How to graze sheep: time, standards and technique
For sheep farmers, an important component of good care for these animals is proper grazing. In the article you will learn about the types and organization of pastures, grazing techniques, as well as the main advantages of grazing sheep.
- The main advantages of grazing herd are:
- livestock receiving economical green feed;
- strengthening the body of animals due to their free movement in the pasture;
- improvement of livestock productivity, good quality meat and milk.
Dates and organization of pasture use
For good grazing, it is necessary to properly organize the pasture. It is recommended to pit small areas (pens). Corrals should be set aside so that each of them has the opportunity to feed the flock for 5-6 days. Re-pens need to be pitted after 1-1.5 months.
The pasture must be divided into an average of 10 plots and graze a herd of developed front on them.
Types, their features, size
The size of the grazing plot is individual and depends on the number of sheep that can be fed per 1 ha during the grazing season.
Calculation of its area can be carried out using the formula:
G = Y / P x Pwhere:
- G - the number of sheep per 1 ha of land;
- At - crop of eaten grass per 1 ha (kg), multiplied by the percentage of use of grass;
- N - the rate of grass per sheep per day;
- P - the duration of use of the site.
Pastures for grazing can be natural and artificial. We will tell you more about each of them.
Among natural sites for grazing, preference should be given to dry and dustless, in which forbs prevail, and the grass is thick and clean. Consider which of them are most suitable for animals.
To determine the productivity of steppe plots, an important factor is the time of year when it is planned to graze animals. In the spring there is an active growth of herbs, at this time such sites are useful and nutritious for livestock.In order not to disturb the potassium-sodium balance in the body of sheep in the pasture, it is necessary to give the animals loose table salt. One sheep per day will need 8-10 g of salt.
In summer, the grass burns out under the scorching sun, the nutritional value of such a site will be low. Its rate rises after rain, when the grass begins to grow again.
On such pastures cereals and legumes grow. They can provide livestock with complete feed during heat and drought. Grazing herds in mountainous areas strengthens the immunity of animals, so that they become resistant to various diseases.
Did you know? With a single haircut from an adult sheep, you can get up to 10 kg of wool.
They are often located along river watersheds and are characterized by low grass stand. Such sites are especially nutritious if legumes or small-stemmed cereals grow on them.
They are almost not suitable for grazing animals, because they have high humidity and low grass feed value.
It is not recommended to graze a flock on them, because the vegetation is rough, tall and malnourishing. They can also be dangerous for livestock, as they are a source of infectious and invasive diseases.
Although there is lush vegetation in the water meadows, due to its high stature, it is not suitable for feeding sheep. In addition, if livestock is located in lowlands, greens can contribute to the spread of clay infestations, so grazing in such areas is not recommended.
Important! In some areas of the pasture there is a chance of infection of the sheep with scabies. To avoid this, it is necessary to vaccinate and treat the animals.
Artificial pastures: specifics
If for some reason the sheep breeder does not have the opportunity to graze the flock on natural pastures, you can use artificial (sowing) territories for this. Usually they are sown with a mixture in which 60% are cereals, and 40% are perennial legumes.
Sow there need plants with different lengths of the growing season. By sowing them at different times, you can achieve the growth of the green mass of plants during the entire grazing period.
Having organized the site for grazing, it is necessary to prepare the herd for grazing, as well as to organize the daily routine of animals and watering.
Before grazing sheep, the following measures must be taken:
- Perform a veterinary examination of the herd. If there are any diseases, the animal must be left in the stall to be cured, and only then allowed to graze.
- Clear the land for grazing from debris.
- Trim the sheep’s hair around the eyes and trim the hooves.
- Form flocks based on the age of the animals and the quality of their six.
- Identify and equip flocks to rest.
- To develop a plan for grazing and driving the herd.
Video: Pasture Management Rules
For flocks it is necessary to form such a daily routine:
|5-6 hours||pasture in the pasture. An adult animal can eat in 4-5 hours|
|10-11 hours||driving animals to a specially equipped resting place|
|14-15 hours||driving pasture|
You need to graze animals until late in the evening, after driving them to stalls. Also, some sheep farmers graze the flock around the clock.
Did you know? The record holder for the number of sheep is China. About 140 million animals live on the territory of this state.
How much water is required for animals depends on weather conditions. You need to drink cattle 2 times a day, in dry weather - 3 times a day.
If the water source is at a distance of 3 km, you can distill the flock there. If this distance is greater, water should be delivered to the flocks resting place, otherwise transitions to long distances will negatively affect the nutrition of the animals and the condition of the site.
Change in live weight during the feeding season
Numerous studies on feeding on a pasture prove its economic efficiency. Such feeding helps increase the live weight of sheep and the output of meat products. Under favorable conditions and good feed, the weight of an adult sheep per day can increase by more than 600 g.
The number of feed units of digested protein in 100 kg of grass
Green feed contains a large amount of water (60–80%), protein, minerals and vitamins. The table below shows the content of feed units and digestible protein per 100 kg of feed, depending on the type of pasture.
|Type of pasture||Feed units (kg)||Digestible protein (kg)|
Is it possible to graze sheep after rain
Bringing animals to the pasture immediately after rain is not recommended. Greens have a good taste, but are harmful to sheep, because they may develop bloating, and without the help of a veterinarian you can not cope with this problem.
A large amount of eaten and easily fermenting feed causes an accumulation of gases in the rumen of the animal, which can provoke tympanic disease.
Properly organized grazing of sheep contributes to their rapid growth and good weight gain. Using all the tips and tricks, you can improve their nutrition, as well as increase the meat and milk productivity of these animals.