In order to get the best wool, it’s essential for you to have a proper diet in place to feed your sheep. However, depending upon the geographical location, the ideal diet may differ a lot.
Now the sheep farmers who own a small land will find it difficult to raise sheeps as compared to the ones who own acres of land. And, mind you, with the land even the way a sheep farmer feeds might also be different.
A sheep is a herbivore, meaning it feeds on plants. Like every other animal, a sheep requires the right amount of nutrition that contributes to its body growth, energy and its wool producing capability. Therefore, it is necessary that you feed your sheep with a proper diet and in turn obtain the best wool from them.
You should have an idea as to what you should be feeding your sheep, the type of grazing and concentrate pasture. Always replace the pasture with a quality hay, if it is not available; though, bear in mind that quality of hay depends upon the weather.
Moreover, if the pasture is cut too early or late, the nutrition level would vary vastly. So, make sure you’re maintaining a consistent level of nutrition, as the variations may lead to ruminants problems.
Also, if you are looking forward to changing your sheep’s diet, ensure you are making changes to it gradually and not overnight, as sudden changes may lead to life-threatening problems in the rumen or may even lead to your sheep getting bloated.
Speaking of sheeps, we’ve mentioned two ways to improve their diet and we’re sure they’ll help you produce the best wool!
Add grains to their normal diet
By adding grains to the grass and hay of your sheep, you can increase their diet’s nutrition level. And guess what… if the pasture quality is poor, this practice can come to your rescue!
Some farmers add grains during winter, as that is the time when they usually feed their sheeps with hay. But it is advised that you add whole grains and not the processed ones, as whole grains still hold their nutrition and oils.
On the other hand, though whole grains can be a rich source of nutrition, a diet only with whole grains may lead to rumen inflammation. So, if you don’t find good pasture, feed quality hay to your sheep.
Buy a premixed feed
If you own a large farm and a lot of pasture with grazing sheep all over, you may have to mix your grains for supplemental feeding. A farmer who owns a small sheep herd may have to buy a premixed feed from a retail feed store. If you are looking forward to buying a premixed feed, do check the nutrition label, as all sheep feeds are not manufactured in order to increase the wool production.
Furthermore, avoid a premixed feed that contains copper, as it is toxic for your sheep. A lot of premixed feeds for cattle and goat contains copper, so keep an eye on that nutrition label. Normally, goats can tolerate a moderate intake of copper, but a toxicity buildup may lead to death.
An exception here will be fibre producing goats like Angora and Pygora breeds, as they cannot tolerate copper intake.
And while you are looking out for copper, take a look at the total digestible nutrients (TDN) mentioned in the label. This is the amount of nutrition that your sheep gets from the feed and is listed in percentages.
Also feed them other essential nutrients
Along with good quality pasture, you will also need fresh hay, whole grains, vitamins, minerals and clean water that will contribute to a good wool. The same goes for other wool producing animals like Alpaca, Llamas and Angora goats as well.
Make sure you are feeding your sheeps the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, other essential vitamins and minerals to keep their health in check. If you have no idea on what should be an ideal diet for your sheep, seek a professional advice by visiting a vet nearby.
While you are preparing a good diet for your sheep, be ready with quality sheep clippers that will help you shear down that wool in a quick and efficient manner. Remember, a good input will always give you a good output.
So, ensure you are giving your sheeps a nutrition rich diet if you expect a good wool from them. We also hope the above article helped you understand the basics of a good diet for your sheep.