3 Tips for Feeding Sheep Purina® Accuration® Hi-Fat Blocks

Wellness : Nutrition

Clay Elliott, Ph.D.

Companion Animal Nutritionist, Technical Solutions

Purina® Accuration® Sheep & Goat Hi-Fat Blocks are simple to use. Simply set the purple tubs out in the pasture and go about your day. Meanwhile, your sheep will be getting the nutrition they need to balance nutrient deficiencies and maintain body condition scores.
But there are a few tricks of the trade that will help ensure you’re getting the most from your investment. Here are the best practices for feeding Accuration® Hi-Fat tubs:

Chart, funnel chartDescription automatically generatedTip 1: Focus on forages

If you only remember one thing about feeding Accuration® Hi-Fat tubs, remember this – adequate amounts of forages must be provided at all times.
Accuration® Hi-Fat tubs work by pushing animals to forage so they fill up faster. Even in situations where animals wouldn’t eat a particular type of grass, when they are fed Accuration® Hi-Fat tubs, they’ll consume grass they’ve never eaten before.
So, if you don’t have an ample quantity of hay or grass available, you will see significant overconsumption, up to 2.0-2.5 pounds per head per day. If you notice consumption increasing significantly, it may be time to rotate pastures.

Tip 2: Understand intake levels

It’s important to remember that consumption levels will vary based on forage quality. Accuration® Hi-Fat tubs are meant to fill in the nutrition gaps when forage quality is low. So, consumption will be higher when forage quality is low and decrease when forage quality is high.

The high levels of protein and fat also aid in supporting nutrition when forage quality is low and help maintain or increase body condition score. Accuration® Hi-Fat tubs include 25% total protein levels – more than many supplements on the market.  

And, the formulation of the tub – using an extruded nugget rather than an oil – means the product is firmer, slowing consumption compared to other tubs on the market.

Tip 3: Know when to feed Accuration® and when not to

Accuration® Hi-Fat tubs are specifically designed for ewes out on pasture or range. You’ll typically see overconsumption when fed to ewes in pens because animals will eat more of the tub instead of grazing.
Instead, we recommend Purina® Lamb & Ewe 15 DX30 for ewes in pens.

Best practices for feeding Accuration® Hi-Fat tubs

Accuration® Hi-Fat tubs should be offered year-round. At a minimum, provide tubs 60 days before turning bucks out and feed with a free-choice sheep mineral to maintain optimal body condition going into breeding season. Place tubs near a water source or loafing areas. If animals have a high rate of consumption, move tubs farther away from water or loafing areas. In larger pastures, tubs should be available in more than one location. A rule of thumb is 25 ewes per tub.

Don’t be alarmed if consumption of Accuration® Hi-Fat tubs is higher than expected when you first introduce the tubs to your flock. Animals need time to adapt to the tub before the correct consumption is reached. Intake will level out once sheep are consistently exposed to the tubs and forage intake increases.

You may also see higher consumption levels if the tubs run out and aren’t replaced right away. Gaps in nutrition can cause higher intakes when the tubs are reintroduced. (Pro-tip: when product levels get low, turn tubs on their sides so sheep can better reach the remaining product).

When starting sheep out on the Accuration® Hi-Fat tubs, make sure they are already accustomed to a high forage diet. And provide a good quality sheep mineral containing phosphorus starting several weeks before and during feeding Accuration® Hi-Fat tubs.

Want to learn more? Dive deeper into the Purina® Accuration® Hi-Fat tubs product details and see what sheep producers say about their experiences.