TEAGASC: Key nutrition and handling advice to maximise performance of lambs

BY Michael Gottstein

You can maximise the efficiency of your lambs by implementing 5 key practices in your farm.

Good vitamin, leafy grass, is what is going to drive efficiency. Ideal grazing heights are between six and 10cm. Longer or stemmy grass will end in decreased efficiency. Use dry ewes or suckler cows to graze out after the lambs to make sure good high quality grass in subsequent rotations.

For exterior parasite management, utilizing merchandise reminiscent of Clik or Clik Extra will give season lengthy management towards blowfly. If utilized early within the season the withdrawal interval can have expired earlier than lambs are match for slaughter. If pour-on functions are delayed then utilizing a pour-on with a shorter withdrawal interval will probably be vital, nonetheless the interval of safety is way shorter.

For inner parasite management, abdomen worms are the principle parasite inflicting in poor health thrift in lambs. Make certain the product you’re utilizing is efficient towards the worms in your sheep. The solely manner that this may be carried out is by taking a faecal pattern after therapy to make sure that all of the worms have been killed. The time scale for taking a faecal pattern publish therapy is seven days for a yellow drench and 14 days for both a white or clear drench. A constructive egg depend signifies that the therapy has not labored correctly and warrants additional investigation

When it involves mineral deficiency, many sheep farms are poor in Cobalt. This is a vital mineral utilized by the micro organism within the rumen to synthesise vitamin B12. On Cobalt poor farms, lambs will want a steady provide of Cobalt to make sure optimum thrive. Oral cobalt supplementation with 10-15ml of cobalt sulphate answer (six heaped tea spoons to a gallon of water) each two to 3 weeks publish weaning ought to rectify any deficiency. There can also be the choice of utilizing boluses, however these are costlier and in some circumstances haven’t undergone verification by way of their effectiveness in rectifying cobalt deficiency in sheep.

As sheep farmers, we’re accustomed to seeing lame sheep. Lame sheep don’t carry out, lose physique situation and are in discomfort. Count the variety of lame sheep on you farm. If greater than 5 in each 100 sheep are lame then you could have a critical lameness difficulty. Keeping on high of lameness is essential to maximising animal efficiency each in ewes and lambs.

Good dealing with amenities with correct footbathing amenities and immediate therapy of lame sheep is essential by way of retaining on high of lameness.

Fertiliser is actually costly this yr, however continues to be good worth when in comparison with changing grazed grass with different feedstuffs reminiscent of concentrates.

It is vital to make use of enough fertilser to develop sufficient grass to feed livestock and to develop sufficient winter forage for the approaching winter.

Protected urea fertilser affords the most effective worth by way of value per kilogram nitrogen utilized. If you’re slicing again considerably on fertilser use this yr, then it’s worthwhile to have another plan as to how you’re going to feed your inventory or think about decreasing inventory numbers to take account of the decrease quantity of grass/winter fodder that will probably be out there.

Aim to make actually good high quality silage this yr (six weeks development). This will allow a discount in focus utilization for the approaching winter. Remember that there are considerations about focus availability and worth for the approaching winter, so having good high quality silage will cut back your reliance on concentrates.

Wilt silage after mowing. This includes tossing out the silage to get higher drying (24-48 hours) after which rowing it in once more previous to baling. Increasing silage dry matter to between 25%-35% will cut back the variety of bales per acre, enhance consumption and cut back bedding requirement subsequent winter.

When dealing with, stacking and storing silage bales be vigilant and restore any injury to plastic instantly. Take motion to guard bales from injury attributable to animals or birds throughout storage.

Michael Gottstein is head of the Teagasc sheep data switch programme and is predicated within the Teagasc advisory Office in Macroom. He helps sheep advisors all through Ireland.


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