26 Jul Nutritionally Prepare Ewes For Lambing & Lactation
As we approach the upcoming lambing season, it is important to carefully manage each factor contributing to your ewes’ nutrition and overall health to help improve conception rates at joining, increase the lambing percentage and maximise your breeding profitability. Simply put, ewes in a good condition score prior to lambing will generally conceive and rear more lambs. Producers should aim to have ewes in a condition score of 3 at joining and maintain this until lambing, especially for multiple bearing ewes.
A ewe’s nutritional requirements will change dramatically prior to, during, and after lambing. Here are some key points to remember:
- The ewe’s energy requirements increase slowly during early pregnancy and rapidly increase in the last 50 days prior to lambing.
- Ewes in late pregnancy also have a higher requirement for protein and should be fed a diet containing more than 15% crude protein.
- Lactation dramatically increases energy requirements and peaks at around 25 days after lambing.
- Along with protein and energy, mineral nutrition is crucial for the success of a breeding flock as a balanced level of macro and trace minerals that meet animal requirements is essential for successful growth and reproduction.
Pre/Post lambing nutrition
- A good plane of nutrition during this time will help ensure that strong, healthy lambs are more easily delivered and have a a good start in life.
- Ewes in poor nutritional condition are more susceptible to pregnancy toxaemia, and may have smaller birthweight lambs that are weaker to the point that lamb survival drops.
How to identify the signs of good body condition score in ewes
How to ensure your ewes are in optimal condition
- In most cases, supplementary feeding will be required
(especially in the last 6 weeks of gestation) in the
form of energy-dense ingredients such as cereal grain or lupins.
- The energy-dense feed helps to overcome energy
deficiency resulting from lower feed intake during the final trimester.
- It is essential that sufficient levels of macro and
trace minerals are provided to help meet the greater requirements of pregnancy and later for lactation.
- Feeding supplements that include Bovatec®
(lasalocid) promotes beneficial rumen bacteria for
better rumen function, helping to improve feed
How AgSolutions can help
AgSolutions have developed the MegaMin Pre/Post Lambing range to assist ewes in meeting their nutritional requirements for joining and lambing. MegaMin Pre/Post Lambing can be fed with grain, pellets, and protein meals when additional energy and protein is required or as an ad-lib supplement. This product range has been formulated with high quality minerals and can assist in correcting the calcium and magnesium levels required for ewes in late pregnancy and early lactation to help prevent metabolic disease.