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Stackyard News Jan 2010

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Year-Round Feeding of Ewes for Lifetime Production

Improved prices and better prospects for British lamb have added value to any improvements in production efficiency. The key to more and better lambs per ewe is proper feeding and better nutrition.

Blackface ewe and lamb

Blackface ewe and lamb

A new, accessible guide from SAC pulls together the latest information on nutrition and identifies strategies that are most likely to give a better return.

According to SAC Sheep Specialist John Vipond, “This guide should prove especially useful in a year when sheep feeding has started earlier than planned. In fact, farmers should pay year round attention to detail in their feeding to get the best out of their ewes."

The booklet was written following an SAC knowledge transfer workshop for the feed industry held in Edinburgh. Delegates were told we now know that proper nutrition, from as early in life as an embryo or egg, can affect a sheep’s lifetime performance.

The 30-page, colour guide was written by SAC specialists John Vipond, Colin Morgan and Tom McEvoy with help from other industry experts. It has been designed for busy farmers with each subject area available on its own two pages. The detailed science and research is on the left and the practical management advice on the right. There are sections on genetics and fertility, nutrition and reproduction, pregnancy and lambing and supplementing diets.

“Maximising lamb survival will be more important than ever this year,” says John Vipond, “So the release of this new information is very timely.”

The project received support from the feed industry and levy bodies in addition to funding from the Scottish Government as part of the SAC Success through Knowledge campaign.

The booklet can be obtained from local SAC offices.

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link National Beef Association Calls for Sweeping CAP Reforms

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