Sheep Feed

4 million lambs are lost in the period just pre-lambing to a few days of age, costing the industry an estimated £120 million per annum, 55% of which are due to poor ewe feeding. The message is very clear - sheep farmers should feed the best possible ewe concentrate pre and post-lambing to maximize profitability. The lowest cost product will simply not do.

The Cost Of Ewe Concentrate Feeding

The MLC sheep yearbook shows an average annual concentrate usage of around 50kg per ewe. £20/tonne difference in the cost of concentrates is equivalent to £1.00/ewe. For an additional outlay of only £1.00 per ewe, significant improvements in aspects of health and productivity of ewes and lambs can be expected. These will be seen in the four basic and essential factors of profitable lamb production.

1. Healthy ewes produce healthy lambs

  • Avoiding pregnancy toxaemia due to energy deficiency
  • Avoid hypocalcaemia due to an imbalance of calcium and magnesium
  • Ewes need sound feet and udders for optimum lamb rearing

2. Strong lambs have more ‘get-up-and-go’ for better survivability and growth

  • Larger lambs at birth have lower mortality and better growth rates
  • Strong lambs are better able to avoid hypothermia through immediately available body reserves as brown adipose tissue and subsequent ability to shiver
  • Strong lambs can stand and suckle earlier after birth

3. Immediate access to quality colostrum, improves:

  • Survival in the face of hypothermia
  • Immunity to disease passed from the ewe to the lamb

4. Plentiful ewe milk supply, to mprove lamb growth rate

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