What Do Sheep Eat: Ultimate List of Sheep Food

You might be curious about what do sheep eat but I would say sheep are grazing animals. However, providing the sheep with nutritious feeds is the key in order to have a thriving flock in the yard.

Good sheep nutrition meets criteria such as quantity, quality, and balance. There is a lot of different type of sheep food that you can learn about and know the reasons why they need such type of feeds.

Can sheep eat apples? Well, this is among many other questions that people asked on sheep discussion forums. In this article, you will learn some of the basic foods and types that sheep will need in order to have thriving health.

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List of Sheep Food

Sheep is a domestic animal that feeds on all kinds of foods that other animals feed on but the following are more specific types of sheep feeds that you are supposed to provide for your flock. They include:

Grass, Clover, and Forbs

These are basic sheep foods. Almost all breeds of sheep feed on clovers, grass, forbs and other types of pastures in that native areas.

Forbs are the most loved pasture by sheep and many breeds of sheep can prefer eating them on a daily basis rather than grass.

These plants have broad leaves and it tends to produce flowers during some certain stages. The research shows that forbs are highly nutritious than grass and clovers.

The good thing with sheep is that they tend to eat a variety of plants and pastures as compared to cattle but less than goats.

Grazing Time

Sheep have the ability to graze for a long period of time when compared to cattle. They mostly graze a lot at dawn and late in the afternoon.

If you have these pastured sheep, it is recommended to give them supplements in the mid of the day in order to avoid interrupting their grazing time.

The inspiration of grazing is brought about gregarious. This implies that they tend to travel in flock while grazing. The grazing land is determined by the type of soil and the amount of rainfall the native area receives.

You should note that a pregnant or nursing ewe requires a lot of nutrition. So it is recommended to provide them with a lot of grass and other supplements in order to nurse their lambs professionally.

Different Plants

Sheep eat different types of plants depending on the location they live in. According to the research done by our experts, temperate climates forages are highly nutritious than those of tropical forages.

However, the forage diet does lack both protein and energy nutrients. It is recommended to include this type of diet when the sheep are in the vegetative state.

Pasture Requirements

If you are thinking about starting a profitable sheep farming business then consider the amount of land or the quality of pasture the land can produce.

The area should have adequate rainfall in order to foster the growth of more pastures on the grazing ground. Wet seasons has the capability of supporting quite a large number of sheep than dry climate.

The reproductive rate and lamb growth rate are high during the rainfall period since there is plenty of forages. The production of wool tends to do well in arid areas since it requires fewer feeds in order to facilitate their growth.

Store Feeds

What do sheep eat in the winter? Well, it is good to get prepared for this season for your flocks. You can feed your sheep with stored feeds such as silage, hay, green cop, and crop by-products.

Hay is a type of grass that has been cut and dried for use as livestock feeds while silage is a green forage that has been fermented and stored in the silo. Green cop refers to freshly harvested forage.

Sheep Food Supplements

Grains are some of the common feed supplements for domestic sheep. They are highly recommended for pregnant ewes especially during the final period of gestation. The nutrients from the grains give lamb quality genetic factors that facilitate a faster growth rate.

Grain supplements contain oats, corns, barley, and other nutrients. Grains are processed feeds and it is not advisable to feed the sheep these supplements as their primary feeds.

You can include soybeans and cottonseeds in the grains in order to produce protein base nutrients. Balance the grains with a healthy granola bar in order to create a nutritional diet that is well balanced.


The by-products of crop food and production can also be offered to the sheep. They tend to provide high quality feeds for them. Some of the common by-products of crop production are whole cottonseed, soybean hulls, wheat middling’s, and corn gluten feed.

Remember to supply an adequate amount of water to your animals on demand in order to keep them healthy and also facilitate proper digestion.

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