Energy, correct fatty acids and protein levels critical to ewe management in post-lambing period

Written by John Swire

With lambing season drawing to a close across most of the country, focus now moves to on-going ewe management, to maintain ewe health, protein and energy levels during the critical post-lambing period.

As lactation places the highest nutrient demands on the ewe, it is crucial they are fed to their full energy requirements for up to four weeks after lambing, the point lactating ewes normally reach the peak of milk production.

“With the lamb still dependent on milk for its nutrients, getting the correct fatty acids and protein in the ewe diet at peak lactation will be crucial to meet energy requirements, avoiding reduced milk yields and potentially affecting lamb growth rates,” explains Nigel Bateson, national sales manager at nutritional supplement manufacturer UFAC-UK.

Higher producing ewes will also need a source of digestible undegradable protein (DUP), both during the latter stages of pregnancy and during lactation.

Trials using Promega, a unique high energy feed supplement formulated with essential Omega-3 fatty acids and DUP, have demonstrated increased milk yield and improved milk protein well into lactation.

The Omega-3 long chain fatty acids EPA and DHA from fish oils, providing similar benefits to fishmeal, also help raise the auto-immune system in both ewes and their lambs, with greater disease resistance.

“Promega helps to increase milk production, boost reproductive activity and enhance immunity status, resulting in healthier and more productive sheep,” says Mr Bateson.

Formulated with high quality fish oil and sugar (glycerine), blended with vegetable protein meal, Promega can be incorporated into both compounds and on farm mixes.

The essential Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are considered as important modulators of immune functions. Harnessing these long-chain fatty acids, UFAC-UK’s Omega-3 Supplement helps to improve ewe and lamb health, while improving ewe longevity and reducing the number of barren ewes.

“Soon after lambing, the fatty acids enhance immunity of the ewe and aid in the regeneration of the reproductive tissues, in readiness for rebreeding,” adds Mr Bateson.

Special attention needs to be given to ewes to maintain energy and protein levels at the crucial post-lambing period. UFAC-UK’s ruminant technical team can advise on ewe management, with a portfolio of sheep feeding solutions specifically designed to ensure ewes have the sufficient energy, correct fatty acids and proteins in their diets.

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Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...