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Coping With The Bad Weather

5 April 2018

Feed potatoes to grazing stock

Contact your local potato grower/merchant to see if he has stockfeed or surplus potatoes you can buy to feed to grazing stock, particularly ewes and lambs.

Supplementary feed stock on bare fields with high energy feeds eg grain, compounds etc.

For sheep grain can be fed whole but ideally through a snacker to avoid coccidiosis around dirty feed troughs etc.  Feed blocks & high energy licks are ideal and can be regularly moved to a clean site.

Graze all grass fields

Don’t shut up fields for silage until grass is growing away from stock.

Begin creep feeding as soon as possible

Lambs will begin to take an interest in creep from about three weeks of age and calves just two or three weeks later.  If conditions are still wet consider using builders lime around creep troughs to minimise scald.

Ask neighbours if they have empty sheds, spare feed

Perhaps you might also be able to help them.  Make full use of half empty silos to reduce housed stocking rates and give youngstock a dry lie.


Speak to your vet about what you can do to avoid problems eg drench youngstock against coccidiosis, vaccinate ewes against footrot etc.  Also make sure the iodine solution you are using to dip navals is based on 90% alcohol.  Alcohol is essential to dry off the naval quickly to prevent disease entering.

Put fertiliser on all fields as soon as possible

If growing conditions are wet bring in specialised spreaders using low ground pressure machinery.  Where these are not readily available consider using ATVs with slug pellet applicators – every little boost to grass growth will be crucial.

A dry lie for stock

Where appropriate make full use of woods, particularly those recently thinned to allow stock shelter, and more importantly a dry lie when grazing fields are wet and muddy.

Sell finished cattle and hoggs as soon as possible

Also sell all ewes who’ve lost lambs – this year Ramadan is early, starting on 16 May.

Seek further advice from the FAS helpline 0300 323 0161

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