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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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…

ASSESSING PERFORMANCE

How to work out ewe efficiency and what it can tell you

Calculating ewe efficiency can help inform fundamental flock management areas such as mature ewe weight, feeding management and weaning date.   SAC Consulting sheep and grassland specialist Poppy Frater says the process of calculating ewe efficiency…

Practical advice

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FEED AND NUTRITION

How forage analysis can improve winter sheep feed planning

Sheep farmers were reminded of the importance of getting forage analysed to create a winter feed plan, at the recent Virtual Celebration of Sheep Farming. Speaking at a webinar organised…

SHEEP

How to work out your flock’s trace element requirements

Trace elements are minerals such as copper, selenium, cobalt, iodine, manganese and zinc that are essential for life. Optimal flock performance depends on them being supplied correctly. But how do…

SHEEP

Advice for buying rams and observing quarantine protocols

More rams are likely to be sold direct off-farm this year due to the cancellation of some breeding sales under Covid-19 restrictions. That means asking for a “bill of health”…

FEED AND NUTRITION

The benefits of growing and feeding lucerne to dairy cows

Lucerne is a popular crop across the continent but remains an almost untapped protein resource in the UK. However, it has huge potential in dairy diets to help displace imported…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Advice on testing and keeping water clean for livestock

A “control, check and clean” approach to managing water quality in cattle drinking troughs can encourage higher intakes and remove harmful bacteria. Contaminated water will reduce intakes – with cattle…

FEED AND NUTRITION

8 ways livestock farmers can manage a grass shortage

Livestock farmers are being encouraged to calculate grass availability and act quickly to prevent forage shortages amidst one of the driest springs on record. April and May typically see peak…

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…