Dairy or/and meat sheep: Meat
Level of solution:
Just Being Tested
Aim: To present the effects of optimum birth weight on productivity
- Many factors affect lamb birth weight including litter size, gender, genotype and the nutritional management of the ewe during pregnancy.
- Each 0.5 kg increase in lamb birth weight increases weaning weight (14 weeks of age) by 1.7 kg
- The optimum birth weight:
- is the weight at which lamb mortality is minimised.
- for twins and triplets is 93% and 78% that of singles.
- The effect of lamb birth weight on lamb mortality is shown in Figure 1.
- Regardless of litter size, as lamb birth weight increases mortality decreases initially, plateaus and then increases again, reflecting the difficulties at lambing associated with large lambs.
Figure 1. Relationship between lamb birth weight and total mortality for lambs born as singles, twins and triplets
- Achieving the optimum birth weight:
- reduces labour associated with increased lambing difficulty and very small lambs
- reduces lamb mortality
- improves flock productivity
Prerequisites and/or limits:
- Requires good management protocols and nutrition planning during pregnancy.
Hanrahan and Keady (2013). Proc BSAS, p 275
Keady T.W.J. 2017. Nutrition of ewes during late pregnancy. Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc, Athenry, Co Galway. https://www.teagasc.ie/media/website/publications/2017/nutrition-during-pregnancy-Farm-Indo-Jan-2017.pdf
Tips and Tricks:
|Ewe nutrition for optimum lamb birth weight|
|Producing high feed value silage|
Level 1 assessment
better labor organisation
better feed management
less stress for the farmer
|Is the solution suitable for various production systems||Y|
|If no – for which system|
|What are the asset costs||<100|
|What are the maintenance costs||<50|
|Any limits to its applicability||requires good management and nutrition plan during pregnancy|
|How much time is required to prepare and implement the solution||<1 day|
|How many people is needed to implement the solution?||One|
|How long it takes to get results?||Immediate|
|How long it takes to see an effect on sheep productivity?||Current production period|
|What kind of equipment/tool are necessary?||NA|
|Does the solution need any specific skill/knowledge or training?||Knowledge of factory effecting birth weight|
|How much time will be required for training||<1 day|
|Is there any particular regulation link to the solution?||no|
|Does the solution need any particular structure or organisation?||no|
Level 2 assessment