Ewe Management, a fundamental consideration of Lambing

The nutritional management of ewes is a key driver of profitability in prime lamb or wool enterprises. Scanning percentages of 110-150% can quickly fall to 70-100% at marking with the majority of ewe and lamb losses being attributed to poor ewe nutrition during pregnancy. Management practices that target and address ewe condition and nutrient demands at various times of gestation are cost effective and can greatly improve ewe and lamb survival.

Of these nutrient demands, energy stands as the most limiting on productivity during the 10-12 weeks pre and post lambing. Energy requirements of a pregnant ewe surge in the last four to six weeks of gestation as the bulk of foetal growth, development and the onset of lactation rapidly takes place. In addition, as the foetus grows it reduces the capacity of the ewe’s rumen, significantly compromising the consumption of available feed and therefore the provision of energy. An energy deficit often leads to pregnancy toxaemia.

An ideal feed leading up to and beyond lambing should consist of good quality pasture and/or hay combined with the addition of grain (consider acidosis) to boost energy. This is particularly crucial in multiple bearing ewes as energy requirements increase while the rumen volume is further reduced.

The role of supplying a balanced and complete mineral, vitamin and trace element supplement is to offer additional nutrients to meet specific mineral and vitamin demands. They also help optimise the function of biological systems to heighten feed conversion. Improved feed conversion elevates energy, protein and mineral uptake thereby allowing the ewe to better partition nutrients towards lamb development, viability and enhanced immune response.
The StockMins-EweLamLac range of pre-lambing supplements have been specifically designed and proven to reduce lamb losses, increase weaning weight and enhance ewe performance. Call Rob (0410 655 387) or Micheal (0409 580 066) for more information about how you can get the best out of your lambing this year.