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Thread: To creep or not to creep..... that is my question

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    To creep or not to creep..... that is my question

    We've lambed nearly all ewes in December as usual and about now I introduce creep to the lambs. I never load them up with the stuff as I sell all lambs via meat boxes so am not reliant on obtaining the spring market prices.

    With a view to producing a more sustainable flock I'm keen to move away from concentrates as much as I can so I was considering not feeding creep at all but was interested in any views from more experienced farmers.

    The lambs have access to good quality silage / haylage and at the moment we have a good deal of grass but that will dwindle in the next month I'd imagine.

    Does not feeding creep burden the ewes further?

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    Re: To creep or not to creep..... that is my question

    Since you are not trying to get your lambs to max weight for a set date then no creep will be ok just take longer , yes it will be harder on the ewes but if you are not selling them all fat once weaned ,then spring grass should aid recovery . You could try splitting the flock ? 1/3rd no creep 1/3rd limited amounts of creep ( feed in a trough twice per day ) 1/3rd normal ad-lib creep and see which group leaves the best margin , this would also give lambs finished over long period which may suit your meat boxes . Do you have the space for extra lambs grazing if no creep ?

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    Re: To creep or not to creep..... that is my question

    Quote Originally Posted by piratepete View Post
    We've lambed nearly all ewes in December as usual and about now I introduce creep to the lambs. I never load them up with the stuff as I sell all lambs via meat boxes so am not reliant on obtaining the spring market prices.

    With a view to producing a more sustainable flock I'm keen to move away from concentrates as much as I can so I was considering not feeding creep at all but was interested in any views from more experienced farmers.

    The lambs have access to good quality silage / haylage and at the moment we have a good deal of grass but that will dwindle in the next month I'd imagine.

    Does not feeding creep burden the ewes further?
    when we were into the sheep, (they departed these pastures 4 year ago,) all our lambs were finished on creep, they would get a start on MVF creep pellets then be switched over to " mill n mix " the ration we have all our cattle, wheat/barley/beans, IMHO a cheaper option than buying "the same stuff in a bag" I might say if you can source a cheaper creep it would make better financial sense of nowt else, , I would think that if the lambs are getting energy for froth from grass n creep they wouldn't be hammering the ewes so much?? But on the other hand I'm not a proper sheep farmer
    Big Vern..... Stay low Move faster

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    Re: To creep or not to creep..... that is my question

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Vern View Post
    when we were into the sheep, (they departed these pastures 4 year ago,) all our lambs were finished on creep, they would get a start on MVF creep pellets then be switched over to " mill n mix " the ration we have all our cattle, wheat/barley/beans, IMHO a cheaper option than buying "the same stuff in a bag" I might say if you can source a cheaper creep it would make better financial sense of nowt else, , I would think that if the lambs are getting energy for froth from grass n creep they wouldn't be hammering the ewes so much?? But on the other hand I'm not a proper sheep farmer
    I will admit to having an axe to grind, as we sell mill mixers(see link below), but if you cost out nearly all rations, based on analysis, you will find there is usually a minimum of 35 per tonne difference.
    Depends on quantity and whether it justifies capital expenditure, but even lorry mounted mixers can save you money.
    Sorry amount the blatant plug,
    jack caley

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    Re: To creep or not to creep..... that is my question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Caley View Post
    I will admit to having an axe to grind, as we sell mill mixers(see link below), but if you cost out nearly all rations, based on analysis, you will find there is usually a minimum of 35 per tonne difference.
    Depends on quantity and whether it justifies capital expenditure, but even lorry mounted mixers can save you money.
    Sorry amount the blatant plug,
    jack caley
    Jack,
    weve used a local bloke with a lorry mounted Miller, moons ago when I worked on a dairy farm "his" dad was doing it, used to have a Detroit 2stroke diesel on the wagon to power the mill, that engine could howl when he wound it up !!! Used to mix us wheat/oats/barley/ peas or beans and a bagged protien bonded with molasses the cows milked well on it, his lads do it now, I think we pay 660 for a ten tonne mix now ( we don't cost the inputs as they r home grown,)it is a cheap ration for beef cattle,and u know what's in it, several large beef finishing units around here mill there own and another chap who has about 3000 sheep does his own, tiz the way ahead
    Big Vern..... Stay low Move faster

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    Re: To creep or not to creep..... that is my question

    Quote Originally Posted by piratepete View Post
    We've lambed nearly all ewes in December as usual and about now I introduce creep to the lambs. I never load them up with the stuff as I sell all lambs via meat boxes so am not reliant on obtaining the spring market prices.

    With a view to producing a more sustainable flock I'm keen to move away from concentrates as much as I can so I was considering not feeding creep at all but was interested in any views from more experienced farmers.

    The lambs have access to good quality silage / haylage and at the moment we have a good deal of grass but that will dwindle in the next month I'd imagine.

    Does not feeding creep burden the ewes further?
    If you're not aiming at the spring lamb market, why not just lamb them in the Spring and let the grass do the work?

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    Re: To creep or not to creep..... that is my question

    Quote Originally Posted by MC130 View Post
    If you're not aiming at the spring lamb market, why not just lamb them in the Spring and let the grass do the work?
    Firstly, thank you to every for your comments and suggestions, much appreciated.

    With regards lambing in spring, I often consider it but basically lambing in December fits in with everything else going on with work, home life etc. Additionally it's a pedigree flock and many of the breeders lamb in December so I've been keen to keep my ewes in sync with them in case I want to sell ewes or shearlings.

    Thank you all again.I think I'm going to give them creep but reduced rate to previous years. Seems like a good compromise.

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