Post-Lamb Nutrition

In the first six weeks post lambing, the lamb’s growth mainly depends on the amount of milk from its mother. This is a combination effect of the ewe’s milk yield, number of lambs suckling and the lamb obtaining its fair share! The ewe’s appetite will increase after lambing but the high demand for energy to support milk production generally means the ewe will be mobilising body condition. Typically a ewe carrying twins will require a 70% increase in energy from late pregnancy to early lactation.

Maximise Supplementation Performance

Energy & Protein

  • Energy – This is the most important nutrient in the ewe’s diet. Requirements range from 8MJ/day for maintenance to in excess of 30MJ/day in early lactation for a lowland ewe with twins. Typically energy is provided by a combination of sugars, starch and digestible fibres.
  • Protein – Protein nutrition of the ewe pre lambing is critical. Normally we consider two types of protein in a ewe diet; Rumen degradable (RDP) and Digestible Undegradable sources (DUP). RDP can normally provide most of their requirement but in last three weeks pre lambing DUP is essential to stimulate colostrum and milk production. Sopralin is a key DUP source, Lactamine is also a key DUP source combined with fish oil to mirror and exceed fishmeal performance.

 

Forage / Roughage Sources

  • Forage or Roughage sources – All forages used for in-lamb ewe should be of highest quality available. A forage analysis will help match diet formulation and feed-rates to your flocks’ requirements. Never use waste silage or damaged bales, and always ensure a clean presentation to reduce the risk of listeria and mycotoxin contamination. 
  • Root crops – Crops such as kale, rape and fodder beet are useful high energy sheep feeds. It’s important to supplement these forage sources with a specific Mineral supplement. Additional protein supplementation will also be necessary depending on the crop.

 

Other Considerations

  • Pregnancy Toxaemia

One of the most common disorders is the metabolic disease pregnancy toxaemia (twin lamb disease). It is a result of a dramatic shortfall in dietary energy intake by the ewe during the final 6 weeks of gestation. The inclusion of Maxfat and/or Glucolac, can help increase ration density and maintain energy status. In a clinical event Propylene Glycol and/or Glucolac can also be used to aid recovery.