With the fast-approaching arrival of lambing season, it is essential that producers take extra care to ensure ewe health and performance leading up to this time. Providing feed with balanced nutrition will help support ewe performance in the weeks leading up to lambs being born. It's time to get ready and ensure that this lambing season goes smoothly.
75% of a lamb's growth happens around 8 weeks before its birth; so proper nutritional support during this period is paramount in helping reduce any potential losses later on. Don't underestimate the importance for nutrition now - with 55% of all lamb losses happening due to inadequate sustenance ove this time frame.
As lamb foetuses grow quickly in the lead-up to birth, their increased size puts a strain on ewes' rumens and limits their feed intakes. Unfortunately this is exactly when nourishment is most needed for both mother and offspring; if not carefully managed it can create an energy deficit resulting from more energy being spent than taken in. Thus proper preservation of health at this critical juncture should be paramount.
To ensure that the ewe's energy requirements are met and maximum nutrition is made available to her lambs, sheep producers should supply high-energy concentrates during pre-lambing. This targeted feeding strategy helps build a nutritional foundation necessary for robust lamb growth while keeping mother healthy - an essential part of any flock success!
As we approach lambing season, the amount of energy and concentrate needed to supplement ewes' diets across farms can vary drastically. This is due in large part to the ever-changing quality and availability of forage these animals rely on during this important period. Understanding how much extra nourishment your farm's flock needs plays a crucial role in maintaining an optimum balance – one that ensures both healthful pregnancies as well as healthy lambs.
Research has revealed that the quality of forage can make a big difference to ewes when it comes to supplementing their food. In particular, we found over six weeks before lambing, 7kg more concentrate supplementation would be required for those being fed lower-grade silage compared with higher grade material. The implications are something farmers must take into account if they want healthy ewes and good quality lambs.
In order to maximize lamb performance and potential, producers should ensure their ewes are fed a diet that provides both Rumen Degradable Protein (ERDP) as well as By-pass Protein (DUP). ERDP will help offset the challenge of poor forage quality in addition to aiding digestion. Meanwhile, DUP is essential in producing ample amounts of high-quality colostrum which impacts survival rates post birth and boosts milk yield during lactation. Correct dietary management can make all the difference when it comes supporting an animals' health before they enter the world!
At Meirion Davies, we supply a range of feed to ensure your ewes are in the best condition to deliver healthy, quality lambs. As well as feeding your ewes, mineral lick blocks are also an important way to ensure your ewes have all the vital nourishment to help them through the crucial weeks before they lamb.
Don’t hesitate to call us for more advice on ewe health and nutrition. See below for our recommended products.