Ewe will pay a price for poor nutrition before lambing | My Machinery
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Ewe will pay a price for poor nutrition before lambing

Maintaining sufficient quality and quantity of nutrition during the last two months of pregnancy is vital for optimal production in sheep, District Veterinary Officer Natarsha Williams from the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has warned. Dr Williams said that the majority of a lamb’s growth occurs during this vital stage of pregnancy and inadequate nutrition for ewes in late pregnancy results in a significant drop in body weight of the ewes and lambs of a lower birth weight. “Under-weight lambs are less likely to survive and if they do survive may have lower production for life,” she said. “Ewes in poor condition have a higher mortality rate and are likely to produce insufficient colostrum. They will also have reduced maternal behaviour and are more likely to leave the lamb to feed themselves within six hours of birth and this can result in an increase in mis-mothering.” Pregnancy toxaemia (twin lambing disease) is relatively common in ewes receiving inadequate nutrition late in pregnancy even if nutrition in early pregnancy was good. Unmanaged, it will result in the death of the ewe and her lambs. Dr Williams said monitoring the condition of ewes in later pregnancy and throughout lactation would maximise production and help to reduce loses. “Feed supplementation should be targeted depending on pregnancy status and the energy and protein requirements of the sheep should be considered when selecting a supplementary feed.”

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