Buying Feed

Photo by Tetyana Kovyrina on

I have ewes birthing lambs, ewes being bred, and weaned lambs growing. What do they all have in common? The need to eat.

Today was the day I go pick up the grain mix we feed our sheep. I am not an animal nutritionist. I trust a person who is to select and mix the feed for me. If you have knowledge in the area of animal nutrition, use your skill in raising your sheep.

We purchase our feed from a feed mill in large totes by the weight of the tote. Buying feed in this amount of bulk requires equipment an space to unload the feed and place in the barn. Buying feed in bulk is less expense than purchasing in bags at a feed store or mill. The bags and bagging expense is added to the cost of the feed. You pay for the labor of putting the feed in smaller bags. Special equipment is not needed to move smaller feed bags from the vehicle to the storage area.

While buying feed in bulk may save money, if the feed is not used before it goes bad or gets moldy, will cost the sheep farmer more money. Knowing how much feed the sheep are fed each day, and doing some simple calculations, a sheep farmer can determine if they will save money buying in bulk or loose money.

I have a friend who has purchased four sheep from me to start a flock. With four sheep, it is better for them to buy feed in bags. Four sheep will not eat a ton of feed before it goes bad in our climate.

Do not be afraid to shop around. Ask people who raise sheep where they buy their feed from. We learned about this mill that specifically mixes feed for sheep and goats by asking people at the sheep auction where do they get feed. When you are around people who have sheep at shows, auctions or exhibitions, do not be afraid to ask questions.

As my flock grows, I will have purchase feed more often or get a larger area to store the feed in. Currently, the plan is to buy feed more often.

Next year we are hoping to build a bigger hay barn that will also store the grain mix. Having both under one roof will lower the time for feeding. But expansion and change require money, and the sheep have to make the money before I can expand.


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