Getting Ready for the Lambing Season Ahead.

6th January 2022

Pictured: Dr David Johnston, Ruminant Nutritionist at Fane Valley Feeds

As the lambing season is approaching on many farms across the country, Dr David Johnston, Ruminant Nutritionist at Fane Valley Feeds, looks at the key nutritional areas to consider.

In the 6-8 weeks pre-lambing, it is important to maintain an increasing plane of nutrition to meet the energy requirements of the ewe due to increasing lamb growth and subsequent reduced feed intakes. By increasing the energy density of the pre-lambing diet, we can help reduce the risk of metabolic disorders linked to reduced feed intakes and facilitate good milk production post lambing.

Another key driver for milk production is crude protein. This is supplied by forage and concentrate sources. In order to assess what the diet is providing to the ewe, we advise to carry out a forage analysis, then balance the diet using the appropriate concentrate from the Fane Valley Feeds range. The table below illustrates how the differences in silage quality relate to ewe requirements.

Feeding requirements vs forage quality

Feed rates as shown above will depend on the scanning percentages and silage quality. By supplementing with Fane Valley Feeds Ewe Breeder Nuts, energy and protein requirements will be met to ensure a smooth transition post lambing.

Fane Valley Feeds Ewe Breeder Nuts is an energy dense feed with elevated levels of Hi Pro Soya to provide rumen bypass protein. This will help support colostrum production and milk yield post lambing. 

The inclusion of Safmannan has multiple benefits as well as supporting the immune system of the ewe around lambing time. Safmannan has a positive effect on ease of lambing and improves colostrum quality, resulting in more vigorous lambs with improved lifetime performance. 

High levels of Vitamin E and Selenium are included to support the ewes’ immune system, improve lamb vigour and reduce the incidence of white muscle disease. It has been shown that where ewes are supplemented with high vitamin E, lambs can be 1kg heavier at weaning.

If you would like to arrange a forage analysis or to find out more about the complete Fane Valley Feeds sheep range, please contact Dr David Johnston on 079 2986 5118 or your local Fane Valley Feeds Sales Specialist.