13 February 1998

Good ewe feed, heavier lambs

INVESTING in ewe feeding during late pregnancy could increase lamb weights and survival.

Richard Bush of ACT warns that cheap, low value feeds could reduce flock performance.

Although producers may be tempted by low quality cheaper feeds because of depressed lamb prices, check ingredients before buying; a £10/t difference in feed price costs just 75p a ewe over late pregnancy. He believes the extra cost is worth it to obtain better feed.

In the last six weeks of pregnancy, 60% of foetal growth occurs. During that time a ewes nutritional needs increase as her rumen is squeezed by the growing uterus, limiting intake. Therefore, high quality raw materials must be fed. &#42