Correctly feeding a ewe in late pregnancy is paramount in order to prepare for both lambing and lactation.
75% of foetal growth occurs in the last 6-7 weeks of gestation, meaning that a pregnant ewe has higher dietary requirements so good management strategies are crucial.
Farmers are advised to construct silage analysis reports so that the correct concentrate can be selected; it is not advised to depend solely on hay or silage.
In the below video, we hear from two farmers - John Morahan and Tomas Quinn - who are utilising Kiernan Milling’s products for their pregnant and lactating ewes.
Longford farmer - Tomas Quinn - runs a 215-ewe flock and a suckler herd. The flock - which has been closed for the last five years - is utilising Belclare rams; the flock recorded a scanning rate of 1.84 due to the breed’s higher prolificacy rates.
Over the last number of years, the Longford farmer has been utilising Kiernan Milling’s Ewe with lamb 18 which is high in energy and digestible fibre to help prevent any pre-lambing upsets; it also contains a high level of iodine to help prevent weak lambs.
Its high level of Selenium and Vitamin E helps reduced retained placentas; ensures good muscle tone at lambing and improves colostrum quality to ensure strong lambs. The product – which is suitable for supplementation with grass silage - also contains Cal-Mag, which helps prevent grass tetany; therefore, the product is not suitable for rams.
With ewes having a high lambing percentage, Tomas has switched to the mill’s Ewe with Lamb 20 Hi-Lac which contains high percentages of soya bean meal and full-fat soya to maximise by-pass protein and increase the energy density of the ration. The product is also high in energy and digestible protein and contains Cal-Mag, a high-level of Selenium and Vitamin E and iodine.
“Overall, we are very happy with Ewe with Lamb 20 Hi-Lac as a product. When the ewe lambs down, she has plenty of colostrum because of the high percentages of soya meal.” Tomas added.
Meanwhile, John Morahan, Kilmaine, Co. Mayo – Woodview Farm - operates an 80-suckler cow herd, with a bull beef and heifer production enterprise, along with a 550-ewe flock.
With the flock being predominately located outdoors, John recognises the importance of ensuring that ewes are fed a diet to meet their requirements, particularly those with twin and triplet lambs.
“John is feeding a ration to balance the by-product – erona gold - that is on his farm, while Tomas is feeding Ewe and Lamb 20% In Tomas’ cases, where he is feeding silage and a nut, we have the ewe and lamb 18, 19 and 20 to suit a farmer’s needs.” David Magee - Kiernan Milling explained.
“In John’s case, Kiernan Milling can balance-up a ration to suit a farmer’s needs, for hoggets or ewes,” David concluded.
For more information, see Kiernan Milling’s website here.
Video: Produced and edited by TF Media.