Useful tables - Sheep

Energy and protein contents of common feeds for sheep

(Source: FeedTest laboratory. For current test reports https://www.feedtest.com.au/index.php/news/51-season-averages-1st-quarter-2018-19 (opens in new window))


Feed Type   Energy (megajoules/kg DM)   Protein (% Crude Protein) 
  Average  Common Range Average  Common Range
Wheat, Triticale 13 12-15 12 8-23
Barley 13 11-13 11 6-17
Maize  13 12-14  8-13 
Lupins  13  12-14  30  26-40 
Peas  13  10-13  23  18-29 
Faba Beans  12  10-13  25  18-29 
Oats 11 9-13 9 6-12
Sheep pellets (brands vary) 10 6-13 12 4-21
Lucerne hay 8.5 7-9 20 16-25
Clover hay (early) 8.5 7-9.5 18 15-20
Pasture hay (mid-season) 7 6-7 11 8-16
Oaten hay 7 6-8 8 5-10
Grass hay 6 5-7 8 5-10
Cereal straw 5 4-8 4 2-5

Warning: As seen from the large ranges for each feed types, feeds vary considerably in their nutritional value depending on growing conditions, stage of harvesting and storage conditions. The only way to be sure of the nutritional value of a particular batch of feed is to have it tested for energy, protein and dry matter. 

Energy (MJ ME) and protein (CP) requirements for different classes of sheep

(Source: Drought Feeding and Management of Sheep Table 3.1 page 31)

Class of stock Live weight (kg) and Condition Score (CS) DSE rating Energy requirement MJ ME/day Approximate protein requirement CP 04)
Adult dry shew (wether or ewe dry or early stores of pregnancv)  40 kg CS 2 0.7 6  
45 kg CS 2 0.8 6.5  
50 kg CS 2 0.9 7  
50 kg CS 3 1 8 6-8
60 kg CS 3 1.1 9  
Ewes Pregnancy last 4 weeks before lambing (single) 45 kg CS 2 1.2 10  
50 kg CS 2 1.5 12 8-10
60 kg CS 3 1.8 14.5  
Ewes With lamb at foot (single) 45 kg CS2 1.8 15  
50 kg CS 3 2.2 18.5 12-14
60 kg CS 3 2.6 21.6  
Weaners 15 kg (growing at 100 g<day) 0.8 6.5 16
15 kg (growing at 200 g/day) 1.2 10 18-20
25 kg (growing at 0 g/day) 0.7 6 9-12
25 kg (growing at 100 g/day) 1 8 12-14
35 kg (growing at 0 g/day) 0.8 6.5 9-11
35 kg (growing at more than 200 g/day) 2.5 21 15-18

Note that weather and other conditions can change energy requirements (see Chapter 4 – Feeding Sheep – how much and how often).


Lifetimeewe table – how much energy can sheep get from dry pasture

What they can eat

Using Table 2 to identify the estimated metabolisable energy (ME) intake from dry paddock feed. Use Table 2a for perennial-annual mixed pastures and Table 2b for annual sub clover pasture systems. These vary due to the different height and quality charactenstics of different pasture types. Weather also affects digestibility and therefore quality and is very variable throughout the season, so use this only as a guide. Sheep will also preferentially graze the higher quality fraction of the pasture first, which may cause higher intakes than expected at first.

TABLE 2a. Metabolisable Energy Intake (MJ/day) from dry paddock feed • perennial pastures
Feed On Offer kg DM/ha Digestibility
35% 40% 45% 50% 55% 60%
500 0.3 0.7 1.3 1.7 2.2 2.8
1000 0.9 22 3.5 4.6 5.8 72
1500 1.4 3.3 4.8 6.3 7.8 9.3
2000 1.8 4 5.6 72 8.8 10.2
Perennial Pastures – Rules of thumb: When pasture dries off digestibility is around 60%. Thereafter it declines by around 5% per month until it reaches a minimum of 35%.

 

TABLE 2b. Metabolisable Energy (ME) intake from dry paddock feed • annual pastures
Feed On Offer kg DM/ha Digestibility
45% 50% 55% 60% 65%
500 1.8 2.3 3 4 4.8
1000 2.7 3.5 5.8 7.1
1500 4.4 5.7 7.1 8.3 9.5
2000 5.8 7.3 9 10.4 12
Annual Pastures – Rules of thumb: When pastures dries off, digestibility is around 70%. It declines rapidly during the first 2 months to around 50% with slow decline thereafter.

Example: The ewes In step 1. are grazing pastures of 1500 FOO of dry 50% digestible pasture that has a mix of perennial grass and some clover. This means they can eat approximately 6.3 MJ/day.



Lifetimeewe tables – Energy requirements of ewes

Based on condition score, liveweight and stage of pregnancy or lactation Lifetimeewe tables – Energy requirements of ewes – based on condition score, liveweight and stage of pregnancy or lactation

What they need

Using either table 1a or 1b, select the columns for the frame size and row for the pregnancy status of the flock, finding the value for maintenance energy required in Mj/day.

These values will vary slightly depending on the quality and quantity of feed the ewes are eating as well as the weather conditions and terrain of the paddock.

Table 1a. Energy Requied by Ewes | Condition Score 3 to maintain weight
Maintenance Energy (Mj/d) for ewes under drought paddock conditions Confinement Fed
Day of pregnancy small frame (45kg)maintain @ CS3 medium frame (50kg) maintain @ CS 3 large frame (60kg) maintain @ CS 3 medium frame maintain @ CS 3
single twin single twin single twin single twin
dry 7.4 7.4 8 8 9.3 9.3 6.7 6.7
50 7.6 7.8 8.4 8.6 9.7 9.9 7 7.2
70 8 8.4 8.7 9.1 10.1 10.7 7.4 7.9
100 9 10.2 9.9 11.1 11.5 12.9 8.6 9.8
130 11.3 14.1 12.3 15.4 14.4 17.7 10.9 14.1
days lactating maintain @ CS 3 maintain @ CS 3 maintain @ CS 3 ewes and lambs
single twin single twin single twin
10 17.3 21.7 18.7 23.4 21.5 26.9 ask for advice on confinement feeding ewes and lambs
30 18.7 23.9 20.2 25.8 23.2 29.6
50 15.5 19.1 16.7 20.6 19.2 23.7

 

 

Table 1b. Energy Requied by Ewes @ Condition Score 2 to maintain weight
Maintenance Energy (Mj/d) for ewes under drought paddock conditions Confinement Fed
Day of pregnancy small frame (45kg)maintain @ CS 2 medium frame (50kg) maintain @ CS 2 large frame (60kg) maintain @ CS 2 medium frame maintain @ CS 2
single twin single twin single twin single twin
dry 6.6 6.6 7.1 7.1 8.1 8.1 6 6
50 6.8 7 7.3 7.6 8.5 8.8 6.2 6.5
70 7.2 7.5 7.7 8.2 9 9.4 6.7 7.1
100 8.2 9.2 8.8 10 10.2 11.6 7.7 9
130 10 12.5 10.8 13.4 12.5 15.4 9.6 12.3
days lactating maintain @ CS 2 maintain @ CS 2 maintain @ CS 2 ewes and lambs
single twin single twin single twin
10 14.7 18.8 15.5 20.5 17.9 23.9 ask for advice on confinement feeding ewes and lambs
30 15.8 21.2 17.6 23.1 19.6 26.6
50 12.8 16.6 13.4 17.8 15.8 20.5

Example: medium frame ewes at condition score 3 with twins at day 100 of pregnancy need approximately 11.1 Mj/Day to maintain their condition.


Weight of hay & silage bales

(wet weights/as fed weights):Source: http://dairypastureconsumptioncalculator.com.au/help/typical-bale-weights (opens in new window)

Hay

Bale Shape Bale size Weight (as fed, t) Dry Matter (%) Dry weight (t DM)
Round 4×4 0.25 85 0.21
Round 5×4 0.55 85 0.30
Round 5×6 0.50 85 0.43
Square 8x3x3 0.30 85 0.26
Square 8x4x5 0.60 85 0.51
Square 8x4x4 0.75 85 0.64
 Small Squares  0.025 85 0.02

Silage

Bale shape Bale size Weight (as fed, t) Dry Matter (%) Dry weight (t DM)
Round 4×4 0.60 40 0.24
Round 5×4 0.75 40 0.30
1 cubic metre (wilted) 0.58 30 0.17
1 cubic metre (direct cut) 0.83 18 0.15
1 cubic metre maize silage 0.5 35 0.18

Source: Pasture consumption calculator (V1)