17 January 1996

Feed to avoid

prolapse risk

SHEEP producers should ensure ewes are being fed appropriately to minimise risk of prolapses.

Ewes which are overfed or allowed unrestricted access to high energy feeds are most at risk, warns Brian Hosie of the Scottish Agricultural Colleges Edinburgh Veterinary Investigation Centre.

"Where ewes are not split according to how many lambs they are carrying and date of lambing it is easy to over-feed them. Thats particularly so where ewes are receiving a mixed diet such as grass, silage, concentrate and licks."

He advises targeting rations to meet ewe requirements. "Where prolapses have affected more than 3% of the flock in the past seek veterinary advice. But to ensure you feed appropriately, divide the flock by the number of lambs ewes are carrying, date of lambing and ewe body condition."

In these flocks, Mr Hosie says it is vital to control nutrition in the last eight weeks of pregnancy. "Analyse hay and silage, and formulate rations accordingly."n