Usually, the nutritional needs of these animals are determined according to their age, size and physiological condition. Lactating sheep, pregnant or growing lambs need more nutrients. In some cases, phosphorus needs are more important in lactating sheep than non-lactating sheep.
Providing sufficient nutrients in the diet of sheep can lead to the following:
1. Sheep weight increase
2. High fertility
3. Low mortality
4. Reducing the risk of disease
5. Increasing the amount of milk
6. Faster growth
Different categories of feeding light livestock:
A: Feeding lambs and goats
B: Feeding female sheep and goats
1- Feeding during breastfeeding
2- Feeding during lambing
3- Feeding during pregnancy
4- Feeding during flushing mating
5- Feeding during drought
Sheep need a balanced diet containing energy (fat and carbohydrates), protein, vitamins, minerals and water.
At the time of birth of these animals, their nutritional needs can be met with mother’s milk, but in the future, nutritious foods should definitely be used for these animals. Livestock feed should not only be a stomach filler and only sheep should feel full after eating it, but it should be complete, easily digestible and palatable.
In order to feed Dedi sheep, we must pay attention to the fact that there are important points during their life cycle, which makes it important to feed them properly. Mating and pregnancy season are among these important points, because during pregnancy, sheep experience stress and tension. The relative solution for this issue is that it is possible to improve the reproductive process in the herd with proper and rich nutrition.
In addition to helping the mother’s health, having proper nutrition also helps the lamb to develop more fully and strengthens the lamb’s immune system.
The cause of sheep anorexia:
• The low quality of the food and the nutritional value of the ration for livestock is not appropriate
• Excessive livestock density in a small environment
• Hot weather and lack of proper ventilation, including not using enough windows in the animal shelter
• Wounds and injuries in the animal’s body, which often occur due to inappropriate bedding and equipment such as mangers.
• Existence of high stress and not controlling the stress on animals
• Irregularity of ration timing
• Infectious and contagious diseases
•to have fever
What does sheep ration mean?
Food ration is the amount of fodder that is given to animals during the day and night according to a special formula so that they can produce milk or gain weight depending on their characteristics. In addition to satisfying food needs, livestock farmers and ration writers must also ensure the price and availability of ingredients necessary for preparing feed. As you know, about 70% of the costs of keeping sheep are related to the costs of providing fodder. This is the most important reason for preparing the right ration formula, taking into account the minimum price and to make animal husbandry work more economical.
In general, animal feed is prepared in three ways: fodder, concentrate and additives. To prepare sheep feed, the palatability of the components of the ration must be considered.
The amount of food consumed daily for sheep should be at least 1.5% of the body weight of these animals. It is better to remove old ewes and sheep with broken and incomplete teeth from the herd and use younger animals.
Foods that have the same nutritional value can be substituted for each other. Of course, this is best done with the opinion of a skilled ration writer. Often, due to the high cost of some components of the ration, the farmer is forced to remove this food item and it damages the nutritional value of the ration, but if this is done, damage can be prevented.
The most important points of light and heavy livestock rations in brief are:
1. Measuring livestock needs based on standard tables
2. Investigating the methods of reducing the total cost of rations with minimal loss of food quality
3. Considering the age of the animal and the weight of the animal
4. Knowing the limits and harmful food items that will lead to poisoning.
5. Increasing the economic efficiency of the ration by using cheap fodder and available feeds
6. Checking the palatability of ration for light or heavy livestock
7. Increasing the variety of items used in the ration as much as possible
8. Considering the weather and climatic conditions of each region
Energy supply in nutrition:
Sheep get the necessary energy from pastures, hay and seeds. If your sheep (dairy sheep) and fattening sheep do not receive enough energy, it will reduce reproduction, reduce meat production, reduce milk production, increase mortality and disease. The main sources of energy for sheep are alfalfa, barley, corn and wheat, which can be used to increase the energy level in feeding sheep.
When the amount of protein in the feed is low, sheep cannot maintain their weight, causing a decrease in body tissue to compensate for the protein. Low protein levels generally reduce growth, reproduction and lactation.
The main minerals that are important in feeding sheep are phosphorus, sulfur, calcium and salt. Small amounts of these minerals are needed to ensure that sheep are strong and healthy and produce good wool. Minerals play a significant role in the production of milk and meat, and a significant percentage of these substances are found in the skeletal structure of the animal body.
Sheep can get minerals from water sources and supplements if necessary. Also, salt has a significant effect on the nutrition of sheep. When the sheep does not receive enough salt, it generally consumes less food and water, produces less milk, and the animal’s growth is reduced.
Phosphorus deficiency causes slow growth of lambs, loss of appetite, abnormal appearance, insomnia, abnormal bone growth and poor performance in reproduction.
In total, about sixteen types of minerals should be considered in the ration of sheep. The amount of some of these substances such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium should be relatively higher than other substances.
As mentioned, the minerals needed by sheep play a significant role in maintaining the health and efficiency of the sheep’s body. Salt (sodium chloride) and selenium are naturally occurring minerals that sheep cannot adequately absorb from forage. Therefore, the use of various mineral supplements is considered very important.
Livestock farmers should be aware that if they do not absorb sufficient amounts of these substances, their animals will suffer from carnivores, which can be very dangerous and also lead to abortion in addition to the mentioned cases.
The role of copper in the diet of sheep:
Sheep need copper in their diets. Copper is a type of mineral that lack or increase in its percentage in the diet will cause problems. Its deficiency can cause disease and reduce the immune response of livestock. Its high consumption can also cause poisoning.
The ration prepared for sheep should include a sufficient percentage of fiber. Although fiber cannot be considered as a nutrient, its presence is important to maintain a balanced diet. If a ration has a sufficient amount of this substance, it helps the sheep to digest the food as much as possible.
Although vitamin deficiency rarely occurs in sheep, it is always necessary to pay attention to the feeding of sheep to receive these substances to maintain health. The most important vitamins are A, D, E and group B. Sheep can get vitamin A and vitamin E from green plant materials, hay and seeds, and vitamin D from sunlight and fresh and dry feed.
The lack of vitamins causes a decrease in the growth rate, a decrease in the reproduction rate, a weakening of the sheep’s immune system, etc., which should be taken into account.
The most important symptoms of reducing the amount of A in the diet of sheep:
According to researches, vitamin A plays an essential role in ensuring the health of animals such as sheep, and it is very important to consume it in the right amount.
This fat-soluble vitamin improves the performance of different parts of the sheep’s body in such a way that in case of lack of vitamin A in the diet, we will see adverse effects on the growth process of these beneficial animals. Basically, vitamin A, a type of which is also known as retinol, is supplied through a series of special chemical processes in the body.
Among the most important symptoms of vitamin A deficiency in sheep, the following can be mentioned:
Decreased desire to eat, causing weakness in the sheep’s immune system, reducing the growth rate of livestock, especially in the bone area of the body, appearance of skin complications such as shedding and roughening of the skin surface, increasing the risk of loss of flock members due to infection of various organs, increasing Stillbirth or birth of weak lambs, occurrence of vision problems such as night blindness and dry cornea, reduction of herd fertility, diarrhea and digestive problems.
Using a complete and balanced diet that contains all the nutritional needs of sheep, including mineral-vitamin supplements, is the only effective way to solve such problems in animal husbandry units.
Water is one of the most important daily requirements of sheep food. They need between 2.5 and 18 liters of water daily. The water should be clean and contain minimal chemicals. Water softens the forage and increases its digestibility.
It is recommended to check the water quality. Because in any case, there is a possibility that the water is contaminated with all kinds of bacteria and microbes, as well as a high percentage of harmful substances.
Another point that can be mentioned about the adequate and suitable diet for ewes is that this proper nutrition, in addition to increasing the fertility rate, causes nutrients to be stored in their bodies and can then provide them during lactation. transport your lambs.
The type of food consumed by sheep must contain probiotics. The richness of the feed with this type of substance will activate the immune system more, increase the metabolism of bile acids, etc.
In fact, probiotics (living organisms or life-giving substances) can play a significant role in making the diet as useful and nutritious as possible. Basically, probiotics will reduce livestock disease, increase growth rate, improve food conversion rate and maintain livestock health. These substances also strengthen the beneficial microorganisms in the digestive system.
Improving the digestive process of animal feed, improving the conversion rate, preventing acidosis and helping to treat digestive problems and diarrhea are other benefits of using probiotics in feeding sheep, cattle and goats. As mentioned, consumption of these substances is not only not harmful for all kinds of live animals, but also very useful and they help the metabolism of these animals a lot.
Quantity and quality of sheep feed:
Feeding sheep can be different according to the state of the animal, breed, weather conditions, but what is important is that the farmer has a regular and accurate evaluation of the quality and feed of the animal, which can be done by weighing and under Get the opinion of placing the condition of the herd.
One of the most important points in the field of proper and useful nutrition for sheep is the use of feed and fodder that provide the most important needs of the body of live animals. In this regard, the management of fattening costs should not be forgotten, but it should be used towards the use of resources that have the most benefits for sheep at the right price.
Feeding light livestock is generally easier than heavy livestock. The food ration of a sheep should be provided based on the standards, the daily needs of these animals in terms of weight maintenance, reproduction and lactation.
In order for the animals not to have digestive problems, always try to consider the same and complete food ration for the animals in a mixed form.
In addition to all the mentioned advantages, the right fodder also plays an important role in maintaining the health of the animal’s digestive system and preventing digestive disorders.
It is suggested to start feeding the sheep early in the morning. Sheep have the ability to distinguish between palatable and non-toxic forage and will not consume poisonous plants unless they are very hungry.
Always try to have at least some fodder in the sheep’s manger.
Avoid putting feed in a small manger.
Although increasing the amount of feed seems good and desirable, it can increase the risk of poisoning and abortion for ewes shortly before giving birth, so increasing the weight of the ewes at this time is not recommended.
The balance between the nutritional needs of a herd of live animals and the food that is provided to these animals is very important, so that if the food ration is not balanced, about one out of every three grain machines that enter the animal husbandry complex Its machine may be wasted among the manure that comes out of the animal husbandry.
What is the creep feeding diet?
Creep feeding system is a special food program for newborn and young lambs. By using this method, the rancher tries to use fodder and concentrate nutrients for the growth of these animals in addition to consuming mother’s milk. Creep feeding food program can be implemented in such a way that the young lamb should not be separated from its mother. Between the mother ewe and the lamb, fences with a height of about one meter and a width of 30 cm should be considered for one-way passage of the lamb towards the mother’s holding area.
In this system, from three weeks after birth, a mixture of fodder and powdered concentrate (starter) containing 18% protein will be provided to the lambs. The amount of this feed should be approximately 50 grams of concentrate and fodder mixture for each lamb.
Keep in mind that lambs are easily able to move to the ewes box for milking as well, and this feed should be placed in the lamb box. From the fourth week, this amount of concentrate increases to 100 grams per day, and from the fifth week onwards, until the thirteenth week, this program continues freely without restrictions in terms of weight until the animal’s appetite. Of course, the composition of this feed should consist of 80% concentrate and 20% fodder. If you follow all the tips of raising sheep well, usually in the thirteenth or fourteenth week, the weight of the flock lambs will reach something like 30 to 40 kg. In this weight range, these lambs are called milk drunk and have significant potential for fattening. When using the creep feeding system, in addition to feeding the lambs, the ewes should also be fed correctly and according to the appropriate diet.