Dairy or/and meat sheep: Dairy and Meat
Source of information: Knowledge, Industry
Level of solution: Knowledge/Practical
Aim: Increase lamb survival through evaluation and monitoring of lamb birth weight
- Lambs birth weight influences significantly the survival rates and it is moderately heritable (0.35-0.40), as a result could be used as a selection trait.
- Birth weight of lambs is decidedly influenced by ewe nutrition during pregnancy and breed related factors.
- The optimum birth weight depends on the adult weight of that breeds, with a threshold for birth weight of 3.5-4 kg/lamb.
- Large lambs are problematic, and might cause difficult lambing’s and dystocia. This is frequently when crossing large size meat breeds with smaller sized breeds.
- Lambs born with low body weights should not be kept for reproduction, and their dams should be considered for culling.
- Lambs born as twins and triplets have usually with 20-40% lower body weights, compared to those born as singletons.
- Farmers should register birth weights for 20-30% of the lambs born, in order to assess their late gestation feeding management and take decisions for the following year.
Expected benefits: Reduction in lamb losses caused by low birth weights.
Prerequisites and/or limits (knowledge, training, capabilities, cost, management, facilities, equipment, etc.)
- Lamb birth weight could be used as a selection trait within the farm, given the moderately to high heritability and ease of assessment by farmer.
Fraga et al., 2018; McCoard et al., 2017; Everett-Hincks et al., 2014
Tips & Tricks:
|Benefit expected||Increase productivity
|Is the solution suitable for various production systems||Y|
|If no – for which system||dairy & meat|
|What are the asset costs||<100/lamb|
|What are the maintenance costs||<50/lamb|
|Any limits to its applicability||No|
|How much time is required to prepare and implement the solution||>=1week|
|How many people is needed to implement the solution?||1 person (the farmer)|
|How long it takes to get results?||>=1week|
|How long it takes to see an effect on sheep productivity?||current production period|
|What kind of equipment/tool are necessary?||Weighing scales for lambs|
|Does the solution need any specific skill/knowledge or training?||Yes|
|How much time will be required for training||1 day training|
|Is there any particular regulation link to the solution?||NO|
|Does the solution need any particular structure or organisation?||NO|