31 May Improving Conception Rates in Ewes
One strategy to improve farm profitability within a sheep breeding enterprise is to improve conception rates at joining to increase the lambing percentage. Providing the key nutritional requirements for ewes and rams prior to and during joining, whilst undertaking simple management strategies can ensure better conception rates and increase the number of lambs born.
Step 1. Body Condition Score
Ewes and rams must be on a rising plane of nutrition leading up to and including the joining period. Ideally ewes and rams should have between a 2.5 – 3.5 body score condition.
Current seasonal conditions are good which could result in both ewes and rams being in a heavier in condition for joining. This may affect their energy levels.
Step 2. External and Internal Parasites
Preventative measures should be taken to help reduce the burden of parasites during the joining period, which may include drenching, vaccination, supplementation, protection from flystrike and any other health issues that may affect your sheep. Also consider the length of wool the animals are carrying so as this does not inhibit the joining process.
Step 3. Providing the Correct Nutrition
Soil testing indicates our soils are naturally deficient in certain minerals, particularly in the New England Region. Consequently these pastures may be lacking these minerals too. Just because there is feed in the paddock, this does not mean your sheep are getting the correct nutrition for joining.
The Essential Minerals Associated with Sheep Fertility
Selenium, Zinc, Potassium, Phosphorus, Manganese, Iodine, Copper, Cobalt, Iron and Boron.
MegaMin Extra Sulphur and MegaMin SulPhos can assist in providing ewes and rams with an adequate supply of broad spectrum macro and trace minerals to help support the physiological processes that are essential for optimum health and fertility. As a result this can potentially improve conception rates and lambing percentages, providing a good return on your investment.
The table illustrates the financial investment of supplementing ewes with MegaMin Extra Sulphur or MegaMin SulPhos*.