Preparing ewes for next spring

Now is the ideal time to plan ahead for a successful lambing in the 2023-24 season.

Next spring seems ages away, but your recent weaning weights will have given you the best indication of how last spring went, making now the ideal time to prepare for lamb growth in the 2023-24 season.

Would you like to go into the winter with ‘guaranteed knowledge’ that you have sufficient feed and body condition to have a successful lambing and lactation season to look forward to?

The supplementary feed situation for this winter is looking good, with lots of excess pastures being bailed up or put into silage pits at the moment. 

Crops will be at different stages throughout the region and have different pressures, depending on where you live. Keep a close eye on your crops and act accordingly to ensure maximum yields.

Getting your stock condition right

Stock condition coming into winter has a major impact on success in spring. Would it be fair to say that your stock are likely to lose one body condition score over most winters? On most farms, that is the case, so why not go into winter with that in mind?

Prepare your ewes for mating by having them one condition score better than their condition at lambing. This means they will mate well, give you pleasing scanning results, and have that buffer available when it's needed.

How far away is mating for you? How much condition do you need to put on your ewes to achieve your target weight?

Here are a couple of handy figures that may help you work this out:

  • One body condition score equates to 7-9kg (Beef & Lamb BCS Workshop)

  • Maintenance feeding is 2% of body weight in dry matter (e.g. a 70kg ewe on maintenance is 1.4kg DM/day)

  • Weight gain/lactation feeding is 3-3.5% of body weight in dry matter (e.g. a 70kg ewe gaining weight is 2.1-2.5kg DM/day).

We are very happy to help you work out what's required for your ewes before winter to prepare them for exceptional lambing success and lamb growth during lactation in spring 2023 - just give us a call.  

- Donna Hamilton, BVSc


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