It's vital to get the balance right with concentrates
Given the high costs of laying down fat in the carcase, allowing lambs to become over-weight or over-fat for the market specifications will also reduce profit margins.
Lambs moving from the target fat class of three to fat class four reduces profit margin by approximately €1 per head.
Lying space and feed space requirements are also critically important with indoor feeding systems. Table 2 includes recommendations for space allowances for indoor fed lambs under a range of conditions
Diet formulation is of critical importance if high levels of concentrate are being used.
High levels of concentrate supplementation can challenge the animal's rumen and must be managed accordingly to minimise risk of metabolic disease, especially acidosis. Lambs will perform very well on high concentrate diets, assuming rumen function is maintained.
Introduce and build concentrate feedstuff consumption slowly. Start on 250- 300g per day and increase by 200g every three days.
Avoid situations where lambs are excessively hungry coming to the trough or have the opportunity to gorge on concentrates.
Inclusion of concentrate ingredients with highly digestive fibre, such as soya hulls, beet pulp and citrus pulp, can help to support normal rumen function.