Nutrition of the Ewe. and her lambs. Susan Schoenian Sheep & Goat Specialist W. Maryland Research & Education Center Maryland Cooperative Extension email@example.com – www.sheepandgoat.com. Flushing Feed the ewe so she is gaining weight about 2 weeks before breeding.
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Nutrition of the Ewe
and her lambs
Susan SchoenianSheep & Goat SpecialistW. Maryland Research & Education CenterMaryland Cooperative Extensionsschoen@umd.edu – www.sheepandgoat.com
Feed the ewe so she is gaining weight about 2 weeks before breeding.
Continue for the first several weeks of the breeding season.
Flushing may increase lambing percentage by increasing the number of eggs ovulated.
Flushing has more effect early in the breeding season, but may improve embryo survival late in the breeding season.
Flush ewes whose body conditions are < 2.5 / 5
Ewes that are already in good body condition do not generally respond to flushing.
Mature ewes respond better to flushing than yearlings.
Flush ewes by feeding them 0.5 to 1 lb. of grain per day or by moving them to better quality pasture.
Keep ewes off pastures containing high levels of legumes (clover, alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil) because of estrogen content.
Placental development occurs first 30 to 90 days of pregnancy.
Placental size or weight affects nutrient transfer between the ewe and her fetuses.
Underdeveloped placentas result in low birth weights, regardless of late gestation nutrition.
21 days of severe underfeeding or 80 days of moderate underfeeding can affect placental development.
Do not overfeed or underfeed; aim for a body condition score of 3 to 3.5 / 5.
Nutrient requirements are only slightly above maintenance.
*Toxic to horses, donkeys, and mules.
Inadequate energy intake during late gestation.
Treat with propylene glycol or IV glucose (or c-section).
Low blood calcium caused by not enough or too much calcium in diet.
Treat with IV or sub-Q calcium solution.
Highest nutritional requirement.
Highest percent of feed bill.
Energy and protein requirements increase by 30 and 55 percent, respectively.
Ewes should have body reserves (fat) for optimum performance.
Inadequate energy intake increases protein need.
Ideally, ewes should be separated into production groups for feeding.
General rule of thumb is one lb. of grain per lamb or access to better pasture (quality and quantity).
A loss of weight and body condition is acceptable.
Yearlings should be fed and managed separately.
Lowest nutritional requirements.
Produce 20 to 40 percent more milk than ewes nursing singles.
A ewe nursing twin lambs growing at 0.66 lbs. per day is as productive as a dairy cow producing 66 lbs. of milk/day.
Full feed?May need to limit forage intake.
Hard for a ewe to raise triplets on pasture without supplementation.
General rule of thumb is 1 lb. of grain per lamb.
Feed lamb milk replacer, not calf.
Feed cold milk to prevent overeating.
Small numbers - bottleLarge numbers - lamb bar
Start on creep feed early.
Wean abruptly at 6-8 weeks (min. 20 lbs.)
Depends on quantity and quality of grazing.
Allow lambs to graze higher quality pasture than ewes.