lambs on strawGetting ewe nutrition right at this critical time will help ensure ewes are in good body condition; will have good colostrum quality; and good milk yield, resulting in strong & hardy lambs growing well and capable of fighting off disease. As well as inadequate nutrition at this time, ewes that are over-fat have increased risk of prolapse & twin lamb disease (pregnancy toxaemia), which can lead to lambing difficulties.

A ewe consumes approximately 2.0 - 2.5% of her bodyweight on a dry matter (DM) basis. Typically this equates to 1.4 - 2.0 kilos of dry matter intake per day. The last six weeks before lambing are to my mind the most important of the year. A whopping 70% of a lamb's birth-weight is put on in these six weeks, and the ewe must also develop udder tissue and produce colostrum during this key time.  The ewe's nutritional demands double during the last six weeks (depending on the number of lambs she is carrying), yet the rapidly growing foetus and hormonal changes reduce intake and rumen capacity at this time.

Scanning & grouping ewes according to how many lambs they are carrying and introducing a meal feeding programme in line with our table (see table) will pay dividend. Feeding a high quality forage source is very important and is a great help in keeping feed costs down.

Typical Meal Feeding Programme

In most cases we have found that feeding a higher specification concentrate to ewes pre and post lambing means that less needs to be fed, helping to reduce total feed costs. Lambs born with greater vitality grow faster earlier in life and all farmers know the many benefits of having healthy animals. We recommend that concentrates should be fed twice daily when exceeding 0.4 kilos per day. Don't forget the importance of providing sufficient fresh, clean water. The intake of water increases dramatically as ewes lamb.

SUPREME EWE 18% & 20%
Supreme Ewe 18% is our top selling ration for feeding to ewes pre and post lambing. Both the18% and 20% rations contain a consistent blend of ONLY top quality energy, protein and fibre sources, coupled with a generous inclusion of soyabean meal providing the ‘rocket fuel’ required to drive quality colostrum production and good milk yields. Both of these rations include Cal-Mag and our proven Sheep Mineral.

DRUMMONDS EWE NUT -18 %, 19% & 20% OptionsSheep on cobs feeding
Nuts which are high in both energy and protein derived largely from maize, barley and various protein sources including soyabean meal. These nuts contain optimum levels of fibre to promote rumen function. Cal-Mag is included to help prevent grass tetany when ewes are returned to grass post lambing.

An 18% protein feed ideal for ewes at grass. This large 14mm cube can be fed directly on top of grass or silage, ensuring minimal losses. The labour cost saving in not moving troughs and in reduced levels of poaching are some of the added benefits of feeding cobs. Ewe cobs are available for direct delivery (bulk tipped) to customers over the coming weeks.


 Lifeline bucket  Acorn Sheep bucket  Crystalyx

We offer both feed and/or mineral buckets to our sheep customers. It is advisable to have at least 2 buckets per group of sheep in order to prevent bullying.

 Article Written by:  Shaun Smith Technical Sales Advisor (Mullingar) Tel: 086 145 0885

Speak to your local Drummonds Technical Sales Advisors and/or our counter sales staff about the benefits of feeding high quality Drummonds Feeds.