Less Pressure During Lambing At Lakeview Suffolks With Fane Valley Feeds
23rd January 2017

Pictured: (L-R) Matthew Armstrong and Gary Beacom from Fane Valley Feeds with Lakeview Pedigree Suffolks owener Gary Beacom

Gary Beacom from Fivemiletown, the owner of Lakeview Pedigree Suffolks is having a much easier time at lambing since he started using Fane Valley Feeds Ewecare 18% Nuts containing Safmannan. Fane Valley’s sheep feeds; Ewecare 18% and Ewe Breeder 20% Nuts and blends are designed to  maximise colostrum quality and milk production in high performance ewes. The Fane Valley sheep feed range features;

• Safmannan – which, when fed to pre-lambing ewes for six weeks pre lambing, increases the antibody content of colostrum, makes lambing easier and improves lamb vigour at birth.
• Quality ingredients featuring high levels of Hi-Pro Soya, specifically formulated for pre-lambing ewes.
• Specially designed vitamin and mineral package to ensure high levels of Vitamin E, Selenium, Iodine and Cobalt to produce vigorous and healthy lambs.

Gary outlines: “My ewes start lambing at the end of December and I know how important nutrition is pre-lambing so I group ewes according to litter size and start feeding 8 weeks pre-lambing. Since using Fane Valley Feeds Ewecare 18% Nuts with Safmannan, I find that lambs are born much easier as there is more mucous produced during lambing and having lambs born easily gives them a great headstart.”

Ensuring that each lamb born receives an adequate feed of high quality colostrum as soon as possible after birth ensures maximum absorption of antibodies to help reduce lamb losses from hypothermia and protect against disease. The inclusion of Safmannan in the Fane Valley Feeds sheep feeds, increases the amount of antibodies in the colostrum, providing increased assurance of lamb immunity and protection from infection and disease.

Gary continues: “One of the most important benefits of Fane Valley Feeds Ewecare 18% Nuts are that ewes lamb with lots of milk and lambs are born full of life, they’re up and sucking in no time. Knowing that my ewes’ colostrum is of really high quality gives me great piece of mind and I think it is especially important when so many of my lambs are destined for pedigree shows and sales”.

In the last six weeks of pregnancy, a ewes’ appetite will decrease by 30% due to the increase in space required for the growing lambs in the womb and the resulting pressure on the rumen. During this same six week period, 70% of lamb growth takes place, making the requirement of a high energy density diet more important.

Gary starts feeding Ewecare 18% Nuts in November after grouping ewes according to litter size. Pre-lambing concentrate feed rates should be based on a forage nutrient analysis to ensure that the ewes energy and protein requirements are met with twin and triplet bearing ewes being fed for longer.

Table 1 provides concentrate supplementation guidelines according to silage quality to ensure that the pre-lambing ewes rapidly increasing energy and protein requirements are met to help develop the udder and mammary gland, for the production of colostrum and to ensure the correct supply of vitamins and minerals.

Fane Valley Feeds recommend the use of Ewecare 18% Nuts with high quality, high protein silage and Ewe Breeder 20% Nuts with lower quality silages to ensure protein requirements are met and guarantee milk production post-lambing. If ewes are grouped according to body condition, lambing date and number of lambs, ewes can be fed more efficiently and cost-effectively.

After lambing, Gary changes from Ewecare 18% to Ewe Breeder 20% to maximise milk production in lambed ewes. “Ensuring that ewes have plenty of milk to raise healthy, rapidly growing lambs” says Gary.

With so many lambs entering and winning numerous show titles across Ireland and the UK, Gary also feeds Fane Valley Pedigree Lamb Creep to his lambs from an early stage, maximising live-weight gains and benefiting from his animals superior genetics.

Table 1. Guideline concentrate feed rates for pre-lambing ewes depending on silage quality.

* If offering more than 0.5kg/day, concentrate should be split into two feeds per day.