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Stackyard News Jun 06
       

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Boost Returns with Better Planned Ewe Replacements
16/06/06

Lowland flocks could gain £15/ewe or more in the coming year by replacing ewes every four years instead of every five, according to the latest English Beef & Lamb Executive costings.

 
sheep

More frequent ewe replacement means retaining only the more productive ewes, together with more rapid improvement in both ewe quality and health status through better breeding or buying. EBLEX calculates this can lead to an extra 0.2 lambs per ewe per year plus extra carcase weights of 1 kg/lamb on average, boosting the annual weight of carcase sold per ewe by some 20%. This is worth over £14/ewe at the average 265p/kg deadweight realised by costed English lowland flocks in 2005/6 – more at higher 2006 season prices.

At the same time, the costings reveal that selling younger ewes in better condition can add a further £1 per ewe per year to the advantage by reducing the annual replacement cost, giving a net benefit of £15.31per ewe per year.

Replacement Regime Costings (EBLEX)

 

Standard Replacement
Regime  (every 5 years)

Target Replacement
Regime (every 4 years)

Benefit

Lambs sold (number/ewe/year)

1.5

1.7

0.2

Average lamb carcase weight (kg)

18.5

19.5

1.0

Carcase weight per ewe (kg/year)

27.75

33.15

 5.4

Carcase value @ 265p/kg dw (£/ewe/year)

73.54

87.85

14.31

 

 

 

 

Average ewe cost (£)

80.00

80.00

-

Average cull value (£)

25.00

40.00

15.00

Ewe replacement cost (£)

55.00

40.00

15.00

Average flock life (years)

5.0

4.0

 1.0

Ewe replacement cost (£/ewe/year)

11.00

10.00

 1.0

Total benefit (£/ewe/year)

 

 

15.31

To take advantage of this opportunity, the latest EBLEX Action for Profit Factsheet on planned weaning (available at www.eblex.org.uk) advises flocks to:

  • Appreciate that cutting replacement rates by keeping older ewes can be a false economy;
  • Ensure replacement ewes are of the right type and quality for the system;
  • Review flock records regularly to establish output per ewe and identify unproductive ewes;
  • Set key replacement selection goals and keep to them;
  • Cull all unproductive ewes regardless of the effect on replacement rates;
  • Take advantage of any pricing seasonality in the market to maximise cull ewe returns;
  • Use EBVs to assess the productive potential of home-bred and purchased stock;
  • Concentrate replacement breeding on improving lambing ease, mothering ability and lamb growth to eight weeks;
  • Buy replacements at least six weeks before tupping to a strict biosecurity protocol; and,
  • Assess bought-in ewes carefully on arrival, following a clear health plan to ensure they are in optimum condition for tupping.

link Lake District Sheep Release Baarmy World Cup Song
link Speed Dating For Beef Export Deals
link Strong Start for English Beef Exports
link Quality Standard Mark firmly established

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