Tips on home mixing sheep diets...

Home mixing of sheep diets is still a popular option. Farmers have two options for making their own ewe diets using home grown cereals.

Barley is the most cost-effective ingredient today but it is also the most dangerous if not fed correctly. Barley ferments rapidly in the rumen with gas and acid by-products. Sheep can blow up or suffer from these factors if this digestion and fermentation is not controlled. The simple rules are 1) no sheep should have more than 50% barley in their ration 2) Barley must be accompanied by sufficient oats or sugar beet to ensure its digestion is steady and safe. The following rations are both just over 17% protein ewe mixes which are safe and nutritious.

Barley 45% + Sugar beet or Oats 25% + Harpers 33% Sheep Concentrate Pellets 30% = 17% CP

Barley 50% + Harpers 25% Ewe Balancer Pellets 50% = 17.5% CP

These diets should be fed once a day if feeding up to 500g/head/day and twice a day when feeding more than 500g/head/day.

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