I am putting more emphasis on pre-lambing nutrition
Published 03/02/2016 | 02:30
There are many jobs to be attended to as lambing approaches: sheds to be prepared, lambing pens to be erected, lambing equipment dusted off and lambing essentials gathered while ensuring the feeding of ewes correctly pre-lambing is not forgotten.
I did my annual lambing essentials shop recently and got all the usual products. These essentials include: Iodine 10pc, colostrum, gloves, marking spray, lubricant, prolapse harness, rubber rings, stomach tubes and syringes, Calcium 20pc injection, energy supplement (for ewes) and needles.
I also cleaned out the automatic lamb feeder and have changed some of the tubes and teats. I'll need this with the first bunch of ewes lambing as there aren't many single ewes lambing and there are a few triplets and one quadruplet.
I find the feeder good if it is routinely cleaned. I add a supplement to the milk replacer to help to prevent scour and aid digestion. I also ensure that there is clean water and a cooked ration available to the lambs at a young age. I find that lambs thrive well if the milk is fed ad-lib. I run into problems if they run out of milk for a while and then gorge themselves on the next fill of milk.
The Pedigree Bluefaced Leicester ewes will be the first to lamb. These ewes started getting supplementation about a month ago.
The ration used at this stage was a very basic ration with 16pc crude protein (CP). I have changed ration since and am now also using a 16pc CP ration and I am adding soyabean meal to this myself to help increase the protein levels.
I have increased the level of feeding also. The Bluefaced Leicester ewes are carrying mostly twins and triplets and are currently receiving 1kg of concentrates per day, this feed is split morning and evening with some grass silage also.
I'm looking forward to the Bluefaced Leicester ewes lambing as I have used a few new rams this time and I also have some good replacement hogget ewes lambing for the first time.