Monday, January 9, 2012

Feeding Sheep

Many people think that farmers are always wanting rain, so when two inches (50mm) of rain fell in December we should have been ecstatic. In fact rain in December is disastrous on a farm like ours. We had so much pasture in the paddocks which had dried off, leaving dry feed which could have sustained livestock for many weeks. Rain on dry feed leaches out nutrients leaving little more than fibre, and now, even though the sheep have dry grass to eat to fill their bellies, they cannot maintain body condition on such rations. So The Farmer (Roger) has started to feed out lupins to the sheep to give them protein.  

Yum, yum! Lupins...
Looking for food
All in a row
Following behind the feed trailer
lupins, good food for sheep!
Notice that the sheep have been shorn? And they have yellow on their backs. That is a chemical to kill the lice. Unfortunately lice have become a big problem in recent years, and we have had to treat the sheep after each shearing. If they are not treated they get in a very bad way, constantly scratching and itching, and they become quite unwell. I saw some sheep badly infested with lice last year on another property, and it was not at all pretty.

severely lice-infested sheep - poor animals...
Eureka Gold! The yellow spray kills lice on sheep.

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