With more sheep farmers actively focusing on making quality silage, there is a growing opportunity to include protected soya in ewe diets.
Research and practical application of making the most from forage and by providing protected protein sources can have positive impacts on animal health and survivability.
Anecdotal feedback and work done by John Vipond, and others, have shown that over the last month before lambing, ewes fed on an adlib mineralized silage with either 100g of soya (per lamb) or 50g of protected soya (Ultra-Soy) can reduce labour and feed costs. This was noted due to smaller amounts of supplementary feeding and making use of good quality silage to provide ewes with their required energy. A target of 1 bale per 4 ewes of ME 11+ or more is needed. Blood testing on a sample of ewes can be done if there is any doubt in silage quality.
Feeding the right nutrition not only makes a big difference to ewes but will make a significant impact on lamb survivability through ewe colostrum quality. Correct nutrition also reduces the risk of watery mouth and twin lamb disease. Looking ahead there is a lot of uncertainty across the sector, not to mention the volatility the industry is experiencing with raw material prices; all reasons enough to assess the farm opportunities and resources. Working with suppliers, vets and your NWF ruminant specialist can aid in creating and maintaining a resilient and productive enterprise.
Although this will not impact this season, now (post lambing) is the time to start thinking about the coming silage season, discuss with NWF what you can do to improve your forage for the 2021/2022 lambing season.
Call Rupert Stafford on 01829 262270 or email Rupert at Rupert.Stafford@NWFagriculture.co.uk for more information on protected soya ewe in diets.
Click HERE for more information on our protected feeds range.