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Intensive sheep and lamb finishing systems

Intensive sheep and lamb finishing systems, or lamb lotfeeding, can be defined as any system that aims to optimise lamb growth.

The National procedures and guidelines for intensive sheep and lamb feeding systems and associated planning and management checklists are available to assist producers who are interested in implementing lamb lotfeeding on their property.

Before implementing an intensive sheep and lamb finishing system producers should do the following:

  • identify key profit drivers of intensive lamb finishing for their business
  • complete a budget to determine profitability
  • improve lamb management through monitoring and appropriate actions
  • implement risk management strategies including supply chain relationships and forward contracting

Intensive finishing of lambs can be a high risk enterprise with high turnover and low margins, so to minimise risk producers should consider and be aware of the following key factors affecting efficiency:

  • price margin
  • ration cost
  • growth rate
  • time on feed             
  • poor animal performance

These and other lamb lotfeeding issues are discussed in more detail in A producers' guide to production feeding for lamb growth