Hill ewes still need help
DESPITE a relatively open winter hill producers must still supplement ewes.
According to ADAS Redesdale sheep specialist Brian Merrell, single-bearing ewes remaining on the hill should receive some concentrate, while ewes expecting twins should be on improved pastures where possible.
"Ewes may not be taking much forage where hay or silage has been offered already, which usually means there is enough grass for them. But few hills will have enough grass to meet ewe requirements in the last six to eight weeks before lambing," he warns.
Concentrates should be introduced gradually, starting at about 100g a day and working up to a maximum of 350g a day before lambing. Highly palatable feeds such as sugar beet pulp will encourage feeding where ewes are reluctant to eat.
"Where feed blocks are being used ensure there are enough – probably one between 25-30 ewes. Otherwise shy ewes will not come to feed, while greedier ewes will eat too much." *