For the ewe ‘energy’ is the fuel that enables her to produce viable lambs. A ewe’s energy requirement almost doubles in the last eight weeks before lambing. In months 4 + 5 of pregnancy 85% of foetal growth takes place. As a rule of thumb Drummonds’ feed specialists recommend that for the last two months of pregnancy twin bearing ewes should gain approx. 1kg liveweight per week. For ewes carrying a single lamb a liveweight gain of 0.5kg will suffice.
The roughage intake of, in particular twin and triplet bearing ewes, declines in late pregnancy, and concentrate supplementation (containing essential minerals) must be introduced, and gradually built up. Protein requirements increase 3 weeks before lambing reflecting the needs of the growing foetus, together with the growth of the udder, and the production of
colostrum. For the final three weeks we recommend you feed a 17-18% ration twice daily (ie. no more than 0.5kg in a single feed).
Meal feeding levels will depend on a number of factors:
1. Size of the ewe
2. Number of lambs she is carrying
3. Roughage quality
4. Ewe condition
The ‘7 Point Rule’:
A guideline feeding programme for a 65kg ewe, carrying twins, on good quality hay or silage.
N.B. For single bearing ewes reduce by 0.2 kgs
For triplet bearing ewes increase by 0.2 kgs
+ introduce feed 2 weeks earlier.
For further information contact your local Drummonds branch or contact our Navan Feed Mill Tel: 046 902 1641