Improving lamb survival rates with Fane Valley Feeds

THIS year, Fane Valley Feeds have introduced Ewe Feeds which contain Safmannan.

Fane Valley’s compound sheep feeds Ewecare 18 and Ewe Breeder Nuts are products designed to support todays demanding ewes and ensure that they are well prepared or spring lambing featuring;

Exclusively including Safmannan – which, when fed to pre-lambing ewes for six weeks, has been shown to increase the immunoglobulin content of colostrum.

Quality ingredients, specifically formulated for pre-lambing ewes.

Specially designed vitamin and mineral package to ensure high levels of Vitamin E, Selenium, Iodine and Cobalt to produce vigorous lambs that will be easily born and ready to suckle.

The Fane Valley Feeds Sheep range with Safmannan helps to ensure that the colostrum available to lambs is of the highest possible quality, giving your lambs the best start in life.

The number of lambs born per ewe is one of the main performance parameters used to determine how well a flock is performing during the year. However, regardless of the number of lambs born, every lamb should survive until it can be sold – the number one goal of every sheep farmer. Hypothermia is one of the major causes of neo-natal mortalities and can be easily reduced when the correct nutrition is applied to pre-lambing ewes.


Pre-Lambing Ewes

In the last six weeks of pregnancy, a ewes’ appetite will decrease by 30% due to the increase in space required for the growing lambs in the womb and the resulting pressure on the rumen. During this same six week period, 70% of lamb growth takes place, making the requirement of a high energy density diet more important. It is normal practice to start feeding twin and triplet carrying ewes during this important six week period, however, this year, silage quality is below average on many farms and the majority of ewes will require extra concentrate supplementation earlier than normal to compensate. The importance of supplying the correct concentrate supplementation level is required not only to meet the rapidly increasing requirements for energy and protein for the ewe and her unborn lambs but also for her developing udder and mammary gland, for the production of colostrum and to ensure the correct supply of vitamins and minerals. If ewes are grouped according to body condition, lambing date and number of lambs, ewes can be fed efficiently and cost-effectively.

The Importance

of Colostrum

Ensuring that each lamb born receives an adequate feed of colostrum as soon as possible after birth is the most important thing you can do for a new-born lamb – its survival depends on it. Colostrum is the lamb’s only source of energy once the supplies of brown fat (present when pre-lambing ewes are fed correctly) within its body tissues are exhausted (which become so after only a few hours following birth). Every lamb should receive 50 ml colostrum per 1 kg bodyweight within the first six hours of life, and a 4 kg lamb requires almost 1 litre of colostrum in the first 18 hours. Colostrum provides the lamb with energy and heat which protects it from becoming hypothermic – the number one cause of lamb death. Equally important, colostrum contains antibodies against many of the life threatening diseases of early and later life. The inclusion of Safmannan in the Fane Valley Feeds sheep compounds, increases the amount of immunoglobulins found in colostrum, providing increased assurance of lamb immunity and protection from infection and disease. Ideally, each lamb should receive its own mother’s colostrum as she will be immune to many of the infectious agents present on the farm and should have been vaccinated against clostridial diseases during the last month of pregnancy. A lambs’ ability to absorb the protective antibodies found in colostrum from the gut wall into the bloodstream reduces with time, so the earlier the lamb receives its first feed of colostrum the better.


Colostrum Quality

Feeding the pre-lambing ewe is not just about supplying the correct levels of energy and protein, but also ensuring that all requirements of both the ewe and her unborn lambs are met. Pregnant ewes are required to give birth easily to vigorous, healthy lambs, to be good mothers and to produce a high level of quality colostrum. To do this, the pregnant ewe must obtain the correct type and level of protein to both grow lambs to the correct weight at birth and to ensure that mammary development is at the correct stage to produce adequate colostrum.

For more information on the benefits of Safmannan please contact Hazel Gilmore directly on 07714950584 or to place an order please contact your local Fane Valley Feeds sales representative or one of the mills Omagh 028 8224 3 221 or Newry 028 3026 2305.


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