What do sheep eat?
Sheep are grazers, eating mostly pasture and hay. But should never be fed on just lawn grass.
Sheep based on breeder opinion prefer coarse, pasture-like grass such as timothy hay and cannarygrass.
Sheep will eat grain, but it’s not necessary. Too much grain will kill your sheep.
When selecting the type of feed for your sheep if you’re not making it yourself do not give your sheep all purpose animal feed as usually it contains too much copper for sheep. Thus it was never actually “all purpose.”
Any formulas specifically made for sheep is safe though don’t worry.
Sheep also need salt blocks or loose mineral salts along with regularly changed fresh water.
Feed should never be stored for over 1 month because of the mold that develops on the feed can be extremely toxic to your sheep.
Tips when making your own feed.
Corn is a good additive for feed, sheep love corn, corn helps them carry weight and gain weight while corn is also inexpensive and could be generally grown yourself if you’re in the proper conditions.
Soybeans are a good additive if you don’t know what to provide in your feed for protein.
Other random ideas that I have been provided with are brewer’s grains, oats, Alfa pellets, peanuts or skins, and spent distillers.
What do some of these feed terms mean?
Forage. Plant material which can be consumed as food.
Hay. Cut, dried, and baled forage.
Alfa. A tastier and more expensive and more nutritious hay. Same goes with clover hay.
I hope this has helped you better understand what is good sheep feed, and what is bad ideas for sheep feed. And don’t be afraid to be creative. I’m sure your sheep will love a little variety every now and then.
If you ever need to bottle feed a baby sheep.
The best milk to use is a replacer formula for sheep. This can be found at most farm stores.
Do not use cow’s milk or calf milk replacers. They do not provide what sheep need. If you cannot find formula for sheep use goat milk.
The only instance where you should try cow’s milk is when a sheep shows signs of allergies or health problems caused by sheep’s milk or the replacer. This does happen!
You can begin weaning babies onto hay at just a few days old. Of course up until a month old they will still need the milk. But it’s better to try to get them eating hay early that way when it’s time to make the transition it’s quick, easy, and painless.