Three steps to success for joining ewe lambs
21 April 2017
Meridian Agriculture farm business and livestock advisor James Whale suggests - if correctly managed - joining ewe lambs can fast-track flock numbers and/or lift the financial performance of an enterprise. While up to 20% of maternal ewes are first joined as lambs in Australia, the figure for Merino ewes is only around 5%.
James presented his strategies for ewe lamb joining success in a recent Making More From Sheep webinar. Here are his top three focus areas for producers to ensure results:
1. Preparation: Plan ahead to ensure ewe lambs are gaining weight (100-200g/day) to hit a target weight of 45-50kg at joining. Feed quality and quantity has to be maintained to allow a ewe lamb to continue to grow, support a pregnancy, lactate and recover. "Do not join ewe lambs if you cannot meet the nutritional requirements," James said.
2. Do the figures: Supplementary feeding will be required, often at a high cost. Know what nutrition will be necessary to achieve essential growth stages and targeted outcomes.
3. Attention to detail: Producers need to get every aspect of management right to set up ewe lambs for lifetime productivity. "The aim is to not just produce a lamb, but a healthy weaner," James said. Ewe lambs need to recover sufficiently from lambing to be ready for re-joining. "It's a 12 month commitment from the day the rams go in."
- Listen to James explain joining ewe lambs in detail in the webinar
- Making More From Sheep webinars are also available at the above address on a range of topics including pasture prioritisation, sheep industry benchmarks and summer worm management.
- Read the Making More From Sheep Wean More Lambs module
James Whale E: firstname.lastname@example.org