Countdown to Tupping!

Tupping -the start of the Sheep year will soon be with us

Getting the lambing percentage right is critical to the profitability of your Sheep Flock

And it all begins with Flushing

Lambing percentage and stocking rate account for most of the variation in gross margin between farms and hence potential profitability.

Increasing production from one to two lambs per year reduces the energy requirement per kilo of carcass produced by around 40%. Clearly this contributes to a reduction in costs.

A useful target is one kilo of lamb sold or retained per kilo of ewe mated, for example a Mule ewe weighing 75 kg producing on average 1.7 lambs weighing 45 kg each. With the UK average lambing percentage of 110% we are well off target.

The same nutrition rules apply as always, i.e get ewes in optimum body condition score 3.0 for mating by manipulating their nutrition starting 6 weeks before tupping. Some ewes might need to be slimmed others improved and some stay the same. Grazing +/- blocks can be used effectively to improve BCS, where 2 weeks block feeding is worth an extra 0.5 units of BCS. Slimming diets can be effected by housing ewes and feeding straw and water.

Most breeds respond to this system some don’t need flushing at all, eg Lleyn.


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