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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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…


How upland Easycare flock is rearing 170%

An upland flock has increased productivity by lifting scanning rates from 150% to 180% and used Beltex terminal sires to produce fast-growing lambs within supermarket specification. A raft of changes…


How outdoor lambers lifted twinning rate to 67%

Close attention to ewe body condition score and a strict culling policy in a two-flock system has helped lift twinning rates 12% at a Wiltshire farm. Stonehill Romneys – the…


How organic farmers plan to become more efficient

Edryd and Glenda Davies are making more from marginal mountain ground by mob and rotational grazing to improve grassland so they can operate a low-cost forage-based system and finish lambs…


How an Oxfordshire sheep unit sells 1.92 lambs per ewe

An early-lambing flock is achieving feed conversion rates of 2.5:1 and is selling 1.92 lambs per ewe. Michael Priestley visited Warborough Farm with the Nuffield Beef and Sheep Group to…


How a Lincs sheep farm expanded and diversified income

A progressive approach to flock health, combined with hard work and savvy marketing, has seen a Lincolnshire couple expand their sheep business and income. Chris and Louise Elkington of Gelston,…

Practical advice

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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”…


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…


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…


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…


What causes silage clamp slippage and how to avoid it

Uneven density is the biggest cause for silage slippage in UK clamps, an AHDB-funded study has concluded. The 18-month study, which was conducted by independent consultant Dr Dave Davies of…


How farmers are benefitting from feeding ewes maize silage

Feeding a 50:50 ration of grass and maize silages to pregnant ewes three weeks before lambing is improving their ability to produce milk. Home-grown maize silage is fed to the…


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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…