What you need to know about the winter maintenance and feeding of sheep?


Preparing sheep for the winter is a very important task. No less responsible will be the maintenance and feeding of sheep in the winter. What you need to know for this is that your players calmly and carelessly survive the next winter, read further in the article.

How to keep sheep in winter

The winter period is called in sheep stall. How the sheep will spend this period depends a lot on how well their host has made all the winter preparations. Such preparations include: mechanization of labor-intensive work, feeding of sheep in the fall, preparation of sheds or premises for winter housing, preparation of a sufficient amount of feed, etc. Also, one month before the start of the stall period, all preventive medical measures should be carried out. These include: diagnostic examinations, de-deliberation and anti-scab patches.

The room and manure

And now let's talk about the most winter keeping of sheep. So, as already mentioned, they are kept in a barn or a room specially prepared for winter. The floor in the room is covered with straw only. Other materials such as peat, sawdust, etc., heavily pollute the fleece, so they are not recommended to use. Fresh straw is added to the litter every day. Special attention should also be paid to keeping the cat clean.

To do this, you need to clean up manure. Failure to do this may result in contamination of the area where the sheep are kept. Also, the air in the room will become heavily polluted, even the sheep will have a dirty fleece, and finally, the likelihood of helminth diseases is high. Particular attention is paid to the cleanliness of the premises where sheep-uterus are kept. So that there were no problems with the collection of manure, it is desirable to provide for its cleaning in a mechanized way.

In large farms for manure construct a special open manure. It should be located no closer than 60 m from the place where sheep are kept in winter. Special manure disinfection should also be carried out. Such manure can then be used as a good fertilizer, but it must stand in the storage for at least 5 months in the warm season. Then it is necessary to inspect every day all the sheep. It is most convenient to carry out the inspection procedure during the feeding of animals.

Animal inspection

Examination should be carried out by livestock and veterinary specialists in the presence of a shepherd. All suspicious animals are selected for a more detailed examination and diagnosis. To do this, they are taken to the veterinary hospital. After the course of treatment, such sheep are fattened, and then they are slaughtered at the sanitary slaughterhouse. If in the winter you had to urgently carry out the slaughter of sheep, then their meat is sent to the laboratories for research. Only after the laboratory conclusion can the carcasses be further exploited.


In addition, it must be remembered that during the cold season, all work on the farm is carried out strictly according to the schedule. Changes in such a routine badly affect the sheep, namely, they become agitated and nervous, eat an order of magnitude less feed. The most common routine that farmers follow in winter is shown below.

In the early morning, shepherds raise their sheep to their feet from a warm, naked place. Then they go to open the exit from the pen, which should be located on the leeward side. In this case, the sheep give time to get used to the low temperature. If you do not follow this sequence of actions and immediately drive the flock to the street, then you may encounter the problem of respiratory diseases, which are most susceptible to young. It is also important to prevent crowding of the sheep when they leave the premises.

To do this, two shepherds are near the exit and, as far as possible, suspend the movement of sheep. During this procedure, an additional superficial examination of animals for any disease is carried out. Sheep is spent all day in a pasture for pasturing. In the evening, they are driven back to a warm room. When driving, you also need to prevent the crush of animals and conduct an additional inspection. Even in the winter, every 1.5-2 months, hoof trimming is carried out and, if necessary, the hair is cut near the eyes.

Winter diet

The first rule of sheep farmers is to properly prepare the animal for the winter period. This includes the feeding of sheep, which comes with the first morning frosts. To this end, silage and hay are added to the sheep’s morning ration. When the grass on the pasture is already becoming scarce, then this feed is given to animals for the night. It will also be correct to use pasture in winter. The most optimal for these purposes will be flocks on frozen swamps and forest clearings.

In winter, sheep and lambs need to be fed in the open air, on the backside or on the bases. Approximate calculation for 100 sheep - 5 nurseries up to 4 m long. Feeders should be located so that all the sheep and lambs could easily approach them, and there should be enough space for everyone. The optimal feeding front for an adult is 25 cm, and for lambs it is 15 cm. So you can easily calculate how long your trough needs.

A full transfer to a winter ration lasts approximately 10 days. The first translate repair young. The next are the rams, then the sheep, and the last are the waluhs that hold onto the face. For the correct transfer to the winter diet, you need to prepare inventory in advance.


For feeding it is better to use double-sided feeders. So, on the one hand are filled with roughage, and on the other concentrates. But you can use separate. These include: feeders, nursery, pan and chute for concentrates. Feeders-day nurseries are used to give roughage and silage. They consist of racks between which the bottom board, gutters and lattices fastens. The lumen of the grids should be 10 cm and they should be inclined towards the inside of the structure.

For concentrates are intended reshtak and chute. Reshtak is a rectangular trough, which stands on racks. For feeding lambs, the height of such racks should not exceed 12 cm. The chute resembles simply a trough. Its width is 13 cm from the bottom, 15 cm from above. The depth is no more than 12 cm, and its length is about 3 meters.

You also need to not forget about watering troughs. The height of such troughs should not exceed 40 cm. In length, both for sheep and for lambs you need 20-30 cm per individual. It should be remembered that feeders and drinkers should be made portable. After all, if there is a severe frost outside, then it will be necessary to feed and feed the sheep with concentrated feed in the room where they are kept. Another important point is that there should always be as much food in the feeders as the animals are able to eat, and they need to be watered only with warm water. It is impossible to replace water with melted snow.

Sample feeding schedule

  • From 7-7.30 - the diet of sheep and lambs consists of concentrates.
  • From 7.30 to 9.00 - the first dacha to the sheep of the silo.
  • From 10.00 to 11.30 - the second dacha of silage takes place.
  • From 11.30 to 12.30 - sheep go to the watering place.
  • From 12.30 to 13.00 - the third feeding of silage.
  • From 17.00 to 18.00 - feeding roughage.

This feeding schedule is an example. In practice, it can be modified in accordance with the conditions and specifics of feeding sheep and lambs in a particular farm.

Fodder preparation rates for winter

The rates below are an approximate rate of feed that is eaten in winter by one average sheep, kept in proper conditions in the farm. This calculation is approximate, but it will help to orient a person who has just started to engage in sheep and does not know how abundant their diet is. So let's get started:

  • hay - from 200 to 250 kg;
  • silo - from 300 to 500 kg;
  • concentrates - from 20 to 25 kg.

It is also worth remembering that in many farms, especially large ones, the basis of the winter diet is concentrated, granulated and briquetted fodder. They consist mainly of hay, grass meal, straw, concentrated powdery feed, biologically-stimulating substances and vitamin preparations. In winter these animals eat 30-35% more of such feed than natural and drink at the same time 30-40% more water. Combined feed, you can buy for the winter, but you can cook yourself.

Mixed fodder recipe

Below is a recipe for pelleted feed for sheep and lambs, which is desirable to introduce in their diet in winter. The advantages of this type of food are many, but the environment of the main ones is that it does not clog the animal's nostrils and is eaten without any problems. For a more convenient calculation, all components are given as a percentage. So, for the feed you will need the following ingredients:

  • barley - 35%;
  • wheat - 25%;
  • oats - 25%;
  • sunflower cake - 13%;
  • dicalcium phosphate - 1%;
  • salt - 1%.

After all the ingredients have been cooked, they are poured into a crusher. Upon completion of the transmission through the crusher feed ready.

How to feed queens

Often, lambing or pregnancy occurs in the winter. At the same time, it must be remembered that the ewes will need a special diet for successful carrying or feeding the lambs. In their winter diet, juicy milk-rich feed should prevail. Such feed includes: feed or sugar beets, potatoes, carrots and cabbage. With such an abundance of succulent feed problems with milk in sheep-mother should not be and the lambs will receive it also enough.

Feeding the young at the end of winter

To start feeding the lambs, which often falls on the end of winter, they leave the best in quality feed. Such selection especially concerns hay. Also for the lambs settle small feeders canteen. There in abundance poured well leafy and small hay from cereal-leguminous or leguminous cultures. Also in the diet for lambs should always include mineral supplements and animal feed.

Then you need to remember to vaccinate the lambs with an injection of trivitamin, which is done intramuscularly. It is also necessary in good weather to let out babies with their mothers for a walk, but at the same time you should avoid various contaminants in lambs and make sure that there are no drafts.

Video "How to prepare for winter"

In this video, from the Living House program, you will learn how to prepare your animals for the winter period. Farmer Sergey Udod will vividly demonstrate his reserves for the winter, as well as tell you what to do and how to successfully maintain.




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