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Sheep mineral program  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Location: Missouri Ozarks
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For those of you with sheep, what do you provide for mineral supplementation and why?  In what sort of feeder do you put the mineral(s)?
 
pollinator
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I had heard they have a natural sense about their needs. So if you provide a lick block, they will use it as needed. I have a salt block, sulphur block, and a mineral block. All show signs of use..

Makes me curious about adding seawater to their water.  Gonna have to look that up.
 
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Location: Central Wyoming -zone 4
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chicken dog hugelkultur
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i wonder if anyone has tried simple kelp meal as a supplement, similar to say, Salatin's beef operation( which also includes fertrell nutri balancer, but according to salatin thats more so for the birds health)
granted, sheep are not cattle , but perhaps that would prove sufficient?
 
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Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
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I have been using Pat Coleby's recommendations from her book "Natural Sheep Care". Put out everything separate and free choice. Dolomite, copper sulfate, yellow dusting Sulphur and kelp meal.
They also get Redman salt in a high copper and low copper form. Their are other trace minerals in those as well.
Free Choice Minerals out of Wisconsin has minerals mixed with salt and bran to make it more palatable and less concentrated.
Mine also eat a lot of cobalt (vitamin B12 precursor so they don't get runny eyes) and boron.
Sheep are sensitive to too much copper but seem to know how much they need. At least mine have done good with it over the last 6 years.
 
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Location: Moorefield, Ontario, Canada
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I have found that sheep mineral powders work better than the blocs and are less expensive. If they need it they will nibble on it. Mount the feeder up off the ground so it doesn't cake and harden.

Remember to buy mineral supplements locally as they are mixed according to specific needs in your area.
 
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Lorne Martin wrote:I have found that sheep mineral powders work better than the blocs and are less expensive. If they need it they will nibble on it. Mount the feeder up off the ground so it doesn't cake and harden.

Remember to buy mineral supplements locally as they are mixed according to specific needs in your area.



I have read pat colebys sheep care book, but i dont know where to get the individual powders. Part of me is a little weirded out by feeding them powders and i really rather apply quality compost to where they graze and then plant seeds of vegetation that will take up the nutrients they need.

Im in wisconsin and it seems like there are a bunch of suppliers that people point to, but the websites offer mixes and nothing is straight forward. I want to see a product called zinc chelate or kelp or monocalcium phosphate, not 60 lbs of something called minerals.
 
Kris schulenburg
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Free Choice Enterprise in Lancaster WI sells many minerals separately.
 
Wes Hunter
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Johnmark Hatfield wrote:Im in wisconsin and it seems like there are a bunch of suppliers that people point to, but the websites offer mixes and nothing is straight forward. I want to see a product called zinc chelate or kelp or monocalcium phosphate, not 60 lbs of something called minerals.



There would have to be a tag indicating the exact contents, just as with any livestock feed.  I'd contact the manufacturer or supplier to inquire what, exactly, is in that bag of "minerals."
 
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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Kris schulenburg wrote:I have been using Pat Coleby's recommendations from her book "Natural Sheep Care". Put out everything separate and free choice. Dolomite, copper sulfate, yellow dusting Sulphur and kelp meal.
They also get Redman salt in a high copper and low copper form. Their are other trace minerals in those as well.
Free Choice Minerals out of Wisconsin has minerals mixed with salt and bran to make it more palatable and less concentrated.
Mine also eat a lot of cobalt (vitamin B12 precursor so they don't get runny eyes) and boron.
Sheep are sensitive to too much copper but seem to know how much they need. At least mine have done good with it over the last 6 years.



I've got five sheep and two goats kept together so the free choice mineral bar is very appealing. Unfortunately, many of those 50# bags of individual minerals are quite expensive. Was looking at the copper sulfate at the farmer's co-op this week and it's about $60. I imagine they'll go through it awfully slowly, unlike the similarly priced kelp meal (thankfully they've slowed down on their intake now that we're finishing the third bag in 5 months!) Maybe I could find another local farmer who'd sell me a few pounds of copper sulfate so I don't need to buy a whole bag...

Most mineral mixes I've seen are about 20% salt, which I'd much rather offer via free choice fine Redmond salt. That way they eat only as much salt as they need.

Obviously the minerals that your animals need will depend on what is deficient in your soils, or the soils your forages/grain were grown on. The sheep grain I feed probably has some added mineral, as well. I'll check when I go out for chores... Anyway, no sense in buying a bag of mineral your animals won't want because they get plenty already. Better to buy things you know you're low on. Does kelp supply enough selenium or just enough to get by? What are other simple sources not already mentioned? I know dolomitic lime is an option for both magnesium and calcium. And I've heard of baking soda being offered, though I'm not sure what for?
 
Kris schulenburg
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Baking soda is for bloat. Grass hay helps to keep from bloating as well.
I don't know about the selenium other than we live in a low selenium area and feeding kelp and the higher selenium Redmond salt, we have not experienced problems associated with low selenium. Yet anyway.
 
pollinator
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A person NEVER wants to give a sheep a mineral block, in part because many contain copper which can be lethal to sheep if they get over 8 parts per million (a very small amount). Another reason is that it can break their teeth, and a sheep's life span and its overall health is dictated by its condition of its teeth. Because a sheep grinds its food against its upper palette in gaining nutrition from grass, broken or missing teeth means this efficiency is lost. This can be a serious issue, in particular if it is in 3rd gestation, or lactation and having twins or triplets within/on them. It also causes some detrimental effects in wool quality.

A person can tell if their sheep need mineral mix because they will gravitate to chewing or licking wood. You will see them gnaw on fence posts, or lick wooden walls and such.

Sheep can get some of the minerals that they need by having browse giving to them; both softwood and hardwood brush, but loose mineral mix is best. I get mine in 30 pound bags for $25, so its not that bad price wise, and storage wise. I found they might eat a lot of it when they first get it, but after having constant access to it, seldom eat it. They self regulate for sure.
 
Anne Preston
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Travis Johnson wrote:
Sheep can get some of the minerals that they need by having browse giving to them; both softwood and hardwood brush, but loose mineral mix is best. I get mine in 30 pound bags for $25, so its not that bad price wise, and storage wise. I found they might eat a lot of it when they first get it, but after having constant access to it, seldom eat it. They self regulate for sure.



what are the percentages in your mix, Travis? Does it contain salt or do you supply that separately?
 
Travis Johnson
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Yes, it has salt in it, as well as Selenium, but keep in mind, a ewe's placenta is very thick, so it is difficult to get selenium through it to the lambs on the other side.

This is where having a private sheep nutritionist separate from a grain company can save a person money. While it is true we are short of selenium East of the Mississippi River, getting it to the sheep in the cheapest way can be an issue. They sell grain and mineral mixes, so they often say, feed your sheep x amounts of mineral mix to give them what they need, while I have found out that a 1 cc of BoSe given to a lamb directly after birth is a LOT cheaper and ENSURES the lamb gets the selenium they so desperately need.

Normally I do not endorse any one product, and I really am not here either, it is just that this is the only one that I know of that I can get here. Being a Kent/Blue Seal product it is available nationwide I am sure, and especially since you live in New England.

Here is the analysis:

Calcium (Ca), min 15.5%
Calcium (Ca), max 18.5%
Phosphorus (P), min 8.0%
Salt (NaCl), min 18.5%
Salt (NaCl), max 22.0%

Magnesium (Mg), min 1.0%
Potassium (K), min 1.0%
Manganese (Mn), min 1300 ppm
Selenium (Se), min 40 ppm
Zinc (Zn), min 1700 ppm
Vitamin A, min 400,000 IU/lb
Vitamin D3, min 100,000 IU/lb
Vitamin E, min 200 IU/lb

 
Johnmark Hatfield
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Ugh. I got curious about a new local feed store and went in to ask if they sell the minerals not in a mixed block form. The guy said "sheep dont self regulate" so i asked what he meant. He said they only know how much water and salt to eat and theyll over eat anything else. I responded by saying i dont think thats true and what they need depends on what sort of soil they graze on and how its fertilized. He said im going to have a bunch of intestinal problems and i said i think im done here.

I pride myself in being different, but its annoying sometimes.
 
Posts: 33
Location: Glasgow, KY zone 6b
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Kris schulenburg wrote:Baking soda is for bloat. Grass hay helps to keep from bloating as well.
I don't know about the selenium other than we live in a low selenium area and feeding kelp and the higher selenium Redmond salt, we have not experienced problems associated with low selenium. Yet anyway.



Kris, I think we spoke at the lambing school at UK several months back. I've still not bought the book but had a couple of quick questions.

How do your minerals compare in price per head to Burkmann/Southern States complete minerals?

How many separate minerals are you feeding in total? I mob graze and am just thinking about a feeder large enough to hold everything and can still be moved easily.  
 
Kris schulenburg
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I didn’t get to go to lambing school yet. I fed copper, cobalt, boron and sulfur plus the Redmond salt, domolite and kelp. If you take out the kelp it cost $7 each a year. They ate the copper 3x faster than any of the others. I don’t know how that compares to Southern States mix.
Sydel has a 5 compartment plastic feeder you can hang on a fence that is easy to move.
 
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