Finish lambs earlier to get a better price

Sheep farmers who finish their lambs 10 days earlier can achieve a better price by beating the rush of lambs to market, according to EBLEX.

The top-third flocks in Less Favoured Areas (LFA) achieved 12p/kg more for finished lambs (2012-13), mainly because they finished them faster, said Carol Davis, senior analyst at EBLEX.

“Prices fall as the numbers of lambs presented for sale increases through the autumn, so having their main crop of lambs finished 10 days earlier is helping the top-third flocks achieve a better price.”

To finish earlier, the top-third flocks managed their forage better, used estimated breeding values to select rams for growth and carcass weight and had a smaller lamb mortality rate.

Optimum birthweights, avoiding mis-mothering and making sure lambs had adequate colostrum all helped minimise losses of newborn lambs, advised Mrs Davis. Feeding ewes according to their litter size in late pregnancy could also help ensure lambs were not born under- or overweight.

(More on how to make money from finishing store lambs )