Sheep summer feeding

Sheep summer feeding


Introduce crop gradually to diet, the animals need around 2 weeks to be fully adapted. Feed extra fibre (where brassicas make up the majority of daily intake), a source of effective fibre (e.g. hay, straw, silage) should be offered. Plenty of clean water has to be available to ensure DM intakes do not drop.

Minerals: Brassicas are very high in calcium, potassium and sulphur, moderate in phosphorus and low in magnesium and trace elements. High sulphur and molybdenum can induce copper deficiency. Adequate Copper and Selenium levels will decrease Smethylcysteine sulfoxide (SMCO) effects (anemia).

Brassicas, especially root crops, contain glucosinolates, which block the uptake of iodine from the diet. Brassicas are also low in iodine which increases the risk of iodine deficiency which will affect the thyroid gland and the hormones it produces. Cobalt, precursor of vitamin B12, is a key mineral in the energy metabolism. Levels of Cobalt are low in Brassicas and need to be supplemented.


Obtaining good results in weight gain through the summer will depend on the quality of feed available. 

  • Quantity: Lambs: 4-5% of BW (30kg lamb will need 1.2-1.5 kg/DM daily) Sheep: 3% of BW (60kg sheep will need 1.8-2 kg DM daily)
  • Quality: The average MJME to obtain gain has to be a minimum of 10 for 100g live weight gain, 11 for 200g live weight gain, 12 for 300g live weight gain, 13 for 400g live weight gain.

That means that the combination of quality and quantity are very important to achieve the weight gain targets. Our high energy molasses block will help.


 Good summer pasture: 10-11 MJME/kg DM

Hay: 8-9 MJME/kg DM

Brassica crops: 11-13 MJME/kg DM

GRAIN: 12-13 MJME/kg DM ($470/T)

Regular summer pasture: 9-10 MJME/kg DM

Haylage: 9-11 MJME/kg DM

PKE: 11-12 MJME/kg DM ($230/T)

DDG’s: 12 MJME/kg DM ($230/T)


Balancing the animal’s diet can give you good returns without spending much money.

NUTRIMIX NZ Ltd support our clients with nutrition advise and the ideal mineral supplement for your animals through MOLASSES BLOCKS formulated for each necessity, BRASSICAS BLOCKS high in magnesium, iodine, selenium and cobalt. HIGH ENERGY BLOCKS with bypass fat, HIGH PROTEIN BLOCKS to supplement low quality grass, and CUSTOMISED BLOCKS according with your farm requirements.

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