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Sheep Nutrition

All Sheep Nutrition Content

small group of sheep standing in a pasture

Sheep & Goats

South Dakota ranks sixth nationally in sheep and wool production. And the industry is growing.

Four sheep feeding at a sheep feeder.

Nutritional Considerations for Flocks During Breeding Season

Optimizing flock nutrition throughout the breeding season can help improve conception rates, lambing percentages and ram longevity.

A flock of white sheep grazing in a small pasture.

Using Corn Silage in Sheep Diet Formulations

Many Midwest producers have limited options for their primary forage source this year and, must utilize ear-less corn stalks as silage for their in livestock feeding systems. Despite the lack of ears on stalks in some areas the resultant corn stover silage is still expected to contain 80% of expected level of energy under normal growing conditions.

A young lamb standing in a barn stall.

Importance of Lamb Nutrition Management to Avoid Acidosis

Acidosis (also known as lactic acidosis, grain overload, over-eating or grain poisoning) is a metabolic condition that most commonly occurs with lambs offered grain based diets, but can affect mature sheep.

small group of sheep standing in a pasture

The Effects of Ewe Nutrition on Lamb Performance

In the livestock industry, profitability is determined by the efficiency of production; with growth and development of offspring having a large impact. In sheep production, ewe nutrition is one of the biggest factors in fetal growth, milk production, and lamb performance; therefore, determining how profitable a production system will be. Not only does the ewe depend on proper nutrition for fetal development but also udder development and milk production.

A man drilling a core sampler into the side of a hay bale.

Forage Sampling Procedures

Proper sampling of forage is essential if we want to obtain an accurate indication of the nutrient composition, dry matter content, or value of any feedstuff.

Oat plants exhibiting crown rust symptoms.

Does Crown Rust in Oats Cause Problems for Livestock?

When wet, cool conditions predominate in the spring, crop producers may have to deal with crown rust in oats. When this crop disease is abundant, questions from livestock producers arise. Could crown rust in oats harm livestock if it’s present on pasture or in hay?

A group of brown cattle foraging in a green field.

Prussic Acid Poisoning

As the first frost date approaches, producers often have concerns about the risk of prussic acid poisoning in livestock. Certain forage plants, especially sorghums and related species are associated with an increased risk of death loss because of prussic acid poisoning.

A rancher inspecting the water quality of a small stock pond.

How Do Sulfates in Water Affect Livestock Health?

Poor-quality water will cause an animal to drink less. As a result, they also consume less forage and feed, which leads to weight loss, decreased milk production and lower fertility.

a sprawling green plant with flowering yellow heads

Sweet Clover Poisoning

Hay that contains sweet clover can be an excellent feed as long as the dicoumarol level is known and feeding management is used to prevent poisoning.