to go back in a few years, when am not so caught for time... I think when the kids are a bit older, having a few lambs around is good... But we'll see how we go...


  • Registered Users Posts: 633 ✭✭✭Jonny303


    I think he was saying it's difficult to get hay good enough for lambing ewes, a lot is left go too strong to be good enough for ewes

    I'm someone who really needs to improve my knowledge of all things nutrient. Would straw be better than hay? Or is rangler getting all his nutrients through the meal and only roughage through the straw?

    I have, what I class as good hay. But im purely going off smell and the ewes reaction to it being put out. They are getting their fair share of meal as well


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,225 ✭✭✭charolais0153


    Jonny303 wrote: »
    I'm someone who really needs to improve my knowledge of all things nutrient. Would straw be better than hay? Or is rangler getting all his nutrients through the meal and only roughage through the straw?

    I have, what I class as good hay. But im purely going off smell and the ewes reaction to it being put out. They are getting their fair share of meal as well
    The ewes will tell you everything you need to know about quality


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,134 ✭✭✭Sami23


    rangler1 wrote: »
    Sami23 wrote: »
    It is approx 6 weeks from lambing ye would recommend vaccinating with Heptavac or Covexin 10.
    Thanks
    Usually do that but no harm asking what others do

    heptavac p+ probably the best as it covers the common diseases as well as pasturella pnuemonia,
    We've had a few cases of a clostridial disease called sardellii which heptavac doesn't cover,so we've had to change to covexin 10 but also had to use Ovipast to cover for Pnuemonia as well which is a pain

    Yes it's Heptavac P+ they will be getting but was just enquiring is 6 weeks from lambing the optimum time to vaccinate


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,497 ✭✭✭rangler1


    Jonny303 wrote: »
    I'm someone who really needs to improve my knowledge of all things nutrient. Would straw be better than hay? Or is rangler getting all his nutrients through the meal and only roughage through the straw?

    I have, what I class as good hay. But im purely going off smell and the ewes reaction to it being put out. They are getting their fair share of meal as well

    Ewes love the straw here too, but it's still only roughage, all nutrition has to come in the meal, good hay is way better than straw, but some hay is left grow too long and there's no leaf in it
    Some of my pens in another shed are like your shed, the pens are 22ft by 15 with a 14 inch wide walk through up the middle. The pens themselves are only 6ft 6 deep by 22ft long and hold 13 sheep either side of the trough ......so the 22 by 15ft bay holds 26 sheep,


  • Registered Users Posts: 435 ✭✭stantheman1979


    Our pens are the mesh slats 7ft wide by 35ft long. They eat ad-lib cropped silage and their meal along the front.Each pen holds about 25 ewes. Ewes are shorn though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,867 ✭✭✭Sheep breeder


    We had first lamb today and are due on Saturday when they were sponged,we are feeding a 20 per cent ration with soya as main protein source and baled haylage/silage to the ewes of good barley straw bed, the ewes are eating straw a lot this year, we had to give up on wheaten straw as the ewes would go mad for it.
    When ewes lamb they go fodder beet and meal for a month and then out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,005 ✭✭✭Green farmer


    Jonny303 wrote: »

    Shed 1 is what we have

    Shed 2 is what I am thinking of changing too next week

    What would you think?


    I've a open 4 span shed with each span 62ft x 25 ft, so similar size to your drawing. For the first few years I lambed in one span but last year I used two. Anyway what workes for me after loads of tweeking is dividing the shed in half ie two big 25ft x 30ft pens. ( similar to your option 2) I then seperate the flock singles and doubles. I run the lambing pens right down at each side of the centre division. Then put 1 ring feeder in the middle of each big pen. Found putting it in corners restricts the amount of sheep able to feed. Also set up 2 water troughs in middle so accessible each side. Having plenty of lambing gates to tweet things helps also.


  • Registered Users Posts: 633 ✭✭✭Jonny303


    Was thinking the lambing pens down the side then running wavin pipes on the purlins and cutting gaps as water troughs. Spent the whole week at Christmas carting water around....


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,315 ✭✭✭razor8


    We had first lamb today and are due on Saturday when they were sponged,we are feeding a 20 per cent ration with soya as main protein source and baled haylage/silage to the ewes of good barley straw bed, the ewes are eating straw a lot this year, we had to give up on wheaten straw as the ewes would go mad for it.
    When ewes lamb they go fodder beet and meal for a month and then out.

    Do you mind me asking where you buy your meal, paid €345 a tonne for bags last year for ration with soya as second main ingredient


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,005 ✭✭✭Green farmer


    Jonny303 wrote: »
    Was thinking the lambing pens down the side then running wavin pipes on the purlins and cutting gaps as water troughs. Spent the whole week at Christmas carting water around....

    It's a personal taste thing really, whatever suits yourself. I just put them down the middle as their accessible from either side and can be easily adjusted if more singles or doubles lamb at a certain time etc.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 53 ✭✭Dylan collins


    i farm good land and a good bit of bog land how many sheep/cattle would i need to make a living full time just wondering


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,225 ✭✭✭charolais0153


    i farm good land and a good bit of bog land how many sheep/cattle would i need to make a living full time just wondering

    Depends on so many factors. How many acres of each
    Personal-mortgage etc.
    Breeds of animal
    Type of animal.
    How good a farmer you are ,grassland management,mortality rates, etc


    I'd say 35cows and 250 ewes would give a hood teturn


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,748 ✭✭✭ganmo


    Using ranglers he put up last week of €30 per ewe divide what you'd call a 'good' return by that


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 740 ✭✭✭IH784man


    €40 was it not


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 53 ✭✭Dylan collins


    i gave my lambs cobalt b12 at the weekend would they need any more minerals or not


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,748 ✭✭✭ganmo


    i gave my lambs cobalt b12 at the weekend would they need any more minerals or not

    Maybe a bit of copper depending on breed and ground.

    Def not if they're texels


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 53 ✭✭Dylan collins


    any man know what that sheep netting is like


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,497 ✭✭✭rangler1


    any man know what that sheep netting is like

    I used it a lot in the past, used to save up grass through the autumn and strip graze the sheep on it through the winter.
    It's expensive but it's very secure and quick to put up,
    You need good earths on the electric fencer and good shock in the fence


  • Registered Users Posts: 409 ✭✭390kid


    any man know what that sheep netting is like
    Found it good enough need lots a power in the fence. Pain in the arse wen it's tangled


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 740 ✭✭✭IH784man


    Have a small shed that has to be cleaned out by hand,what's the best option for bedding ewes and cleaning out by hand straw,wood shavings,wood chips or a mix of 2?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭case5130


    390kid wrote: »
    Found it good enough need lots a power in the fence. Pain in the arse wen it's tangled

    I just use three strands and a reelers and a good battery fencer no problem


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