Know How / Sheep / Feed and nutrition

Careful feed and nutrition management in the flock is essential to control a ewe’s body condition score and ensure she produces adequate colostrum for her lambs. See the latest in grazing management and advice on rations formulated from a balance of protein, energy and supplements.

AHDB resource

Download the feed budget planner spreadsheet

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Case studies

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SHEEP

How lambing out at grass can save on labour

When David Mactaggart got his first flock of sheep 30 years ago, he had little experience and no means to employ a full-time shepherd. He needed a "one-man-and-his-dog" system, so…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Weighing and herbal ley helps farm solve poor lamb growth

Weighing lambs more frequently and trialling a herbal ley has helped a farm identify a shortfall in iodine. Richard and Laila Carruthers of Rawfoot Farm, Shap, Cumbria, were disappointed by…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

How increased grass helped new heifer venture on sheep farm

A Welsh sheep farm is growing 4t dry matter (DM)/ha more grass a year by adopting a rotational grazing system and managing grass well, allowing it to support a new…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How lucerne could help bridge summer forage gap

A pioneering project will finally give UK farmers an insight into the practicalities of growing and feeding sheep lucerne. Lucerne is widely used as a crop for grazing sheep in…

SHEEP

How ewe liver tissue tests are helping to fine-tune rations

Taking liver biopsies from breeding ewes is helping Welsh sheep farmers to establish the mineral status of their flocks and fine-tune rations. Testing tissue samples from the livers of live…

SHEEP

How sheep dairy new entrant has doubled size of flock

A new entrant to dairy sheep farming has doubled his flock size less than a year after buying his first ewes, amid strengthening demand for milk. Huw Jones secured a…

Practical advice

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FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on feeding creep to lambs efficiently

Creep feed adds to the cost of production, but for farmers chasing higher lamb prices from the early market, the economics of concentrate feeding can stack up. Farmers targeting early…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How milk replacer improves margins for surplus lambs

Research trials have shown rearing surplus lambs on milk replacer could clear a margin of £40 a head in a strong market. Two simultaneous trials were carried out last spring…

LIVESTOCK

5 tips for successfully feeding newborn lambs

Lambs are at their most vulnerable in their first 48 hours because they are born with no circulating antibodies and are exposed to infection for the first time. Feeding plenty…

SHEEP

4 wet weather tips ahead of lambing

Waterlogged farms should consider all alternative options before grazing spring grass reserved for lambing, remind grassland advisers. Many shepherds faced with saturated ground conditions have housed early following torrential rain…

FEED AND NUTRITION

6 things to consider when feeding lambs milk replacer

Artificially rearing orphan and multiple lambs puts pressure on labour and production costs, but sheep farmers who get this system right will boost their lamb crops. Reliable and consistent nutrition…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Fodder beet feeding advice for ewes and lambs

Ewe lambs and yearlings can eat more than 3% of their liveweight a day in fodder beet. But to reach this intake and achieve good liveweight growth the crop must…

Insights

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LIVESTOCK

Better silage allows for soya strategy at lambing

Producing an 11ME silage can allow ewes to be fed a sixth of the amount of feed three weeks pre-lambing through supplementing rumen-protected soya, saving £3-£12 a ewe. This is…

Alternative ewe protein offers cost-effective solution

Sheep farmers looking to top up protein in late-pregnancy ewe diets can use alternatives to soya without affecting animal performance. According to a project funded by Eblex, HCC, Adas and…