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Weighing, Recording & Setting Targets for Lambs...

Importance of 8-week old weight...


A lambs performance is influenced by the ewe's colostrum and milk production. Meeting a ewe's energy and protein requirements pre-lambing and in lactation is key for the lamb to have the best start to life and for the ewe to produce as much milk as possible, especially at 3-4 weeks post lambing when peak lactation occurs.


A ewe rearing twins will have a greater nutritional demand than a ewe rearing a single because the twin mother produces 40% more milk.



A lambs rumen will develop as grass and solid feeds, such as creep feed are introduced. By 8 weeks of age the rumen should be fully developed. The time to fully development may be dependent on lamb breed and nutrition so in some scenarios can take longer.


The ewes lactation ability is indicated by the lamb's 8 week weight. If weighing is postponed until weaning, then the ewes maternal ability on early lamb growth is missed. If the flock has a compact lambing period then the mid point of lambing can be used to calculate the 8 week weigh date. Alternatively, if the date of birth is known then an adjusted 8 week weight can be calculated.


At the 8 week weighing, the weight and condition score of the ewes can be recorded as an indication of how much of their body reserves have been used to rear the lambs.

Weight (kg)

DLWG (g/day)

15

200

21

300

26

400

32

500

Setting Targets...


The 8 week weight is classed as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) which allows targets to be set and performance to be monitored rather than weighing when weaning. Setting realistic targets helps identify lambs which have not met their targets and can be useful. Possible reasons would be if the lamb is a triplet, has a small birthweight or poor milk production from the ewe.


Collecting and analysing the data provides information so that plans can be put into place to prevent the same happening year on year.



Plan for Poor Performing Lambs...


If lambs are light weight at 8 weeks of age, plans can be in place so that the lambs are off the farm by the time the next lambing season approaches. These plans could include...

  • Weaning the lambs early and putting them onto good grazing

  • Introduce creep feeding

  • Sell them as store lambs

  • Sell them to the light lamb market


It is also important to set targets for the ewe's Body Condition Score (BCS) throughout the year to minimise the number of poor performing lambs. Plans could include supplementing thin ewes post lambing, apply a flock health plan and prioritise triplets to the better grazing ground or creep feed.


Lambs which have a growth rate of less than 200g/day should be weaned, moved to better grazing and supplementary feed should be considered.



DN Lamb Products...


DN Progressive Rumistart

Progressive Rumistart is a high specification 3mm pellet designed for feeding to lambs and calves from 3 days of age.

Notable features & benefits:
  • Starch and sugar level and sources to drive rumen development

  • Quality protein sources to support frame growth, including high soya

  • Fully mineralised including Nustart to support rumen development and animal health

  • Contains Safmannan to support intestinal health and development and support the immune system

  • Includes Ammonium chloride

  • Available in bulk and 25kg bags


DN Lamb Finisher

Suitable for taking lambs from start to finish, Lamb finisher is a fully mineralised 3mm pellet with fairly high levels of a range of starch and sugar sources to encourage an efficient growth.


Notable features & benefits:

  • 16% Protein

  • Fairly high levels of a range of starch and sugar sources

  • Encourages efficient growth

  • Ammonium chloride to reduce risk of calculi in Tup Lambs

  • Available in bulk and 25kg bags


DN Pro-Start

Pro-Start is a highly palatable coarse mix, designed for feeding to calves and lambs. The highly molassed coarse mix contains 3 in 1 protein pellets and 50% flakes.


Notable features & benefits:

  • Includes Nustart to support rumen and intestinal development and health, along with ammonium chloride.


DN Intensive Lamb

Intensive Lamb is a fully mineralised 6mm nut with fairly high levels of a range of starch and sugar sources to encourage an efficient growth. Suitable for taking lambs from start to finish.


Notable features & benefits:

  • 16% protein

  • Fairly high level of a range of starch and sugar sources

  • Encourage efficient growth

  • Ammonium chloride to reduce the risk of calculi in Tup lambs

  • Available in bulk or 25kg bags


DN Super Lamb

DN Super Lamb is a 6mm fully mineralised nut containing 15% protein.


Notable features & benefits:

  • 15% protein

  • High levels and range of starch and sugar sources to encourage an efficient finish

  • Ammonium Chloride to reduce the risk of calculi in Tup lambs

  • Available in bulk or 25kg bags


DN Alka Gain

Alka Gain is a 6mm fully mineralised nut, with no supplemental copper.


Notable features & benefits:

  • Very high levels of a range of starch and sugar sources to encourage fast an efficient finish

  • Including 15% Alka Barley

  • Includes Alkagrain to allow for higher starch levels whilst supporting rumen function and health.

  • Ammonium Chloride to reduce the risk of calculi in Tup lambs


3mm Pellet Pro-Start 6mm Nut


For more information please contact your local DN Sales Specialist or call us on 01200 420200.


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