Better planned weaning could help maintain a favourable flow of new season lambs on to the market this summer and autumn, helping counter the knock-on effects of the cold spring, suggests EBLEX’s Chris Lloyd.

The potential for larger numbers of lambs coming on to the market later in the season makes it vital to concentrate on finishing the maximum number of weaned lambs from pasture if they are to secure best returns and avoid compromising ewe performance, says Mr Lloyd.

“Better planned and well managed grazing can help improve lamb performance and finish up to 20% more lambs off grass at 14-20 weeks of age.”

To take full advantage he recommends weaning lambs at between 12 and 16 weeks of age, as there is little to be gained beyond that.

“For typical lowland flocks the target should be 95% of lambs finished by eight weeks post-weaning.

“Creep feeding will maintain growth rates where grass is limited and ensuring weaned lambs have good pasture with a low worm challenge will also help,” he adds.

For more information see the EBLEX Action for Profit fact sheet on planned weaning ( www.eblex.org.uk ).