8 September 1995

Feed for condition

EWES with low condition scores and limited grass must be fed to improve condition for tupping or next years lamb crop will be reduced.

The dilemma is whether to give priority to finishing lambs or to take ewes to the optimum score of 3.5 before tupping (see p44).

But, says ADAS livestock consultant Elwyn Rees, failure to lift condition in ewes and not put them on a high plane of nutrition will hit next years lambing %. For example, a Mule ewe with a condition score of 2.5 will have a lambing percentage of about 140 whereas with a score of 3.5 her lambing percentage will increase to 180.

Mr Rees suggests ewes at condition score 2.5 on limited grazing should also be fed 200g of concentrate a head a day plus ad lib straw for eight weeks before tupping to get them to condition score 3.5.

Mr Rees stresses that feeding at this level, to maintain condition, should be continued for the first two months of pregnancy or embryo losses will result in reduced lambing percentages next year. &#42