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Post-Lambing Advice

It is very important to ensure that lambs achieve maximum growth rates whilst also supporting the ewe to ensure she is productive again next year.

After lambing, milk yield increases rapidly peaking at 3-4 weeks into lactation, at this time the ewe’s energy requirements double to meet this demand. If not met for a prolonged period, it can lead to ketosis, hypocalcemia, lower milk yields and therefore lower DLWG and lamb mortality.

When it comes to turnout it is important to monitor grass growth in advance. Until grass swards reach approximately 4cm, most of the nutrients in ewe and lamb diets must come from supplementary concentrates. It is recommended to consider the following forage feed rates:

I recommend feeding NWF Champion Ewe or Ewetrition 19 Rolls, which offer a cost-effective, high-quality compound to suit the requirements of most flocks. For higher producing ewes rearing more than one lamb, it is advisable to include a source of digestible undegraded protein, such as NWF Ultra Soy and Ultra Pro-R into the ration.

Upon analysis of forage diets this year, NWF are seeing results that are generally lower in protein and energy. To combat this, the addition of NWF Ewe Breeder and Protein Energy mineral buckets is recommended to ensure flocks are getting the necessary nutrients. Buckets are available as 20kg or 80kg. I have been using them at home since tupping just to ensure ewe health, immune system and foot health is kept at its peak. These are a high-quality minerals buckets providing the ewe and lambs with high energy and quality ingredients.These ingredients include salmon fish oil for lamb vigour, high levels of zinc to support the immune system and foot health, B12 for rumen function and MOS for helping to activate the ewe’s immune system. It is very important sufficient clean water is always available, a ewe can drink up to 9 litres of water per day.

If you have not yet analysed forage contact your local NWF Sales Specialist. The NWF forage analysis service is free for NWF account holders with results processed within 24hrs of receipt at the accredited laboratory at our head office. We analyse grass, maize and whole crop silage, fresh grass and haylage.

Finally, we need to look at weaning. It is recommended to feed a 17-19% starchy starter pellet. Ideally, we would like to see them consume the following amounts of concentrate – 100g/h/d at weeks 2-3, 200g/h/d at week 3-5 and then 300g/h/d up to 8 weeks old. Then consider swapping onto a lamb finisher nut to help ‘flesh out’ the lamb.

For further information on NWF Sheep Feeds, please click HERE.

By NWF Sales Specialist, Eliza Burton.

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