Diet and feeding of sheep from A to Z


The question "what do sheep eat?", Of course, excites everyone who wants to have this animal. Let's say right away that keeping sheep at home is considered quite profitable. Animals can use a large amount of affordable and cheap feed. But what exactly, let's find out together from our material. Photos and videos will also be useful.

What do sheep eat?

As with most herbivores, the main type of sheep food is plant food. At the same time they consume a huge amount of herbs and plants, including weeds and even thorns. The only thing that experts advise is not to graze sheep in water meadows, as well as in swampy and forest pastures. For animals, mountain or steppe more arid grassy pastures are suitable.

The basis of forage at home for both females and sheep is hay and pasture grass. Sheep are very fond of small grass and bean hay, as well as many types of straw. Oat, millet and barley are better absorbed and give a good weight gain. Also as a top dressing it is good to add roots: pumpkin, potatoes, beets and carrots, zucchini and other melons and gourds.


Green fodder is the basis of the summer diet of sheep. Animals on grassy pastures can spend the whole day, without additional feedings. Fresh greens are nutritionally similar to high-quality concentrated foods. But the content of protein and vitamins even exceeds them.

However, it is worth remembering that closer to the end of summer, the grass already loses half of its useful substances and vitamins. Therefore, at this time it is advised to additionally feed animals with specially grown green cereal crops. For example, it can be oats, rye, winter wheat before earing. Perfect corn, alfalfa, peas.


By its nutritional value and usefulness, silage for sheep ranks second after fresh grass. His animals willingly eat, while increasing meat and dairy productivity. The daily rate of high-quality silage is 3-4 kg for one adult. As practice shows, corn silage mixed with coarse fodder or bean hay is best absorbed.


As with any livestock, hay is a versatile feed. The nutritional value of such food depends on the composition of herbs, as well as on the correctness of storage and harvesting. The best hay for sheep is forbs during flowering. See the photo.

Sheep love alfalfa hay. In addition, it contains a lot of protein, sugars and vitamins. Clover and hay pulses are also well suited. Per day of an adult individual, 2-4 kg of high-quality hay should be given.

Root and Gourds

This type of feed is not only useful, but also a favorite for sheep. Animals with great pleasure eat fodder beets, pumpkins, zucchini, carrots. At the same time, beets and carrots, being a coarse fiber, improve digestion. Vegetables saturate the body with essential vitamins and microelements.

Be sure to root crops and melons should be in the feeder of sugy and nursing females. It helps to increase milkiness and favorably affects the birth of healthy offspring. In addition, succulent cultures improve the quality of wool and increase nesting. From 2 to 4 kg of vegetables can be fed per day.

Concentrated feed

This group includes cereals (grain of oats, barley, wheat), legumes (peas, soybeans, vetch), bran, corn grain, cake. All these feeds contain a high amount of nutrients, as well as such irreplaceable substances as fats, protein, minerals, and starch. Concentrated feeds are indispensable for highly productive sheep. However, due to their considerable cost, they are used only as an additive to the main feed.

Sheep is best eaten by corn, but it contains little protein. Therefore, in addition to it, use legume feed. Cake can be given sunflower and soy. The daily rate of concentrates is 100-150 grams per adult. For a ram - 500-600 grams.


The feed is not very nutritious, however it is a good feeding in the stall period. It is best for feeding sheep the straw of legumes, as well as barley, oat and millet. Since straw consists mainly of coarse fiber, it can be given no more than 1 per day for the young, and no more than 2.5 kilograms for adults.

Diet and feeding rates

Sheep feeding rates are calculated depending on age, season, and also on the condition of animals (syagnost, lactation, fattening, etc.). In total, according to the livestock standard, there are 12 nutrients that must be present in any kind of diet. Of all the essential minerals, sheep need zinc, calcium, phosphorus and cobalt most.

Do not forget that the diet and feeding rates depend on the sex of the animal. For example, a ram needs a separate diet. Especially if it is used for tribal purposes. Consider options for rations in more detail.

Spring Diet

In the spring it is very important to transfer sheep from hay to green grass. Since the young herb is rich in vitamins and protein, it is well absorbed, but with a sharp transition can cause diarrhea. The first time is to put the sheep in the trough a little hay.

  • the basis of feeding is grass;
  • during the rest period - hay;
  • 300-700 grams of concentrates;
  • rock and mineral salt in the form of lizuntsa.

Summer diet

At this time, the sheep both day and night should receive green grass. In the daytime - on grazing, at night - freshly mown in the feeders.

  • the basis of feeding is grass (85-90%);
  • 100-200 grams of concentrates;
  • no more than 1 kg of hay;
  • salt.

Autumn diet

The grass is poor in nutrients in the fall, so the lack of vitamins is compensated for by hay, root crops, melons and gourds.

  • grass during pasture on pasture;
  • good hay (3 kg);
  • 3-4 kg of vegetables and root crops;
  • mineral salts.

Winter diet

  • base - benign hay (4 kg);
  • silo (4 kg);
  • 100-300 grams of feed;
  • apples, vegetables, melons (3-4 kg);
  • mineral salts.

Feeding queens

Sheep sheep should be given only high quality fresh feed. Approximately 4 weeks before the lambing, the hay cottage is reduced and the amount of feed increases. During this period, the queen feeder should be always full.

  • 300-500 grams of cereal hay;
  • 200-300 g of legume hay;
  • 500 g of straw;
  • juicy feed, vegetables (3-3,5 kg);
  • 300 g of concentrates;
  • 12-15 g of salt.

After lambing, the daily rate of hay is increased to 1 kilogram, succulent fodder - to 4 kg, concentrates - to 400-500 grams.

The diet of sheep-manufacturers

As we have said, the ram needs a separate diet. Throughout the year, the male must have a good fatness. In a non-random period, give:

  • 1.5-2 kg of hay;
  • 2-3 kg of succulent feed;
  • 500-600 grams of concentrates.

Approximately 2 months before mating, a sheep is transferred to more nutritious feed. And now, during the mating of an animal, they reduce the dose of fiber and give:

  • 1-1.5 kg of hay;
  • 0.8-1 kg of oats;
  • 200 grams of oilcake;
  • 100-200 g of bran;
  • 200-500 grams of vegetables;
  • 200 g of cottage cheese or 2 chicken eggs;
  • 10 g of salt.

Feeding little lambs and young

In the first 5 days, feeding of lambs is based on maternal colostrum. That it is an important basis for their further development and growth. Therefore, if the enveloped uterus is sick or dead, babies should immediately be placed on another lactating female. If the plant fails, the colostrum is replaced by cow's milk or a special mixture. Water first from the nipple 5 times a day, then gradually taught to drink from a bowl. By two months, babies should switch to 2 meals a day.

After weaning from the mother, the youngsters switch to an adult diet, where fresh grass and concentrates in the form of supplements become the basis of their nutrition. Up to a month, lambs are given no more than 50 grams of concentrated feed per day, in 2 months - 100-150, in 3 months - 200 and in 4 months - 300. They are given in the form of flakes or in fragmented form. The youngsters are particularly sensitive to the lack of protein in the feed, so they need to give bean hay, grain and high-quality cake.

The diet of lambs from 4 to 6 months:

  • 500 g of hay;
  • 500 g of hay;
  • 500 grams of vegetables and root crops;
  • 300 g of feed;
  • 150 grams of oilcake;
  • 4 g of salt.

The diet of young:

  • 1 kg of hay;
  • 500 g of root crops and melons;
  • 200 g of concentrates;
  • 8 g of salt.


To get good lamb, as well as wool and sheepskin before slaughtering animals fatten. To do this, use a special diet:

  • 500 g of bean hay;
  • 200 g of clover or alfalfa hay;
  • 5 kg of silage;
  • 1 kg of beets and other vegetables;
  • 200 grams of peas;
  • 150 grams of barley;
  • 100 grams of corn.

Feeding mode

It is very important at home not only to comply with the correct diet, but also the mode of feeding the sheep. For example, adults and young animals in the stall period are fed three times a day. At bedtime and after the animals should receive less nutritious food, the day - more high-calorie. All juicy food is given before watering, and after - concentrates.

In the morning, the sheep need to be given hay, in the daytime - juicy feed and concentrates, in the evening - straw and hay. Water should also be three times a day. During the pasture period, animals can not be fed if they are at least 13-14 hours per day on the pasture. In good weather, the sheep should be fed in the fresh air. It is laid out in a creche or special feeders.

What should be the feeders?

Sheep feeders should be suitable for both use and cleaning. They are usually made of nursery type for hay, straw and grass, as well as in the form of a trough for wet mashins and concentrates. The manger feeder can be either one-sided or two-sided. For each individual stands out 25 centimeters. For young - 15-20 centimeters.

The distance between the lattice perches makes about 10 centimeters. This protects the scattering of feed, and the sheep allows you to freely get food. Do not forget that the sheep eats separately, so he needs his own feeder. Otherwise, he can drive the females away from food. For more information about feeding and breeding animals, see the photo and video.

Video "Brief about breeding sheep"

In this video you will once again be convinced of the ease of care and feeding of animals, and also see how the flock uses pasture.




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