Having ewes in peak condition at lambing is critically important

​The coming weeks will see the 2024 lambing season hit top gear.
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​So there is still time for flockowners to make those all-important preparations for events that can determine the overall outcome of the sheep production year.

Paul Elwood, from HVS Animal Health, is strongly advising farmers to check the body condition score of their pre-lambing ewes now.

He explained: “It’s important that ewes are able to successfully rear two and even three lambs, when required.

Paul Elwood of HVS Animal HealthPaul Elwood of HVS Animal Health
Paul Elwood of HVS Animal Health

“Body condition score is key in this regard, as is the trace mineral and vitamin status of these animals.”

Paul added: “Many of the silages made in 2023 were low in both energy and trace nutrient content. So, it’s important that such nutritional imbalances are rectified prior to lambing.”

According to Paul, having ewes in peak condition at lambing will also give their newborns the best possible start to life.

“We already know that scanning percentages in March and April lambing ewes in 2024 will be competitive with other years. This reflects the high availability of grazed grass, specifically for sheep, last autumn.

“The challenge facing flockowners now is that of delivering on this potential.”

Paul went on to point out that the most effective way of maximising lambing and weaning percentages within a flock is to drench ewes with Liquid Gold Sheep prior to lambing.

He explained: “The reality is that an animal can only perform to the level of the greatest deficiency or imbalance in its diet. All forage based diets contain imbalances and consequently most stock never exceed 75% of their genetic potential in terms of growth, fertility, development of immunity.”

For trace elements to be available to stock, they must be of high quality and must link up with one or more amino acids or peptides in the rumen, prior to being absorbed through the gut wall into the blood stream.

Stock are not ideally equipped to effect this “link up” and a significant proportion of trace elements and vitamins supplied in conventional form, pass straight through the body and are excreted.

Paul Elwood again: “It is for this reason that ewes respond so well to Liquid Gold Sheep, our proven trace mineral and vitamin drench.

“Over the past number of years local flock owners found that ewes drenched with Liquid Gold Sheep give birth to lambs with more vigour. Problems associated with retained cleaning are also dramatically reduced.”

He continued: “Liquid Gold Sheep also acts to significantly improve colostrum quality. The Liquid Gold range represents the next generation in chelated mineral and vitamin drenches.

“Increasingly, farmers must seek to maximise the performance of their livestock. The Liquid Gold range has been developed to meet this specific requirement. The dosage rate is 20 mls per ewe.”

Meanwhile, lambs already on the ground are finding the very wet field conditions difficult to cope with. As a result, growth rates are falling well below where they should be.

“Month-old lambs can be given a 5ml drench of Liquid Gold Sheep to help boost their performance levels while still with their mothers,” Paul commented.

He concluded: “This works out a cost of 25p per head, an extremely small investment to make relative to the prices of finished lambs at the present time.

For further information, contact Paul Elwood on 07831 257319