January Newsletter Jan24 header


sheep feedingEwe Nutrition Pre Lambing

With the beginning of the new year, early lamb producing sheep farmers are beginning to turn their attention to the run into lambing again. Good ewe nutrition is vital for successful flock performance. The feed requirements of the ewe will vary through her productive cycle. Therefore, offering the correct amount of concentrate feed at key times is essential to ensure best performance and good health.

Nutrition during the latter stages of pregnancy (days 90-105)influences:

  • Lamb birth weights.
  • Colostrum supply.
  • Ewe mortality.
  • Subsequent lamb growth rates.


Ewe Feeding Requirements

sheep feeding in barnDifferent ewes will have different nutritional demands, so it is essential for the farmer to tailor the nutritional needs of each ewe. The main factors affecting ewe nutrition are:

1. Number of lambs being carried by the ewe. Ewes with twins will have a higher energy demand than those carrying singles.

2. Stage of pregnancy. In late pregnancy, the energy and protein requirements will increase rapidly, and potentially double for ewes carrying twins, as 75% of the foetal growth occurs in the final 7 weeks of pregnancy. Along with hay or silage there will be a requirement additional energy, protein, vitamins and minerals to meet the demands of the growing foetus. The ewes must also develop udder tissue to produce colostrum during this time.

3. Body condition score (BCS)of the ewe. Ewes that are over fat have increased risk of prolapse & twin lamb disease(pregnancy toxaemia), which can lead to lambing difficulties.

4. The quality of the hay/silage being fed. A silage quality report will help you make informed decisions on the levels of concentrate supplementation needed in the latter stages of pregnancy.

Concentrates fed to ewes should contain high-quality, high-energy ingredients in the form of cereals and pulp. As protein is important in the last month of pregnancy, a ration containing 18-19% crude protein is recommended to meet the ewes protein requirement pre-lambing.


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 top quality energy, protein and fibre sources, couples with a generous inclusion of soya bean meal providing the ‘rocket fuel’ required to drive quality colostrum production and goo milk yields. Both of these rations include Cal-Mag (helps prevent grass tetany when ewes are returned to grass post lambing) and our proven sheep minerals.

Ewe Cobs

Ewe cobs are a 18% protein feed ideal for ewes at grass. The large14mm cube can be fed directly on top of grass or silage saving time moving troughs and reducing poaching. Cobs will be available for customers in the coming weeks.

Drummonds Ewe Nut - 18%,19% & 20% options

Drummonds also sell a range of nuts. These nuts are both high in energy and protein derived largely from maize, barley and various protein sources including soya bean meal. These nuts contain optimum levels of fibre to promote rumen function, while also containing Cal – Mag for grass tetany.

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Contact your local Drummond’s branch or technical sales advisor for more information.