Prepare the sheep for the winter crossing to the barn!

Photo: Farma Živadinović / Private archive

Successes in sheep breeding and sheep meat and milk production directly depend on the diet, food quality and the conditions in which sheep are raised. Proper nutrition of sheep is of great importance in sheep production, quality food also affects the productivity and health of sheep.

The transfer of sheep from the pasture to the stable diet must be gradual, because the sheep’s body is accustomed to fresh plant food during the grazing period.

The fresh grass that sheep use in their diet contains a little dry matter 15-25%, cellulose 3-7%, 1.5-2.5% minerals, so for these reasons fresh grass is easily digested. Food used for feeding in stable conditions is dry and has a different physical form and composition.

Foods used in the stable diet are: hay, silage, concentrates, etc. Hay and silage are bulky canned foods that have a different composition from green grass, the changes are most pronounced in alfalfa hay, because mechanical changes cause the loss of nutrients in hay up to 70%. For these reasons, the adjustment of sheep to the stable diet must be gradual and last 7-10 days.

The preparation consists in the sheep getting some hay in the first few days in the morning, and only then they are taken out to pasture, and at the end of the adjustment, hay is given for 2-3 days even after grazing. By gradually increasing the amount of hay in the diet, hay slowly becomes the main food for sheep, and then it stops grazing sheep. The success and quality of overwintering sheep depends on the quality of prepared food and its proper use.

When the food is good and of good quality, the sheep stay in good condition and can withstand the cold more easily, but they are sensitive to moisture in the sheepfold. In order for the facility to be ready and comfortable for sheep to stay, it is necessary to make preparations that consist of repairing the roof, walls, floors, manger, drinking trough or water trough, etc.

Due to the cold weather and winter, straw in the amount of 5 kg per square meter is spread on the floor of the building, which provides a thick layer of straw, which provides comfort and draws moisture, so there is less humid air in the sheepfold.
Before introducing sheep into the sheepfold, it is necessary to provide sufficient amounts of food. In addition to food, a sufficient amount of water must be provided, the water temperature should be 12-18 ° C. Water is best made available to sheep at will (drinkers, troughs).

Source: Bolja Zemlja by

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