7 August 1998

Over-fat ewes

MANY early lambing ewes are over-fat and may need to be brought in off pasture to safeguard fertility.

ADAS sheep specialist Kate Phillips says ewes that have been empty from the early part of the year have had good intakes of grass, and while not of the best quality, ewe condition has steadily increased. But many ewes are now over-fat, and risk jeopardising fertility, she warns.

Even where ewes are tightly stocked the exceptional grass growth means many are becoming over-fat, says Mrs Phillips.

With forecasts of warmer weather, and an increase in grass growth likely, bringing over-fat ewes indoors and feeding a diet of straw and fresh water may be the only way to reduce condition score and avoid fertility concerns.