Tips for early lamb production...
Early lambing success is all about managing the ewe. In particular, ewe condition and nutrition are two key factors. Among the things we advise farmers are:
Get ewes scanned
It is important to know how many lambs ewes are bearing so scanning is vital to enable grouping and feeding accordingly to condition score and the number of lambs expected. This will avoid over or under-feeding of ewes and help maximise the number of lambs born alive and successfully reared.
Get forage analysed
During late pregnancy feeding the correct ration is crucial to the survivability of the new born lamb in terms of lamb vigour and colostrum production. A balanced diet will also reduce the risk of prolapse and twin lamb disease.Forage is the main part of ewe diets, so knowing it’s nutritional value is the building block for a balanced ration to meet the ewe’s needs. Ask your Feed Specialist to analyse your forage so you know exactly what you are feeding.
Choose concentrates carefully
Diets for ewes in late pregnancy need to be high in energy and contain un-degradable protein in order to meet the ewe’s requirements when demands increase as 70% of the foetal growth occurs in the last four weeks of pregnancy. You need to get ewes in the correct condition pre-lambing to promote easier births. Concentrates need to contain the correct amount and type of energy and protein to complement forages and also need to contain the necessary balance of minerals and vitamins. For this reason, our pre–lambing sheep compounds contain Rumenco Ewe and Lamb Lifeline premix. This premix in carefully formulated to ensure ewes get the minerals and vitamins they need. It is high in Vitamin E which is proven to produce lambs that are more vigorous at birth and have better growth rates. Chelated zinc is included for good hoof quality, increased milk yield and milk quality. Balanced feeding of ewes for early lamb production is vital to ensure lambs get the best possible start and reach target weights in order to capitalise on the early market price.