Don’t forget the rams when preparing for sheep breeding season

David Elwood, from HVS Animal Health (left), chatting with David Kelly, from East Down Farmers' Co-op earlier this week
David Elwood, from HVS Animal Health (left), chatting with David Kelly, from East Down Farmers' Co-op earlier this week

With the tupping season for early lambing sheep flocks just a few weeks away, HVS Animal Health is reminding flockowners of the absolute importance to have both ewes and rams on an optimal plane of nutrition from this point onwards.

“Sheep farmers often forget to make sure that their rams are as fit for purpose as would be the case with ewes,” explained the company’s David Elwood.

“After all, rams constitute half the breed make-up of every flock. So it is crucially important to have them in tip top shape prior to start of the breeding season.”

David highlighted the results of recent research undertaken by AHDB Beef & Lamb, which confirmed the benefits of placing rams on bespoke nutritional programmes prior to putting them in with the ewes.

“Getting the nutritional balance for rams correct will significantly boost both sperm count and quality,” he said.

“But the required feeding programmes is best commenced six weeks prior to the commencement of the breeding season.

“The same time lag is also required when it comes to getting ewes into optimal condition for breeding.”

David specifically referenced the need to ensure that breeding sheep and rams are not lacking in trace minerals and vitamins.

“The recent wet weather has put pressure on ewes from a nutritional point of view and particularly where trace mineral and vitamins are concerned,” he explained.

“On-farm experience here in Northern Ireland confirms that drenching ewes prior to tipping with 20 mls of Liquid Gold Sheep can help to significantly improve fertility. Moreover, treated ewes will have a significantly tighter lambing period.”

David went on to point out that the HVS Liquid Gold range, will help supply all the micro trace minerals and essential vitamins required by both ewes, rams and lambs.

He continued: “The products represent the next generation in chelated mineral and vitamin drenches.

“Increasingly, farmers must seek to maximise the performance of their livestock. The HVS Liquid Gold range has been developed to meet this specific requirement.”

Where sheep are concerned Liquid Gold Sheep can be used pre-tupping and pre-lambing to improve lambing percentages, reduce the number of barren ewes within a flock and to tighten up lambing dates.

“Liquid Gold Sheep can also be given to lambs, from one month of age onwards,” David Elwood further explained.

HVS Liquid Gold Sheep contains a range of organic, chelated minerals and vitamins. It has been formulated to ensure that ewes receive the correct balance of micronutrients in a form which can be easily taken up and delivered quickly to their sites of action within the body. Significantly, Zinc, Manganese, Copper and Iron made available solely in a chelated form. Liquid Gold also contains nucleotides, which will boost red blood cell counts.

“The profitability of early lamb production is inextricably linked to ewe fertility,” concluded David Elwood.

“With feed costs on the rise, there is even greater pressure to maximise performance per ewe this year. And the commitment to getting this right must start with the proper preparation of the ewe prior to tipping. And it is in this context that HVS Liquid Gold Sheep can play an important role within all flocks.”

David made these comments during a recent visit to East Down Farmers Co-op, where he met with the manager David Kelly.

“There is a significant demand for Liquid Gold Sheep from flock owners with early lambing ewes at this time of the year,” said David Kelly.

“We also find that those farmers who use the product once, quickly become repeat customers.”

For further information, contact HVS Animal Health on (028) 4483 1700.