Sheep Feed Formulation, Rations, Ingredients Guide | Agri Farming (2023)

Table of Contents

A guide to sheep feed formulation and ingredients

Hey, are you a lamb or sheep lover? would like raise the sheep on your own and don’t know what to feed your sheep? here is the information about sheep feed formulation. Sheep is most productive when fed a ration balanced according to their nutrient needs. The needed nutrients must also be supplied at the lowest possible cost. This can be done if producers use locally obtainable feed ingredients and use purchased feeds to fill the gap in nutrient supply from the locally obtainable feeds. Now let us get into sheep feed formulation and its importance.

(Video) How To Formulate a Sheep Ration | Sheep Farming | Verticroft Holdings | Ryan Singlehurst

Sheep feed ingredients

Like horses and cows, sheep enjoy the ability to graze on hay and grass feed. In particular, sheep tend to enjoy fine, leafy hay, as opposed to coarser strains that several farms use. Knowing this, many farmers feed their sheep at the same time, using the same bales of hay. The sheep pick through the feed provide to eat the finer grass, while the cattle consume the course, rough hay.

Sheep Feed Formulation, Rations, Ingredients Guide | Agri Farming (1)

In general, sheep can consume all the basic nutrition they need from pasture grazing. Because of this, many farming operations purchase sheep feed during the winter when pastures freeze over and access to foraging is restricted. Sheep feed is specially formulated to give animals with the five categories of nutrients they need: water, energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Sheep feed is normally produced in the form of grasses and not pellets.

Key sheep feed ingredients:

  • Alfalfa
  • Corn
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium
  • Mineral salt
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorous

Considerations in the sheep formulation of rations

  • Try to keep rations very simple. The rule of thumb is that simple nutrient needs can be met by simple sheep feed formulae.
  • Complex formulae do not essentially guarantee better performance.
  • Feed composition data can be given either on the dry matter or on an as-fed basis depending on the publication from which the information is taken. Therefore, some recalculation could be required before ration formulation commences. Rations must be formulated on a dry basis, especially if wet ingredients such as silage, molasses, etc. are included.

The sheep feed formulation can be done on the source of daily needs (that is amounts of nutrients rather than concentration), while this is done rarely in practice. Use of percentage units is the simplest means as the final values can simply be converted to any weight unit.

Every sheep has physical and physiological limits beyond which the dry matter intake cannot go. The dry matter intake of animals fluctuate within these limits depending on many factors they are species, body size and physiological condition of the animal (example pregnancy); and palatability, texture, and bulkiness of the diet.

(Video) Sheep and Goat Feed: Increase Protein and Nutrition With Just 1 Ingredient!

Choose the same units of measure for the nutrient requirement and feed composition. For protein, either Crude Protein (CP) or Digestible Protein (DP); for energy, Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN), Metabolisable Energy (ME) or Net Energy.

Nutritional needs of sheep

Sheep get their energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals from the pasture or through the supplemental feed. A limited nutrients supply in the sheep’s diet can lead to:

  • Weight loss
  • Low fertility
  • High mortality
  • Increased risk of disease
  • Poor wool growth.

Sheep need a balanced diet containing energy (fat and carbohydrates), protein, vitamins, minerals, and water.

Different nutritional needs of sheep

Nutritional needs greatly, depending on the size, age and physiological status of the sheep. For example:

(Video) Organic Complete Ration Mix (OCRM) Processing and Commercialization (Dairy Goat)

  • Larger and older sheep sometimes require more nutrients than younger and smaller ones
  • Lactating or pregnant sheep want more nutrients than dry animals
  • Young, growing, pregnant or lactating animals sometimes want more protein than older, empty or dry animals
  • In some cases, lactating sheep need phosphorus than non-lactating sheep.
  • Use the healthy and contented sheep tool or read the nutrient requirements of sheep to find out more about the needs of sheep at different stages.

Energy requirements of sheep

The energy component of a sheep’s diet is the main driver of its performance. Sheep obtain their energy from pasture, hay, grains, and oilseeds. If sheep are not getting sufficient energy there will be a decrease in wool and meat production and reproduction and an increase in mortality and disease.

Protein requirements of sheep

  • When dietary protein levels become low, sheep cannot keep weight and they start to mobilize body tissues to make up the shortfall in protein.
  • Low levels of protein decrease weaner growth rates, conception, pregnancy and lactation in breeding ewes, and productivity in general.

You may also like the Onion Cultivation Income Per Acre.

Mineral requirements of sheep

Main minerals that sheep need include phosphorus, sulfur, and calcium. Small amounts of these minerals are needed to ensure sheep remain strong, healthy and generate good wool. Sheep can get minerals from water supply and different mineral supplements if necessary.

Balancing rations

A ration is the quantity of feed that is fed to livestock for 24 hours. Sheep must be fed rations that have been properly balanced for energy, protein, minerals (especially calcium and phosphorus), and vitamins. If balanced rations are not fed, you cannot be meeting the nutrient requirements of the sheep or lambs you are feeding or you may be exceeding their requirements.

(Video) Nutritious Sheep Food for strong and healthy Sheep (Beginners Guide)

There are several potential consequences to not feeding sheep and lambs balanced rations. Ration balancing will help to determine least-cost feeding options.

There are five steps to balancing a ration. They are;

  • Describe the sheep you are feeding
  • Look up their nutrient requirements
  • Determine what feedstuffs are available
  • List the composition of the feeds
  • Balance the ration by hand or using a computer

Importance of feed testing

It is very important to have feed tested as nutrient levels vary depending on the quality of the feed. When planning feed rations it is best to consult with your nutritionist using your feed test results. This will ensure that you are adequately meeting the nutrient requirements of livestock during each stage of production.

Feeding grain to sheep

  • When there is little paddock feed obtainable it may be necessary to introduce sheep to full hand feeding on grain rations.
  • The fodder chosen should be well priced, readily obtainable, and easy to store and handle. Some examples include wheat, barley, sorghum, corn, and oats.
  • It is normally more economical to decrease stock numbers before intensive feeding.
  • The sheep that remain on the property must be confined to a smaller paddock, if possible, to minimize further damage being done to the land. The important thing is that the units of measure of necessity and feed composition of the nutrient to be supplied have to be in the same units to balance a ration.

Feeding Management

Extensive Grazing:
  • Grazing the sheep in the entire pasture and leaving them there for the whole season is the extensive system of rearing.
  • In this process, feed cost is very much reduced.
  • It is not conducive to making the best use of the whole grasses. So we can preferably practice the rotational grazing process.
Rotational grazing method:
  • Rotational grazing must be practiced under which the pasture land should be divided by temporary fences into several sections.
  • The animals are then moved from one section to a different section. By the time the entire pasture is grazed, the first section will have sufficient grass cover to give second grazing.
  • Parasitic infestations can be controlled to a great extent.
  • Further, it helps to give quality fodder (immature) for most of the year.
  • Under this method, it is advisable to graze the lambs first on a section and then bring in ewes to finish up the feed left by the lambs.

You should not miss the Polyhouse Vegetable Farming.

(Video) Introduction to Sheep Nutrition and Feeding

  • This system of sheep production is an intermediate compromise between intensive and extensive system followed in flocks having limited grazing.
  • It involves extensive management but generally with controlled grazing of fenced pasture.
  • It consists of the provision of stall feeding, shelter at night time under shed and 3 to 5-hour daily grazing and browsing on pasture and range.
  • In this method, the feed cost somewhat increased.
Intensive system:
  • The intensive or zero-grazing system in which goats are continuously kept under housing in confinement with limited access to the land of goat production in which they are stall-fed.
  • It implies a system where goats are not left to fend for themselves with minimum care.
  • Intensive operation of a medium-sized herd of 50 to 250 heads or more oriented towards commercial milk production goes well with this method mainly of dairy goats.
  • It merits exploitation of the method of feeding agro-industrial by-products as on pangola grass with a carrying capacity of 37 to 45 goats per hectare.
  • This method of management requires more labor and high cash input.
  • However, this has the benefit of close supervision and control over the animals.
  • In this process, the dung is collected in one place and used as a good fertilizer.

That’s all about sheep feed formulation and its importance. Keep raising sheep.

You may be interested in Growing Yam from Cuttings.


How do you formulate a sheep ration? ›

There are five steps to balancing a ration.
  1. Describe the sheep you are feeding.
  2. Look up their nutrient requirements.
  3. Determine what feedstuffs are available.
  4. List the composition of the feeds.
  5. Balance the ration by hand or using a computer.

What ingredients are in sheep feed? ›

Key sheep feed ingredients:
  • Alfalfa.
  • Corn.
  • Vitamin A.
  • Vitamin D.
  • Vitamin E.
  • Selenium.
  • Mineral salt.
  • Calcium.

What are the two methods of calculating ration formulation? ›

The two most common methods of expression are on an as-fed basis or dry-matter basis.

What is ration formula? ›

Ratios compare two numbers, usually by dividing them. If you are comparing one data point (A) to another data point (B), your formula would be A/B. This means you are dividing information A by information B. For example, if A is five and B is 10, your ratio will be 5/10.

What is the feeding standard of sheep? ›

Feeding Farm Sheep

Sheep make excellent use of high-quality roughage stored either as hay or low-moisture, grass-legume silage or occasionally chopped green feed. Good-quality hay or stored forage is a highly productive feed; poor-quality forage, no matter how much is available, is suitable only for maintenance.

What are the ingredients in sheep pellets? ›

Processed Grain By-Products, Grain Products, Roughage Products, Forage Products, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Ammonium Chloride, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Cobalt Carbonate, Sodium Selenite, Zinc Proteinate and Natural ...

What is the best grain to feed sheep? ›

The safest grain to feed is oats, followed by barley, maize grain and then wheat. Feed additives are available to reduce the risk of acidosis/poisoning. Any change to animal diets should be done in consultation with a professional advisor.

What are the feed ingredients for ration of livestock? ›

Vegetable oil like corn oil, Groundnut oil, sunflower oil and animal fat like lard, tallow are extensively used in livestock feeding.
Feeding Management of Cattle and Buffalo.
Commonly available feed ingredients for dairy animalsCereal grainsBajra
Vegetable proteinSoybean meal
Milling by productsWheat bran
Animal fatTallow
Vegetable fatGroundnut oil
7 more columns

What are the 5 major components of feed? ›

The major components of feedstuffs are moisture, lipids, protein, fibre, carbohydrate, minerals and vitamins.

What are the three methods of feed formulation? ›

Methods of Diet Formulation

There are 3 main methods for formulating the diet; Pearson Square Method. Trial and Error Method. Computer Formulation Method.

What is the feed conversion ratio for sheep? ›

Feed conversion ratio sheep have an average FCR of 4-5 on high concentrate rations, 5-6 on good quality forage and more than 6 on low-quality forage. On straw ration, it can be as high as 40. FCR for older sheep that means 8 months is higher than those for lamb. Poultry has an average FCR of 1.5.

What does molasses do for sheep? ›

A molasses blend helps to maximise rumen function, stimulate fibre digestion and increase dry matter intake which can lead to improved flock health, performance and fertility.

What is the best feed for sheep in winter? ›

In the winter months, when high-quality pasture is not available and during times of peak nutrient requirement, stored forage (alfalfa, alfalfa/grass mixed and grass) becomes the major nutrient source to meet their needs.

How do you balance feed rations? ›

To balance a ration, producers need to know the nutrient requirements of the cattle, nutrient content of feedstuffs being considered for the ration, and the mathematical calculations necessary to determine the amount of each feedstuff needed to meet the requirement.

What are the factors to consider in feed ration formulation? ›

Take into consideration:
  • Class of livestock.
  • Weight of the animal.
  • Purpose of feeding.
  • List of nutrient requirements.
  • Feedstuffs available.
  • Composition of feedstuffs.
  • Calculate ration.
  • Check your calculations!!

How are feed rations and total feed requirement determined? ›

A proper feeding ration is based on balancing the six basic nutrients: water, protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins. The nutrient composition of a feed is the amount of specific nutrients contained in the ration.

What is ratio examples and answers? ›

Ratio is used to compare the size of different parts of a whole. For example, in a whole class of 30 students there are 10 girls and 20 boys. The ratio of girls:boys is 10:20 or 1:2. For every one girl there are two boys.

What are the three types of ration? ›

(i) Balanced Ration: This is the feed that contains all the essential nutrients in the correct amount and adequate proportion for feeding animals, to meet the requirement of the farm animals. (ii) Maintenance Ration: This is the type of ration given to farm animals to maintain the basic metabolic functions of the body.

How do you formulate animal feed? ›

Feed formulation requires thorough understanding of the: (a) nutrient requirements of the particular livestock class (for meat or breeders) (b) feed ingredients in terms of nutrient composition and constraints in terms of nutrition and processing, and (c) cost and availability of the raw materials.

What is the best feed mix for sheep? ›

During the grazing season, pastures of mixed grass and clover, alfalfa, small grain, and turnip serve as excellent sources of nutrition for growing lambs. A source of clean, fresh water is provided to sheep at all times.

What is the most important nutrient sheep need? ›

Water is one of the most important daily requirements of sheep. They need between 2.5-18L per day. Water should be clean and contain minimal chemicals. Sheep generally consume 2-3 times the amount of water to dry feed, and if receiving high salt supplements may need more.

What percentage of protein do sheep need? ›

Protein Requirements of Sheep

A minimum of 7% dietary crude protein is needed for maintenance in most sheep. Protein requirements depend on the stage of production (growth, gestation, lactation, etc) and the presence of certain diseases (internal nematode parasites, dental disease, etc).

What mineral is toxic to sheep? ›

Copper (Cu) can be toxic to sheep. Although there is an important function of Cu in the body, and thus it is a required mineral, excess amounts are concentrated in the liver rather than being excreted. Over time, this excess of Cu can destroy liver tissue, resulting in death of the animal.

Are alfalfa pellets OK for sheep? ›

The average sheep needs only hay or grass as the majority of their diet. A mixture of 1 part alfalfa + 1 part dehydrated alfalfa pellets + 1/3 part soybean or cottonseed meal can be fed at approx. 2.5# per head daily as a good winter feed, or if on marginal pasture.

Which ingredient is roughage for the sheep? ›

High protein hay (lucerne, about 18%) is particularly valuable as the roughage component of a diet for lactating ewes and growing lambs which have a higher protein requirement than dry adult sheep.

What happens if sheep eat too much grain? ›

Grain overload is also known as acidosis or grain poisoning. It occurs when cattle, sheep or goats eat large amounts of grain, and can result in acidosis, slowing of the gut, dehydration and often death. Veterinary treatment is required for severe cases.

Why do sheep need baking soda? ›

Cattle and sheep have special digestion and absorption methods. Adding baking soda in the feeding process can help cattle and sheep to better absorb and digest. Baking soda is weakly alkaline and acts as a buffer in the rumen of ruminants.

What should you not feed sheep? ›

It is important to feed only sheep pellets to sheep. Cattle pellets often contain extra copper, which can be toxic for sheep. And feeding pig or poultry pellets to any ruminant animal is illegal (as they contain some meat or meat product).

What are the five major nutrient components of feeds in animal rations? ›

Nutrients are elements in feed that are used by the animal for growth and production. Nutrients are normally divided into five categories: Water, protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.

What size should ingredients be ground to in most feed rations? ›

Particle size varies some across the animal nutrition industry, but ideally, all ingredients in pig and chicken feed should be similar in size to get the best mixture. Ingredients in pig and chicken feed are normally ground to about 700 microns.

What is the main ingredient in feed? ›

The main ingredients used in commercially prepared feed are the feed grains, which include corn, soybeans, sorghum, oats, and barley. Compound feed may also include premixes, which may also be sold separately.

What are the 3 most important feed nutrients? ›

Macronutrients are eaten in large amounts and include the primary building blocks of your diet — protein, carbohydrates, and fat — which provide your body with energy.

What are the 7 main components of a balanced diet? ›

By having an idea of the balance in your diet, it should be easier to enjoy food and be healthy. There are seven essential factors for a balanced diet: carbs, protein, fat, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water.

What are the 6 basic nutrients in animal feed? ›

The basic nutrients that animals require for maintenance, growth, reproduction, and good health include carbohydrates, protein, fat, minerals, vitamins, and water.

What is the first requirement of feed formulation? ›

The first step in diet formulation is balancing the crude protein and energy levels. This can be accomplished by trial and error, by the square method for either crude protein level or energy level and then adjusting, or by solving simultaneous equations.

What are 4 types of feed additives? ›

Categories of feed additives
  • technological additives (e.g. preservatives)
  • sensory additives (e.g. flavourings and colourings)
  • nutritional additives (e.g. vitamins and minerals)
  • zootechnical additives (e.g. enzyme and micro-organisms used to favourably affect the performance of animals in good health)

What are the six classes of feed? ›

The six major classes of nutrients are water, protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins.

What is ratio of sheep per acre? ›

How much land you have at your disposal will be a determining factor for the size of your flock or herd. You can reasonably expect to keep 6-10 sheep on an acre of grass and as many as 100 sheep on 30 acres of pasture.

What is a good ram to ewe ratio? ›

A ram to ewe lamb ratio of 1:25 or 1:35 is recommended for synchronised or unsynchronised oestrus, respectively.

How many pounds of hay does a sheep need per day? ›

To prevent wool picking and other problems, ewes should receive a minimum of 1.5 lbs of hay per day and one pound of corn can be substituted for 2 pounds of hay. Once ewes lamb and begin to lactate, they should receive 5 pounds of good quality hay and 2 pounds of 15 percent crude protein grain mix a day.

What does apple cider vinegar do to sheep? ›

If added to sheep and lamb drinking water apple cider vinegar will assist in keeping waterers free of algae and mosquito larvae. Improves the quality and yield of wool. Reduces the incidence of urinary calculi and kidney stones. It has powerful healing, cleansing, and natural antibiotic and antiseptic qualities.

Is Epsom salt good for sheep? ›

Epsom salt (Magnesium Sulphate) is a clear, colourless and odourless crystalline powder, that when dissolved in water, it is a powerful saline purgative which can be administered orally to Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Pigs, Horses Dogs and Poultry.

What does lime do for sheep? ›

Its main function in the animal is for bone and teeth formation. A deficiency or imbalance in calcium can cause poor growth rates, poor bone development, reduced milk output, and milk fever – a metabolic disease caused by a low blood calcium level (hypocalcaemia).

How cold is too cold for sheep? ›

Sheep have a broad “thermal neutral zone,” allowing them to tolerate environmental temperatures between 54 and 90 F before requiring extra metabolic energy to maintain their body temperature. However, a sheep with 2-1/2 inches of wool can remain comfortable in temperatures as low as 28 F.

What is the best time of day to feed sheep? ›

However, evidence with sheep is less clear; one study demonstrated feeding did have an effect1: 65% of lambings occurring within 4 h before, and 8 h after feeding – therefore feeding in the morning was recommended.

What is the main feed for sheep? ›

Mostly sheep eat grass, legumes, forbs, and other pasture plants. They especially love forbs. In fact, it is usually their first choice of food in a pasture. A forb is a broad-leaf plant other than grass.

What is formulation of livestock ration? ›

Feed formulation is the process of quantifying the amounts of feed ingredients that need to be combined to form a single uniform diet for livestock to supply all of their nutrient requirements.

What is the ration formulation for sheep and goats? ›

For adult goats and sheep, the diet should consist of 60-70% forages and 30-40% grains and supplements. Grains that can be included are barley, oats, corn, and wheat. Supplements such as minerals, vitamins, and salt should be added to the diet to meet the animal's nutritional requirements.

What are the factors to be considered in formulating a feed ration? ›

4 Main Factors of Preparing a Ration
  • 1) Nutritional Requirements of Cattle. Cattle have daily nutrient requirements (energy, protein, etc.) ...
  • 2) Nutritional Content of Feed Materials. ...
  • 3) Limiting Features for Feed Materials. ...
  • 4) Feed Costs.
May 10, 2021

What is the best grain mix for sheep? ›

The safest grain to feed is oats, followed by barley, maize grain and then wheat. Feed additives are available to reduce the risk of acidosis/poisoning. Any change to animal diets should be done in consultation with a professional advisor.

What is a good grain mix for sheep? ›

Grains which are palatable and easy-to-digest are favored in creep rations, e.g. cracked corn, soybean meal, rolled oats. Creep grazing is another method of providing better nutrition to nursing lambs and kids. It has become increasingly popular to finish lambs and kids on pasture.

How do you calculate total mixed ration? ›

As noted for the "Basal Forage Supplemental Concentrate" calculator, in some cases goats are confined and fed a total mixed ration or diet alone (without access to any other feedstuffs, forage, etc.). In such cases, this calculator can be used. MP = CP x (0.64 + (0.16 x UIP, % of CP)).


1. Phenomenal Feed Ration
(Miller Premium Pork)
2. How to Formulate Organic Complete Ration Mix and Produce Organic Dairy Goats
(Mag-Agri Tayo)
3. EASY PIG FEED MIX - Only 3 Ingredients 14% Protein
(Syman Says Farms)
4. Ration formulation for Goat and Sheep| Goat feed ration | DVM Students | Animal Solution Pakistan
(Animal Solution Pakistan)
5. Swine/ Pig Feed Formulation using Pearson Square (Filipino Version)
(Agri-PH with Zaira)
6. Small Ruminant Nutrition - Feed Ration Formulation
(Cardisr Project)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kareem Mueller DO

Last Updated: 02/05/2023

Views: 5839

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kareem Mueller DO

Birthday: 1997-01-04

Address: Apt. 156 12935 Runolfsdottir Mission, Greenfort, MN 74384-6749

Phone: +16704982844747

Job: Corporate Administration Planner

Hobby: Mountain biking, Jewelry making, Stone skipping, Lacemaking, Knife making, Scrapbooking, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Kareem Mueller DO, I am a vivacious, super, thoughtful, excited, handsome, beautiful, combative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.