Maintaining Growth Rates on Summer Pastures

A combination of high soil moisture levels and rising temperatures have seen pasture growth really kick throughout spring. The large amount of feed available will likely see standing feed utilised in growing lambs in summer.

Optimal levels of protein and energy for rapidly growing lambs are 16% protein and 12MJ ME/kg DM of energy. This level of nutrition is common when grazing actively growing winter pastures, like Ryegrass and Phalaris, during the cooler months, however, is less available in spring and summer when these pastures begin to mature.

Grazing Maturing Pastures

The diagram below illustrates the protein and energy levels of pastures at different stages of growth. Despite the large volumes of green pasture available, warmer temperatures have seen many winter pastures enter their reproductive phase and go to head (early to mid-flowering stage), stop growing and begin to decline in value. Given this, the best way to utilise these pastures and continue to grow lambs at a reasonable rate is to supplement the pasture with protein and energy.

At this time of year, the energy level of most summer pastures is the most limiting factor to achieving rapid growth of grazing lambs. Depending on the quality of pastures, grain supplementation at a rate of 200g/hd/day is recommended to reach optimal levels for growth. With the addition of a buffered protein supplement like StockMins-Lamb Finisher, lambs can consume more pasture, can better digest grain without acidosis and achieve rapid growth through greater feed efficiency.

Grazing Lucerne

When winter dominant pastures begin to mature and decline in energy and protein, generally from late spring onwards, we are presented with the perfect time to graze lucerne. The high level of protein in lucerne makes it ideal for growing lambs, especially during summer when adequate protein sources are limited. However, with lucerne energy is commonly a limiting factor for liveweight gain at around 10MJ/kg DM.

This energy shortfall can be corrected by offering grain (barley) at around 400g/hd/day. A form of roughage (hay or straw) should also be provided free-access when grazing lucerne to stimulate cud chewing, promote optimal rumen function and reduce the risk of redgut.

Boost Liveweight Gain with StockMins-Lamb Finisher

Whether grazing lucerne or maturing pastures during summer, StockMins-Lamb Finisher is the ideal green feed supplement in grain assisted grazing situations. A balanced combination of essential minerals, vitamins and trace elements assist with the development of rapidly growing lambs. Additionally, StockMins-Lamb Finisher boosts protein for situations where limited, and contains acid buffers to support low to mid-level grain supplementation.

StockMins-Lamb Finisher is built with Bovatec®, to boost liveweight gain and feed conversion efficiency in sheep. In fact, numerous studies have shown Bovatec to generate up to 14% extra growth in livestock grazing green feed.1

Call our friendly team at AusFarm Nutrition Products today to get the best out of your sheep this summer.

  1. Zoetis Data on File. ®Bovatec is a registered trademark of Zoetis.