19 November 1999

Over-fat ewes need scoring

MANY ewes are over-fat after a good autumn on plentiful grass, and should be condition scored and managed appropriately after settling in lamb.

Where ewes are in too good condition, sheep consultant Lesley Stubbings warns against being too generous in the middle of pregnancy. "Condition score, keep fat ewes tight enough to stop them becoming any fatter, and do not be too generous with feed in mid- pregnancy," she says.

Ms Stubbings says that the ideal is for ewes to maintain their bodyweight, although a loss of up to 4% of their weight is acceptable. "These limits are the ideal for ensuring maximum placenta growth." &#42