Ewes fed indoors on roughage require additional energy and protein in the form of concentrates during late pregnancy. The length of the concentrate feeding period and the daily concentrate requirements are influenced by: (a) roughage quality; and, (b) litter size. The table below assesses the concentrate requirements for in lamb ewes fed silages of different types and quality. Single bearing ewes require 5kg less concentrates while ewes carrying triplets will require an additional 8kg of concentrates pre lambing.

Despite a rise in ration prices, it still makes good economic sense to feed adequate amounts of a high quality ration. Concentrates fed to ewes should contain high quality energy ingredients in the form of cereals and pulps. Protein is important in the last month of pregnancy and a ration containing 18-19% crude protein (Cr Pr) is recommended to meet the ewe’s protein requirement pre lambing. Soyabean meal should be the principal source of the protein in the last month of pregnancy. Purchase sheep rations on the basis of ingredient content and quality and not on price only.

Feed Drummond’s Supreme Ewe 18% coarse ration, which only contains the top feed ingredients to ensure the ewe’s requirements are met as well as producing top quality colostrum to new born lambs. This ration will not be beaten on quality and contains a generous amount of Hi-Pro Soya, sugar beet pulp, rolled barley and oats, as well as a palatable Cal-mag and sheep minerals.

Fact: Research has shown a soyabean based concentrate increased lamb birth weight by 0.36 kg and lamb live weight gain from birth to 5 weeks by 22 g/day. Subsequently, lambs from ewes offered the soyabean based concentrate were 0.8 kg heavier at weaning.