Driving performance with current market positivity

​As lamb prices start to strengthen, alongside the upcoming demand for lamb likely to increase ahead of the Islamic festival Ramadan, it is important to plan ahead when considering lambs for finish in the coming weeks.
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​Ramadan starts from Sunday 10th March and continues to Tuesday 9th April, meaning lambs should be selected accordingly to allow a 6 – 8 week finishing period.

The overall aim of finishing store lambs this time of year is to achieve maximum weight gain per kilo of feed fed, through optimising intakes of both forage and concentrates. With the majority of lambs being fed for 6-8 weeks before finish due to the current weather conditions and grass shortages, it’s important to measure growth rates and performance.

Weighing lambs at the start and throughout this period is advised, to achieve the optimum slaughter targets, whilst maintaining in spec and avoiding lambs going overweight.

Matthew Armstrong - Fane Valley Feeds, Technical Support Manager. Pic: Fane ValleyMatthew Armstrong - Fane Valley Feeds, Technical Support Manager. Pic: Fane Valley
Matthew Armstrong - Fane Valley Feeds, Technical Support Manager. Pic: Fane Valley

Grass over the winter months will not provide the energy needed to adequately finish lambs alone, and if housed forage quality is important to consider when finishing. When housing lambs for finishing, reducing stress by providing adequate feed space, ventilation and lying area is essential. Ensuring lamb’s have correct feed space, prevents gorging and lowers the potential for increased acid load in the rumen that negatively impacts performance and overall animal health.

Good quality forage will supply the lamb with sufficient fibre to sustain rumen function, although lambs in the finishing phase also require a energy supply from concentrates to increase weight gains and improve kill out performance.

Fane Valley Feeds lamb range have high cereal inclusions, providing energy to improve performance, and High Spec vitamin and mineral packs to optimise lamb health.

Ammonia chloride is also included to prevent urinary calculi in ram lambs.

Trial results comparing performance of two batches of lambs, the first finished off grass alone and the second finished off grass plus 0.8kg/head/day of Fane Valley Feed’s Lamb pellets over a 4-week feeding period, show dead weight improvements of 2.6kg, and a 6% increase in kill out percentage.

To maximise your lamb’s performance or find out more information on the Fane Valley Feeds Lamb Range, please contact your local Fane Valley Feeds Sales Specialist on 02882255390.