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PRE-LAMB. Nutritional Supplement for Ewes. Dr Sarah Thompson B.Sc. B.V.Sc. The 4 Season Company Pty Ltd. Background Ruminant Nutrition Nutritional Requirements of Ewes Lamb Survival Maximising Farm Returns. Prime lamb production. Producing prime lambs to make money

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pre lamb


Nutritional Supplement for Ewes

dr sarah thompson b sc b v sc

Dr Sarah Thompson B.Sc. B.V.Sc.

The 4 Season Company Pty Ltd

  • Ruminant Nutrition
  • Nutritional Requirements of Ewes
  • Lamb Survival
  • Maximising Farm Returns
prime lamb production
Prime lamb production
  • Producing prime lambs to make money
  • Ewes are “engine room” of the sheep enterprise
  • Optimal nutrition of ewes to fulfil genetic potential
protein supplements can
Protein Supplements can
  • Improve conception rates
  • Increase birth weights
  • Improve colostrum production
  • Improve lamb survival rates
  • Increase ewe resistance to internal parasites
ruminant nutrition
Ruminant Nutrition
  • Ruminants utilize feeds that monogastrics cannot digest
  • Digestion by mechanical (chewing) and microbial fermentation
  • Bacteria produce volatile fatty acids – energy source for sheep
  • Dead bacteria – protein source
bacteria in the rumen
Bacteria in the rumen
  • Require a range of nutrients to function and multiply
  • Deficiency or imbalance reduces microbial efficiency
  • Excess roughage slows down digestion
  • High quality diet – rumen empties faster, sheep can eat more
bypass protein
Bypass Protein
  • Not all protein broken down in rumen – passes through to small intestine
  • Provides essential amino acid building blocks that bacteria cannot provide
  • Need balance between microbial protein and bypass protein for optimal digestive efficiency
protein balance
Protein Balance
  • Excess high quality protein deleterious – toxic and expensive
  • Feeding some bypass protein better than excess poor quality protein (urea)
get the balance right
Get the balance right
  • Balance between energy and protein
  • Balance between microbial and bypass protein
nutritional requirements of ewes
Nutritional Requirements of Ewes
  • Essential to produce at genetic potential
  • Target supplementation for times of greatest need
  • Needs lowest during maintenance and early gestation
  • Greatest needs late pregnancy and lactation
perils of over feeding ewes in mid pregnancy
Perils of over-feeding ewes in mid-pregnancy
  • Leads to reduced lamb birth weights due to stunted placental development
  • If adequate forage, no need to supplement after joining through to mid-pregnancy
bypass protein essential for high performing ewes
Bypass protein essential for high performing ewes
  • Rumenal bacteria alone unable to meet protein needs of late pregnant and lactating ewes
  • Need high quality bypass protein
  • Greater need for protein then energy
  • Pre-Lamb meets the needs of ewes under stress
bodyweight recommendations
Bodyweight recommendations
  • Run ewes at BCS 3 out of 5 at joining
  • Maintain this weight for first 50 days
  • Gain weight slowly over days 50-100
  • Increase body weight by up to 20% over last 50 days
feeding recommendations
Feeding recommendations
  • Over-feeding and over-supplementing ewes will reduce production
  • Equals reduced farm profits
  • If adequate forage – only need a bypass protein supplement to achieve a 20% liveweight gain over last trimester
what s in pre lamb
What’s in Pre-Lamb?
  • Cottonseed meal – safe by-product of cotton industry
  • Contains 40% crude protein
  • Molasses – source of phosphorous and sulphur for bacteria, improves palatability
  • Molasses – source of glucose needed for lactation
  • Salt – stimulates voluntary intake
trace elements in pre lamb
Trace elements in Pre-Lamb
  • “White muscle” disease due to deficiency of vitamin E and selenium
  • High levels vitamin E in green feed, acquired by lamb in colostrum
  • Selenium passed to foetus in utero
maximizing the benefits of pre lamb
Maximizing the benefits of Pre-lamb
  • Joining ewes BCS 3.5 or less – increase conception rates by supplementing with Pre-lamb
  • Supplement pregnant ewes last trimester
  • Supplement lactating ewes for at least 8 weeks
  • Adequate forage must be available
benefits of pre lamb
Benefits of Pre-lamb
  • Improved conception rates
  • Improved lamb birth weights
  • Improved colostrum production
  • Improved lamb survival
  • Increased ewe resistance to internal parasites
  • Increased number wool follicles
feeding rates for pre lamb
Feeding rates for Pre-Lamb
  • 4 blocks of Pre-lamb per 100 ewes per 20 days
  • Daily intake approximately 40 grams/ewe/day
  • Pre-Lamb does not contain urea – safe for lambs to eat
pre lamb28
  • Easy to administer
  • A supplement when adequate forage available
  • Will improve ewe production if a protein deficiency exists
  • Improved animal husbandry – less supportive care for lambs and ewes
  • Improved production results in greater farm returns
pre lamb29
  • Consumers want ethically produced products
  • Pre-Lamb compatible with sustainable agricultural practice
  • Clever use of by-products from other primary products
  • Benefits to sheep, sheep producers and the environment