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Improve Lambing in 2012

As we get deeper into autumn it’s time to take a serious look at your ewes and plan for a successful lambing. Planning to succeed means working out a feed budget so you know how much feed your stock require during pregnancy and lambing. The dry feed is rapidly deteriorating and all pregnant ewes will require a steady increase in nutrition to ensure the best chance of rearing live lambs.

The sheep industry has a dismal record in lambing percentages with no improvement over the past thirty years.

This year’s lambing is going to be critical as we start to re-build Western Australia’s sheep flock. The Life Time Ewe Management program has clearly demonstrated good nutrition is the key to lifting lambing percentage and ewe survival rates.  Knowing ewes' condition score (CS) is critical, as this is now the proven way of understanding how much supplementary feed is required to hold CS and give your ewes the best chance of a successful lambing.

We need to break the traditional ways of feeding to improve the state lambing percentage.

Just feeding grain can cause problems with acidosis. Also, up to 20% of grain can be left on the ground wasted. Ewes also require essential minerals and vitamins to maintain optimum health.  These essential vitamin and mineral requirements are not meet from grain alone.

Start feeding early and scan so the empty ewes are removed and only ewes in lamb receive the extra feed required.  If possible, separate the multiples and manage them accordingly.

Starting ewes on 300 grams per head per day and gradually lifting the rate up to 800 grams per head per day at the point of lambing will go a long way towards supplying the basic ration for ewes running on pasture or stubble. Ewes are now extremely valuable and it’s never made more sense to feed our ewes. As the days start to get colder, ewes nutritional demands start to increase just to maintain body temperature. When the weather turns nasty, ewes will require extra feed which should be factored into the feed budget.

Backed by years of research, Milne Feeds’ products (EasyOne®, EasyLick® ) will maximize production rates and paternal performance in producers’ sheep.  Research indicates ewes in a higher condition at joining and lambing wean up to 20 more lambs per 100, than ewes one Body Condition Score (BCS) lighter.  To maintain 60kg ewes in BCS 3 they require a ration consisting of approximately 9MJ/kg energy and nine percent protein.  During pregnancy these figures increase to 11MJ/kg and 10pc protein.  With 11MJ/kg energy and at 14.5% protein EasyLick and EasyOne are the ideal solution.

For ewes run under paddock conditions, with large frames weighting 60kg, to hold Condition Score 3 at day 130 of pregnancy for singles require 14.4 MJ/day. Ewes carrying twins require 17.7 MJ/day, compared to a dry ewe that only needs 9.3 MJ/day. This feed demand increases at day 10  of lactation to 21.5 MJ/day for singles and 26.9 MJ/day for twins. Are you giving your ewes adequate nutrition? Are you providing the vitamin & minerals required?

EasyOne® and EasyLick® are two high quality, balanced rations, which can be safely fed to ewes and lambs, without the need for adaptation or supplementary hay.  This ensures sheep put on condition without the potential set back of acidosis, often seen when eating traditional grain supplements.  EasyLick is produced as a 4 mm diameter pellet and has been specifically made for use in adjustable lick feeders. EasyOne is a 9mm diameter pellet and while it can be fed with a feeder, it has the added versatility of being suitable for trail feeding.

EasyOne® and EasyLick® are the perfect feed solution for lambing ewes as they both provide a well-balanced ration with all the minerals and vitamins for optimum health. When the season breaks our pellets are ideal as the fibre content is required when the new grasses are basically water and lacking in fibre.

Milne Feeds understands every livestock producer requires different quantities of feed and its depot network allows producers to obtain what they require, when they need it.

For further advise on feeding call Reg Crabb on 0428 009 288 or Milne Feeds on 9351 0700