This week’s wintry weather has come as a sharp reminder to sheep farmers that breeding ewes need proper care and attention as they approach the most important period of their year – the lambing season.
Recent research has confirmed the potential for the sheep sector on the island of Ireland to increase its overall output and efficiency of production.
In part, this progression will be achieved on the back of ewes rearing more lambs per annum.
For example, there is now every prospect of ewes being able to rear twin and triplet lambs through to more than acceptable weaning weights. But this comes with the proviso that they are managed properly.
“The nutrition of the ewe in the run-up to lambing will be crucially important in this regard, as will giving lambs the best possible start to life,” confirmed Paul Elwood from HVS Animal Health.
“We already know that scanning percentages for February and March lambing ewes are well up on previous years.
“This is a direct result of the excellent conditions at tupping time last autumn.”
Paul went on to point out that the most effective way of maximising lambing and weaning percentages within flocks over the coming weeks is to drench ewes with HVS Liquid Gold Sheep prior to lambing.
“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 etc,” he said.
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 HVS Liquid Gold Sheep, our proven trace mineral and vitamin drench. Over the past number of years local flockowners found that ewes drenched with a 20 ml dose four to six weeks pre lambing with Liquid Gold Sheep give birth to lambs with more vigour, vitality and thrive. Problems associated with retained cleaning are also dramatically reduced.
“The HVS 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.
“Liquid Gold can also be given to lambs, from one month of age onwards,” Paul Elwood concluded.
For further information, contact HVS Animal Health on 028 44831700.