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Physical Characteristics Of Feeds

12 February 2018

When purchasing complete feeds to complement forages we can use a compound or a blended feed.  Compound feeds are straights that are ground and then made into a uniform roll, nut or a pellet.  Blended feeds are straights that keep their physical composition.  Both can have the same composition on a label but feed very differently especially with sheep.  With Blended straights there can be an element of separation and therefore a change in composition for each mouthful.  Sheep which are trough fed twice daily will likely eat fast and not pick out feeds but sheep fed heavily or ad-lib, such as intensively finished lambs, will perhaps select out different feeds more.  Separation in blends and selective feeding can cause issues with the balance of minerals and in particular with tup lambs this can increase the risk of urinary calculi.  So if you are purchasing a complete feed for intensively feeding lambs, while it may be cheaper to go for a blend, depending on your feeding system, it may be safer to go for a compound.

Karen Stewart,

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