Feeding pregnant ewes
Good nutrition is essential for a healthy flock. Ewe nutritional requirements vary significantly by the stage of production.
During the last six weeks of pregnancy, energy and protein requirements increase rapidly because 70% of a lamb’s birth weight is gained in the last six weeks of pregnancy and the udder is growing in preparation for lactation. Ewes underfed protein or energy in late pregnancy are 4 - 6 times more likely to get mastitis in their next lactation.
Feeding ewes correctly in late pregnancy will also ensure good levels of colostrum.
- Aim for a body condition score of 3.0 - 3.5 at lambing.
- Feed older and thinner ewes more food to improve condition in late pregnancy.
- Use the AHDB Sheep BRP manual 12 for advice on ewe rations and levels of feed.
- Consider having feed and forage analysed to ensure that the ration meets the ewes requirements.