Grazing alone cannot always be relied upon to maximise ewe and ram fertility. We should not be complacent about mineral and trace element deficiencies pre-tupping, which is an important time of the flock reproduction cycle.
Even when grass growth has been good, essential trace elements can still be deficient and hinder fertility. Forage trace element analysis from across the UK has consistently found a lack of cobalt, selenium and other trace elements. This is often the case even at sites which have good quality grazing.
Thought should be given to the way trace-elements are provided in the diet. Trace element drenches such as Wynnstay AllVit T are an effective way of supplying a range of minerals quickly and effectively.
Preparations for tupping should start up to 8-10 weeks before the rams are turned out with the ewes, but at the very latest, six weeks before tupping commences. Give yourself plenty of time to rectify any problems or source replacement stock. Pay close attention to the key components of the diet to ensure fertility levels across the whole flock are maximised. Getting micronutrition right pre tupping will support fertility, and will lead to the best chance of a good scanning result and a healthy lamb crop in 2018. Drench ewes 3-4 weeks pre tupping to help ensure this.
Don’t forget the tups! All too often they can be neglected, and as they contribute 50% of the genetics to the flock, it is important that their condition is considered as well as the ewes pre-tupping. For example, sperm production typically takes six to eight weeks, so start ram preparations early, at the same time as ewes, to ensure this isn’t compromised. Consider drenching tups at 8 weeks and 4 weeks pre-tupping.
Elevated energy demands placed on pregnant ewes in late gestation mean sheep can lose condition and suffer from twin lamb disease. This produces ketones as fat reserves are used as an energy source as opposed to glucose in the blood stream.
Animal health is a key aspect in any enterprise and with lambing season already beginning in some areas, take a proactive approach to maximise ewe and lamb performance. The majority of lamb losses occur during the first 48 hours of life, but this could be avoided by focusing on ewe and lamb nutrition.
With this year’s lambing season just around the corner, we look at the best way to manage your surplus lambs in 2017. Exploring environmental and economic factors that could provide you with the advice you need to make the most of this year’s lamb crop.
Colostrum is often described as ‘liquid gold’ as the fuel for life. One secret to rearing healthy lambs, and for future production, is to make sure each lamb receives enough colostrum. Ad-lib feeding can often see lambs perform and grow better than they would had they been left on their mothers.
Regular vaccination of your ewes throughout the year is a very important part of flock management. Never is it more important than in the period prior to lambing, this is crucial for ewe’s producing colostrum to pass on immunity to newborn lambs.
Pre-season preparation is key to minimising problems, reducing losses and achieving a higher lamb yield per ewe, which eventually will lead to improved daily liveweight gain and increased margin. With lower lamb prices last season, there should be no shortcuts taken ahead of the current crop of lambs.
Lambing time is a crucial period for sheep farmers. Maximising the health and productivity of the future flock is vital to the success and sustainability of your farm. Preparation is key; therefore our sheep production team has produced this guide providing technical and product support for every stage of the lambing process.
Wynnstay aim to support the needs of the British sheep farmer and have produced this guide in the hope that we can increase the sustainability of your business. We have a small selection of lambing sundries available to purchase online as well as in your local store.
Should you have any problems or questions regarding the content of the lambing guide please do not hesitate to contact us. Your feedback is always welcome.
So when does the preparation for lambing start? Ideally it should be the day the ewes are weaned from the previous lamb crop. However, eight weeks before the rams go in is the date that the countdown really begins. So why 8 weeks before tupping? There are two reasons: number one, the rams and number two, the ewes.
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