Supplementary feeding of hill ewes during pregnancy is an important aspect of sheep management. Two broad groups of feed are given. Firstly, there is feed offered on a restricted basis, daily. Secondly, there are feeds offered on an ad libitum basis, of which feedblocks are the most important form for hill ewes. Some studies have shown interaction between feedblock intake and social behaviour but little is known about foraging behaviour.
The study used three, 3 ha (50m x 600m) paddocks side by side, rising steeply from 280 to 490 metres above sea level on a semi-natural acid grassland hill pasture. Each plot was divided with markers on the fence line into 15 divisions of 40m wide, rising in altitude up the plot, each referred to as grids later. In Plot 1, 10 hill ewes were offered 150 g/head of pelleted molassed sugar beet feed at 10 am each day at grid 1 (i.e. at the bottom of the slope).